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English Language Exams

English language:

This is often the biggest hurdle for many would be migrants and it is safe to say that even native English speakers have challenges achieving maximum points. For this reason it is very important for any would be applicant to study for this exam and make use of the many resources available. You may also want to check out my personal experience with this exam, below, along with some information that might assist you in your quest to obtain the highest possible score.

Australian Immigration now accepts results from several different providers; however the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is still the most popular, possibly because the exam is held so often.  Each test has 4 sub tests within it testing reading, writing, speaking and listening. It is important to understand that you must achieve at least the minimum score in each band of the exam.

For example, if you sat the IELTS exam and achieved 7 for reading, 7 for writing, 6.5 for speaking and 7 for listening, then you would be eligible for the points test but as your lowest score was 6.5, you would receive no points.  It is important to note that two elements of each English exam are objective (listening and reading) and two are subjective (writing and speaking). The objective parts of the exam have answers that are either right or wrong so having your results reviewed is not likely to change your scores unless there was an error in the actual marking. However for the subjective bands writing and speaking, it is based somewhat on the opinion of the examiner, so the scores can and sometimes do change.

If you score 0.5 below your desired outcome in the subjective bands of the exam, then you might consider lodging an appeal. This means that someone else will review your results and may revise the score. Appeals are expensive and take a few weeks, so sometimes taking the exam again might be a better option.

The qualifying standard in the first section of the table below offers 0 points. Also note as mentioned above, that the scores achieved must be in each band of the test

 

Test Type

Score achieved (minimum in each band)

No of points

Proficient

 

 

IELTS

6

0

Pearson PTE Academic

50

0

OET*

B

0

TOEFL iBT

L 12, R 13, W21, S 18

0

Cambridge English-Advanced**

169

 

 

 

 

Competent

 

 

IELTS

7

10

Pearson PTE Academic

65

10

OET*

B

10

TOEFL iBT

L 24, R 24,W 217 S 23

10

Cambridge English-Advanced**

185

10

 

 

 

Superior

 

 

IELTS

8

20

Pearson PTE Academic

79

20

OET*

B

20

TOEFL iBT

L 28, R 29, W 30, S 26

20

Cambridge English-Advanced**

200

20

*This test can only be used by people applying for occupations in the Health Care Sector
**Eligible for tests taken after 1st January 2015

 

My IELTS Story

Let me share with you a little personal story that I think may help you to better understand the IELTS test. I am a 52 year old Australian woman of Australian parents, I have spoken only English at home all my life and have lived in Australia since birth. I was educated here in Australia and have had 12 years of University education at both under graduate and post graduate level (Part time). I have co-authored a technical manual for the Australian Wine industry and a chapter for a University Text book and I have written numerous research papers and have been a contributing author in journals both here and in the US.  However on Saturday 3rd September 2011, that wasn’t enough to get a high score when I decided to sit the Academic IELTS exam. I didn’t need the test to migrate to Australia or apply to University, my objective was to provide practical advice to my clients on the logistics of taking the test and to prepare a simple guide, so that they knew what to expect.  For this reason, I did not do any preparative work prior to the exam and because I’m a native speaker! But here is my score.

Listening  7.5          Reading  7.0            Writing  7.5              Speaking  9
So, what lessons can we all learn from my experience?
These are important tips for everyone, native speaker or not.

  1. Practice, practice, practice! Do as many practice exams as you can and remember to time yourself. It is the time pressure that makes it so difficult.
  2. Access as many resources as you can.  Visit www.IELTS-Blog.com and download either ACE the IELTS or Target 7.  It is well worth the money!
  3. Get a good night’s sleep the night before the exam- no drinking or partying.
  4. Make sure that you eat well in the lead up to the test. Two minute noodles and Mars bars are not good brain food.
  5. On the day of the test, allow plenty of time and if possible get there early.
  6. Leave everything at home or with a friend because you cannot take anything into the exam (no phone, bags etc). The examiners will provide lockers or a locked room if you need to bring things with you.
  7. Remember to take your passport, pencils, eraser and your registration form. This is all you are allowed to take in.
  8. You can take water with you, however drink it slowly because while a toilet break is allowed, there is no extra time.
  9. It is very important that you do not speak throughout the first three components of the exam. You don’t want to risk being removed and having to pay the exam fee all over again.
  10. Some test centres are doing fingerprint scanning and have sophisticated ID methods so don’t even consider sending your friend to sit the test for you.
  11. Allow the whole day for the test.  The first three components take around 3 hours and then the speaking exam is scheduled in the afternoon and takes around 20 minutes. If there are a lot of people sitting the exam then you could be waiting until quite late in the afternoon for your speaking appointment.
  12. Finally, practice, practice, practice! This exam is horrible even for a native speaker!

Sue Caloghiris
If you practice and focus on your goal,
I am sure that you can ACE THE IELTS!!!

I wish you the best of luck!
Sue Caloghiris MARN 0637954

 

 

 

 

 


Disclaimer:

Please understand that the advice on this website is general in nature and subject to change without notice.  We try to keep it as accurate as we can, however keeping up with changes in the Migration environment is sometimes very challenging.

This website does not replace personal advice about your specific situation.  You can contact us via the free visa assessment tool and we can then advise you of the options available to you.

 

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