Monday, May 13, 2013

6 Reasons to Take IELTS If Studying in Canada

IELTS (Photo credit: nathan17)
by Helen R Khan

Many students are under the impression that they do not need to write the IELTS exam before going to study in Canada.

While it may not be a stipulated requirement by some universities or colleges, there are several good reasons why preparing for this exam and passing it will benefit you.

• English Proficiency is an absolute must if you want to do well at your studies in Canada. Unless you are an O or A Level student or have studied at an English medium university, you do not have the competency required to meet the admission requirements in Canada or any other English speaking country.

• English language skills may still be tested. If you don't have IELTS or TOEFL some universities or colleges will test your English proficiency upon arrival at the institution. For example NAIT, in Edmonton, Alberta does not require IELTS or TOEFL. But they will test you upon arrival. If you fail their tests you will be required to take their English language program before entering your desired program. This means that your study period in Canada will be prolonged and you will have to spend more funds to cover the cost of these English language classes. This is time and money you could have saved if you had taken an IELTS exam preparation course and passed your exam with a 6.5 or 7 Band.

• Writing Skills Improvement: The writing proficiency level for academic studies in Canada is very high. Most students, even if they are O Level or attend an English medium university in their home country do not have the required academic writing skills that are the expectation at a Canadian university or college. Therefore you can expect to do poorly in your term papers and/or thesis. Even if think you can get away with not writing the IELTS exam, you should take aExam Preparation course and learn how to write according to academic expectations in an English speaking country.

• Save money and time: If you take your IELTS exam Preparation course before you leave to study in Canada and if you write the exam; you will save both time and money before going abroad. English language classes there will be at minimum 1 semester (4 months) and cost you in Canadian dollars.

• Improve your listening skills: Especially if you take a preparation course from a native English speaker, you will have trained your ears to understand the speed at which a native English speaker speaks. Once you are in Canada, you will find that English speakers speak very fast and you may not understand what they are saying. You can miss half of your lecture that way.

• Canadian permanent residency requirement: Although the university may not require IELTS, the Canadian government does. Even if you have graduated from a Canadian university or college and are applying for residency, you will still have to write this exam in Canada.

No, you do not HAVE to write the exam, but when you consider the above benefits to writing the exam in your home country, you may want to reconsider and along with writing the exam, you will want to take an IELTS Exam Preparation Course.

Helen Khan is an international student consultant who teaches IELTS exam preparation courses at Alberta Rose Education Centre in Lahore, Pakistan. She has studied at the university level in Canada so knows the value and importance of the IELTS exam and preparing to get a good Band.

For further information about IELTS and the courses offered visit their website at

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