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How to Take the IELTS Test at Home?

Many graduate students wishing to travel abroad plans to attempt the IELTS test. IELTS is one of the most popular proficiency tests taken for international studies and global migration. However, due to the pandemic, British Council has launched an online version of the IELTS test, commonly known as the IELTS Indicator Test. The test is launched to help students stay on track with their studies. 

This article discusses how to take the IELTS at home using the IELTS Indicator; details on the test, and the registration process. It also focuses on how you can prepare for the test at home and answers some of the commonly asked questions.  

What is the IELTS Indicator Test?

ELTS has launched an at-home version of the IELTS exam called the IELTS Indicator test.

IELTS Indicator is an online test designed to support candidates in times of global difficulties.

However, it is only available in those countries where the test has been postponed due to Covid-19. You might wonder, what’s the difference between the IELTS and the IELTS Indicator?

You can take the IELTS Indicator test from the comfort and safety of a student’s home while also maintaining the examination hall situations.

How to Setup for the IELTS Indicator Test?

Before booking the IELTS test at home, students must see if they can arrange all the following requirements:

  • A quiet, comfortable space for listening, reading, and writing sections- once the test begins, you won’t be able to have a break.
  • Make sure to clear up the area from any unwanted interruptions that can cause you to lose time and marks.
  • A properly functioning laptop/desktop (PC or MAC).
  • A reliable internet connection is a must.
  • Headphones for the listening task- make sure to have a volume check done before the exam day.
  • Computer webcam.
  • Zoom App for videoconferencing.
  • And last of all, a properly functioning microphone for speaking tests.

Where is the IELTS Indicator Score Accepted?

Not all organizations and institutes accept the IELTS Indicator tests as it only provides an indicative score.

However, before booking the test, it is crucial to get a confirmation from the institute to avoid any confusion in the future.

Also, the test is only available in some countries where the activities are suspended due to the lockdown. 

To find a list of organizations and educational institutions that accept this particular IETLS exam format, check the official IELTS Indicator website.

How to Register for IELTS Test at Home?

Since IELTS Indicator Test is only available in some countries, you must check the list before registering for the process.

  • If it shows the “error” message saying that the IELTS Indicator is not available in your country, you are not eligible for the test. Otherwise, you will be able to proceed with the registration for the test.

Preparation Tips for IELTS at Home

The first step to preparing anything is to plan. Since you can take the IELTS Indicator test from home, it is crucial that you must not get too comfortable, so that you do not end up having insufficient preparation. That is why it is important to have a schedule that fits your needs.

The following four steps will ensure your utmost preparation in the respective tasks given in the test.

1. Work on Your Vocabulary

Whether it be a newspaper, an English news channel, a reader’s digest- you name it- you can find new words daily. Concentrate on the unfamiliar words and phrases, use them in the sentence, and refer to the supporting context to understand the sentence formation. The more you come across complex expressions; the more you will learn their meanings.

It is not about learning super-complex words. Instead, it’s about using your increasing vocabulary correctly. So next time, instead of using dangerous, you can use: hazardous, risky but avoid using: unchancy, precarious, etc. Another tip to ace your test is to look for keywords. Marking out keywords can help you understand what is requested in the question.

2. Improve Your Writing Skills

As for Writing Tasks, practice is the key. The best way to not overdo or underdo the preparation is to practice one writing test regularly. That makes thirty tests in a month- that’s sufficient preparation! The tips below will improve your writing skills to get your desired IELTS band score for the IELTS Writing section.

  • During preparation, keep in mind the word limit for each task. Since Task 2 takes more time than Task 1, it needs more concentration than Task 1. Also, analyze the question and cover all the given points. Before you submit, remember to recheck for common grammatical errors.
  • Also, using appropriate and assertive English can help you crack the writing tasks. This module is probably what the candidates struggle with because implementing professional words and expressions can be difficult. For Task 1, students are specified with a set of information. Regular practice in different types of statistical graphs and data makes it easier to do. Task 2 can be somewhat challenging as sometimes the topic given could be unfamiliar. Along with that, the structure of the essay should also be proper.
  • Along with that, familiarise yourself with the following two elements. The structure of the essay and how to develop your ideas with the proper usage of words. At the same time, practice the topics that are frequently given in the IELTS to ensure maximum practice.
  • Types of essays that usually come are Advantages and Disadvantages, Causes and Effects, Causes and Solutions, etc. In this case, written samples from previous candidates who scored a good band in writing can be of great help.

3. Fluency & Pronunciation

These two elements matter the most when it comes to the IELTS Speaking section. Thus, you should be consistent in practice and remember to use the Cue Cards.

Some parameters that will help your fluency are:

  • Confidence: answer the questions loudly and clearly. Additionally, recording oneself during the practice session can help you improve faster. While watching any show or listening to a podcast, give special attention to the pronunciation of certain words.
  • Talk to Native Speakers: Listening to native speakers and joining on in their conversation can help you learn the proper accent. Also, the shadowing technique has proved to be helpful for non-native speakers. It’s not rocket science! You just repeat what you heard in English, for instance, a conversation between a shopkeeper and a customer. This helps with intonation and pronunciation to a great extent. 
  • Practice: If you have tried out the tricks and none of them seem to work for you, don’t fret! Just ensure that while speaking, you don’t make any grammatical errors. Practicing in front of the mirror, speaking in English at your workplace or home (however you prefer) can help you get in touch with English and get familiar with it.

4. Enhance Your Listening Skills

For the IELTS Listening Section, you will get a recording that will only play once, so focus on listening to it the entire time. At home, combine this with reading the questions and writing correct answers. On the exam day, you’ll be more efficient at multitasking.

Our surroundings, even when quiet, have natural background noise. Practicing in different kinds of situations prepares you for the exam more efficiently. As the recording progresses, the audio speed also increases, which means you’ll have to prepare the same way to enhance your ability to detect answers quickly.

You missed an answer. Don’t panic, and make a guess. For example, you wrote the answer for questions one and three, so two must be in between. Make a quick guess and move forward so you don’t miss out on the current answers. Try to write the answers in capital letters- that provide more clarification and easy reading. Make sure the spelling is correct- therefore, you won’t lose a score because of it.

5. IELTS Reading Section Preparation Tips

The following type of questions are mainly covered in this module in the IELTS Reading Section:

  • Multiple choice questions
  • Identifying information
  • Identifying writer’s views/claims
  • Matching information, headings, and features
  • Sentence endings
  • Sentence completion, and summary completion
  • Note completion, table completion, flow-chart completion, diagram label completion
  • Short-answer questions.

Reading passages are straightforward; the questions are not complicated. The only thing that is required is the patience to read the lengthy paragraphs. Reading the newspaper twice or thrice a week can build that ability.

Practice is all about making mistakes and improving. That should not stop you from preparing. With these tips, you’ll be able to ace your reading exam. A glance over the text to get the idea of the passage is one of the excellent tips to facilitate yourself. Hence, you can solve the question in an orderly manner.

6. IELTS Listening Section Preparation Tips

The Listening test of the IELTS Indicator comprises four recorded speeches and discussions. The recorded audio could be a monologue, a conversation between two people, or a conversation between three or more people. The types of questions under this section are similar to the Academic Reading test. You can take a look at the IELTS Listening sample task from the IELTS website.

In conclusion, preparation is the best key to passing the IELTS Indicator test and scoring great bands. It is crucial to have sufficient preparation to familiarize yourself with the test and understand where you need to improve. This strategy is likely to get you a better score. These IELTS preparation tips will prove to be useful during your preparation.

7. Don’t Expect for the IELTS Questions to be Repeated

Students often wonder if the IELTS question is repeated or not. The indicated query depends on each task. When we talk about the writing task, the essay question never repeats, but the topic can. Few topics that majorly appear are:

  • Health
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Public transport
  • Youth crime
  • Development
  • Technology

Moving onto the Speaking section, you can only request twice to the interviewer to repeat the question.

As for the listening exam, the questions don’t need to be repeated as they are written. On the other hand, the IELTS audio track is not repeated. That is why the best option is to focus completely on listening. Read the questions before the audio begins. Altogether make sure to practice a lot of listening tasks.

Additional FAQs on Taking the IELTS Test at Home

Will IELTS Indicator Be the Future of IELTS?

Since the test has been launched recently, nobody can say for sure how the outcome would be.

However, IELTS can now check to see how it works for the students and the checkers alike. Also, it would ease up the IELTS process for quite a few people.

Is the IELTS Indicator Test the Same as Those Taken at a Test Center?

The test is no different than the standard IELTS exam. It assesses the four skills- reading, writing, speaking, and listening. You can receive the results within a week, and the IELTS examiner marks the candidates’ performance.

Each section is strictly timed, meaning that you won’t get any extra timing for any task, and it’s required to complete the questions in the given time.

Can IELTS Indicator Be Used for Immigration?

IELTS Indicator is an approved English proficiency test; therefore, it cannot be used for immigration.

The IELTS Indicator test is only for those who are planning to travel abroad for higher education. However, you can keep on checking its official IELTS Indicator website to get the latest updates.

Can You Repeat the IELTS Exams?

There are no limitations on taking the IELTS exam. You can attempt the test as many times as you want till you acquire your desired IELTS score.

However, since you have to pay the fees to attempt the test, and a plethora of resources are available at your disposal, it is better to prepare thoroughly in advance before you attempt the test.


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