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IELTS is easily the most popular English proficiency test. It’s robust structure, and integrity is making it a valuable language assessment tool. Familiarity breeds contempt, and prevalence breeds misconception. Here are a few common misconceptions about IELTS.
1. IELTS is difficult
IELTS is neither tricky nor difficult. It starts off easy, and as you progress, so does the level of complexity. This is designed to gently take the test taker into higher levels of language without the test taker feeling the pressure of having to tackle challenging aspects of the language first.
2. Word Limit is the Most Important Metric
No. Achieving the word limit is important, but not achieving it, or missing it closely, all by itself will not dramatically affect your score. Remember, it is about writing clearly, and correctly. It is about conveying a message rather than writing a passage of a certain length. If you are confident about having written a great response, but have managed only 230 words, do not fret. Submit the paper with confidence. Look at a sample of how an IELTS writing task is evaluated here. You will know why word count does not really matter!
3. My location and my test centre will affect my IELTS score.
Whether you book via the British Council or IDP or any other agency in your country, the IELTS test on a given day in a given country will exactly be the same. It also maintains the same level of difficulty all over the globe. IELTS results are closely monitored for consistent performance.
4. Big words will get a Big score
Sesquipedalian much? Just dropping in big words in a sentence will not give you a good score. Always remember, understanding how to use the words is more important than using big words. Look at a simple word usage quiz and see what you score!
5. Reading Comprehension requires vocabulary