Today, most internationally recognised English language tests base their assessment on the “four skills” of Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking of which IELTS was a pioneer.
The usual starting point for sixth form study at Greene’s is an IELTS score of 5.5 and for university entrance a score of 7.5 is often required. To work effectively for an international organisation you should also be aiming at a score of above 7.5.
Indicative IELTS levels required for university study
|IELTS score||Academic university courses||Training & vocational university courses|
e.g. Medicine, Law, Linguistics, Journalism, Library Studies
|Linguistically less demanding|
e.g. Agriculture, Pure Mathematics, Technology, Computer-based work, Telecommunications
e.g. Air Traffic Control, Engineering, Pure Applied Sciences, Industrial Safety
|Linguistically less demanding
e.g. Catering, Fire Services, Animal Husbandry
|6.5||English study needed||Probably acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable|
|6.0||English study needed||English study needed||Probably acceptable||Acceptable|
|5.5||English study needed||English study needed||English study needed||Probably acceptable|
As the table below shows, IELTS scores are also easily be compared with other recognised testing systems such as TOEFL iBT using the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
IELTS scores compared with TOEFL iBT using the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)
The IELTS 9-band scale
|Band 9: Expert user||Has fully operational command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding.|
|Band 8: Very good user||Has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriacies. Misunderstandings may occur in unfamiliar situations. Handles complex detailed argumentation well.|
|Band 7: Good user||Has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning.|
|Band 6: Competent user||Has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.|
|Band 5: Modest user||Has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic communication in own field.|
|Band 4: Limited user||Basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Has frequent problems in understanding and expression. Is not able to use complex language.|
|Band 3: Extremely limited user||Conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns in communication occur.|
|Band 2: Intermittent user||No real communication is possible except for the most basic information using isolated words or short formulae in familiar situations and to meet immediate needs. Has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.|
|Band 1: Non-user||Essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words.|
IELTS or TOEFL? Many people think that they have to pass a TOEFL English Language test for entry to university in the U.S. This is not the case – there are almost 3,400 colleges and universities in the U.S. who accept IELTS English language test qualifications as well as TOEFL. This includes the top Ivy League universities. IELTS gives you maximum flexibility as it is also recognised by universities in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It is also the test of choice for international business.
Source and for more information: www.ielts.org