Scoring high points in the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam can open a window of opportunities for a skilled worker or student migrating to a country where English is the main language of communication. There are ways one can enhance their application to help realise their dream of living abroad. Students who are looking to study in the UAE as well can polish their English language skillset by taking the test.
A little practice and some personalised coaching, for example, can raise your score on English-language assessment tests and correspondingly improve your overall chances.
Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK accept the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam as evidence of English language proficiency for study, work and migration. The four-part test evaluates your ability to read, write, listen and speak, and a high score on all fronts can make the difference between a successful visa application or not receiving an immigration permit at all.
As the world's most popular test, IELTS can also improve your chances of finding a job in your target country - more than 10,000 organisations accept its results.
Deep Adhikari, Director Exams Gulf South Cluster, British Council
Deep Adhikari, Director Exams Gulf South Cluster at the British Council says, "The aim is to achieve a high score to enhance the overall points on your application. Scoring well in each component of the IELTS test can cause quite a difference in the points you achieve."
He offers some examples of how a high score affects individual cases. The minimum IELTS score required to immigrate to Canada is 6, while it is 7 for Australia. "However, this minimum score will not contribute effectively to your overall Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS). Applicants must aim anywhere between the Canadian Level Benchmark score of 7-9. While 7 is easily achievable and 9 is more difficult, with constant practice we believe anyone can secure the CLB Level 8 at least," Adhikari says.
"To increase your chances at receiving an invitation, it is crucial that you practice for your IELTS test in advance and get training to obtain the ideal IELTS score on your first attempt."
Similarly, 65 points is the minimum overall qualifying score for immigration to Australia. However, Adhikari explains, invitations are being issued to candidates who score between 70 and 80 points on the assessment grid.
The British Council recently launched the IELTS Counselling Service, a practical and personalised approach that helps exam candidates improve their IELTS score. The programme first assesses each candidate's current English level and provides customised feedback and resources to focus on areas of improvement.
"With IELTS counselling service, our customers get personalised support from IELTS experts who guide and advise on how to best prepare for the IELTS test to achieve the desired score," Adhikari says.
For a package of Dh310, test candidates get the online assessment and personalised learning plan, as well as regular check-in calls with a dedicated counsellor and guidance on the exam and results process. For those who book an IELTS test with the British Council, the IELTS Plus package offers the same benefits for Dh160 in addition to an advance test booking and a free test date transfer worth Dh315.
The British Council also offers several free resources for anyone who wants to do the IELTS exam, including practice tests, a massive online open course, preparation videos, a webinar, and mobile apps.
While many students worry about the IELTS exam, Adhikari says it's easier than most people think. "The questions in the IELTS test are straightforward and designed to assess how well you can use your English. As with any test, IELTS requires thorough preparation."
As a final tip, he suggests that IELTS candidates use English daily. "To improve your English, you need to use it in everyday contexts, whether it's speaking with your friends in English, writing notes and emails, reading newspapers or listening to the radio. If you feel you need help with your English, you can also consider taking an English course."Â
IELTS success stories
How the British Council's newly launched counselling service has helped UAE students improve their IELTS scores
Dr B Neethu
"The British Council's online assessments and services helped me achieve an overall band 8 in the IELTS test. Howaida Mohamed Osman, an IELTS Counsellor at the British Council, arranged for my language assessment and also provided me all the resources and guidance I needed. The assessment feedback that I received from her also helped me identify my mistakes and improve my language skills. The British Council provides great resources and practice tests that helped me plan and study well."
Hashmi Salan Shameer
"I am extremely happy with the British Council's IELTS counselling service. I was hesitant to book a test date until I received a call from the counselling service. The diagnostic test clearly explained to me my strengths and weaknesses. With less than two weeks of preparation, I was able to achieve my required score."
"The evaluation programme before the exam at the British Council was excellent and well-coordinated to fit my busy schedule. It helped me better understand the layout of the exam and how it would be conducted, as well as motivated me to improve my language skills. I truly commend the IELTS staff at the British Council and hope the pre-test evaluation programme continues to stay and help all test candidates in the future."Â
To book an IELTS test,Â visit bit.ly/3qmb5NO
For IELTS Counselling Service,Â visit bit.ly/3gKuofc