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21 July 2014

IELTS Test Centers and Locations with Free Practice Materials and My Experience in Singapore

One of the requirements for the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Program in Canada is to provide a proof of your language skills.  To do this is to take the International English Testing System (IELTS) exam.

The exam is to check your skills in Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking.  Each skill will be measured by a band score, which is then used to compute for the points at your FSW eligibility under the language skills factor.

There are two types of the exam, one is Academic and the other is the General Training.  If we are taking the test as a proof of our language skills for the FSW in Canada, we only need to take the General Training test.

Where to Take the IELTS?
There are many test centers for IELTS that you can choose from.  For me, I took it with the British Council examiner for the following reasons:
  • The name itself, British Council, is legitimate enough to take the English Test.
  • The website of the British Council is easy to navigate and I found no glitch when I tried it with my IELTS application.
  • They will provide IELTS reviewers once the appointment fee is received.
  • The test center, in Singapore, is organized, no hassles.
  • The results delivered at my doorstep was on time as expected.
IELTS has more than 900 test centers and locations in more than 130 countries.  I made a link for you, so you can select the IELTS test center and locations nearest you.  It's up to you which center would you take your test with.


What to Expect During the IELTS Test? 
There are four assessments for the IELTS exam. These are the reading, listening, writing and speaking.  I'll give you an idea based on my experience taking it at the British Council in Singapore.

The test for reading, speaking and listening were done inside an air-conditioned room at the Civil Service College near the Buona Vista MRT Station.

There were 15-20 applicants inside the room seated in rows.  It was a classroom setup with armchairs and a single space gap between applicants.

We were instructed not to take a toilet break or go out from the room during the testing period.  So, for those who will take this test, do not drink a lot of water and never take a heavy breakfast.

There were two audio speakers, paper board and a projector in front that were used for displaying instructions.  The speakers were used for the listening test.

Each test category was given a time limit and was strictly implemented.

Reading - We were given a booklet, inside were articles and short stories provided.  There were three types of passages and need to respond to related questions in a given time limit.

Here are some examples of the test, take note that this is not the actual.  This is only for your reference.
PRACTICE TEST (Reading)
Listening - The two audio speakers in front of us were used at this time.  It played a conversation between two persons and we need to fill in the blanks at the questions provided.
PRACTICE TEST (Listening)
Writing - We were given an specific topic wherein we need to write about it.
PRACTICE TEST (Writing)
  • Questions for Writing practice test 
  • Answers for Writing practice test 
Speaking - This was taken at a different location, at Napier Road. At the moment I entered the room, the examiner asked me about my personal background.  I never thought that it was part of the exam, so I just answered her questions normally.

The next question that she asked me, the actual test topic, was "Do you read newspapers? What do you think about the future of newspapers in this digital world?".

This time, I was quite nervous thinking that it's the actual test question.  What I did was to say everything that I needed to say, the best that I can in an orderly manner.

PRACTICE TEST (Speaking) AUDIO
I got a good score with each of the test and so with my FSW Canada points for Language Skills.

Source of the sample tests and audio: http://www.takeielts.britishcouncil.org

Do You Think Your English is Good Enough for the IELTS?
If you're hesitant on your language skills, you need to study more on it.  Below is one of the IELTS Reviewer that you can purchase at a reasonable price.

You can click below to redirect you to Amazon.com website.

What to expect from this book?
Barron's IELTS Superpack, 2nd Ed.

  • Academics and professionals looking to validate their English language proficiency by taking the IELTS get the most comprehensive preparation available anywhere with Barron's IELTS Superpack.
  • It consists of the new 3rd edition of the Barron's brand-new IELTS manual with 2 audio CDs, 
  • IELTS Practice Exams with 2 audio CDs, and
  • Barron's Essential Words for the IELTS
Other Reviewers for more choices: 
Language Skills (CELPIP, IELTS and TEF) Reviewers

Disclosure: Whenever you buy the products at those links, I can get an affiliate commission and I Thank You for doing so.

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If you want to know more about my life in Singapore, visit my blog at BenAlagnam.com

How much you need to prepare for the applications, visit EXPENSES.

Check on what are the documents you need to prepare and more info on RESOURCES.

13 comments:

  1. Ben,

    Could you please explain about Express Entry Immigration process for Canada.
    What are the pros and cons of it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi ben,

    I would like to submit my husbands ielts for additional 5pts, however the expiry is april 2015, if we submit it next month, will they still accept it? Since fsw application takes 1 year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As soon as they received your husband's IELTS and it's within the validity period, it will be accepted. That's the reason why you need to submit it as soon as possible.

      My IELTS was valid until May 2014...at that time, my visa was still not finalized..yet, they approved it.

      Delete
  3. thanks for providing this information really it is helpful

    teaching challenge

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Ben,

    What about CELPIP language test? I already take my IELTS test with a score of 6.5 but I just don't understand where to take CELPIP or is it required to take CELPIP as part of the requirements to be submitted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's no need to take the CELPIP language test if you have the IELTS.

      Delete
  5. Hi Ben,

    I just started researching how to apply for FSW in Canada, and it was the best blog that I've encountered. Kudos to you!

    I'm a Civil Engineer here in Singapore and unfortunately i cannot find it on the list of recent job offers in Canada, but it was just based on my research though. I'm planning to start my application next year and i find this blog very helpful.

    Thanks a lot!


    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Ben,

    Regarding the language test, do you think they would accept Academic module? I have taken IELTS- Academic last Sept 2014 for a different purpose but I changed my mind. Now i'm wondering if Canada, through FSW, would accept it. L8, R7, S7.5, W6.5.

    Looking forward to your response.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, it is clearly stated that it should be "General Training". Please follow what is required.

      Delete
  7. Dear Ben,

    In your opinion, what ís the minimum IELST we should achieve to be eligible for FSW?

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI Kate,
      For IELTS, you should get a minimum 6.0 for each language skills.

      Here's the link where you can see the minimum CLB score...
      http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/skilled/language.asp

      Delete

Ben Alagnam - MeMovingToCanada