I am offered a place at Cambridge under the condition that I pass IELTS with a 7.0 out of 9.0 score on each part (reading, listening, writing, speaking). I have studied three years on a college in the Netherlands where the instructional language is English. I write papers in English and I feel like the language I use in those papers is quite good and mature. However I still find speaking English a bit unnatural. I want to know how hard IELTS is and whether or not I should study a lot for it. I know that I should get myself acquainted to the way they ask questions, this is not what I mean with studying.

On the internet I found no really useful information on how hard this test is. I am really in the dark here (also I am also quite confident that in principle after three years of studying in English I should be able to cope with the required level).

closed as primarily opinion-based by Jim, Catija, JMB, Lucky, Kreiri May 31 '15 at 12:16

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    I'm voting to close this question because the perceived difficulty of the test will vary from person to person- There is no single correct answer here. – Jim May 31 '15 at 6:16
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    I would like to know how hard the test will be for me (I thought that was obvious) and I try to give an estimate of my level... – user1043065 May 31 '15 at 6:21
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    Generally cross posting is a bad idea. I see you've posted this on ELU, as well. – Catija May 31 '15 at 6:29
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    The problem is that we don't know you at all. We've seen 2 paragraphs of your writing and are being asked to ascertain how you will do on reading, listening, writing, and speaking. My hope is that this test provides a valid assessment of a person's ability to be successful at Cambridge. I would hope that a person who was otherwise not capable of that success would not be able to fool the test by a few nights of studying/cramming, but that a person fluent in English could walk in and take the test cold and pass- otherwise it's not really a very good test. – Jim May 31 '15 at 6:33
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    As for information about IELTS tests, this answer on the Academia stack should be helpful: academia.stackexchange.com/a/40295. – Damkerng T. May 31 '15 at 6:37

For most native Dutch speakers who have been studying in English for several years, an IELTS score of 7.0 should be achievable - with practice. There is no limit on the amount of times you can sit an IELTS exam. My advice to any student who needs to attain a specific grade at IELTS within a short period of time is to do a couple of practice tests from a Cambridge University Press IELTS test book. You won't be able to do the speaking on your own, but you can have a look at the types of question you'll get in the speaking exam, the types of pictures you'll have to compare and the joint tasks you'll have to do. Then book yourself in for an actual IELTS exam as soon as possible. When you get your results, you'll know where your strengths and weaknesses are and what you have to improve. You can then devote your time to the right areas before you do another test.

Very often you might get the result you need first time and you will have saved a lot of time and stress revising for something that you don't need to revise for.

To all students reading this who are going to sit their IELTS exams, good luck and remember the two golden rules of IELTS:

  • RTFI - Read the instructions
  • ATFQ - Answer the question

There are plenty of online resources to allow you to know more about the IELTS test and how you would do in it. Just google. 7 is a very high score and you are unlikely to be able to get it without working hard on your English skills judging from what you wrote. 6.5 is a much lower score by the way.

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    I don't entirely agree. 7.0 is not really that high a score for people who have already been studying in English for several years, especially if they are Dutch speakers. The OP's writing is basically 7ish + already (lot's of devices for expressing modality, correct word order in indirect questions, nice range of idioms. Basically a very good range of grammatical and lexical range. A few tiny spelling issues and a couple of preposition mistakes, but these don't have any great negative impact. Overall, the task achievement is fine. – Araucaria May 31 '15 at 12:37

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