Category Archives: IELTS Information

IELTS Test Takers Performance in 2013.

I recently went to the official IELTS website and checked out Test Taker performance in 2013.  It is worth noting that IELTS is now so sought after for immigration and higher education that over a million people gained certification in a twelve-month period.

I found it interesting reading and thought I’d summarise it into a post for you.

It appears that the majority of candidates (80.3%) took the Academic version of the test, presumably for higher education purposes, while only 19.7% took the General Training version.

In contrast to some previous years, gender did not seem to have any bearing on performance.

Mean band score for the most frequent countries or regions of origin (Academic)

Germany scored highest (7.2), followed by Malaysia (6.8), the Philippines (6.8, Greece (6.6) and Spain (6.6).

Place of origin Listening Reading Writing Speaking OVERALL
Bangladesh 5.9 5.7 5.7 6.0 5.9
Brazil 6.2 6.7 5.9 6.3 6.3
China (People’s Republic of) 5.8 6.0 5.3 5.4 5.7
Colombia 6.3 6.5 5.8 6.4 6.3
Egypt 6.4 6.1 5.8 6.4 6.3
France 6.9 7.1 6.0 6.6 6.7
Germany 7.5 7.3 6.5 7.3 7.2
Greece 7.2 6.9 6.0 6.5 6.7
Hong Kong 6.8 6.7 5.8 6.1 6.4
India 6.2 5.8 5.6 5.9 6.0
Indonesia 6.4 6.5 5.7 6.1 6.2
Iran, Islamic Republic of 6.0 5.9 5.8 6.4 6.1
Iraq 5.2 5.2 5.0 5.6 5.3
Italy 6.5 7.0 5.9 6.4 6.5
Japan 5.8 6.0 5.3 5.5 5.7
Jordan 5.8 5.6 5.3 6.1 5.8
Kazakhstan 5.8 5.7 5.3 5.8 5.7
Korea, Republic of 6.1 6.1 5.5 5.7 5.9
Kuwait 5.3 4.9 4.8 5.6 5.2
Libya 5.1 5.0 4.9 5.6 5.2
Malaysia 7.2 7.0 6.1 6.6 6.8
Mexico 6.5 6.7 5.8 6.4 6.4
Nepal 6.2 5.8 5.7 6.1 6.0
Nigeria 6.3 6.0 6.2 6.8 6.4
Oman 5.2 5.0 5.1 5.8 5.4
Pakistan 6.0 5.7 5.7 6.1 5.9
Philippines 7.1 6.7 6.2 6.9 6.8
Qatar 5.1 4.8 4.5 5.5 5.1
Russian Federation 6.7 6.6 5.9 6.6 6.5
Saudi Arabia 4.9 4.8 4.6 5.6 5.0
Spain 6.8 6.9 6.0 6.6 6.6
Sri Lanka 6.6 6.2 6.0 6.7 6.4
Syrian Arab Republic 5.4 5.3 5.1 5.8 5.5
Taiwan 6.0 6.1 5.5 6.0 6.0
Thailand 6.1 5.9 5.4 5.9 5.9
Turkey 5.4 5.6 5.1 5.5 5.5
United Arab Emirates 4.7 4.7 4.6 5.3 4.9
Uzbekistan 5.4 5.4 5.1 5.6 5.5
Vietnam 6.0 6.2 5.6 5.8 6.0
Overall
5.67
6.73
5.47
6.34
6.07
6.09
5.58
6.60
7.19
6.61
6.36
5.75
6.10
6.01
5.77
6.31
5.85
5.63
5.93
5.74
5.24
5.26
6.76
6.55
6.00
5.62
6.42
5.25
5.90
6.73
6.77
4.72
6.51
5.10
6.25
5.72
5.78
5.88
4.97
5.84

Mean band score for the most frequent countries or regions of origin (General Training)

The United Kingdom scored highest (8.2), followed by South Africa (7.56), Singapore (7.3), Zimbabwe (7.09) and Malaysia (6.92)

Listening Reading Writing Speaking Overall
Bangladesh 5.76 5.17 5.52 6.01 5.68
Brazil 6.28 6.13 5.93 6.49 6.28
China (PRC) 6.15 5.99 5.62 5.79 5.95
Colombia 5.79 5.77 5.65 6.11 5.89
Egypt 5.95 5.56 5.69 6.19 5.91
France 6.88 6.83 6.37 6.90 6.80
Germany 6.90 6.57 6.44 7.15 6.82
Hong Kong 6.50 6.20 5.83 6.13 6.23
India 6.29 5.59 5.76 6.20 6.03
Indonesia 6.61 6.24 5.87 6.24 6.30
Iran 5.68 5.38 5.88 6.43 5.91
Iraq 5.63 5.25 5.49 6.30 5.73
Italy 6.03 6.09 5.76 6.34 6.12
Japan 5.91 5.55 5.37 5.80 5.72
Jordan 5.78 5.37 5.48 6.22 5.78
Korea, South 5.59 5.34 5.15 5.26 5.40
Lebanon 6.26 5.81 5.88 6.59 6.20
Malaysia 7.19 6.82 6.49 6.93 6.92
Mauritius 6.53 6.00 6.29 6.73 6.44
Mexico 6.33 6.42 6.02 6.56 6.39
Nepal 6.21 5.54 5.80 6.06 5.97
Nigeria 5.84 5.88 6.44 7.10 6.38
Pakistan 6.15 5.61 5.97 6.45 6.11
Palestine 5.68 5.27 5.50 6.18 5.72
Philippines 6.12 5.58 5.92 6.27 6.03
Russia 6.30 6.25 5.92 6.32 6.26
Saudi Arabia 4.65 4.21 4.53 5.20 4.71
Singapore 7.60 7.18 6.94 7.46 7.36
South Africa 7.42 6.98 7.24 8.37 7.56
Sri Lanka 6.23 5.66 5.85 6.34 6.08
Syria 5.74 5.40 5.53 6.23 5.78
Taiwan 5.92 5.65 5.56 6.01 5.85
Thailand 5.52 5.18 5.20 5.56 5.43
Turkey 5.75 5.52 5.46 5.84 5.70
Ukraine 5.97 5.85 5.74 6.09 5.97
UAE 4.30 3.72 4.37 4.96 4.40
UK 8.10 7.69 7.93 8.80 8.20
Venezuela 5.98 6.23 5.99 6.36 6.20
Vietnam 5.46 5.35 5.39 5.51 5.49
Zimbabwe 6.87 6.48 7.01 7.72 7.09

Mean band scores for the most common first languages (Academic)

Dutch speakers scored highest (7.6), followed by German (7.2), Romanian (6.97), Polish(6.77) and Kannada (6.74).

Listening Reading Writing Speaking Overall
Amharic 5.64 4.78 5.62 6.11 5.60
Arabic 4.96 5.14 4.89 5.65 5.23
Bengali 5.44 5.85 5.54 5.87 5.74
Burmese 6.14 6.14 5.64 5.85 6.00
Chinese 5.85 5.72 5.19 5.28 5.57
Dutch 7.79 7.95 6.79 7.60 7.60
Farsi 5.68 5.88 5.81 6.44 6.02
French 6.80 6.55 5.99 6.44 6.51
German 7.22 7.48 6.61 7.23 7.20
Greek 6.40 6.78 5.85 6.40 6.42
Gujurati 5.35 5.83 5.31 5.52 5.57
Hindi 5.80 6.34 5.67 6.03 6.02
Indonesian 6.37 6.28 5.56 5.92 6.10
Italian 6.77 6.24 5.78 6.18 6.30
Japanese 5.97 6.02 5.39 5.76 5.85
Kannada 6.52 7.09 6.28 6.79 6.74
Kazakh 5.72 5.86 5.61 5.93 5.84
Korean 5.97 6.00 5.27 5.46 5.74
Lithuanian 6.72 6.96 5.95 6.39 6.57
Malay 6.76 6.88 6.01 6.37 6.57
Malayalam 6.18 6.66 5.99 6.33 6.35
Marathi 6.29 6.89 6.15 6.50 6.52
Nepali 5.40 5.90 5.42 5.50 5.62
Other 6.05 6.27 6.12 6.73 6.36
Pashto 5.32 5.59 5.53 5.89 5.65
Polish 6.75 7.00 6.15 6.91 6.77
Portuguese 6.78 6.74 6.11 6.77 6.66
Punjabi 5.01 5.37 5.02 5.15 5.20
Romanian 7.13 7.29 6.31 6.92 6.97
Russian 6.51 6.56 5.92 6.54 6.45
Shona 6.28 6.74 6.31 7.28 6.71
Singhalese 6.02 6.53 5.94 6.41 6.29
Spanish 6.71 6.50 5.92 6.53 6.48
Tagalog 6.60 7.05 6.21 6.80 6.73
Tamil 6.20 6.72 5.93 6.38 6.38
Telugu 5.70 6.31 5.64 5.96 5.97
Thai 5.87 5.96 5.34 5.71 5.78
Turkish 5.84 6.04 5.46 5.93 5.88
Urdu 5.65 6.07 5.70 6.06 5.93
Vietnamese 6.04 5.83 5.56 5.68 5.84

Mean band scores for the most common first languages (General Training)

Afrikaans speakers scored highest (7.29), followed by Shona (6.99), Malay (6.89), German (6.77) and French (6.57).

Listening Reading Writing Speaking Overall
Afrikaans 6.77 7.14 6.93 8.09 7.29
Arabic 4.89 5.33 5.19 5.83 5.37
Bengali 5.24 5.82 5.57 6.06 5.74
Chinese 6.02 6.20 5.66 5.86 6.00
Creole 5.87 6.41 6.21 6.64 6.34
Dutch 7.07 7.35 6.63 7.49 7.21
Farsi 5.38 5.67 5.88 6.43 5.91
French 6.40 6.61 6.26 6.76 6.57
German 6.52 6.88 6.39 7.05 6.77
Gujurati 5.51 6.18 5.60 6.02 5.89
Hindi 5.78 6.48 5.92 6.46 6.22
Hungarian 5.89 6.21 5.77 6.21 6.10
Indonesian 6.24 6.61 5.86 6.24 6.30
Italian 6.07 6.01 5.73 6.32 6.10
Japanese 5.55 5.90 5.37 5.79 5.71
Kannada 5.97 6.63 6.17 6.61 6.40
Korean 5.34 5.59 5.15 5.26 5.40
Malay 6.70 7.14 6.47 6.99 6.89
Malayalam 5.84 6.36 6.01 6.32 6.20
Marathi 6.05 6.67 6.19 6.61 6.45
Nepali 5.54 6.22 5.80 6.06 5.97
Other 5.84 6.28 6.27 6.84 6.37
Pashto 5.35 5.88 5.89 6.45 5.95
Polish 6.02 6.32 5.88 6.56 6.26
Portuguese 6.09 6.25 5.89 6.48 6.24
Punjabi 5.26 6.01 5.53 5.91 5.74
Romanian 5.96 6.18 5.76 6.16 6.08
Russian 6.18 6.23 5.91 6.28 6.22
Shona 6.41 6.76 6.95 7.56 6.99
Sindhi 5.62 6.22 5.99 6.48 6.15
Singhalese 5.65 6.23 5.85 6.33 6.08
Spanish 6.01 5.94 5.83 6.25 6.07
Tagalog 5.57 6.12 5.91 6.26 6.03
Tamil 5.74 6.33 5.84 6.27 6.11
Telugu 5.72 6.48 5.84 6.32 6.16
Thai 5.17 5.52 5.19 5.55 5.42
Turkish 5.52 5.75 5.46 5.84 5.71
Ukrainian 5.60 5.75 5.52 5.97 5.77
Urdu 5.64 6.21 5.96 6.46 6.13
Vietnamese 5.35 5.46 5.38 5.51 5.49

These tables make interesting reading but they don’t of course mean that your score is determined by your place of origin or by your first language.  To get the IELTS Band Score you need, you must work hard to improve your English and follow the tips in my blog!

Here’s to the best IELTS score possible!

How well do you know the IELTS test?

info-31185_1280I’ve been a teacher of English since 1994 and a tutor of IELTS since 1998.

As you can imagine, in that time I’ve been asked just about every question there is about the English language and the IELTS test.  One question, however,  that almost all students, whatever their nationality ask me,  is

‘How do I get a higher Band Score?’

Well, where do I begin?  Academic or General?  Which skill; reading, writing, listening or speaking?  I’m going to ‘begin at the beginning’ with some general hints that anyone can put into practice straightaway.

The first thing to do is to educate yourself about the exam; I have taught many different exam classes in my teaching career, not only IELTS but also CPE, CAE, FCE, PET and KET.  One thing I have always believed is success is any test (not only an English language test) is made up of two factors; how well you know the subject matter and how well you know the test.

In the case of IELTS, this means that a good result is obviously based on your English language level in each of the four skills; reading, writing, listening and speaking but also on how well you know the test.

So what do I mean, ‘How well you know the test’?  I don’t mean you can predict what questions you will be asked or that you can memorise large amounts of information to reproduce during your test.  The bank of IELTS questions is huge, which makes predicting the questions impossible and large chunks of memorised information might even lose you points.

What I mean is to educate yourself about the layout of the test; learn how long each paper is, how many sections it has, how many questions you have to answer.

The IELTS Speaking Test and the IELTS Writing Test are marked by a certified examiner who has been specially trained to mark these parts of the test.  The IELTS assessment criteria are confidential and do not leave the test centre, the official IELTS website, www.ielts.org , does, however give some indication of what they contain.

Click here for the public version of IELTS Speaking band descriptors.

Click here for the public version of IELTS Task 1 Writing band descriptors.

Click here for the public version of IELTS Task 2 Writing band descriptors. 

Studying these descriptors will help you understand what an examiner is looking for and some of the key differences between a band 5, a band 6 and a band 7.

Here’s to the best IELTS score possible!

 

IELTS Listening, Reading and Writing Answer Sheets.

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Today I was forwarding an email of an IELTS study tip from one on the visitors to this site  to those people who subscribe to my weekly IELTS tips.

Part of the tip was to do your practice IELTS Writing on an official IELTS Writing Answer Sheet so that you can really see what 250 words looks like in your handwriting.

I then realised that there wasn’t one on this site so I got an official IELTS Listening Answer sheet, an official IELTS Reading  Answer sheet and an official IELTS Writing Answer sheet from Cambridge.

Click on the links below to open them (you may need to click the ‘continue reading’ button first).

IELTS Listening Answer Sheet

IELTS Reading Answer Sheet

IELTS Writing Answer Sheet

By at least having a look at these answer sheets, it takes away one of the ‘surprises’ on the day.

Here’s to the best IELTS score possible!