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The 5 (little Known) Myths Of IELTS

The 5 (little known) myths of IELTS

Myth 1. You can use the general test certificate for academic purposes and vice versa.

Different institutions require one to produce a specific certificate. Academic institutions will only accept an academic test certificate while a general test certificate is required for work or vacation purposes. Make sure to confirm with your immigration agent or institution the option to write before you book the test.

Myth 2. Social status gives you leverage in the test.

Fame and prominence is not recognized as currency when it comes to IELTS. I encountered on numerous occasions prominent individuals who tried to use their social status to gain favor in the test. IELTS staff are trained to treat all candidates with respect and in a manner that does not compromise the integrity of the test. Even if your face is all over media, when you write IELTS, you write as a candidate not a celebrity.

Myth 3. You can bribe your way to a higher score.

You may have heard that you can buy yourself a good score.  You might meet people at venues who say they have access to scripts and can alter your marks or ensure you pass for a fee. Chances are likely you are being conned. The collection, storage, marking and processing of certificates is a highly regulated process with checks and balances that make it next to impossible to corrupt or tamper with. If you are a gambler at heart and want to pursue such clandestine avenues, know very well you stand a good chance of losing your money.

Myth 4. You can get a better mark by requesting a remark.

The remark process is lengthy and tedious. It takes weeks to process as the script under question has to be sent to the headquarters in the UK and back again to the center of origin. In all my years of involvement with the IELTS test, I have seen only one or two instances where the score was increased. And even then the margin of increase was 0.5 % which did not make much of a difference in the overall band score. From experience I do not encourage a remark request as it is a futile exercise. The best thing to do in cases where the band score was not achieved is to retake the test as soon as possible.

Myth 5. You can complain your way to a better score.

Some candidates, as soon as they realize that the test did not go in their favor, take to complaining on social media about any and everything. By generating bad publicity, they are hoping to embarrass the administering body into giving them a certificate just to silence them. Complaints are addressed through a process of investigation. In my experience, most of the complaints are usually cosmetic and do not warrant anything more than an apology. Making a lot of noise on social media is not a short cut to securing a certificate.

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