In many cases, people who wish to study, migrate, or work in an English-communicating country would be required to take an English proficiency examination. There are several types – the TOEFL, the TOEIC, the PTE Academic, and the IELTS. The two most popular English exams are the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the International English Language Test System (IELTS). Most institutions would require you to take one or the other, but some would allow you to choose.
This article explores the pros of choosing the IELTS over other English proficiency examinations, if you are given the choice. A mirror article explores the pros of TOEFL; you might want to check that out too.
The IELTS have several pros that would make the examiner more comfortable in taking it. Here are some.
- The IELTS primarily makes use of International English, particularly British English. This means that the accents utilized in the Listening test are varied – it can be Australian, British, American, European, Asian-English. If you are exposed to these accents, then the IELTS would be a good choice.
- The exam offers you a choice between academic and general training. The truth: the English proficiency requirements of one who shall be a migrant and one who shall pursue higher education are different. Other English proficiency exams are academic-based – meaning regardless of why you are taking the test and your English language needs, the standards would be that of a university level proficiency. In other words, it is difficult. The IELTS, however, offers the general training module which tests the examinee’s survival English. This is relatively much easier and much more suited to migrants who would not study.
- The IELTS is paper-based (in the Philippines). If you are a technophobe, or simply prefer writing long hand to clicking and typing, then you would probably more comfortable in taking the IELTS. Although remember that, especially in the Writing test, there are word count requirements. If you plan on taking the IELTS, make sure you write fast and legibly.
- The IELTS is shorter. If you cannot concentrate for a long time, then the IELTS is a better choice. Other English tests are quite long. The TOEFL, for instance, is roughly four (4) hours. The IELTS can be finished in only three (3) hours.
- The Speaking test is a face-to-face interview. To some people, speaking to their examiner face-to-face is much easier, probably because of the human contact. The IELTS speaking test is an 11-14 minute interview. If you prefer to speak to a person than a computer (which is used in Speaking exams in other international English test), then you may want to choose the IELTS.
These are some of the advantages that the IELTS offers. If you have the opportunity to choose your English proficiency test and you find yourself comfortable with these characteristics, then take advantage of them and sit the IELTS.