The IELTS Exam is the most widely used test of English in Hong Kong, China and Worldwide.
What is the IELTS Examination?
It is used for several purposes including:
- University Entrance
- College Entrance
- Overseas School entrance in UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia
- University Exit Test in Hong Kong (CEPA – Common English Proficiency Examination)
- Admission to further education courses such as Masters Degree’s
- Job application screening in private companies such as investment banks and financial services
- Hong Kong Government Promotion System – including HK Disciplined services (Police, Fire, Customs, Immigration).
The IELTS test is a four part examination consisting of 4 papers designed to test applied English skills. There are in fact two optional examinations:
- General Training IELTS – Mostly used for Immigration Purposes
- Academic IELTS – Used for University Entrance, Job application screening and sometimes immigration for professionals such as accountants or lawyers.
Both these exam options share the same speaking and listening test, but have different writing and reading papers designed to test the specific skills that the candidates are required to perform in real life. For instance the IELTS Academic Writing Exam tests the student’s ability to write reports of changes from a set if data. This is very similar to the sort of task students will encounter when studying at university. The General Training Writing Paper would require the student to write, for instance, a job application letter instead.
Preparation for Taking The Examination
It is better to prepare in advance of taking the examination so that you do not miss the admission deadline set by the university, college or school for your entrance to their courses. You can buy Practice Test Books and study alone at home. Cambridge University do a great series: Cambridge IELTS Student’s Book Series with Answers (IELTS Practice Tests).
Going from a test score of 6 to 7 or 7.5 is a difficult task to achieve on your own so the best way to prepare is to take an IELTS preparation course on a one-to-one basis with an experienced native English IELTS teacher. Normal English tutors do not have enough experience of the exam so you really need an IELTS expert – sometimes these are ex-IELTS examiners and know the test inside out. If you are short of time and need to learn IELTS fast then go for an IELTS Intensive Preparation Course
Common Difficulties in Hong Kong
In Hong Kong most students have difficult with the Speaking and Writing Papers. Taking a prep course with an IELTS expert on a one to one basis means that you can work on these two areas and get instant feedback on your performance and immediate guidance on how to improve.
- The British Council HK - located in Queensway near Hong Kong Park administers the examination.
- IDP HK – Located in Wanchai also administers the examination
IELTS Test Dates – Timetable
The examination is held all through the year so just check with the centers above for registration, fees and venues