Why Understanding IELTS Difficulty Level is High

Why is Understanding IELTS Difficulty Level Challenging?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is one of the most popular English language proficiency exams taken by non-native speakers. Over 3 million IELTS tests are taken annually by students and professionals looking to study, work or migrate to countries like Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA.

However, understanding the difficulty level of IELTS can be quite challenging for test takers. Here are some of the main reasons:

  1. Varied Accents of Audio Recordings

One of the hardest parts of IELTS is comprehending the audio recordings used in the Listening section. These recordings feature English speakers with varied accents like British, Australian, Canadian and more. Understanding these different accents can be difficult for non-native speakers not exposed to them before.

  1. Academic vs General Training

IELTS has two versions – Academic and General Training. Both test the same English language skills but the content and difficulty level differs. Academic IELTS uses complex vocabulary on intellectual topics while General tests day-to-day English. Identifying which version aligns with one’s requirements is key.

  1. Subjective Marking Criteria

The way examiners mark and grade the Writing and Speaking sections may seem unclear or subjective. Candidates may not understand what factors influence how their responses are rated on vocabulary, grammar, coherence and more.

  1. Insufficient Practice Materials

While official IELTS prep materials are available, they may be limited or expensive for some students. Lack of enough exam samples and past papers for practice can hurt candidates’ ability to understand the test format and difficulty.

  1. Quick Time to Adapt to Questions

From Multiple Choice Questions to flow charts, maps, processes and more – the Reading and Listening sections test takers on quickly comprehending and answering varied types of questions. Being able to adapt on the fly is difficult.

In conclusion, while an excellent test of English skills, IELTS has several elements that make clearly and fully understanding its difficulty challenging for candidates. Sufficient preparation by taking mock tests, reading examiner reports and evaluating performance can help better perceive its level though.

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