This article was written as a reminder when considering an application for an internationally recognized language testing system denoted as the IELTS. Assumption why someone should decide to take or not to take this exam…
Generally speaking, there exists a vast amount of information which can be found on the Internet. There exists an immense number of literature dealing with preparation for the IELTS test as well as online or classroom trainings. Let’s start with the official information provided by the IELTS organization.
Official Information in English
The information is specific to the Czech Republic environment. However, it can be applied for other countries as well, as it is an international exam with identical rules.
Of course, loads of discussions and other unofficial information can be found as well.
Unofficial Information in Czech
The following examples are, again, taken from some Czech sites.
- Jak to probíhá
- Vzorové testy
- Dojmy z IELTS
- TÉMA: dělal tu někdo IELTS?
- Plánování nejen IELTS eseje
- Dojmy z IELTS
Generally, all of them provide the same evaluation and opinions regarding the testing process, the test examples and ways, how to prepare for the exam.
To summarize the above, no one can claim that there is no information about how to prepare for the exam, how long does the exam last, when will be the results available, etc.
No one can allege that the verification and evaluation of language knowledge and experience is not a valid measure for immigrants from all around the world approaching the English speaking countries and asking for residence approval or even citizenship.
And last but not least, everyone knows that such system requires resources (both human and technical) which deserve to be remunerated.
On the other hand, as a paying client of a service, I want to know what exactly I pay for. The next section tries to clarify the concerns and to shed some light in every nook and cranny of the IELTS.
Serious Analysis of the Facts
When applying for the IELTS, everyone has to agree with the respective IELTS Terms and conditions. Once reading it carefully, everyone may ask himself/herself, do I really agree with this? Let’s analyse it should there be any catches hidden in there.
Doubt #1: Results
Quote: “You will not be permitted access to the work you produce in the IELTS test. The IELTS Test Partners will retain the work you produce to assess your test performance, and it may be used for quality control purposes and research activities”. This means there is no legal way, how to even see the results. Yes, the results I paid for, as I wanted to be informed where are my weaknesses. Even under the same security measures I took the test (to prevent information leakage). Apart from the score, I will never know a serious feedback.
Doubt #2: Feedback
Having the experience from different computer based exams that have been really professionally designed; I do not even receive topics in which I did wrong. Now, it begins to be somewhat weird and it definitely starts to produce doubts like: “Fine, if there is no way for me to see anything but the result score, how the hack I can be sure that anyone has truly evaluated it. After all, the numbers could have been ‘randomly’ generated and the result would be the same. I cannot verify anything since I only acquired some numbers.”
Yes, right. I did not mention that there exists the possibility to lodge a complaint and ask for re-checking the scores. Apparently, many applicants utilized such option and the IELTS testing team had a lot of work to do. Therefore, this process became paid. But do not think that in this case, anybody will get the test results. Oh, I remember, I agreed with the “T’s & C’s” in Doubt #1. No sarcasm at all.
Doubt #3: Interference
Quote: “You must not… Talk to or disturb other candidates once the test has started…” Obviously, the “luck” to sit next to a person intensively using a rubber eraser and thus moving the whole desk can bring more interference than whispering of anyone in the room.
If I do not have any other choice and I have to pass this specific exam, then good luck and be prepared for the above.
Otherwise, think of another test or even of another country to move or work in… “All that glitters is not gold.”