TEN MYTHS ABOUT THE IELTS TEST
1. The IELTS test is more difficult than other English tests.
Well no. the IELTS test is not necessarily any more difficult than other tests, but not all tests assess the same skills. The IELTS test will certainly challenge you because the training course you are considering will be tough, too.
2. I can choose which module of the IELTS test I wish to take.
Not quite. If you want to do a degree course, you MUST take the Academic Module. The General Training Module is for diploma level courses and immigration purposes. But it is true that the module you take is determined by the choices you make about your future.
3. The IELTS tests are different in various parts of the world.
No. There are many versions of the test, and at any given examination there may be a different version being given at a center. However, IELTS is a standardized, global test.
4. I can get a better score at some IELTS testing centres than at others.
Absolutely not. IELTS officials use may means to ensure standardization of Band Scores throughout the world. Of course, it could be true that taking IELTS in an English speaking country is beneficial, but only because you are being exposed to English every day.
5. I can only take the IELTS test a total of 3 times.
Not true. You can take the IELTS test as many times and as often as you wish. In the past you had to wait three months before you could take the test again. But from May 2006 the rule changes. However, it is unlikely your score will improve sufficiently before at least two or three months have passed.
6. I can successfully study for the test by myself.
We do not think so. The authors realize that every student has his or her own particular study method, but to prepare effectively for the IELTS test you should get professional advice from a tutor, either in a class or privately. You should also realize that General Course practice is useful in addition to a specialized IELTS Course.
7. To get a good result in the IELTS test I should do as many practice tests as possible.
Really? Achieving a satisfactory Overall Band Score is the result of a number of strategies, not just taking practice tests. Any, definitely, if you do a practice test, you must work out why you made each and every mistake; otherwise, you are missing out on valuable “learning” time.
8. The Listening Test is the most difficult of the IELTS Sub-tests.
Many students believe that one particular Sub-test is more difficult than all the others. Of course, all they are really saying is that they need extra practice in that skill area. Sorry, it is a myth.
9. If I don’t think my score is accurate, there is nothing I can do about it.
If you have received a Band Score that is clearly an error, you have the right to have your test papers and speaking assessment re-evaluated. But remember that this process costs extra, and the second set of Band Scores is official, even if one or more of these scores is lower than before.
10. If I get a good score, I can use it as a proof of my ability at any time in the future.
Not at any time in the future, no. There is a time limit on the usefulness of the Test Report Form which you receive after having taken the IELTS test. This period is about two years, provided you can prove that you have maintained you English.