Don’t believe everything you hear! Top IELTS Myths

The IELTS test generates a lot of talk. Perhaps you have heard about experiences from people you know or read something about the test online. While a lot of information may be useful, sometimes we come across things which are not accurate or true.

Let us help you by pointing out some of the things which are said about IELTS which are not true so that you have no need to worry about them and instead you can spend your valuable time preparing properly for test day!

1. It is not possible to get a high band score

We’ll be honest, getting a high score requires hard work and determination and if you don’t adequately prepare, you may find yourself not achieving the score you desire. However, if you perform to a high level during your test, this will be reflected in your IELTS score. What you can be sure of is that IELTS is a reliable accurate assessment of your level in English which is one of the reasons why it is trusted by over 11,000 organisations worldwide, including over 750 in Canada.

2. IELTS is more difficult than other tests

IELTS is no more difficult than other English language tests such as TOEFL, CELPIP, CAEL, PTE or DET. The test is structured in a clear format with easy-to-understand instructions. So that you are ready for test day, it is important to become familiar with the test format and to practice test questions. This way, you will feel more comfortable on test day as you will have an idea of the types of questions to expect.

3. I need to be a native speaker to do well in the Speaking section

You do not need to be a native speaker to score a high mark in the Speaking section. Additionally, you do not need to speak with a specific accent (ex: British or Australian) to perform well. It is more important to speak clearly and be easily understood by the examiner. There are four key areas that the examiners assess in he Speaking section: Task Achievement, Coherence & Cohesion, Lexical Resource, and Pronunciation. Read our blog to find out more about the Speaking section.

4. If I write a lot in the Writing section, I’ll get extra marks

The parts of the Writing section have minimum word counts which you will need to stick to (at least 150 words for part 1 and 250 words for part 2). However, there is no requirement to write at lot more than these amounts as it will not necessarily get you a higher mark. Quality is more important than quantity! You will need to make sure that you have covered all parts of the task, used the correct vocabulary and grammar and structured your work clearly. Do not just write extra for the sake of it!

5. It is easier to get a higher IELTS score at some test centres than others

All British Council IELTS test centres must stick to a very high level of security. Test examiners are also trained with the highest set of standards and this is the same for each centre. Different centres will not result in you getting a different score. Don’t’ believe if someone tells you otherwise!

6. The British Council IELTS test is based on British English

The “I” in IELTS means “International”! This means that the test is delivered and accepted worldwide. The content also reflects a world view of English, representing a variety of accents. The test is not biased towards British English and you do not need to have any specific knowledge of British English to do well in the test.

7. I don’t need to practice if I’m a good English speaker

Even if you are proficient in English, it is still worth preparing for the test. You will need to be familiar with the difference sections and understand the types of questions you will be asked. It pays to do a few practice tests so that you are ready for test day. Like any test you do, effective preparation is key to success! Find out more about how you can prepare for IELTS with the British Council, visit our preparation page.

8. It is more difficult to take IELTS on computer than on paper

The content for the IELTS test is exactly the same for both versions of the test (computer or paper). The types of questions you will be asked and the tasks you have to perform do not change. Also, you will always do your speaking test with an examiner face-to-face. Consider which format you would be most comfortable with. Do you prefer to type or write your answers out? Also, it is important to note that you do not need any technical knowledge on computers to do IELTS on computer, the experience is very simple and straightforward. It is important to take some practice IELTS tests on computer so that you are ready for test day.

The most important aspect to understand is that to get the band you need for IELTS takes planning, dedication and preparation. Make sure you identify areas you need to improve on and work on these areas. Produce a study plan so that you are regularly practising and not leaving all your preparation to the last minute! Lastly, don’t listen too much to what others say about the IELTS test as some of these things (like the ones above) are not true!

To help you get ready for test day, visit our preparation page where you will get free access to:

– Practice tests for IELTs on paper and computer
– Practice activities & resources
– An IELTS App so you can learn on the go
– An IELTS study pack
– IELTS tips and strategies webinars by our British Council IELTS experts.

Visit the IELTS Canada homepage to find out more.

Ready to take your test? Visit our register page to find your nearest test centre.