Download for free. Popular Posts. It is difficult to predict the future due to the large number of variables and factors involved in forecasting human behavior e. Goldthorpe, ; Taleb et al. Problem 7: Vast extent of questions with no supporting syllabus document Practice test 1, part 3 Why do people choose to become teachers?
There are thousands of professions. Examples include electricians, politicians, musicians, truck drivers and nurses. It appears that IELTS expects an examinee to have an opinion on any profession during the speaking exam. Problem 8: Deeply personal questions Do you think that owning lots of things makes people happy?
This question is deeply personal. Problem 9 - Logical incoherence Practice test 3, part 1 Do you enjoy travelling? Have you done much travelling? The examinee may never have travelled anywhere. If a candidate has never travelled, it is illogical to ask them if they enjoy doing something that they have never experienced. Problem 10 — using abbreviations that are not defined Test 1, part 1 Do you watch cooking programs on TV?
I do not cite this criticism as a major point. A correct way to state this question is as follows: Are there any benefits to society that are realized from people wanting to get new possessions? Writing English language, examinations is not a simple process and no system is perfect.
Achieving universality in a set of questions is near-impossible. These questions could be written down on paper and the candidate could be allotted one minute to select a set of questions that caters for their unique life-course.
I argue that the current format of the IELTS exam is unfair as it requires some, most or all candidates to improvise to some degree to respond to exam questions.
When you visit other places, do you take photos or buy postcards? Cambridge University Press , p. Premise 1: the examinee went to school. Premise 2: the examinee has a best friend. Possible alternative Possible alternative 1. Offer a choice of questions. Invite the candidate to talk about any 2. Invite the candidate to talk about their persons that they know from any context. Premise 1: the examinee thought that a day Premise 1: the examinee has watched a was perfect.
Premise 2: there is a reason why an Premise 2: the examinee found a television examinee thought that a day was perfect. Invite the candidate to talk about their 2. Invite the candidate to talk about their experience of any type of weather.
Why is that? Not all This question unfairly assumes that a persons live in regions where there are candidate has been exposed to the houses and apartments. Examples include dominant mindset that prevails in their inhabitants of indigenous nations and country of residence.
Such questions are regions. Invite the candidate to discuss their opinion on any type of housing. Accessed 4 April Jakeman, V.
Scholarly references Goldthorpe, J. Taleb, N. Moreover, it does so from the perspective of the cultural practices that are dominant in developed nations, in particular, Western developed nations Jericho, a. I do this by conducting an in-depth analysis of reading test 1 extracted from the following official IELTS Academic test preparation publication: Jakeman, V.
IELTS Academic test - this includes three long texts which range from the descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical. These are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers. They have been selected for a non-specialist audience but are appropriate for people entering university courses or seeking professional registration.
Jericho a; b. Write no more than three words from the passage for each answer. A figure of USD , equates to around 26 years of earnings in China for those who earn the average wage. It is not clear if IELTS accept other answers or award half-marks for answers that are imperfect but suggest that the candidate is able to comprehend the reading passage and most likely knows the correct response.
Questions 6, 7, 8, 9: Grammar These questions repeat grammar violations discussed in question 5. Assessment text Alternative Q6. The average student A student at a four year college spends on average The average student A student at a two-year college spends on average The spelling conventions used in this subsection are inconsistent.
There is no obvious logic for this lack of consistency. It is not fair to assume that students will conclude that the absence of such an instruction means that they cannot use the same option twice.
Smaller is not the only correct answer that a candidate may insert. It is not clear if IELTS accept other answers or award half-marks for answers that are imperfect but suggest that the candidate had understood the reading passage and seems to know the correct response.
Because orcas are the top predator in the ocean and are at the top of several different food chains in the environment, they tend to be more affected by pollutants than other sea creatures. Pollution is not the only correct answer that a candidate may insert. It is not clear if IELTS accept other answers or award half-marks for answers that are imperfect but suggest that the candidate understands the reading passage and seems to know the correct response.
Too many questions for 60 minutes In my capacity as an IELTS tutor, I have taught dozens of candidates whose advanced English language skills have been independently verified by credible educational institutions. Examples of these candidates includes adults who have spent their entire lives living in a country where English is an official language or the official language.
Several candidates who are members of the demographic described above have told me that they always struggle to finish more than three quarters of the Academic reading passages under exam conditions. This includes degrees in accounting, economics, education and a Doctorate in Sociology earned at English-speaking universities.
Furthermore, he has been speaking English since birth. He has also spent more than 40 years living in countries where English is an official language: Australia, New Zealand, Canada, England and Ireland. They must navigate questions that use flawed grammatical syntax and they must do so under very strict exam conditions such as a tight time limit.
I argue that this problem must be reformed as a matter of urgency. This in turn may cause examinees to feel compelled to read each question and reading passage carefully and do so multiple times under strict test conditions. Accessed 14 April Accessed 18 April Objective This Research Communique compares the mandatory data that IELTS collects on its application form from its fee-paying clients during its registration processes against other major English language testing providers.
Country of nationality name 2 3. First language name 2 4. Occupation sector 2 5. Occupation level 2 6. Why are you taking the test? If other, please specify 2 8. Where are you currently studying English if applicable? What level of education have you completed? How many years have you been studying English?
Examples of intended purpose include Immigration, which normally requires a higher score than applications to study a Bachelor Degree course. Immigration, code 5. I understand that the IELTS Test Partners have a responsibility to all candidates and Recognising Organisations to ensure the highest confidence in the accuracy and integrity of test results and that the IELTS Test Partners therefore reserve the right to withhold test results temporarily or permanently, or to cancel test results which have been issued, if they consider those results to be unreliable for reasons of suspected malpractice or any other irregularity in the test process [emphasis added].
Where are you currently studying No No No English if applicable? To illustrate this point, please consider this illustration that uses theoretical comparative data set shown in Table 5, overleaf. For comment I welcome members of the public to provide feedback on this Research Communique.
You may provide this feedback in confidence or request to have this uploaded online. Table 2, overleaf, shows the fees schedule in six selected countries as at March This interviewer may fairly assume that the IELTS exam demonstrates that the interviewee has average English language listening skills. This research series does not adopt a theoretical applied linguistics academic approach to frame discussion.
This project aims to make my discussion accessible to a wider audience beyond the academic domain. This idiom may refer to a situation where it is very difficult for a subordinate to achieve high success, even if a worker is suitably qualified, highly skilled and acts in good faith.
It may not necessarily convey the literal meaning that someone is doomed e. I argue that the current design of the IELTS listening exam makes it very difficult for a certain percentage of listeners who possess advanced English language skills to achieve their required band score, even if they diligently prepare for their IELTS exam.
However, there are flaws in their listening task that are relatively easy to improve or eliminate. In real-life situations, it is not uncommon for native and fluent speakers of the English language to ask a speaker to clarify or rephrase a word, sentence, theme or argument that that has been spoken in the English language. There are numerous reasons why a person with advanced listening skills may require clarification.
Examples include background interference and momentary losses in concentration that are normal part of human nature. IELTS does not allow test-takers to stop the listening tape and hear any section of the audio twice British Council, g. It is simplistic and false to argue that a listener can simply ignore a message that they did not understand and move onto the next question.
During the listening exam, candidates can never be entirely sure which parts of the audio align to the written questions and answer options on the exam papers. Nowadays, many people use audio-visual interactive communications such as Facetime and Skype to communicate via telephone technologies.
I welcome this variety as it is an authentic replication of spoken forms of global English. Some speakers sound like they are native English language speakers from the South of England e. Hertfordshire who are faking an accent for the purposes of creating diverse exam preparation content. Suggested solution: IELTS could hire voice actors who have authentic mainstream regional and national accents.
Furthermore, they must do so under strict exam conditions such as the time limit imposed. In multiple instances, I have not yet gauged what I must do to complete the diagram at the point in time in which the audio content that presents the listening test material commences.
All awards were earned at English speaking universities. This answer sheet requires the reader to keep their eye on two sections of the paper, at the same time, and simultaneously coordinate their reading and writing skills under strict exam conditions, such as a time limit imposed and the opportunity to hear the audio only once.
Insufficient time to read the section I concur with IELTS Liz that there is insufficient reading time allotted to candidates to read the answer sheet e. I argue that this tricky test format is not fair. Test-takers are required to multitask their reading, writing, spelling, listening and visual cognitive skills simultaneously. Too many acceptable options shown in official practice tests It is reasonable for IELTS to assume that test-takers will consult official practice materials prior to their exam.
IDP Australia, b. I rate the quantity of free materials that are made available online as borderline adequate. I call for IELTS to double the amount of free practice materials made available online to increase to at least double to what is currently available.
The IELTS consortium claim charitable status and most of their fee-paying clients are citizens of developing nations.
On one hand, this situation may be seen to empower the test-taker. The inclusion of multiple correct answers recognizes that there is often more than one way to correctly state an answer using the English language. On the other hand, displaying multiple acceptable answers in exam practice material may confuse test-takers — most of whom do not speak English as a first language.
Some test- takers may feel overwhelmed by the fact that they can sometimes offer multiple responses that are equally correct. For example, please consider this illustration example: Transcript [Mary]: I have a meeting tomorrow with a nun at half past 7 in the morning. Multiple choice question. Examples of paired tens and teens are: Thirteen and thirty Fifteen and fifty Eighteen and eighty. IELTS should never act in a way that aims to trick test-takers.
The inclusion of answers that may be written as compound words or as multiple words may confuse test-takers insofar as they are unsure how to stay within the word limit imposed on written answers. Suggested solution: IELTS should avoid answers that may be written as compound words which count as one word or as multiple words. This is problematic for all test components because it makes it difficult for test-takers to earn credit where credit is due. IELTS do not award half marks for partially complete answers in the listening test.
Furthermore, these 14 letters are in correct sequence. It is obvious that the candidate has heard and understood audio content. Although the candidate is As IELTS does not award fractional marks, it is possible for a test-taker to score zero for the listening exam solely because of their spelling skills.
My grave concerns with this issue are the topic of discussion in Research Communique 9. It is interactive and as close to a real-life situation as a test can get. There are three parts to the test and each part fulfils a specific function in terms of interaction pattern, task input and test taker output. In Part 1, you answer questions about yourself and your family. In Part 2, you speak about a topic.
In Part 3, you have a longer discussion on the topic. The Speaking test is the same for both Academic and General Training versions. This excellent self-study book for intense IELTS preparation is designed to help students achieve their best personal score. I hope you have found this article useful. Do you have any other recommendations? Please let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page. Sowmya is a content writer and is passionate about her job.
She also has experience in the Software Testing Industry and has worked with Wipro for five and a half years. Thanks a lot. Thanks so much and very happy new year to all.