The IELTS is jointly managed by the Cambridge English Language Assessment, The British Council and IDP Education Pvt. Ltd. This is the test of choice for those who wish to migrate or work as well as students especially to Eurocentric places.
The unique thing about the IELTS exam is that it has two formats. The Academic one for students and the General one for those who wish to work or reside in other countries where English is the main language. There is also the paper based and computer based IELTS exam to choose from for potential students, migrants and workers.
As can be understood the Academic one will be more challenging than the General one—after all you have to show your skills to the best of your abilities there to gain admission. Funnily enough, both tests have the same listening and speaking portions; writing and reading are more challenging in the academic one. Sometimes the speaking test is administered a week before or after the other portions—time and date will be sent to you from the British Council.
As this is an English format exam, they ask you questions in a variety of ways. There will be MCQs, Fill in the Blanks, True/False/Not Given, Labelling, Insert headings, and so much more for the Reading and Listening sections. The writing is divided into two tasks with minimum word limits of 150 and 250 respectively. The first task is often a graph analysis or explanation of a procedure whereas the second one will be an essay question.
The score is divided into bands of 0-9 with increments of 0.5. Each of the 4 sections has an individual grade and then an overall score of the test as a whole. Depending on if you took the Computer delivered or Paper based exams your scores can be previewed online in 5-7 days for the former and in 13 calendar days respectively. Starting from the 1st of January 2019, the British council has revised its fees to be AED 1092 for Paper Based IELTS and AED 1155 for the Computer Delivered IELTS. This is inclusive of the VAT.
So going back to the question of which exam is better for me… the advice I’d give you is:
- See why you are giving the exam—for higher studies, migration or work purposes.
- What is the requirement of your school or place of work? Is it one or any will do? I’m sure there is an “ideal” score range too.
These criteria will help you to figure out what is needed and what range of scores are acceptable. Then it’s a piece of cake to go on and book your exam of choice.
At Proper Choice Institute, we offer classes in order to help you become familiar with the exam patterns and clarify any and all doubts you may have. We pride ourselves on delivering personalized classes for those seeking guidance.