Common IELTS myths
False advice is often given about IELTS. As you prepare for your test you will hear all sorts of myths about the test. Don’t listen. Instead you should concentrate on improving your English and following the preparation advice provided on this website. Practise your English every day and follow the official preparation advice provided in IELTS essentials pack and IELTS test sample papers.
|IELTS is too difficult||IELTS is no more difficult than any other exam. The questions are straightforward and designed to assess how well you can use your English – not to trick you or test your opinions. As with any exam, IELTS requires thorough preparation. Also, remember that there is no pass or fail in IELTS. The results are reported on a 9-band scale (1 being the lowest, 9 being the highest). This scale has remained consistent for over 20 years. The score you need is determined by the requirements of your visa or the institution/ organisation to which you are applying. Always remember to check what score you need before you take the test.|
|If I sit the test in my home country, I might get a better result.||This is a common myth. However it is important to understand that the IELTS test will be the same level of difficulty wherever you sit the test. Think about where you will feel most confident taking the test. It is important to recognise that good meals and good sleep in the lead-up to your test will help you perform your best. Also consider how early you need to travel on test day to reach the test centre. Keep in mind that all IELTS examiners in each country receive the same high level of training and are closely monitored to ensure they rate your responses consistently wherever you sit the test.|
|If I smile and make the examiner laugh in my Speaking test, I may get a better mark.||Smiling can help you feel relaxed which in turn might help you perform better. Every examiner is trained and monitored closely to be fair to every candidate and assess your level of English only. The examiners will not give you more or fewer marks if you are smiling and laughing.|
|I will lose marks if I don’t speak with an Australian, American or British accent.||You are not expected to change your accent for the IELTS test. Instead, focus on speaking clearly and at a natural pace so that the examiner can understand you. Practising your English every day and listening to different native speaker accents will help you to pronounce difficult words more clearly.|
|If I write more than the word limit in my Writing test, I will get more marks.||The minimum word limit is important. You must write at least 150 words for Task 1 and at least 250 words for Task 2. If you write less than this, you will lose marks. However if you write more, this does not mean you will gain marks. Rather it is more important that you use correct English, appropriate grammar, a wide range of vocabulary and sentence structures.|
|If the opinions I express in my Writing or Speaking test are different to the examiner, I might lose marks.||In your Writing and Speaking test, there are no right or wrong opinions. The examiner is assessing how well you can use your English to report information and express ideas.|
|If I keep practising sample questions I will get a better bandscore||Practising sample tests will help you learn what is expected in each part of the test. This is good test preparation in order to maximise the English skills you have. However, remember that to improve your English you need to use English in everyday contexts – speak it with your friends, write notes and email in English, read English newspapers, listen to English radio. If you feel you need help with your English, you should also consider taking an English course.|
|I’ve heard it is easy to cheat at IELTS.||IELTS is protected by sophisticated and multi-layered security measures to prevent cheating in order to protect you and the organisations that accept your results. These measures include:Identity checks at registration.
|IELTS is harder than other English tests.||Thousands of educational institutions, employers, and professional registration bodies accept IELTS because it is a high quality and fair test. This is why IELTS is also accepted by more governments for migration purposes than any other test.The institution/organisation you are applying to will determine what level of English you need.Why IELTS is number one?Accepted worldwide – Your IELTS result from IDP will be accepted in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, USA and many other countries where English is used. Accessible – Over 1100 test locations in 140 countries. 48 test dates per year, Find a test near you.Fair – Unlike other tests, IELTS gives you a quiet room to take your Speaking test one-on-one with an Examiner. No distractions or interruptions from other test takers. IELTS is also fair to test takers from all cultures. Both British and American spellings are accepted and IELTS test questions are trialled with test takers around the world before they are approved, to ensure they are appropriate and accessible. See what other test takers think. Fast – Total test time is under 3 hours and you get your results after just 13 days. Read more about the test format.|