Are you planning to take IELTS? Let’s start here!

GV students at class

Planning to take IELTS? We can help!

Are you planning for immigration or higher studies in Canada? Very likely, you need a score on an English Language proficiency test. Obtaining IELTS scores is one of the options. The IELTS – which stands for International English Language Testing System – is one of the most popular English Language tests for study, migration, or work. Over three million people take IELTS every year.

If you’ve decided to take the IELTS test for immigration or study purposes, here are a few questions you may need an answer to.

What test type should I take – IELTS Academic (AC) or General Training (GT)?

IELTS has two test types available: Academic and General Training.   As the name suggests, “IELTS Academic” is for academic purposes and is for those who are looking to study in institutes where English is a prerequisite.  The General Training IELTS is mainly for work or immigration purposes.

To be certain of which IELTS test type one you need, do check with your academic institute, employer, professional licensing body or immigration authorities about the IELTS test type required for you.

Should I take the Paper-based (PB) or Computer-delivered (CD)?

Global Village Test Centres offer both tests (computer-delivered or paper test), so you can choose a format that suits you best. If you are comfortable typing on a computer, you can choose the computer-delivered IELTS which offers the Listening, Reading, and Writing sections using a computer.   However, if you prefer writing on paper with a pencil, you will want to take a paper-based IELTS.  Whether you choose the computer-delivered or paper-based test, you can rest assured that both versions are the same, trusted English Language Proficiency Test.

To know more about the IELTS test types and delivery formats, visit the Global Village IELTS Test Centres website.

Is the timing the same for Paper-based and Computer-delivered tests?

All aspects of the computer-delivered and paper-based IELTS are identical, including:

  • The same content and question types
  • The speaking test remains face-to-face
  • Same marking standard and Test Report Form

For the Reading, Writing, and Speaking modules, the timing is the same for both formats; however, in the Listening section of the computer-delivered test, the timings are slightly different from the paper-based test. This is because the paper-based test requires users to transfer answers to an answer sheet. This extra step is eliminated when answering directly on a computer.

Why do I need to study or prepare for the IELTS test?

For test takers who use English in their everyday lives and feel comfortable with their language skills, it is possible to misjudge their level of readiness to write the IELTS test.  Some test takers also make the mistake of believing these myths or false ideas:

  • If I write more in the writing section, I get more marks.
  • The more times I write the test, the better I’ll get.IELTS preparation
  • People understand me when I speak in English, so I will get the score I need.
  • If I write more than the writing section word limit or if I speak a lot in the speaking section, my score will increase.

Regardless of the format, it is important to get to know the test structure, question types, and expected response formats before taking your IELTS.  It is important to make sure you are ready for the test and know the question types and answer techniques. Even if you are proficient in the English language, understanding the IELTS testing techniques is important to secure your desired scores on the test.

How to prepare yourself for IELTS

Without adequate preparation, taking your test is not recommended. To get prepared, you can self-study or take professional classes from instructors who are experts in IELTS.


Over the years, self-study has evolved to include not only books and practice manuals but also online options.  Studying online has opened a new world for people. With work schedules becoming more varied, flexible learning is appealing.   Some prefer not to have the pressure of learning with others and would prefer to study at their own pace.  Online/Self-study works well for that.  Students also have quick access to other resources for further study by using the search engine and visiting various websites for more information.

Learning at your own pace works well for those who are disciplined.  For some, it is not as easy to study on their own.  Distractions and lack of focus can make this very difficult.

Group Lessons

Some people need to have classes set at a specific schedule to be able to learn.  Self-study and online learning do not offer real-time correction.  It is good to be corrected at the time we make a mistake, as often we forget what we said and what the context was.  Having a teacher walk you through your areas of improvement and areas of success will increase the speed of improvement.  If no one corrects you, you will continue using the incorrect word or structure without knowing.  This becomes what is called fossilized.

Learning with other students is also valuable in many ways, because it is important to have English discussions with others.  Live instruction pushes students to use what they’ve learned and increase vocabulary usage.  Third, students test themselves by correcting others and hearing grammar and vocabulary used in different ways. The most important part of your preparation is practicing more and correcting your mistakes.

GV Victoria offers IELTS preparation programs to help you reach your goal cooperating with your daily schedule.

So, are you ready to take IELTS? You can meet our IELTS advisor to get support to start your journey.


Adapted from a presentation by Tania Knoch.
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