How to Introduce Yourself in IELTS.

Overview: This article will give you an insight into the IELTS exam with a focus on the IELTS speaking exam and how to introduce yourself in IELTS for students looking to study abroad.  Students seeking to apply abroad for higher education usually appear for some examinations that make them eligible to study at foreign universities. One such examination is the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) which is an English proficiency exam for students applying to foreign universities from countries that do not use English as their primary language for communication. The IELTS is a renowned and internationally accepted examination. It is acknowledged for its high quality and integrity of testing competence in the English language. Most foreign universities in countries like the USA, Canada, and the UK consider IELTS to be a prerequisite for admissions. Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of IELTS, let us talk about the basic features of the IELTS examination.  This examination can be taken in two ways:

  1. Paper-based IELTS examination 
  2. Computer-based IELTS examination

The main difference between the two types is that the result of the paper-based test will declaredin 14 days, whereas the computer-based test will provide your result within 3 to 5 days. 

The IELTS examination scores its applicants on a scale of 1.0 to 9.0 where the usually acceptable score for admission into foreign universities is 6.5 and above. The IELTS examination tests the applicants based on four basic criteria: 

  1. Reading 
  2. Writing
  3. Listening 
  4. Speaking

It is important to note that the listening and speaking modules are the same for all the applicants taking the test. The writing section will provide a choice between Academic and General Training. The reading, writing, and listening sections need to be completed on the same day and the speaking section of the IELTS examination will be scheduled either 7 days before or after the first 3 sections. This schedule will completely depend on the discretion of the test center. The IELTS test costs 14000 INR and the scores of the examination are considered valid for 2 years.

Even though the IELTS exams are usually a prerequisite for students applying to study abroad, there are certain exceptions to this case. The IELTS examination may not be needed in the following cases:

  1. If you are a citizen of a country where the primary language for communication is English.
  2. If you have been a part of an English medium educational institution for a minimum of 3 years.
  3. If you have resided in a country for a minimum of 3 years where the primary language for communication is English

Out of the four sections of the testing format mentioned above, the most important section is the speaking section that will evaluate the applicant’s ability to communicate in English. The reason for its importance is that, if the applicant cannot express his/her thoughts and communicate in English it will hamper the entire education process. This article delves into the subject of the IELTS Speaking Exam with a special focus on how to introduce yourself in the IELTS speaking test.

How to introduce yourself in the IELTS speaking test:

As soon as you enter the room, before you start talking, the examiner will introduce the scenario by saying “This is the International English Language Testing System on the 15th of March 2019” (or any date on which the test is being taken). The examiner will then mention the candidate’s name, roll number, center, center number, examiner, and the examiner number. This entire introduction is done for the benefit of recording and marks the starting point of your IELTS speaking exam

After this basic introduction paragraph by the examiner, your session will begin. The examiner will then ask you the following questions:

  1. What is your name?
  2. Thank you, and what should I call you?
  3. Where are you from?
  4. Can I see some identification, please?

You are asked to introduce yourself in the IELTS speaking test as they always follow the same procedure as mentioned above. 

Mentioned below is an example scenario of this introductory session:

Examiner: What is your name?

Candidate: Hi, my name is Akash Ahuja.

Examiner: And what can I call you?

Candidate: You can call me Akash.

Examiner: Where are you from?

Candidate: I’m from Mumbai, which is in India.

Examiner: Can I see some identification, please?

Candidate: Absolutely, here you are.

Examiner: Thank you. Now let’s talk a little more about yourself.

This is the end of the first introductory part of the speaking session. The candidate in the above section has managed to answer the questions properly. The examiner will pay attention to your sentence construction and the way you link up words. They will immediately understand how good your English is through this introductory process. Sound linking is crucial to sounding natural. What you need to keep in mind is that when a word ends with a consonant sound and the subsequent word begins with a vowel the two words link up naturally as you say them. An example of this is mentioned below:

Examiner: What is your name?

Candidate: Hi, my name is “Akash Ahuja”.

Examiner: And what can I call you?

Candidate: You can call me Akash.

Examiner: Where are you from?

Candidate: I’m from Mumbai, which is “in India”.

Examiner: Can I see some identification, please?

Candidate: Absolutely, here you are.

Examiner: Thank you. Now let’s talk a little more about yourself.

As you can see above the two instances where the word ending with a consonant and the subsequent word starting with a vowel have been highlighted.

The next section will involve questions that the examiner will choose from the IELTS booklet provided. The booklet consists of 40 groups of questions based on a variety of topics. Each group consists of 3 questions. The examiner will randomly select each group out of the 40 topics provided. These questions will be based on the hobbies, daily routine, likes, and dislikes of the candidate. The topics provided usually stay the same for a while. 

Mentioned below are some examples of the topic groups:

Let’s talk about where you live.

  • What do you love about your hometown? And why?
  • Which school did you go to?
  • What would you like to change about your hometown? And why?

Let’s talk a little about music.

  • What music do you like listening to? And why?
  • Which is your favorite song? And why?
  • What do you like most about your country’s music? And why?

Now, let’s talk a little about sports.

  • What is your favorite sport? And why?
  • Do you play any sport? And if so which one?
  • Who is your favorite sportsman? And why?

Let now move on to some general questions.

  • Why are you giving the IELTS exam?
  • Are you looking to study abroad? If yes, then which University? And why?
  • Have you ever been abroad? If yes, then where?

Questions are usually asked from a maximum of 3 groups out of the 40. This session usually lasts for about 10 to 12 minutes. It’s advised to answer the why part of the question along with the question itself, instead of allowing the examiner to ask “why?” after you have answered the specific question.

Tips:

The IELTS speaking exam requires your full attention. Being attentive will ensure no mistakes and will help you get a good score. Mentioned below are some tips that will help you through the IELTS exam:

  • Don’t try to be cheeky and over-smart. This might create a bad impression on the examiner. Answer the introductory direct questions maintaining a neutral tone. You will be allowed to expand in the subsequent section.
  • Being over-friendly will also reflect poorly on your result. So, it’s best to avoid being too informal.
  • Be natural and avoid being too formal. This might create the perception that you have rehearsed these questions before. 
  • Correct yourself if you make a mistake. That is the most obvious thing to do when you make a mistake. It is always good to correct yourself and it might even convince the examiner to pardon your mistake.
  • If you can’t hear the question, you must voice your concern. This will help in avoiding mistakes arising out of miscommunication. You can say “Sorry, I couldn’t hear the question” or ask, “Could you please repeat the question?”
  • If you do not understand the question, you can always clarify with the examiner by asking questions like “do you mean….?”  or “I couldn’t clearly understand the questions. Could you explain what it means?” 
  • Avoid answering questions with just “yes” or “no”.

On a concluding note, the IELTS exam might not be very difficult for people who have had an English based education or are already proficient in English. But it requires you to be attentive and respond normally. Many people end up getting poor scores because of their attitude and behavior. It is important to maintain decorum and answer genuinely and correctly. The IELTS exam is important while applying abroad for jobs as well as education.

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