The Standardized English Test
Travelling abroad as an international student has been a growing trend in the past few years and for good reason. Who doesn’t like the idea of going on vacation disguised as school? It sounds like a great idea but there’s a lot that goes into planning a language program abroad. Aside from getting your visa and booking your flight, you want to pick the right program that matches your goals.
International students who have plans to go to college or university are often required to take one of two standardized tests; TOEFL or IELTS. Here at GEOS Toronto, we took advantage of one of our busy instructors for a quick Q & A session. Edward Shaw, our IELTS program instructor, has provided us with a few important insights into the tricky world of standardized English tests.
What is the IELTS Test?
“The IELTS test is the International English language testing system. It’s broken down into the 4 skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The course follows an industry standard text that covers these 4 categories systematically. It’s the world’s favorite but I prefer the TOEFL as an instructor”
Which is better for international students? IELTS or TOEFL?
“One isn’t better than the other. IELTS has become more popular than TOEFL but it all depends on what the schools or employers are asking for. Students should do a lot of research into their school or workplace they wish to apply to. Having a goal is very important before selecting which test to take.”
How can students do well on the IELTS test?
“It’s going to sound like common sense but the best way to do well is to pay attention in class and try to answer all the questions whether they know the answers or not. Any answer is better than no answer. Students should also set personal learning goals. For example, they should think of which situation they plan on using the language for. If they plan to speak English at work they should choose to memorize work terms. English is a complicated language and choosing what to learn first is very important.”
What’s the first thing you notice about outstanding students?
“Students who ask questions get ahead. Critical thinking is one key thing that puts students over their classmates on the IELTS. Get as many examples of the language as possible by asking lots of questions.”
Thank you, Edward!
We hope these valuable pieces of advice help you decide which test best suits your needs as an international student looking to gain fluency in English. For more great tips, feel free to contact us at GEOS Toronto. We’re here to help you!
Remember that learning a new language can be difficult, and it is goal-oriented, hard work that pays off.
Happy learning everyone!