IELTS test still required for health workers in the UK

Language rules introduced to curb immigration are set to be relaxed after they prevented native English-speaking nurses from working in the NHS.

The NHS has a shortage of 40,000 nurses and recruiters and NHS employers have been lobbying for looser language requirements so that thousands of nurses from countries such as Australia, India and the Philippines can work in Britain.

In June, the Observer uncovered evidence that Australians and other native English-speaking nurses were being turned down because they could not pass the International English Language Testing System test. Now the Nursing and Midwifery Council will consider a measure on Wednesday to allow other measures such as the Occupational English Test.

Nurses with a recent qualification that was taught in English and nurses who have worked for two years in a country where English is the native language would also qualify. If patient organisations and NHS bodies also agree to the proposals, the changes could be introduced next month.

In 2016 the government forced all public sector bodies to introduce strict tests for new employees. Matthew Hancock, then the Cabinet Office minister, said tests were necessary to control immigration “for the benefit of all hard-working people”. As a result the NMC brought in the IELTS test, but it led to a dramatic drop in foreign nurses registering in the UK, from 1,304 EU nurses in July 2016 to just 46 in April this year.

Recruitment firms such as HCL said that many English-speaking nurses struggled with the written part of IELTS – an essay-based exam. Candidates need to score at least seven out of nine in each of four sections.

The NMC is still looking at whether or not it should reduce the required minimum score.

Teresa Wilson, HCL’s international operations manager, said research showed the two main reasons for failing IELTS were “incorrect tenses and essay structure”.

“These are hardly issues that should preclude a skilled nurse from fulfilling a nursing role effectively,” she said. “The current system is suffocating the vital supply of highly skilled foreign nurses who want to work in our NHS.”

This article was first published in The Guardian on 24th September 2017.

Some tips on the writing part of the IELTS exam

I specialise in writing instruction for the essay part 2 question which is always the hardest to get a high band score in. Although I will also extensively cover all 4 parts of the test.

Here is an overview of what we will go over.

The IELTS Writing test is designed to assess a wide range of writing skills, including how well you:

  • Write a response appropriately
  • Organise ideas
  • Demonstrate that you have understood the question
  • Can argue showing both sides of a debate
  • Use a range of vocabulary and grammar accurately
  • Write clearly, organise your ideas and use varied lexis

Timing

The IELTS Writing test takes 60 minutes. Spend 20 minutes on Task 1, and 40 minutes on Task 2.

You will need to manage your own time, so make sure you move on to Task 2 after 20 minutes.

Two tasks

There are two tasks in the IELTS Writing test. You will be asked to write at least 150 words for Task 1 and at least 250 words for Task 2.

IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training Writing tests

The content of the Writing test is different for IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training tests.

IELTS Academic Writing test

Write in a formal style in the IELTS Academic Writing test.

In Task 1 you will be presented with a graph, table, chart or diagram. You will be asked to describe, summarize or explain the information in your own words. This might involve describing and explaining data, describing the stages of a process or how something works, or describing an object or event.

In Task 2 you will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. You should find the issues interesting and easy to understand. 

The importance of planning

Planning an essay is the best way to achieve a band 7 score on the Task 2 IELTS writing task. The essay takes 40 minutes to complete but you should take at least 10 minutes to plan your essay before you start to write.

NEVER START UNTIL YOU’VE COMPLETED YOUR ESSAY PLAN.

Examiners will  give you a higher score if your essay is clear to read. If the essay is well planned your essay will be easier to follow.

Make sure your essay uses ‘information chunking’. This is the way you can write by separating your essay into logical sections or ‘chunks’ so it is easier to follow.

Creating ideas for your essay

The examiner will give you a high band score if you present a number of clear relevant ideas to support your argument or point of view.

Ideas should be organized into three basic categories: positions, main ideas and supporting ideas. These will form the order and content of each of your paragraphs.

For more information on how to create and use these email [email protected]

IELTS General Writing test

The topics used in the IELTS General Training Writing test are of general interest.

In Task 1 you will be presented with a situation and asked to write a letter requesting information or explaining the situation. You can write the letter in a personal, semi-formal or formal style.

In Task 2 you will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. You can use a fairly personal style.

Discursive Writing

What is Discursive Writing?

There are two basic types of Discursive writing. Firstly there is persuasive writing in which you can argue strongly either in favour of or against a given discussion. Alternatively, there is argumentative writing where you look at a discussion topic in a balanced way.

This is a valuable skill to have in any Senior Management Position and will improve your promotion prospects and wider career development potential.

Email [email protected] for details of tailor-made English Writing Courses available.

Business English-15 minutes from Liverpool Street

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Each lesson is 2 hours long. All course materials and homework assignments are included in the price.

Level: Upper Intermediate English to Advanced English (C1-C2 CEF).

Some of the areas covered:

  • Business Writing
  • Meeting Role Play
  • Presentation Skills
  • Speech Writing
  • Advanced Vocabulary for Business
  • Social Media
  • Marketing Writing
  • Report Writing
  • Writing Style Guidance
  • Discursive Writing
  • Financial Analysis
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Improve your English skills in a group class of 6 students in an exciting, fun and dynamic environment. Lessons take place in one of our modern multi-media conference rooms just 15 minutes from Liverpool Street, 30 seconds walk from London Fields Station (London Overground).

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Email [email protected] for more details

What is Discursive Writing?

There are two basic types of Discursive writing. Firstly there is persuasive writing in which you can argue strongly either in favour of or against a given discussion. Alternatively, there is argumentative writing where you look at a discussion topic in a balanced way.

This is a valuable skill to have in any Senior Management Position and will improve your promotion prospects and wider career development potential.

Email [email protected] for details of tailor-made English Writing Courses available.

 

 

The future of IELTS in the land of Brexit …

The International English Language Testing System or IELTS for short, is the pre-eminent English exam for non-native speakers looking to emigrate to the UK, Canada or Australia. This is called The General IELTS exam. The Academic form of the IELTS exam is accepted for non-native speakers for university entry and further career advancement globally, including the US.

This site was created as a guide for English Language learners following the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum that took place on June 23rd 2016.

By a small majority, the country voted to leave the European Union and this decision will have major ramifications for the future of both European citizens planning to move to Britain and citizens that are already living here.

What impact will the decision have on European citizens’ English language requirements? Will there be more stringent testing? Will the IELTS band score 9 be changed in the light of Brexit? There has been talk of a new test being implemented similar to the Life In The UK test used for spouse visas.

Whatever happens, make sure you are ready to take the English test. As the saying goes, forewarned is forearmed.

Use the contact details on this site for any inquiries about IELTS exam preparation. We are here to help, so feel free to ask any questions you have about the IELTS exam.