Importance of Grammar in IELTS


Many IELTS review centers include Grammar in their preparatory courses and some actually offering extra lessons on it. People generally know that Grammar is important in any language, and it is the same case in the IELTS examination.

Why?

Here are some reasons.

Let us start by defining “Grammar”. According to Merriam-Webster online dictionary, Grammar is defined as the following:

 

1

a : the study of the classes of words, their inflections, and their functions and relations in the sentence

b : a study of what is to be preferred and what avoided in inflection and syntax

2

a : the characteristic system of inflections and syntax of a language

b : a system of rules that defines the grammatical structure of a language

 

 

That gives us a perspective of what Grammar is the language. What about in the IELTS? That can be answered by a bit of math.

You know that the IELTS have four (4) section, and each section (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking) contributes a fourth of your total score. The average band score you get thus follows this formula:

Band score for Listening + Band score for Reading + Band score for Writing + Band score for Speaking = N

N/4 = Average IELTS Band score

Where does Grammar come in?

The Writing and the Speaking subtests are graded using a set criteria – four, to be exact. One of these criteria is Grammatical Range and Accuracy. Thus, a fourth of your Writing and Speaking subtest score come from Grammar – that is 25%, enough to bring your entire score up or down, in TWO subtests.

But it does not end there. Subtleties in Grammar are also important for comprehending texts in the Reading exam and the Listening exam.

Here is an example you can try and answer. Read the text and answer the question:

TEXT:

The council had refused to allocate money for the employees’ health care needs, resulting to the significant increase in the incidence of tuberculosis.

QUESTION:

YES or NO?

Is the council refusing to allocate money to the employee’s health care needs?

 

If you answered YES, then you would probably want to try again. Look at these two statements:

TEXT: The council had refused to allocate money for the employees’ health care needs…

QUESTION: Is the council refusing to allocate money to the employee’s health care needs?

The TEXT is written in past perfect tense, essentially representing an action in the PAST, whereas the one in the QUESTION is written in present progressive tense. The distinction is in the tenses. Something that is true in the past does not necessarily mean that it is true in the present. In this question, the Grammar made the difference. The answer should be NO.

Tricky, right? That is how the IELTS would weave Grammar into the Listening and Reading exams. Think you’re up for it? If not, enroll at an IELTS review center, STAT.

 Good luck!

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