Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Taking the IELTS exam in Canada

I am an IELTS Tutor and in this article will examine some of the most popular reasons for taking the IELTS exam in Canada.
The IELTS exam is important in Canada for two reasons.  First, it is often used to demonstrate English proficiency for immigration purposes.  Second, it is used for admission to academic institutions.  The General IETLS exam is used for immigration purposes while academic institutions generally use the Academic IELTS exam. 

If You Want to Immigrate to Canada

Canada uses a point system to decide whether you will be eligible for permanent residence in Canada.  A person must have 67 points on their point assessment to be eligible for permanent residence.  Points are given to applicants based on several areas, including education, language, work experience, and age.

One of the areas on the assessment, language, is concerned with proficiency in one of Canada’s official languages.  Candidates can earn up to 16 points by demonstrating proficiency in English or French.  The most common language test used for immigration purposes in Canada is the IELTS test for English.  With good band scores on the IELTS exam, you can earn all 16 points possible in this category toward your Canadian residence eligibility. 

The IELTS band scores required to obtain 4 points for each section are listed below:

Writing:  6.5
Reading:  6.5
Speaking:  6.5
Listening:  7.5

The IELTS exam has two options for taking the tests.  For immigration purposes, you will need to take the General IELTS Exam, rather than the Academic IELTS.

If You Want to Study at University in Canada

Many educational institutions in Canada use the IELTS exam to make admissions decisions.   These institutions feel that the IELTS is a good assessment of a candidate’s ability to study and work in an environment using the English language.  For most universities and academic institutions you will need to take the Academic IELTS, rather than the general IELTS.

The Academic IELTS will test your knowledge in four areas:  writing, reading, speaking and listening.  The test taker is then given a band score, ranging from 1 to 9, for each of the four areas. 

Universities and institutions generally use the Academic IELTS, while schools, colleges and some vocational institutions use the General IELTS.  Before signing up for the IELTS exam, check with the institution you are interested in to find out which exam they accept and what their band requirements are for admission.

Once you have decided to take the IELTS exam, be sure you allow yourself plenty of time to prepare. Check out my IELTS Preparation Tips to get you started!

I am a qualified IELTS Tutor. If you need help with preparing for the IELTS exam please
click here to send me email.