How Difficult is the IELTS Exam?

The degree of difficulty you face in writing IELTS depends chiefly on:

o Your present standard of English
o Your preparation
o Your mentor and
o Your determination

If you have been speaking English at home, studied at a good English medium school and have been speaking in English to even strangers, you have a good chance of achieving your desired band on the first try itself. But this doesn’t mean that the test is in itself insurmountable to others. You can always raise your standard of English with a good mentor and determination. Of course finding a good mentor is the key to a good preparation. The IELTS was introduced in 1989, so in these 33 years people have been carefullystudying its evolution and how it is designed. There are experts now who can design alearning program to help even the weakest student. But the coaching institutes thathave come up are producing results that are really astounding.

Your mentor can be an expert individual in the IELTS environs or you can enroll for a pretty comprehensive course at one of these institutions. One advantage of an institution is that you are in a community of students and coaches. So there is a constant reminder of your goal to pass the IELTS.

You require a sound study schedule to ensure that a regulated program of preparation is underway well before the test date. The schedule must be comprehensive and include certain key elements to make the test easier for the student. For instance, the schedule must include latest study material based on the latest IELTS held. It must include regular sessions of practice questions so that the student gets a thorough understanding of what the responses to the questions need to be. Whether you are in a coaching institute or with a private coach, your mentor must be an expert and must be able to explain in detail the nuances of all type questions normally asked in the IELTS. He must clearly explain what the examiners are looking for in the answers.

The IELTS questions are designed to clearly indicate how much the student has grasped the overall techniques of using English as a medium of communication in an academic setting.

A skilled mentor can coach weak students in specific areas to tackle questions that are considered hard generally. He can drill into the students a familiarity with the questions and answers from previous tests.

He can make the student clearly realize which area he/she is weakest in. Each module of the test can be evaluated for the amount of work that needs to be done to improve. Writing and reading are commonly identified as more difficult.

In such cases, the mentor can use innovative methods to help. He can ask the student to first write an essay in his/her mother tongue, or the language he/she is most comfortable in. Then that essay must be translated into English sentence by sentence.
The best effect of this is in group participation. When the group has the same difficulty and they find the correct answer collectively, the thought processes of answering hard questions is made intuitive to the individual student.

However, it must be emphasized that in the final stage the student has to take the test on his own. For this sufficient practice with one-to-one tutorials must be provided.The most effective way for a student to make the IELTS easier is to constantly attempt
mock tests provided by an expert mentor. The mock tests can include questions from previous tests as well as new ones that make the student think.

So, What Exactly is the IELTS?

IELTS is an acronym for International English Language Testing System. It is a globally recognized benchmark test for rating competency in English. IELTS is universally accepted as the standard in English language proficiency evaluation, for higher education and global migration. It is intended for non-native English speakers who wish to study, work and live in an English-speaking community. IELTS is organized by the British Council, IDP and University of Cambridge in joint collaboration.

Difficult is the IELTS Exam
  • IELTS Academic 
  • IELTS General Training

~You should choose IELTS Academic if you intend to study in a community of English- speaking people, or if you wish to advance your studies in a University for higher Education. It is also taken for professional registration in such communities.

Your IELTS Academic score will reflect your ability to study in English. The test itself is designed in the language commonly used in a University. You are allowed to take the IELTS Academic on answer papers, or a computer or even online at home or any other prescribed location.

~You should choose IELTS General Training if your further studies are below the Degree Level. Usually, people who are looking for work experience or any type of apprentice training in an English speaking community will opt for IELTS General Training.

Migration to several countries like Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK require a minimum result in IELTS General Training. The test will simulate social and workplace situations that require routine English language skills to communicate.


IELTS General Training can only be taken on paper or a computer.

Do Indian Students Find the IELTS easier?

This is a subjective question and obviously depends on how prepared the Indian student is, to write the IELTS specifically. There is a general impression that because many Indians communicate in English, that the IELTS will be easier than for students from communities with no exposure to communicative English. This is not necessarily true. The IELTS is designed to test the skill of a non-native English speaker to communicate in the vernacular and the more academic language of universities. So it would be a mistake to underestimate the degree of difficulty he/she may encounter in the IELTS.
Any student will find the IELTS easier if he/she has prepared diligently with expert coaching and enough practice. While private one-to-one coaching is quite effective the benefit of community learning at an expert coaching institute can have great advantages.

This Article is published by Grace Academy