Why Study IELTS?

The IELTS exam is becoming increasingly popular around the world with students of all ages. But why should you study IELTS? Why is the IELTS exam so important, and is it right for you?

If are asking yourself, “Why do people study IELTS?” or “Should I study IELTS?” then first you need to look at a bigger question:

What is IELTS?

IELTS is an acronym for International English Language Testing System. It is jointly operated by three reputable organizations:

As the name suggests, it is a test of your English proficiency. That means, how well you can speak English. Because it is run by those three trustworthy organizations, it is considered an important exam. Therefore, if you get a good score in the IELTS exam, people will trust that you really have a good grasp of English.

What does the IELTS Test?

The IELTS is a test of your overall English ability, and as such it will test four areas:

You are marked on a scale of 1-9, with 1 being a “non-user”, meaning you cannot speak any English, and 9 denoting a “native level speaker.” Generally, 7 is considered pretty fluent, and a speaker of 5 or above could hold a basic conversation without too much trouble.

There are two kinds of IELTS test, with some areas of overlap:

  • General
  • Academic

Which exam you choose to sit will be determined by your purpose in taking the IELTS exam.

What can the IELTS do for me?

We have already discussed that the IELTS exam is a pretty good measure of your English proficiency, and that as such you can use it as proof of your abilities. But who will trust this information?

Although there are many reasons a student might want to take the IELTS exam, the three most common are:

  • Study
  • Work
  • Immigration

IELTS for Study

As IELTS is accepted by more than 10,000 institutions around the world, it is incredibly useful for students. Having a high score in IELTS can help you attend university in the UK, USA, or many other countries. If you wish to do this, you will sit the academic IELTS rather than the general. Doing a Masters or PhD program, or attending a particularly good school, will require a higher IELTS score than doing a basic BA program at a not-so-famous institution.

IELTS for Work

If you wish to study abroad, you should learn about the different IELTS requirements from employers and governments. These will vary greatly, but in many cases you can sit the general IELTS test. In some cases you may just need a band 4, but in others you will require a 6.5.

Even if you don’t wish to move abroad to work, if you want to get into a sector that involves international communication, IELTS can give you a major boost in your application. Fields like nursing, aviation, and trade see applicants benefit from having a good IELTS score.

IELTS for Immigration

Many people around the world dream of living in America, Great Britain, or Australia. However, without a high IELTS score this is a difficult dream to achieve. IELTS can seriously boost your chance of immigrating as many governments will require proof of English ability. As the most respected testing system, IELTS is your friend in achieving this dream.

How to Study for IELTS?

Once you have chosen which test you will take (general or academic), you need to honestly assess your abilities and make a study plan for IELTS success. You should practice each of the four sections (speaking, writing, reading, listening) and figure out which areas need most improvement. Decide what you need to achieve by researching the requirements of your desired institution, employer, or government agency, and set a realistic goal.

There are many free IELTS learning resources online. Just search Google and don’t forget to sign up for the TED-IELTS e-mail newsletter and bookmark our website. We offer lots of advice and practice activities to help you achieve your IELTS goals.

Conclusion

So why study IELTS? There are many reasons and they all depend on your goals in life. Ultimately, IELTS is a tool to help you achieve what you want and fulfill your dreams.

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Author: David S. Wills

David S. Wills is the author of Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the 'Weird Cult' and the founder/editor of Beatdom literary journal. He lives and works in rural China, and loves to travel.

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