Jump to content

You're currently viewing the forum as a Guest
register-now-button_orig.png
and join in with discussions   
ask migration questions
message other members

..and much much more!

DES

Native Speakers with low IELTS scores?

Recommended Posts

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IELTS is a poorly constructed test concocted by little people who are trying to show how very
clever they are. It tests a candidate's ability to perform under test conditions and people who
do not have good examination technique often do not score as well as they should have.
Westly Russell

 

Packer scores in test of English
Elisabeth Wynhausen | August 23, 2008
EVERY time computer engineer Faisal Shaikh failed his English test -- as he did
four times -- James Packer was a little richer.
Mr Packer is the non-executive chairman of a company that profits each time
someone sits the sole English language proficiency test for visa applicants accepted
by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
The International English Language Testing System is the most widely used English
language proficiency test in the world. But migration agents say Immigration
guidelines mean most people fail it at least once, forcing them to sit for it again, for
another $280.
"The problem is that you generally have to get a score of at least six out of nine in
each of four bands -- reading, writing, speaking and listening," said migration agent
Mark Glazbrook.
While universities permit test candidates to average out their results, as long as they
reach a minimum score of six, the department refuses to allow visa applicants do so.
"This is nice for IELTS as it means that more people are required to re-sit the test,"
Mr Glazbrook said.
More than 100,000 visa applicants a year sit for the IELTS test, he said. Reportedly
worth $250million a year globally, the test is owned by IELTS Australia, the British
Council and Cambridge University. IELTS Australia is owned by IDP Education, a
company jointly owned by 38 Australian universities and Seek, the online
employment outfit in which Mr Packer has an interest.
IELTS did not set a pass or fail mark, a spokesman said. "Each organisation using the
IELTS test sets the level to meet their individual requirements."
Alex Barthel, director of the academic language and learning unit at the University of
Technology Sydney, said: "The IELTS test gives a fairly accurate measurement at a
particular point in time ... and , as far as I know, does this relatively more accurately
and consistently than other major language tests which rely more on multiple choice
answers."
That was not the experience of Mohammed Qasam, 30, who did a degree in banking
and finance in Jordan, his homeland, using English-language text books. A masters
student in accounting at UTS, Mr Qasam lectures in the subject at the Macquarie
Institute.
But when he sat the IELTS test, his scores in reading and writing fluctuated each time
he did it. "There's not enough time to read," he said in fluent English.
Sydney migration agent Jonathan Granger agreed that the test was proving difficult.
"Ninety per cent of all the clients I've lodged a visa application for haven't got the
required score -- and this includes postgraduates," he said.

  • Like 1

Westly Russell Registered Migration Agent 0316072 www.pinoyau.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you considered taking the PTE exam instead? People generally say is it the easier exam if you're a native speaker.

People with non native accents struggle with PTE speakibg but this probably won't apply to you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your response Westly. Have you had any experience yourself with the IELTS exam? Or do you know anyone else who does?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a time when the (then) MARA threatened RMAs with therequirement  of sitting IELTS as a condition of re-registration. Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash withdrew this requirement for RMAs with 10+ years’ experience and others who had completed HSC and a degree in Australia. Lawyers, however functionally illiterate they might have been were exempted, of course.

Having skipped the high school step, I could see trouble looming, notwithstanding that I have more degrees than a thermometer and I am a published novelist. I prepared for IELTS and still have the practice material somewhere in my drawers of unsubmitted manuscripts.

I have assisted many clients who were in trouble with IELTS: pay for current review material and practise under test conditions until you are utterly sick of it and then do it again. Unless there are medical reasons not to, dose yourself on glucose (brain food) before and during the ordeal, and so on.

You might expect that a client with an education degree and a masters in English and 8 years’ teaching college English would  have trouble  bungling IELTS repeatedly - afraid not.

How do you spell PTE Academic?

Edited by wrussell

Westly Russell Registered Migration Agent 0316072 www.pinoyau.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Westly. I agree with you many of your thoughts about IELTS. Are there any specific people you could point me to who have experienced something like this? I'm interested in doing an interview for a radio story with someone who has faced a problem like this. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Care for the opinion of a non-native speaker?

If I were to take the equivalent of IELTS for my native language, I would probably fail that. 

However, given that English was not my native language, I had to work harder at learning the rules of the language. A lot of reading and comprehension exercises were the norm where I learnt at primary stage. By the time I was at high school age, we were looking further than just the rules but at (assumed) nuances by way of a seperate subject in high school, English Literature. So along with Maths, Biology, Technical Graphics, Physics with Chemistry, History, Geography and Accounting, we also had English Language as a seperate subject to English Literature.

By the time I had left the two non-english countries and moved to California to complete the last two years of high school, I was advised to join the Advanced English class which combined the previous two subjects as one and I found that class to be a walk in the park.

What I find when I compare my grasp of the English language with my peers in my industry is that I respect it's rules and apply them diligently as that comes easier to me. I find myself annoyed when working through official documentation (that could easily end up in a coroner's court,) full of grammatical errors and spelling errors, poor punctuation, lack of (or unnecessary) capitalisation and my biggest pet peeve, the use of an apostrophe before the "s" when writing plurals (I promise I'm not a grammar Nazi)  etc

I also learnt early in life (though not early enough in my opinion) that a test/exam has to be taken seriously and as such I study before each exam that has a profound impact on my future... I'm so sad I even study before interviews???

The point I am laying the foundation for is this;

I believe native speakers take the IELTS for granted and assume that their vernacular or colloquial language is more than sufficient for an exam... it isn't. I could very well be wrong about this too and i dont mind being wrong, its a learning opportunity.

If a native English speaker was to learn my native language and use it for over 30 years as I have done, I would bet my last dollar they would outperform me in that language!

how do I know?

I have just explained above with English (and I scored  9, 8.5, 8 and 7.5 IELTS)

And I consistently outscored my peers in another African language which isn't my native tongue all through my time in Zimababwe.

I am absolutely useless when it comes to the academics of my native language. But I'm glad to have mastered several other languages to a respectable level, including English.

just note: I am not a genius in any way... I just belive that non-native speaker who works at these exams will always do better than native speakers who don't work at it.

Edited by SWMOY04
typos, grammar and context ????

Melbourne... ahhhhhh😊

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your input, SWMOY04. I actually teach IELTS as well, and I know how big a part test-taking strategies and sheer practice play in achieving a high score.

Congratulations on your scores, by the way. You're in rarefied air as a non-native speaker ?  

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have assisted may clients who experienced greater or lesser difficulties with IELTS, but for client confidentiality I cannot refer to them on a public forum.

 

This is good for a laugh:

This is an automated email.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Call for submissions
Timing for the introduction of English language standards for RMAs
Dear agent,
Registered Migration Agents interpret complex legislation, prepare detailed
submissions on behalf of their clients and represent them in a wide variety of
situations. High level English language skills are a necessary pre-requisite for this.
Initial applicants for registration have been required to have a minimum level of
English for some years. However, while the level required is higher now than in the
past, it still does not involve everyone having to meet a formally recognised minimum
standard. This has led to criticism of the profession at times and few Registered
Migration Agents are able to point to having passed a formal English test.
Overseas moves to introduce formal standards in Canada (IELTS 7.0) and New
Zealand (introducing a similar requirement) have focused attention on the Australian
registration system, which has long been a world leader. The Trans Tasman Mutual
Recognition Act could soon lead to automatic recognition of Australian registered
agents by New Zealand authorities and it is important to ensure that the reputation of
the Australian migration profession is not diminished in any comparison.
It has therefore been decided to formalise the English standard placed on Australia's
Registered Migration Agents as soon as is practicable. A minimum standard that is
equivalent to a minimum overall IELTS Academic band score of 7.0 (with a
minimum score of 6.5 in each module - reading, listening, speaking and writing) is to
be adopted. This is consistent with the standard set in many other professions in
Australia and with that being set in the migration advice profession overseas.
The start date for this requirement needs to be set. Initial thoughts are to ensure that
new entrants to the profession meet this standard from mid 2009 by being required to
sit an IELTS test (or a benchmarked MARA approved equivalent) as part of their
initial registration. Similarly, existing Registered Migration Agents would be required
to do this as a "one-off" part of their re-registration. This might be from 2010
although there should be a good opportunity given to any existing agents who did not
meet the standard to remain registered for a period while they lift the standard of their
English to the required level.
If the experience in other professions that have gone this route is any guide, few
professional people should have difficulty in demonstrating that they meet the
standard although some may feel the "one off" need to sit a test inconvenient or
consider it pointless because they "obviously have high level English skills". The
lasting benefits in relation to standing, for the profession as a whole and its individual
members should outweigh any inconvenience or cost involved.
The views of the migration advice profession and other stakeholders are sought on the
timing for the introduction of the new requirement. Please send your views to
submissions@mara.com.au by 28 September 2008.
Regards
Bernie Waters
Chief Executive Officer
re the above. I started to correct it and gave up.
___________________________________________________________________
Call for submissions
Timing for the introduction of English language standards for RMAs
Dear agent,
Registered Migration Agents interpret complex legislation, prepare detailed
submissions on behalf of their clients and represent them in a wide variety of
situations. High level High-level English language skills are a necessary* prerequisite
prerequisite for this.
For some years Initial initial applicants for registration have been required to have a
minimum level of English for some years. However (Is this necessary?), while the
level required is higher now than in the past, it still does not involve everyone having
to meet a formally recognised minimum standard. This has led to criticism of the
profession at times and few Registered Migration Agents are able to point to having
passed a formal English test.
Overseas moves to introduce formal standards in Canada (IELTS 7.0) and New
Zealand (introducing a similar requirement) have focused attention on the Australian
registration system, which has long been a world leader. The Trans Tasman Mutual
Recognition Act could soon lead to automatic recognition of Australian registered
agents by New Zealand authorities and it is important to ensure that the reputation of
the Australian migration profession is not diminished in any comparison.
It has therefore been decided to formalise the English standard placed on Australia's
Registered Migration Agents as soon as is** practicable ***. A minimum standard
that is equivalent to a minimum overall IELTS Academic band score of 7.0 (with a
minimum score of 6.5 in each module - reading, listening, speaking and writing) is to
be adopted. This is consistent with the standard set in many other professions in
Australia and with that being set in the migration advice profession overseas.
The start date for this requirement needs to be set. Initial thoughts are to ensure that
new entrants to the profession meet this standard from mid 2009 mid-2009 by being
required to sit an IELTS test (or a benchmarked MARA-approved equivalent) as part
of their initial registration. Similarly, (delete) existing Registered Migration Agents
would be required to do this as a "one-off" (once) as part of their re-registration. This
might be from 2010 although there should be a good opportunity given to any existing
agents who did (tense) not meet the standard to remain registered for a period while
they lift the standard of their English to the required level. (or lower it)
If the experience in other professions that have gone this route (delete)is any guide,
few professional people should have difficulty in (delete)demonstrating that they meet
the standard although some may feel the "one off" (delete) need to sit a test
inconvenient or consider it pointless because they "obviously have high level English
skills". The lasting benefits in relation to standing, for the profession as a whole and
its individual members should outweigh any inconvenience or cost involved.
The views of the migration advice profession and other stakeholders are sought on the
timing for the introduction of the new requirement. Please send your views to
submissions@mara.com.au by 28 September 2008.
Regards
Bernie Waters
Chief Executive Officer
*Prerequisites are always necessary
As usual you are going to do whatever you are going to do and attempts to justify your
actions are a waste of words. You might have written:
From mid-2009 applicants for initial MARA registration must have an
IELTS band score of at least 7 with a minimum grade of at least 6.5 in
each sub-test, or an equivalent grade in an alternative MARA-approved

test. From a date to be decided registered migration agents must satisfy
this requirement as a condition of their next re-registration.
There will be an opportunity for agents to remain registered while they
improve their English.
Submissions about a date for the introduction of testing for registered
migration agents are invited.
or similar, with perhaps a mention of how current the IELTS certificate will have to be.

  • Haha 1

Westly Russell Registered Migration Agent 0316072 www.pinoyau.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 09/09/2018 at 21:47, DES said:

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!

Hi @DES please could you email or pm me further information about yourself. As admin of the group I am slightly concerned when a new member signs up asking for members personal information. I am sure you understand. Until this time I suggest any member is careful on what they share.

  • Like 3

If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×