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International English Testing System

Familiarisation Workshops

English Language Centre

Hong Kong Polytechnic
Workshop Format
- Structure
- Scoring
- Help
- Q&A
Speaking and Listening
The Test
All Candidates are tested in listening,
reading, writing and speaking.

Listening 30 mins
Reading 60 mins
Writing 60 mins
Speaking 11 – 14 mins
Total test time 2 hours 45 minutes
excluding breaks.
Time: 30 minutes 4 sections, 40
Real-world listening situations
Range of topics and tasks
- listening for specific information
e.g.dates, place names
- understanding gist
- understanding speaker attitude/opinion
Listening Test Format
Section 1: conversation – 2 speakers
Section 2: monologue
Section 3: conversation – 4 speakers
Section 4: lecture
General listening strategies
Recording is played once
Familiarise yourself with question types
- completing a chart
- selecting pictures
- note-taking exercises
-MC questions
Time: 60 minutes 3 reading
passages, totally 40 questions
Texts are taken from books,
magazines, journals and newspapers
Question types
- find detailed information
- identify attitudes and views
- complete a diagram
General Reading Strategies
Identify reading skills being tested
Practise these skills
Time: 60 minutes 2 tasks
Task 1(20mins): descriptive report of
a table or diagram, 150 words
Task 2(40 mins):250 word essay in
response to an opinion or a problem.
Discuss issues, construct an
argument and use the appropriate
tone and register.
General Writing Strategies
Read the question carefully

Familiarise yourself with descriptions

of data – in newspapers, textbooks

Practise formulating your own ideas

on topics
Time: 10 – 15 minutes
Face to face interview between one
candidate and one examiner.
Part 1(4-5mins): Introduction and
Part 2(1-3 mins incl. prep): Individual talk
Part 3(4-5 mins): Discussion topics
Speak fluently and link ideas
Demonstrate a range of appropriate
Use accurate grammar and
appropriate register
Speak so that a listener can
Speaking strategies
Part 1
– Take the initiative if possible
– Always say more than yes or no
– Try to overcome nerves
Speaking Strategies
Part 2
- Take the 1 min preparation time
- Jot down some main ideas
- Sound interested in the talk
Speaking Strategies
Part 3
- Give informed responses
- Demonstrate your control of the
- Attempt to express abstract ideas
- Support your opinions
- Show that you are willing to provide
extended replies
IELTS provides a profile of a
candidate’s ability to use English
Candidates receive a score on a Band
Scale from 1-9
Scores on the IELTS test are graded into nine
bands as follows:

Band 0-Did not attempt the test

Band 1-Non User
Band 2-Intermittent User
Band 3-Extremely Limited User
Band 4-Limited User
Band 5-Modest User
Band 6-Competent User
Has generally effective command of
the language despite some
inaccuracies, inappropriacies and
misunderstandings. Can use and
understand fairly complex language,
particularly in familiar situations.
Band 7-Good User
Band 8-Very Good User
Band 9 -Expert User
General Strategies
Familiarise yourself with the test.
Time Management
CILL – Centre for Independent Language
Learning, Core A 3/F

SAP – Speaking Assistance Programme

Core A 3/F

WAP – Writing Assistance Programme

Core A 3/F
Useful books
Cambridge IELTS 3 with answers
Insight into IELTS – Vanessa
Jakeman & Clare McDowell (CUP)
Useful websites
UGC Introductory site

IELTS homepage

ELC homepage