IELTS exam in Hamburg, Germany – November 2008 (Academic Module), part 1

This report was kindly provided by I. who sat for the Academic IELTS Module in Hamburg, Germany.

“Unfortunately I was lacking sleep so my concentration was very bad. Generally I must say that I find the IELTS procedures slightly ridiculous.

You may bring a drink, but NO food, no pen or whatever. Just your ID. And remember: you will be sitting in this exam for at least 2 hours and 30 minutes, not counting the time you spend waiting for everything to start.

Go to the toilet BEFORE, as you are not allowed to do so during the test, I mean you are, but you may not go alone, and you WILL lose that time. Anyway, you are not allowed to go in the first and last 5-10 minutes at all. Make sure you have eaten before I wanted to bring a banana- no chance. But, then again, I would not have had the time to eat it anyway, as there is NO TIME.

Listening test

The sound of the CD was very good. I was sitting quite far away from it, like about 8 meters. The instructor made a sound check so we didn’t have to worry.

The first listening section was about a man making an inquiry to a company asking about prices for shipping, what could be bought online and what couldn’t, how long shipping would take, address directions and so on.

In this section you had to fill in the gaps in a text.

The second section was about a tourist information given about a certain island.There you had a box with A, B, C looking at the South, North and Eastern part f the island.
Below that you had to put in the right letter for where hotels were standing, where golf courses were and so on.

Next, you had again to fill in gaps, about what to take with you on the island, such as, medication and that you reception of your mobile devices wouldn’t work and stuff. If I remember it right, there was a small section on a dialogue between two college students, but I am not sure anymore.

The last section was about Australian art, some lady talking about three different types of art, A dynamic, B yam and C modern.This bit was slightly more difficult, as the lady jumped back and forth between those areas.

We had to group A, B and C to certain painting, such as, for instance, paintings with more round figures or ones, where arms and legs were cut off and features like that.I almost missed the last 6 questions since I only realized in the last minute that there were ones at the end of the booklet.

So, make sure that you pay attention to HOW many questions there are, as you do get time to look at the questions BEFORE the actual dialogue or monologue starts.

Reading test

This is where I almost blew it, well, I am very sure that I lost a lot of marks and made quite a few mistakes.This is to the fact that I couldn’t concentrate, and therefore had to read some sentences 3-4 times before actually understanding it.

We had three articles.
First article was on research being made on laughter, looking at and comparing humans, monkeys, and even rats.

We had to group certain statements to the persons who gave them in the article, you had to complete sentences using multiple choice.

Most important and something that cost me valuable time: there was a gap text to fill in given words – not a problem usually, but in this case the given word had LETTERS to them, and you were supposed to fill in the LETTERS onto your answer sheet, NOT the actual words.

I did that wrong and only realized it at the end, so I had to quickly erase my words and put in the letters. Major time loss was the result, as there was a gap text twice, and I made the mistake twice, only realizing at the end!!!

Second article was on status symbols, why we humans think we need them and how archeologists have found proof in some caves in Africa, that even million years ago (or something like that) beads were already used as upgraded or ones beauty or status and so on.

Here we had to do true, false and not given, and also do writers opinion statements. And we had to group headlines to the right paragraph.

Last article was another science one about rarity of plants and animals, and how rarity could be defined generally. As an example they talked about a certain woodpecker, living of pine trees which were torn down by timber companies and how people tried to provide new homes for them.

Again, we had to answer true and false, multiple choice and gap text.

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