IELTS exam in Sri Lanka – November 2008 (General Training), part 1

I must say this is an amazing report you are about to see – let’s thank our friend N from Sri Lanka for sharing his General Training exam experience:

“Being thankful for all the tips shared by others in this blog, I thought of sharing these tips as I have remembered.

Listening test

Overall, the listening paper was of moderate difficulty. However, there were three table-filling questions and a map with a bit of messy explanation. Luckily there were no sections looking for idea searching type of questions.

First section was a conversation about leisure activities. They were talking about three walking tours with different attractions, features, and difficulty levels. You have to listen to the keywords to fill the table summarizing the each tour.

The next task was to fill blanks by listening to keywords again, where they talk about bus routes, bus return times etc.

Second section was difficult compared to the first. The topic for this section is about Dairies and Farming. A group of Australian farmers and farm houses selling their products only to retail customers. This was a radio documentary explaining how you can tour these farms with a map, what the best buying tips, price per kilo of each product (as I remember tomatoes was one answer surprisingly I felt doubtful about its spelling – so you guys better be aware of spellings). This was a table filling question, again listening to the keywords.

As I said before, the map, the first part of the question was not easy to fill. It was talking about how to reach each farm starting from Sydney. They were talking about all directions (go north, go northeast, come back to town center and then take the south east direction, come back to town center again and then get back Sydney likewise) in a map like a star fish.

Section Three: in this section, there were lots of questions inclusive of multiple choice questions, gap filling, and a table to fill. Unfortunately, I do not remember the topic or questions answered in this section.

Reading test

The paper was of a moderate difficulty. If you can score 34+ (correct answers) for sample papers of intermediate difficulty, you could have easily score 7 band for this paper as well. However, I must say, there were lots of text more than you find in a usual sample paper. They are not lengthy (500 words or less I guess), but each section has two different text snippets to read, which is not similar to most of the sample papers I did. For example I did not see this formation in any of the Cambridge IELTS practice books, from 1 to 6 versions. The challenge in this is you have to search and find ideas in two different domains under each section, therefore the timing is really important.

Section one: There were listings of some advertisements/classified sort of boxed descriptions about leisure centers. Your task is to match each of them with some text describing their features. Similar to matching paragraph headings. It is all about looking for keywords, skimming and paraphrasing at minor level. Remember, the challenge is the timing. Do what you can do first and keep the difficult bit for later.

There was another text in this section – that was about a chain of hostels where you can take accommodation as a group or as individuals. They were giving details and facilities of hostels with terms and conditions to apply and stay. Task was TRUE FALSE NG kind of questions.

Section two: first text snippet is about a place called TRAIN CAMPUS, where they have renovate an old train station in to a campus boarding with facilities to students. Here they talk about facilities, renovations done, historical importance of the building as a land mark etc. Task to find ideas and fill T/F/NG based on that.

Second text snippet was about a diploma course for English and its rules, time commitment needs, application procedure, and enrollment prerequisites. Idea searching and Heading Matching for each paragraph of the snippet. This is fairly lengthy snippet. I am sure it was nearly 900 words in this alone. But very easy vocabulary and straight forward ideas.

Did you notice that there were two distinct topics under the same section? So that is the catch.

Section three: a historical event called Great Fire of Britain 1866. This was about why and how the fire happened, why it could not be controlled, how a new city plan was proposed and why it could not be implemented, the great plague from rodents, rebuilding of 71 fire-destroyed cathedrals and the new city architecture.

Surprisingly, this is a nice text, arranged with the cause and effect style with flavor of story telling approach. Therefore, you might really love to read all the text since you are falling love with the historical event and consequences of it. Yet, I think that is the catch in this question. If you are carried away with the lovely story, definitely you are going to loose track of time.

First set of questions was to match some events with timing. For example they asks if the Great Plague happened before, after or during the Great Fire.
Second set of questions was to match ideas and find T/F/NG.

To be continued – Writing and Speaking tests will be described in Part 2.

1 thought on “IELTS exam in Sri Lanka – November 2008 (General Training), part 1”

  1. Pingback: IELTS exam in Sri Lanka - November 2008 (General Training), part 2 | IELTS-Blog

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