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Found 640 results

  1. hellsbells712

    IELTS this week

    Has anyone got their IELTS this week?????????????? Mine on Saturday 6th in Leeds.... Good luck to everyone taking it. xxxx
  2. Hi, I'm a freelance radio producer working on a story about language tests in the migration process. I'm wondering if anyone here (or anyone you know) has received a low/disappointing IELTS and would be interested in sharing their story. Thanks!
  3. Dear All PIO forum members (and those lurking / those that have found this thread via a search Engine) As promised, here follows my personal views on IELTS-GENERAL vs. the Pearson Academic tests of English, for emigration purposes. Please note that I am in no way, shape or form affiliated with any educational institute; I'm only writing this to help those, who feel like they have reached a stumbling block which they simply cannot conquer. I am happy to answer any questions you have about IELTS and PTE, but please do bear the above mentioned in mind, my advice will only ever be anecdotal. I have very strong personal views on giving and receiving advice, particularly on the internet, due to the relative anonymity the internet provides. My reasoning is that, advice without context can be very misleading and in some cases downright dangerous. Please indulge me while I introduce myself to you first, before we delve a little deeper into the subject. For those who just want to jump straight to the crux of the matter, please feel free to ignore my ramblings below and skip to the summary at the bottom of the post. Who am I? I am a South African born, 30something year old male, who moved to England back in 2001 (holy crap time flies!). What is my (self-assessed) English proficiency level? English is not my native language in the strictest sense of the term, as I had been raised speaking Afrikaans as my mother tongue. My English has always been above average, given the fact that I had English speaking friends growing up, and I come from a country where it is widely spoken. My school education was entirely in Afrikaans as well, apart the English classes of course. I went to University, where I had the choice of translating my lectures, source material and notes into Afrikaans with the option to write my exams in said language, but chose to “change the way I learn” and do it all in English instead. I am not a lazy person per-say, however I will always take the path of least resistance if such an option exists, and I really couldn't be arsed with the additional overhead of the aforementioned translation. My nominated occupation is an “ICT Business Analyst” and have been working as one for the last 13ish years. The fact that I work within software development is irrelevant to this topic, but the essence of my skills lay in my ability to communicate accurately, in simple English, both verbally and in written form. I make a good living doing exactly that, so I knew that my level of English is pretty high and I consider English as my native language now. (I’d be in dire trouble if I needed to do a test of Afrikaans ability now! ) Why did I do the IELTS and Pearson tests and what scores did I need? I want to emigrate to Australia and I needed to score a minimum of “8” (IELTS) or 79 (PTE-A) in each module respectively (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking). As many of you already know, the average score is pretty much irrelevant and only a by-product of the individual scores, with candidates needing to score at least the minimum band in each of the discrete modules. The reason I needed 8, is because I did not study what I do for a living (i.e.: lost a lot of points in my application, because I blagged my way into what I do), and therefore needed to bolster my visa application by getting 20 points for language ability, as opposed to 10 for a lower banding, or no points for the absolute minimum entry criteria. What tests have I done, and what were my scores? IELTS-G: Total of 6 attempts, please see the spread of my test results below: Listening | Reading | Writing | Speaking 1. L8, R7, W8, S9 2. L8, R7.5, W7.5, S9 3. L8, R7.5, W8, S9 4. L9, R8.5, W7.5, S9 5. L9, R9, W7.5, S8.5 6. L8.5, R8, W7.5, S 9 PTE-A: 1 attempt Listening | Reading | Writing | Speaking 1. L90, R90, W90, S87 Before you draw any immediate conclusions and skip the rest of this post, I must stress that I feel the PTE-A is NOT an easier exam to take. --This is a pause for that statement to sink in for a moment…but don't lose hope – I feel that the PTE-A, is a VASTLY FAIRER AND MORE COMPREHENSIVE TEST, which I’ll elaborate on further down. So how do the tests compare? Based on the above results, I can understand that some readers may feel that my views are “sour grapes”, however I tried to be as objective as I can in my comparison and not as emotive as I want to be about the subject, though admittedly I’ll be using some visual language to express some of my feelings. Another footnote: I’m not going to go into the minutiae here and give you a complete breakdown of each type of question you will encounter in PTE-A and IELTS, that’s up to you to practise. I would love to break it down and give feedback on every question type, but I simply do not have the time to do so, and I think it’s not in line with the intent of this post. Again, I’m happy to answer questions below and will reserve a response slot right beneath my post to surface any questions / FAQs that may arise in response to my thread, for easy access to anyone else reading this. I will use some examples of question item types, so some of the meaning behind my examples might be lost on you if you’re not all that familiar with the question types in the two test types. A: Question format I feel that language proficiency is a difficult subject to score people on in an economically sustainable manner, and therefore I understand why written exams / tests are based on 4 main “pillars” of language such as L | R | W | S . I feel, however, that a lot of language proficiency falls through the cracks between these pillars, particularly under examination conditions. The essence of comprehension, paraphrasing, reading between the lines, inference of information, situational context and awareness, interpretation, humour etc. are mostly lost. PTE-A addresses some of these more “intangible” (for the lack of a better word) skills, by using integrated questions / item types. Integrated item types, refer to the method of testing more than one ability at a time. For example, you may be asked to summarise a piece of written text in your own words, capturing the essence of the text in only one sentence. This will test your writing and reading skills at the same time. Another good example, is that you will be played an audio clip, which you will need to summarise in written form, testing your listening and writing skills concurrently. I felt that, even with alien subject matter, with PTE-A I could close my eyes and listen to audio recordings and understand the meaning behind the lecture / audio discussion and then apply my understanding to the questions asked of me. Even “hard” pieces of written text with confusing vocabulary (I have a decent vocabulary, but there were a fair few pieces of text containing words I’ve never heard or seen before), I could get the gist of what’s written (or understand the word because of the context it was used), and apply logical deduction to come to my answer(s) (there are some multiple choice answers with multiple correct answers). In the situations where you needed to verbally summarise a recording (testing listening and speaking together), even though I couldn’t note down (on the erasable notebook you get) all of the main points and fancy words used, I was able to paraphrase, based on my core understanding of the audio clip. In IELTS test there is no crossover / integrated questions, but they also try to ascertain whether a candidate can capture the meaning of written or spoken English, by asking questions that rely on very specific vocabulary used (or in the case of listening, misdirection). Using the reading module as a prime example, the questions become progressively harder towards the final two reading essays, and the candidate must understand the essay as a whole, to be able to find the information relating to the question he’s looking for. A vital tip that I can give anyone taking the IELTS still, is to ignore the rubbish rubbish rubbish (yes, I really feel strongly about this) advice given by the “road to IELTS” videos. Do NOT skip read the final essay, focussing on key words – read the whole damn thing. Skip reading works fine in the first couple essays, NOT the last! So in summary of the question types, I'll use a simile: During our school-going years, most of us came across two types of teachers. There was the more progressive teacher, who wanted you to do well but encouraged you to think for yourself using all the tools you have available to yourself (reasoning, deduction, argument etc.). You didn't find those classes any easier, but you applied what you know and did well as a result. On the flipside, there was the old mean teacher, who used to try trip you up, by using subtle nuances in their questions to you in exam papers they set. Often you would know the correct answer, but because of a mean spirited twist to the question, you got the whole thing wrong. PTE-A is like the progressive teacher, IELTS-G the latter. B: Question content Not an awful lot to write about here, apart from the fact that I found the content, though more academic in nature, much more interesting in PTE-A. I found that I cared about the subject matter of a lot of the questions, and felt it less of a chore to answer. Your views may differ, but I liked the fact that the PTE-A is “real world” content throughout the test vs. the scripted nonsense in the IELTS listening, or the world’s most boring essays in IELTS. C: Scoring There’s nothing I can say about the requirements to score 8 / 79 as a minimum for each module to attain the points you need. I personally feel that the distinction is a bit arbitrary and an average score is already reflective of modern use of language, but I’m not going to dwell on this. However, as a direct result of the question format, I feel that PTE-A has a massive advantage for candidates. For example, if you make a mess of a question, you have the opportunity to make up for it, in questions or sections to follow. Using the “summarise written text” (testing reading and writing) as an example again, if you make a bit of a dog’s dinner of your summary, it’s OK – you have other questions later on (or preceding it) where you’re tested on the same skill(s). Added to this, mistakes can also still earn you a partial credit in some circumstances… let that sink in for a second. Obviously this does not apply to all circumstances (multiple choice answers obviously only has right / wrong values). In IELTS-G, in the reading module, if you make more than 3 mistakes out of the 40 questions asked of you, that’s it – you're done, no “8” band score for you mate, pay us another £150 ish smackeroos, we'll see you next time. This is the image the springs to mind D: Timing Yet another direct result of the question format (and also location, but we’ll cover that bit below), is the timing of the test. The subject of timing can be broken down into multiple sections; namely: Exam length, booking urgency and time taken for results to be returned. Exam Length As previously mentioned, my English proficiency is high, however I have been and always will be, a slow reader / writer. I was the kid at primary school that got picked on by my teacher for always being the last one to complete an essay, or to finish a reading assignment. I’m not a troglodyte mouth breather, but it’s just one of my personal shortcomings. The PTE-A test requires you to make snappy conclusions, without needlessly relying on you to cover a lot of information. I found that I had ample time, though not excessive, to complete all tasks and question types. Some of this boils down to reading passages that are not overly long and some of it boils down to the fact that you can absorb information quickly by looking at an image / listening to audio / video etc. There are more examples of this, but it gets my point across. In IELTS-G, I found that I barely had time to complete my reading due to my aforementioned shortcomings. This did not test my ability to read and comprehend, it needlessly put me under pressure, which can result in errors. I have been working in a professional environment for many years now, and as a result, my handwriting is and awful mess. It is akin to a drunken spider that fell into an inkwell, flopping around on paper leaving an ink trail behind it. It is shorthand, meant to take notes in meetings, but nothing more. In the IELTS-G you have to hand write your essays, meaning that not only do you need to concentrate hard on writing clearly and accurately on some mundane topic you care nothing about, but also means that this extra care and the time it takes to correct errors, eats into the time allowed to write the essay. Because PTE-A is computer based, at least I'm able to read what I’ve written on the mundane topic, but also easily spot and correct errors, without the paper looking like a bomb went off on it. My typing is proficient, though I do suffer from fat finger syndrome, but at least I had time to think about my essay and proof read it at least once. Booking urgency: PTE-A you can book up to two days before the test, I believe IELTS is 2 weeks, though I might be wrong on that fact. The point here is, that there’s a lot more available tests for PTE-A, than there are IELTS-G - so no need to book 2 tests in a row (like I had to do a few times during IELTS tests so I can just get the thing over and done with) Results: IELTS: 2 weeks PTE-A: 5 working days, though I got my result back the morning of the second working day. E: Location / Testing centre IELTS-G tests are taken in halls (apart form the speaking, which is a one-to-one interview), where you sit in a row of candidates, similar to how you used to sit high-school / university exams. It’s overseen by a handful of invigilators, who at times act like they are prison wardens, or treating candidates like children. This is not always the case, but one particularly screechy invigilator springs to mind whenever I think of them. PTE-A, you take your test in a smaller room, in a closed-off cubicle in front of a PC. I found that with the PTE-A I was a lot more at ease, as it just felt like I'm taking a test on my own sat in front of my computer with no outside pressure or the rigmarole of entering test centre numbers etc. One aspect that I can't unfortunately compare, is feedback on scores. As you will notice from my test spread in IELTS, you will see that I figured out what I was doing wrong in the reading module, however my writing waivered. With only half a point off, I was gagging to understand where I have gone wrong, in an attempt to do better the next time around. I emailed the IELTS administrators, asking nicely whether it is possible for them to provide feedback, even if it means that I need to pay the 60 bucks fee to have it remarked. The feedback was as you’d expect, the playground bullies will not even give you feedback on your essay, even if you pay them to have another look at it. They recommended that I seek further tutelage from an accredited tutor. Big surprise there hey – feed them more money! This is just plain vile and is quite telling of IELTS as a governing body. (see Simpsons meme above) Summary So for all those who chose to skip all my ramblings above, PTE-A is in my opinion the vastly superior test to take. It is more reflective of your English skills, by testing it in a less obtrusive way than IELTS does. It also enables you to do better, by presenting the test in a modern medium (PC based), using modern scenarios (combination of integrated questions, using real world, audio recordings, video clips, images and so forth) If you struggle with English, this may not be the silver bullet you’re looking for as PTE-A is not easier. The test merely fairer on the candidate, but you still need the base-skills being tested.
  4. Hi guys, we are starting a new application and was wondering if anyone has a checklist of everything required to submit an EOI? so far I've got - Medicals, Vetassess - I also need to complete a level 2 in first aid for this. (Have a few more questions on this but will read/talk with Vetassess) Police checks - I guess you just contact the local station to request them? IELTS - I think I need to score superior for the points required (would like to hear anyone else's experience) Anyone else going through this or have recently? Thanks
  5. Hi guys! I am a Nursing student and I am planning to apply for skilled visa as soon as I finish my studies. In order to secure visa process I would like to get superior English result. Can you please tell me if anyone succeeded to gain all "A" in OET? Is it possible? I prefer this one as it is specific to nursing, but I have some doubts if it is possible to get all As. Or maybe PET is a better choice as it is needed to get more than 79 in all parts which sounds a bit more realistic. Can you please share your experience about these two tests? Thanks!
  6. Stuart16

    EOI subclass 190 NSW

    Hi all, I'm new to the forum, very interesting reading everyone's comments good and bad. I'm 34 and will be moving over with my wife and our young daughter, can't wait for a new adventure. Submitted my EOI carpenter subclass 190 today with 60 points. Received my IELTS score this morning, very frustrating as I could've done with the 20 points. My results were- Listening- 9 Reading- 9 Speaking - 8.5 Writing- 7.5 So close yet so far, seriously annoying but anyway EOI submitted and I'll probably give them more money and sit it again. Are there any carpenters on here who have received an invite on 60 points recently? Thanks in advance.
  7. I’ve scored the following: S-9. L-8.5. R-8 W-7.5 I need 7s for the Amnac assessment which is great and it’ll give me 10points but I was hoping for all 8s so I could get the 20points. Can I use these scores for Amnac whilst simultaneously asking for a remark to use the hopefully increased score for our EOI? How long is Amnac taking as I only have 6 weeks to lodge an appeal? thanks
  8. RosslynR

    English Tutor

    Looking for a tutor to help with the English language test, does anyone have any recommendations?
  9. Hi Guys, I was thinking that when I was looking into taking the English exams I didn't really see information about how people felt about the exams. I took both the TOEFL and the IELTS general, and wanted to give my personal experience in case any others were wondering the differences/which exam to take. I encourage others who have taken the other formats to share their experiences as well, but please remember we cannot give away test questions/answers etc, just our opinions. My background- I am applying for the Skilled Independent 189 Visa as a perioperative nurse. I did nursing as a secondary masters degree and have an undergraduate in communication with an extensive writing history in public relations. I am a native English speaker from the United States and all of my education has been conducted in English. All of that being said, I found the TOEFL test very difficult. I started studying almost 2 months prior. I took 6 full length practice exams with nearly perfect scores on each. I studied every single day. On the TOEFL I found the reading to be the most difficult, followed by the listening. I found the range of subjects very complex, and sometimes felt that without any previous knowledge on the content that the questions were very difficult to answer, especially in the given time. I was hoping on the test day that perhaps the practice exams were more difficult than the real thing, but for the reading I actually found the actual test for more difficult than the practice questions. In addition, the testing format for me was terrible. I took the exam in San Francisco and they asked me if I would be willing to sit first as I was the only native speaker that day. Of course it didn't matter to me- they even mentioned I might get out earlier if I started earlier. Anyhow, they sat me down and my 60 minutes of reading started, however, prior to starting you speak out loud and adjust your microphone for 2 minutes. Little did I know that every other person would start at a staggered time and would come in talking into their microphone for 2 minutes while I was already into my reading portion. The talking and adjusting of microphones occurred for probably 45 of my 60 minutes. It was very distracting, especially with the difficult content. My final score on the TOEFL: R:28 L:30 S:30 W:29 - which meant if I wanted the full 20 I would need to sit for the exam again. I decided instead of sitting for the TOEFL again I would try another testing format. I felt that I could study no harder than I already did, and truly hated the testing format. I decided to sit for the IELTS general (make sure for your individual visa this is allowed- I believe for nursing it has to be the academic, but because I am from one of the countries where it is not required- I was only taking it for points and not my skills assessment). I wanted to have at least a month to study for the IELTS, but didn't based on the testing times I could find. I could either take it in 2.5 weeks or 3 months, so I decided to bite the bullet and take it in 2.5 weeks. I found the actual exam for the IELTS to be easier than the practice exams I had taken. For the IELTS I was most stressed about the listening section and hearing everything I needed. I was also worried about spelling due to differences in American English (color:colour, harbor:harbour, etc) and basically all other countries who speak English. However, the test was very organized. We all sat at the exact same time and started at the same time. There were no distractions and the room was silent. It was a great testing environment. Finally, for the IELTS you have to speak to a person, and not into a microphone. As a native speaker I found this more comfortable, even if the subjects felt silly and awkward. I could see for a non-native speaker though, this might feel more intimidating. My final score on IELTS: R:9 W:8 L:9 S:9 Hope others share their experiences too, and help other people see how the testing scenarios and tests felt. The more the better, as I'm sure there are people who loved the TOEFL and hated the IELTS.
  10. Hi guys, I have scored IELTS 8 and have an experience of three years working as Retail Manager. I have been recently sponsored by an employer for RSMS visa. I would be lodging the application by the end of this month. I heard somewhere that application is given more priority if the IELTS score is 8 and have related experience. So, my question is are my chances higher in securing a RSMS visa?
  11. The Smith Clan

    IELTS exemption

    I am studying for IELTS and came across this The AASW may grant an exemption from the requirements where the applicant provides evidence that they: • Completed all secondary education, that was taught and assessed in English, in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, United Kingdom or United States of America, AND; • Successfully completed (with a pass grade or higher) the equivalent of three years or more full-time tertiary study (at Bachelor Degree level or higher), that was taught and assessed in English, in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, United Kingdom or United States of America. Has anyone met this criteria? I passed English at GCSE level, A Level and have a degree in Social work? Thanks in advance.
  12. I'm intending to express interest in the 189 Skilled Independent visa and have a simple question regarding the points system. I will have 30 points for age, 10 for education and 10 for occupational experience so a total of 50 points. Will I get English language points by default as a British Citizen with a British Passport or do I still need to take a IELTS test to gain the extra 10 (min) points that I would need to qualify for invitation? I did try searching this forum and others but have found it difficult to get a clear response, I read somewhere that as a British Citizen I would be awarded 15 points for language by default. Is this correct?
  13. The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia have stated on their website that first time applicants for registration purposes no longer need to have taken IELTS if they've completed their secondary education and nurse/midwifery training in English. At last a completely sensible decision. Hopefully this will remove some of the stress and barriers to moving to Australia. Luckily i've sat it and passed, but i know a lot on here haven't and it's got naff all to do with their standard of English. Happy days :cool:
  14. shreyask

    489 to 887

    I have few queries regarding 887 pre requisite. To apply for 887 applicant must fulfil the criteria of 2yr stay in designated area and 1 yr full employment. My question is. 1. Above rule apply only to primary applicant? 2. What if primary applicant have completed 2 yr but dependent have not cometed 2yr in designated. Can a primary applicant still apply for 887? 3. IELTS/PTE is required again if last IELTS score is more than 3yr? Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
  15. Hi, I have just submitted my Engineers Australia (EA) migration skills assessment application based on my degree qualifications only. This includes BEng civil engineering degree under Washington Accord and a further MSC degree. I did not include an English competency test as I am British and a native English speaker (trying to temporarily save money on test). I also did NOT submit an additional assessment for my skilled employment as I did not think they were necessary to get a successful outcome from EA. Queries: I have 2 queries I hope you can help me with please: 1. I subsequently have booked an IELTS test as I now realise I need this for my EOI to gain the points. Am I able to append my IELTS results to my EA application or does the English competency not really matter for EA? 2. Do I need to have my employment assessed by EA using the additional assessment service? Or can I demonstrate my employment during my EOI application on skills select? My points summary I am almost 37 with 10 years work experience in civil engineering. Therefore I'm claiming 25 points for age, 15 points for qualifications, 15 points for UK work experience. This gives me 55 points but i need 60 so hopefully by taking the IELTS I will get the additional 5. Can anybody help clarify my 2 queries as I'm concerned I rushed my EA application in my eagerness to get the ball rolling and that I've messed up by not including a work experience request or an English test result. Much appreciated!
  16. Hi, I am going to do the ielts test for my 175 visa as I need extra 5 points. Was just wondering which is the most efficient way to go for the test? Pen and paper or computerised? Does the computerised way go quicker and is it easy to follow the instructions? Does it work the same way as the preparation material or would the pen and paper option be safer?:wacko:
  17. nic0218

    IELTS rant

    :mad: Just wanted to have a good rant about IELTS, (since my poor husband has put up with it for last few hours!!) Yesterday I was merrily talking to my agent about putting in my SA SS application. I got paperwork together, I was finally beginning to get there.. And then I got my IELTS test results. Before I tell you my results, let me explain that I'm a primary school teacher, have already had my teaching credentials certified by Teaching Aus & English is my 1st language. I scored 9.0 on reading, listening, speaking, but lo and behold.. 6.5 on writing. I need 7.0 on each band. To say I'm gutted is an understatement! I could get the writing remarked, but that could take 8 weeks, & my mark could stay the same. So, I've now got to scramble around to get another test as quickly as possible, fork out more money & wait another 2 weeks. I can see my hopes of state sponsorship fading, especially if SA reach their required numbers before I can get my application in. Sorry for having a good moan, but I find it unbelievable that people's futures are reliant on a test, that seems to be so unreliable!!!:arghh:
  18. wahid

    ielts EOR

    hi everyone, i took the ielts test last may 6, 2017 and results came after 13days. i felt shattered at that time as my writing score did not meet with my expectation. is there any success stories of re-evaluation here? i just need another .5 to make it 7 so that i can apply for bridging program for nursing.
  19. Under the Government's recently proposed changes, migrants will have to pass an IELTs 6 test, which is university-level English that includes writing an academic essay. Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs Zed Seselja said raising English standards could reduce isolation, and hence the risk of radicalisation. "We know that where there are high levels of isolation there is a danger of radicalisation. We know that's one of the dangers," he said. "To the extent that people feel part of a community, to extent they are able to get along with fellow citizens, interact with their fellow citizens, I guess radicalisation is less of a risk, whilst I do acknowledge there are far more complex aspects to radicalisation as well." But Labor MP Anne Aly, who is an Egyptian-born counter-terrorism expert, disagrees. "To suggest that having academic-level English is some kind of magic panacea to radicalisation I think grossly misunderstands radicalisation," she said. "There is absolutely no empirical evidence to suggest there is any relationship between an individual's English language competence and their propensity to become radicalised to any form of violence." Dr Aly also used to teach English and believes level 6 IELTs for citizenship sets a high bar. "Do we really expect people to be able to do that? Do all jobs require you to write an essay?" She asked.
  20. plz help needed the spelling of my name in ielts certificate is different than the spelling of my name in all other documents also it has my local ID number not the passport number what should i do ?
  21. SUPERSTARDJ01

    IELTS study meterial

    can anyone recommend some good IELTS study materials?
  22. Hi all, I have one question. Hopefully someone can help me. I took an IELTS exam last year and I got 5.5 overall but I got only 4.0 on Writting. Now I'm applying for visa WHD subclass 462. This is written on DIAC website: "Proof that confirms a person's ability to communicate in English includes: an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) average score of at least 4.5 for the four test components (speaking, reading, listening and writing)" Do I have to take another IELTS test and score 4.5 on each of the four components of the IELTS test (listening, reading, writing, speaking) or that is enough for the visa. Thank you very much for your answer. Best wishes, Thach
  23. Hi there, I've just downloaded the application form for the IELTS test, but I don't know whether to select Academic or General. I assume General, but is this correct? Thanks!
  24. Hi all, Just trying to book on an IELTS test, does anyone know if I should be doing the academic or general version of the test? I'm hopeful of getting an 8x4 so if anyone has any tips for success that would be great too! Thanks Amy
  25. What was your academic IELTS test result? How many attempts did you take to pass? JOHN
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