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Guide

Guide to IELTS - General Training for Skilled Workers

If you are a skilled worker who would like to work and live in Canada, there are several Language Tests which are accepted.  The most popular test taken is the IELTS, which is short for International English Language Testing System.  IELTS measures the English proficiency of a non-native English speaker through Speaking, Writing, Reading, and Listening.

There are two types of test modules for IELTS: Academic and General Training.  In Canada, IELTS Academic is used for Study Purposes while IELTS General Training is used for Work or Immigration Purposes.  If you are a Skilled Worker, you have to take the General Training Module.

The IELTS General Training measures the test taker’s English language proficiency in a practical or day-to-day context.  This test is a requirement for Skilled Workers who plan to migrate in an English-speaking country like Canada.  So, if you're planning to migrate or work in Canada, read the information below to help you complete one of the requirements for your application.

Test Format of the IELTS General Training:

Part 1: Listening

For this part, the test taker will listen to four recordings of native English speakers, which include a range of accents: American, Canadian, British, Australian, and New Zealand, and will then answer 10 questions for each recording.

  • Recording 1 – a two-person conversation (day-to-day social context)
  • Recording 2 – a monologue (day-to-day social context)
  • Recording 3 – a four-person conversation (educational or training context)
  • Recording 4 – a monologue (educational or training context)

Note: Each recording will be played only once.

  • Answer Sheet: The test taker will first write his/her answers at the question sheet then transfer it to the answer sheet during the 10-minute transfer time.
  • Scoring: 1 question = 1 mark (Total marks will be converted to the IELTS nine-band score.)
  • Total Questions: 40
  • Duration: 30 minutes plus 10 minutes transfer time
Part 2: Reading

For this part, there are three sections and each section has 13-14 corresponding questions.

  • Section 1 (Social Survival) - Two-three short texts
  • Section 2 (Workplace Survival) - Two text/passages
  • Section 3 (General Reading) - One long passage

NOTE: The texts/passages are taken from company handbooks, guidelines, newspapers, advertisements, books, magazines, and notices.

  • Answer Sheet: The test taker must write his/her answers in the answer sheet during the duration of the test since no transfer time will be given.
  • Scoring: 1 question = 1 mark (Total marks will be converted to the IELTS nine-band score.)
  • Total Questions: 40
  • Duration: 60 minutes
Part 3: Writing

For this part, there's a total of two tasks.

  • Task 1 - Letter Writing (Responding to a situation with a minimum word requirement of 150)
  • Assessment Criteria: Task achievement, coherence and cohesion, lexical resource, and grammatical range and accuracy.
  • Task 2 - Essay Writing (Responding to a problem, argument, or point of view with a minimum word requirement of 250)
  • Assessment Criteria: Task response, coherence and cohesion, lexical resource, and grammatical range and accuracy.

NOTE: It is advised to spend 20 minutes on Task 1 and 40 minutes on Task 2 since Task 2 has a higher impact on the band score.

  • Answer Sheet: The test taker must write the answers in the answer booklet.  Notes and bullets are not considered.
  • Scoring: The assessment criteria is used by the examiner to determine the band score.  Each criterion is scored and then the average is taken to determine the Writing Test band score.
  • Duration: 60 minutes

Part 4: Speaking

For this part, the test taker's use of spoken English will be assessed so the whole conversation is recorded.

  • Speaking Part 1 (Introduction and Interview) - You will greet the examiner and he/she will ask you to answer questions and talk about yourself and other familiar topics.
  • Speaking Part 2 (Cue Card or Candidate Task Card) - You will be given a Cue Card which will contain the points to cover and the topic you will have to talk about.  You will have one minute to prepare and two minutes to speak about the topic.  Afterwards, you will be asked one or two round-off questions.
  • Speaking Part 3 (Two-way Discussion) - You and the examiner will discuss in greater depth issues related to the topic in Speaking Part 2.  You will be asked 5-6 abstract questions.
  • Assessment Criteria: Fluency and coherence, lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy, and pronunciation.
  • Scoring: The assessment criteria is used by the examiner to determine the band score.  Each criterion is scored and then the average is taken to determine the Speaking Test band score.
  • Total Questions: 11-12
  • Duration: 11-14 minutes

TOTAL TEST TIME: 2 hours 45 minutes (Listening, Reading, and Writing parts only)

NOTE: The Listening, Reading, and Writing parts of the test are done on the same day without break.  The Speaking part may be done the same day as the other parts or it may be done on a different day up to seven days before or after the other tests.  Your testing center will notify you regarding the schedule of your Speaking test.

Test Examination

1. PAPER TEST

In a paper-based IELTS, the test taker will be given the question papers and answer sheets for Listening, Reading, and Writing tests and shall use a pen or HB-pencil in writing his/her answer.  The Speaking test will be done face-to-face with an IELTS examiner.

2. COMPUTER TEST

In a computer-delivered IELTS, the test taker will take the Listening, Reading, and Writing tests from a computer where the questions would be presented on-screen and shall use the mouse and keyboard in entering his/her answers.  The Speaking test will be done face-to-face with an IELTS examiner.

NOTE: Both paper-based and computer-delivered IELTS will be done in an IELTS Testing Center.

How to register?

  1. Find the nearest IELTS Testing Center in your area here.
  2. Register online or complete and submit the downloadable application here form to the IELTS Testing Center of your choice.  Be sure to bring a valid ID.  You will also need to present the same ID on the day of the test.
  3. Wait for a confirmation from the Testing Center.  The center will send you a written confirmation of the date and time of your test.

Taking the IELTS in the U.S.A? Click here.

How to Prepare?

  • Check the schedule of your test. Be sure to be on time during your test because you may not be allowed to take the test if you arrive late at the Testing Center.
  • Read and understand the IELTS rules and regulations.
  • Prepare and pack a pen, a hard black pencil, an eraser, and the same valid ID you used when you registered for the test.  Make sure to bring the correct ID or you will not be able to take the test.

Band Score

There are nine band scores where one is the lowest and nine is the highest.  Here's a description of the band scores:

Source: https://www.ielts.org/about-the-test/how-ielts-is-scored

Results

  • In getting your results, you will need the same valid ID number you used during your registration and examination.  If you've taken a paper-based test, your Test Report Form will be available 13 days after you completed the test.  However, if you've taken a computer-delivered test, your Test Report Form will be available 3-5 days after you completed the test.
  • You will receive one copy of your Test Report Form, but if you're applying to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), you will receive two copies. You may have it delivered via post or you may pick it up at your Testing Center.
  • There's also an option to send your IELTS Test Report Form to five organizations. Simply contact your Testing Center regarding this matter.  If your Testing Center has closed, you may still avail of this service by filling the Application for additional TRFs (from closed centers) Form.  This service is free of charge, though there may be a small administration fee for sending results to further organizations, and is available for up to two years from the date of your IELTS test.
  • Your results may also be viewed online. The Testing Center will provide you with a link to your result.

Moreover, if you're not happy with your result, you may request a re-mark or re-sit the test.

Requesting a re-mark

Request for a re-mark of the whole test or just some parts through the Enquiry on Result service by contacting your Testing Center. Your request must be made within six weeks of your test date and you must pay an enquiry fee, which may be refunded if your band score changes after the review.  During the review process, senior examiners/markers, who have no knowledge of your original score, will re-mark your test papers and will then notify your Testing Center of the re-mark result and will issue your new Test Report Form if your mark has changed.  The re-mark result will be available 2-21 days depending on the number of parts requested for remark.

Re-sitting the test

You are allowed to take the IELTS test again as soon as you like.  Simply register then take the test again.

Validity

Your IELTS test result is valid for two years from the date of your test.  The IRCC also considers the two years validity of the IELTS test result. So what are you waiting for?  Take the exam now and take one step closer to your plan to migrate to Canada!

Sources:

https://www.ielts.org
https://ieltscanadatest.com

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