30 September 2022

An Introduction to the IELTS Exam

In this week’s blog post we tell you all there is to know about the IELTS exam. We will cover what it is, why you should take it, what you can use it for and how to register and prepare for it.

What is IELTS:

IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. The idea behind it is to have an internationally recognized system for testing and proving somebody’s English level.

What can you use it for?

In general, you can use your IELTS exam results to prove what level of English you have for a tonne of different things. You can use it to apply for an English-speaking job, you can use it to apply for a college course taught in English and some countries even have IELTS as a requirement for their visa applications like Australia example.

How does it work?

When you take the IELTS exam it will be in two parts. The first part will be a speaking exam and the second part will be the main exam which will cover listening, reading, and writing. The answers you give will be graded on a scale of 1-9, with 9 being the highest number of points. For example, getting an 8.5 would be a very good IELTS exam score. You can find out what each number on the scale means by clicking here.

Do I need to take the IELTS exam?

If you’re not quite sure whether you need to take an IELTS exam or not, you should think about what your goals are for learning English right now and what you’re trying to achieve, and then see if IELTS ties into that outcome. The IELTS is most popular for anyone looking to move to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK but if you don’t want to move to another country you might want it for a job or university.

If that is the case, Check the entry requirements of the course or job you would like to do and see if it mentions English proficiency or accepted exams anywhere on that information. If it doesn’t, you should reach out to that office and ask. You can search the bodies that use IELTS as an indicator of English proficiency here.

How do I prepare for the exam

If you would like to prepare for the exam before taking it, you can do some IELTS preparation classes with us. You need to be B2 level to take the IELTS classes which will give you a good indicator of what level you should be before you take the exam. The classes are specifically about the structure and content of the IELTS exam, and most of our students that are going to take the IELTS exam at the end of their course move into IELTS preparation about one month before the exam once they have reached B2 level.

How do I register for the IELTS exam?

Cork English College is the only provider of IELTS exams in Munster so whether you’re one of our students or not, you are welcome to take an IELTS exam with us. If you are one of our students, we will remind you to book your exam and guide you through that process. You need to book your IELTS exam at least 5 weeks before taking it, we recommend booking as far in advance as you can as they are in such high demand.

To book an IELTS exam, you will need to follow the steps below:

1. Go to the IELTS Cork website and click the APPLY NOW button on the top left-hand corner of the screen.

2. Decide between doing general the IELTS exam or the academic one (check the requirements for your job/course or visa and see which one they want).

3. Choose between the paper-based or computer-based exam

4. Click to see the upcoming exam dates

5. Pick one and register for it

Unfortunately you won’t be able to pay online, you can pay by bank transfer, by card over the phone or pay at our reception, Monday to Friday, 08:30 – 17:30.

You then need to send the IELTS reference number you get in the email after booking to our IELTS Centre Manager John – john@corkenglishcollege.ie and tell him how you paid. He will make sure you are registered for the exam.

Note: If you don’t give us your reference number and pay for the exam within 3 working days of registering, it will cancel automatically so don’t skip this step!