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IELTS Test Preparation

Why prefer IELTS to TOEFL The IELTS or the International English Language Testing System is the most popular and trusted testing system of proficiency of a candidate in English. There are similar types of tests and TOEFL or Test of English as a Foreign Language is another popular test. Different universities, organizations and absorbing bodies accept different tests. Both the testing system have four basic sections as Listening, Reading, Speaking & Writing. The TOEFL takes tests on only academic subjects, while the IELTS academic test has reading, writing tests also combined with general listening and speaking tests. Let's have a comparative discussion of the two tests, to clarify why the IELTS is preferred to the TOEFL: 1) The IELTS has a much better reputation and trust regarding acceptability throughout the world because of its' unbiased testing system and excellent standard. Universities of as many as 140 countries and including a number of USA universities as well, accept the IELTS. 2) The Governments of some countries like U.K., Australia, New Zealand and Canada consider VISA and Immigration only after checking the IELTS certificates of the candidates. 3) The TOEFL test lasts for 4 hours, naturally, its' quite a cumbersome job for the candidates, while the IELTS takes only 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete. Thus the IELTS being a less stressful test compared to TOEFL is gaining popularity year on year. 4) The most accepted and widespread form of the TOEFL, which is known as iBT i.e. Internet Based Test. Students need to be computer savvy that too with good typing speed in case of giving the TOEFL test, unlike the IETLS test, where it is like a normal testing system, where the answers are handwritten on answer sheets. 5) The TOEFL offers only an academic English test for admission requirements while the IELTS offers also a general test, which includes handling real-life situations and justifying an opinion, etc. This pattern of the test has made IELTS more practicable and naturally more acceptable to the candidates and as well as to the absorbing bodies. 6) Another distinct reason to prefer the IELTS is: In the IELTS speaking test a candidate has to speak with a certified examiner, who asks questions, interrupts, and interacts with a candidate. Thus the examiner tests a candidate's depth of English knowledge, his confidence, his ability to justify and support his statement, etc. Also, the candidate feels free to express himself properly in a friendly situation, where even he gets stuck at some point, he gets help from the examiner. This is also the IELTS advantages. 7) On the contrary, in the TOEFL, a candidate speaks before a microphone and his recorded voice is sent to the examiner for judging. If the candidate gets stuck at some point he gets nobody to help him. Moreover, the examiner doesn't get a chance to interact and cross check the confidence level of the candidate. Naturally, the absorbing bodies prefer the IELTS to TOEFL as the examiners can assess the candidates perfectly in the IELTS speaking test. 8) In the Listening Test in the TOEFL mainly north American English is used, whereas in the IELTS, the authority uses a wide range of International English. Moreover, the pattern of the IELTS test makes a candidate fully aware of the English language used by the country where he is heading to. 9) The IELTS is mostly based in the U.K., hence, candidates with the IELTS certificates are easily accepted in the major English speaking countries. Universities and colleges in countries like Britain, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia accept the IELTS certificate. As well as many American universities have started accepting the IELTS. 10) In the TOEFL there are mainly multiple choice questions, on the contrary in the IELTS candidates get miscellaneous questions in the form of fill in the blank, ticking true/false, matching flowcharts, etc. apart from multiple choice questions. Thus making the examining procedure less hectic and more practical. 11) If a candidate is opting for migration, not for study purpose, then the IELTS General Training Test is the best option for him. 12) In the case of the writing test, unlike that in TOEFL test, the IELTS test has got two different types of writing papers: One is the academic test and the other is the general training test. Academic Test is for those who want to take admission in the universities and the General Training is mostly for working professionals and for those who want immigration. 13) In real life, students are mostly habituated in answering by writing on papers in exams, with hardly a handful of them habituated in answering by typing a computer keyboard, which they need to do in the TOEFL. This is a clear disadvantage of the TOEFL. 14) Moreover, the IELTS writing test repeats the same format year after year, thus making it easier for candidates to prepare for. 15) The TOEFL listening test continues for 60 minutes. While the IELTS listening test continues for 30 minutes. Naturally, it becomes highly tedious for candidates to listen for such a long time and answering thereafter. 16) The TOEFL Test takes 4 hours to complete, compared to the IELTS which takes 2 hours and 45 Minutes. So The TOEFL needs a greater level of stamina and patience. 17) If a candidate requires VISA for studying in the U.K., then the IELTS is surely the best option for him as the UK Home Office regards the IELTS as one of the best tests of the proficiency in the English Language. 18) According to the survey, 'Students get exhausted on the halfway' during the TOEFL test, they say 'It is almost impossible to preserve 100% concentration for such a long duration of time. Some students who have appeared for both the tests opines that with the IELTS it is comfortable to carry on. Comparing the advantages and disadvantages of the two types of exams, it is observed that the majority of students prefer the IELTS system of examination as: • IELTS follow the conventional way of examination, i.e. writing answers on the answer sheet, rather than typing it on the keyboard. • Usually, a candidate is not comfortable to speak on a microphone, naturally, it's a strange feeling altogether to speak over microphone without the presence of any examiner, like in the real life exams in general. • A candidate is not usually comfortable in American English, especially in the North American English. Because most of the non-English speaking countries follow the 'British English' to teach students. • A candidate is not good at answering multiple-choice questions. • A candidate is comfortable in giving an interview in-person. If a candidate is habituated with American English, he might find some parts of the IELTS as unfamiliar, while a candidate with a knowledge of British English would feel the TOEFL is a bit too tough to handle. Though neither of the two tests penalizes a candidate for using one dialect or the other, as long as his answers are error-free and understandable. The short duration of the IELTS gives the candidates a breather, despite the toughness of the tests. In spite of the fact that the IELTS has a much wider range of question types including multiple choice questions, gap filling, matching exercises and so on. Due to the short time span compared to the TOEFL it is easier for the candidates to complete the IELTS test at a stretch with 100% concentration. The IELTS regarded as the most popular test of its' kind. The IELTS tests open the doors to the candidates for venturing into a world of academic and professional opportunity. Millions of candidates/students are migrating every year to study or work in the countries like the UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the USA, and so many other countries worldwide. Market research says thousands of the world’s most reputed universities, colleges, Professional bodies, accept the IELTS result of a candidate as an evidence of his English language proficiency. The IELTS certification is more acceptable by governments of different countries than any other English language tests. The IELTS speaking test is the only high standard English test where a candidate gets to talk with the examiner on one to one basis without any interruptions and distractions.

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