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IELTS Test Structure

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  IELTS test structure  All candidates must complete four Modules - Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking - to obtain a band score, which is shown on the IELTS Test Report Form (TRF). All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking Modules, while the Reading and Writing Modules differ depending on whether the candidate is taking the Academic  or General Training  Versions of the Test. First 3 parts are given without breaks. Which makes IELTS the longest test without breaks (180 minutes). Such test structure provokes Absent-mindedness and according to statistics results of second and third parts are gradually lower than results of the first part. Listening The module comprises four sections of increasing difficulty. [10]  It takes 40 minutes: 30 - for testing, plus 10 for transferring the answers to an answer sheet. Each section, which can be either a monologue or dialogue, [10]  begins with a short introduction telling the candidates about the situation and the speakers. Then they have some time to look through the questions. The first three sections have a break in the middle allowing candidates to look at the remaining questions. Each section is heard only once. At the end of this section students are given 10 minutes to transfer their answers to an answer sheet. [11]   Reading In the academic module the reading test comprises three sections, with 3 texts normally followed by 13 or 14 questions for a total of 40 questions overall. The General test also has 3 sections. However the texts are shorter, so there can be up to 5 texts to read. Writing In the Academic module, there are two tasks: in Task 1 candidates describe a diagram, graph, process or chart, and in Task 2 they respond to an argument. In the General Training module, there are also two tasks: in Task 1 candidates write a letter or explain a situation, and in Task 2 they write an essay.   Speaking The speaking test contains three sections. The first section takes the form of an interview during which candidates may be asked about their  hobbies, interests, reasons for taking IELTS exam as well as other general topics such as clothing, free time, computers and the internet or family. In the second section candidates are given a topic card and then have one minute to prepare after which they must speak about the given topic. The third section involves a discussion between the examiner and the candidate, generally on questions relating to the theme which they have already spoken about in part 2. This last section is more abstract, and is usually considered [ who?  ]  the most difficult. Duration The total test duration is around 2 hours and 55 minutes  for Listening, Reading and Writing modules.    Listening: 40 minutes , 30 minutes for which a recording is played centrally and additional 10 minutes for transferring answers onto the OMR answer sheet.    Reading: 60 minutes .    Writing: 60 minutes .    Speaking: 11  – 15 minutes . (Note: No additional time is given for transfer of answers in Reading and Writing modules) The first three modules - Listening, Reading and Writing (always in that order) - are completed in one day, and in fact are taken with no break in between. The Speaking Module may be taken, at the discretion of the test centre, in the period seven days before or after the other Modules. The tests are designed to cover the full range of ability from non-user to expert user.  Band scale IELTS is scored on a nine-band scale, with each band corresponding to a specified competence in English. Overall Band Scores are reported to the nearest half band. The following rounding convention applies: if the average across the four skills ends in .25, it is rounded up to the next half band, and if it ends in .75, it is rounded up to the next whole band. The nine bands are described as follows: 9 Expert User Has full operational command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding. 8 Very Good User Has full operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriacies. Misunderstandings may occur in unfamiliar situations. Handles complex detailed argumentation well. 7 Good User Has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriateness and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning. 6 Competent User Has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations. 5 Modest user Has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make  many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic communication in own field. 4 Limited User Basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Has frequent problems in using complex language. 3 Extremely Limited User Conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. 2 Intermittent User No real communication is possible except for the most basic information using isolated words or short formulae in familiar situations and to meet immediate needs. 1 Non User Essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words. 0 Did not attempt the test No assessable information provided at all.  A 6.5 IELTS score lies roughly between B2 and C1 levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and scores higher than band 8 are C2. [12]   A score of 5~6 in IELTS lies in B2 of Common European Framework and less than that of 4 lies roughly between A1 and A2.
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