On one side the Covid-19 pandemic has left all of us locked inside our homes and has led to the shut down of IELTS test centres nationwide. On the other side, many international universities are still open to applications from students around the world. So, the IELTS organisation came up with an online test – the IELTS Indicator as a temporary solution. Now, you can go ahead and take the test from the safety of your home and continue your study abroad journey without a hitch.
Just like the regular in-person IELTS test, the online version is also a standard English test that is used to assess the four basic English skills (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking) of the students. Though it bears a lot of resemblance to the original test, it is just a quick fix and not an alternative to the in-person test.
Applying for the IELTS Indicator test
The application process is pretty simple. All you’ve got to do is
- Go on to the official IELTS Indicator test booking page
- Select your preferred exam date – The IELTS Indicator test occurs every week on Wednesday and multiple test slots are available per day. You can also apply as early as three weeks prior to your preferred exam date.
- Book an appointment for the speaking test. – Again multiple slots are available, choose the one that you are most comfortable with.
- Create a user account – You will have to enter your passport number or your national identification number while creating the account. You also need to upload a picture of your ID. Make sure that you have them handy while applying.
- Choose your preferred universities – This is an optional step. Once the scores come in after the test, they will be directly sent to your chosen universities.
- Finish the process by paying online and voila you’re done.
IELTS will respond with a confirmation date for the first three sections (reading, writing and listening). You will later be intimated about the speaking test, two days prior to taking the test.
You need to have your gadgets with you before starting the test. Here is a checklist.
- A laptop or a desktop computer (You should also download the safe exams browser (SEB) before taking the test. The link for the download will be given through your IELTS Indicator confirmation mail.)
- Stable internet connection
- Web camera and microphone in working condition (specifically for the speaking test)
- Headphones (to hear the pre-recorded audio track in the listening section of the test)
Different sections adapted for online tests
Reading, Writing, Listening sections
The structure of these three sections including the number of questions and the type of questions are identical to a regular in-person IELTS test. The only change is that you get to take it from home. Plus, you have to take the three sections at a stretch. You cannot finish one section, take a snack break and come back for the others.
You cannot pause a section and resume it later. Taking a test from home is very comfortable but the downside is interruptions. Hence, you need to book your exam at a time when you can set aside two and a half hours to completely finish these sections.
A small tip from our side: A significant problem with at-home tests (as already mentioned earlier) is that you can be easily distracted. It is particularly hard to concentrate in an informal location like our living room couch. To tackle this, set up a table and a chair with adequate lighting in a quiet space in your house. Take many mock tests in that location under the same setting. This way, you can get used to test-taking at home and concentrate during your final exam.
Like the other sections, the test structure is similar to a regular test in the case of the speaking section as well. Now coming to the differences, in a regular IELTS test, this section will feel more or less like a personal interview. When it comes to the IELTS Indicator, you will be connecting with trained examiners during a fixed time through an online video call for the speaking section of the test. The entire call will last between 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure to look professional and be confident. You should do just fine.
For prep tips and more information on the different sections read – How to Prepare For Your IELTS Exam
The allocation for marks is the same as the original IELTS tests and it is marked and graded by trained examiners so the results are as accurate as a regular test. Once you’ve given the test you will receive the results in 2- 7 days.
Universities accepting IELTS Indicator scores
Since the IELTS indicator online test is a standard product of the IELTS organisation most of the top universities accept these scores for their application process. Universities in many study destinations including Canada, the USA, the UK, New Zealand, and Ireland have officially stated that they will accept the IELTS Indicator test scores. Even if these scores are accepted now you might be required to take the test again once the regular test resumes. Before taking the test, talk to university representatives or educational consultants to make sure that your target universities accept the test.
Now that you have all this information, make sure to process it well, plan strategically and ace your IELTS online test. All the best!