The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is one of the many standardized tests for English language proficiency available for Canadian immigration applicants, and it is surely one of the most popular and widely recognized. It is mandatory for anyone applying to migrate to Canada through the Express Entry pipeline or as a skilled worker to possess a certificate of completion of an accepted language test, as it is required by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) department before an applicant can be awarded a Canadian Visa.
There are many such approved language test bodies available, of which IELTS is one of the most recognized and recommended. This article gives you all you need to know about the IELTS Test for Canadian Immigration Applications.
Brief Background on IELTS
Current statistics have it that over 3 million immigration applications took the IELTS test in 2018, easily confirming that it is the most popular standardized English language test globally.
There are two categories of tests in the IELTS: Academic and Non-Academic. The former is suited for student immigrants applying for study purposes, while the latter is suited for non-students applying for the Canadian immigration Visa.
IELTS Exam Locations & Schedule
The IELTS is one of the most popular language test bodies, hence, you can find a test center approved to serve IELTS tests in every major city and country all over the globe. As at the time of writing this article, there are almost 200 IELTS test centers available across Canada.
The schedule for IELTS exams is transparent and flexible; you can access the exam dates up to 12 months prior, and you can choose a convenient date to sit for the exam as they are held up to 4 times each month, throughout the year, in all the exam centers scattered all around.
Studying for an IELTS Exam
Studying for an IELTS exam is pretty much similar to studying for any exam; you need to dedicate enough time to study thoroughly in order to pass. You have to start by understanding the structure of an IELTS English language exam, which consists of four parts: Listening, Writing, Speaking and Reading.
When you know what is required of you in those four parts, the next thing is to familiarize yourself with IELTS exam rules and regulations, and acquiring adequate material to help you prepare for the exam. You might also want to visit the local IELTS test center at which you intend to take the exam, to find out more about the intricate operations at the center.
IELTS Scoring System
As with any standardized form of testing, you need to obtain a minimum score in your IELTS exam in order to be eligible for the intended purposes. The expected minimum score for Canadian immigration varies with the type of visa you are applying for, so ensure you find out what pertains to you and prepare for it. The obtainable grades for each of the four parts of an IELTS exam are 1-9, and the cumulative addition of your scores in these four parts determines your final score.