IELTS, A review and How To Prepare

Many months ago, when I recently graduate from IT Telkom and finding job is on process, I realize that possibility to get scholarship is actually quite interesting. This will means taking master degree abroad. This also means that you need to get scholarship to make it worth to pursue.

IELTS_bannar

So with my GPA is at least cover most of the requirements, it time to get some English language qualifications. As you may know, the choices are only IELTS or TOEFL. Quick research shows that when dealing with TOEFL means you need to be able to understand grammar properly, something that I quite bad off. While for IELTS, seems like it will suits me better since its emphasizing on day to day English language capability.

Since I hate proper grammar and IELTS seems like a bit friendlier, I choose IELTS to fulfill the scholarship requirements. Those requirements usually flexible enough and will receive result from both test, so it’s a no brainer to choose something that seems easier to me.

When you browse Wikipedia, this is information about IELTS that you can obtained.

  1. IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System.
  2. IELTS is is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment, and was established in 1989.
  3. IELTS Academic and General Training both incorporate the following features:
  • IELTS tests the ability to listen, read, write and speak in English.
  • The speaking module is a key component of IELTS. It is conducted in the form of a one-to-one interview with an examiner. The examiner assesses the test taker as he or she is speaking. The speaking session is also recorded for monitoring and for re-marking in case of an appeal against the score given.
  • A variety of accents and writing styles have been presented in test materials in order to minimise linguistic bias.
  • IELTS is developed by experts at Cambridge English Language Assessment with input from item writers from around the world. Teams are located in the USA, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and other English-speaking nations.
  • Band scores are used for each language sub-skill (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking). The Band Scale ranges from 0 (“Did not attempt the test”) to 9 (“Expert User”).
  1. The IELTS test has four parts:
  • Listening: 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes’ transfer time)
  • Reading: 60 minutes
  • Writing: 60 minutes
  • Speaking: 11–14 minutes
  • The test total time is: 2 hours and 45 minutes
  1. And this is the grading system implemented by IELTSscores-official

So about the test, I took it in IDP Bandung. At that time the cost around IDR 1,2-1,3 million for a test. For easier purpose, allow me to tell the story by break it down to several points.

Preparation:

  • I relied on IELTS test preparation books. Like every book for English test preparations, it comes with audio file, practice problem and answer key. The book quite helpful to understand how the test will be and allowed you to gauge how good or bad you are.
  • Depending on your result, you should plan ahead when to take the test. If it still far from good, better only pay when you confident enough.
  • In 2012, payment process to enroll for IELTS test can only be done via Commonwealth Bank, so might be difficult as the bank is not very popular.

Test:

  • Listening

Speaker quality in IDP bandung is so so. Not very clear but at least the native’s didn’t really use heavy accent when speaking.

  • Reading

Totally like this part, as more on day to day understanding of English is needed. No difficult grammar.

  • Writing

Forgot the theme, but the book suggest to start with good things about the topic, followed up with the bad side then ended up with conclusion. If you read the book for preparation, it will be easier to understand what I try to inform you.

  • Interview

Interview is not done on the same day, so usually you need to come back after 1 day. The “bule” here have history with me on previous day(exam day) because she parked her bike in a bad manner. So I honk a bit until she appears and move her bike someplace else. Still remember she call me rude boy at that time.

The session went well, but I think she probably still mad as my interview got medium score when compare with my other test result.

My result

So after the test, this is what I got with around 1 month preparation, in which 2 weeks is intensive study. Really satisfied on the result for a beginner that basically hates grammar haha.

Reading score 8

Speaking score 6.5

Writing score 6

Listening score 7

Total score Band 7

Future plan

Improve writing. This is my lowest score, so definitely improvement is needed.

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