Prepping for IELTS? You can soon re-take a single module instead of all four

Akshata Kamath
Akshata KamathNov 18, 2022 | 17:14

Prepping for IELTS? You can soon re-take a single module instead of all four

IELTS exams are set to make life easier for students retaking the exam. (Photo: Getty Images)

From March 2023, students appearing for the IELTS exam will have the option of re-taking one module of IELTS instead of all four, if they do not get the desired score on the first attempt. This will help those students who scored well in most modules but missed out on one module due to some problem or the other.

First, what is IELTS? If you ever have to work, study, or migrate to a country like the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, or any other country where English is the native language, you need to take an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam and score very well in it. Since this IELTS score is necessary to secure admission to a good college program or for those who want to work abroad, scoring well in this test becomes essential. Also, the better the band and the faster you clear it, the better your chances.

Now, some context: The intent of the IELTS exam is to test students in 4 modules at a given point in time. These four modules are:

  • Listening,
  • Reading,
  • Writing, and
  • Speaking.

Now, the IELTS Exam awards marks in the form of 'bands', and students are marked from a band of 0 to 9 in each of the 4 modules

So, students have historically always retaken the entire test for all four modules if they did not score well on their test. 

But now, with the new 'One Skill Retake' feature, a student can improve their band score by retaking just one module of the test instead of retaking the whole test again. 

How it will work: During the exam, it is quite possible that a candidate scores well in most modules but loses marks in just one module because of loss of judgement, anxiety, or a tiny error on their part.

Photo: Getty Images

This small error could force students to score less in one module while scoring well in others. This would also mean that they would be forced to retake the entire test, pay a bomb for the retest, and appear for all four modules again. Sounds quite taxing and time-consuming, doesn't it? It probably is. 

That's why the new option of 'One Skill Retake'.

What is this One Skill Retake? Though the pricing and other details are yet to be announced, a One Skill Retake pilot project was introduced in Australia in November 2022 and is set to be introduced in India from March 2023. This new option will allow candidates to reappear for one of the four modules so that they can reach their career and study goals faster. 

Who will this work best for? DailyO spoke to Harkishan Singh, former head of Business Development at British Council to better understand this situation. Singh tells DailyO that the general perception is that a student will score in a similar band range in all four modules.

"If a student scores a 5.5 in Writing, it means that they can score somewhere between 5 and 6 in Reading and Understanding. It is very unlikely that they will score a '9' in one random module. So, say a student scored a 7 to 7.5 in three modules and scored a 6 in the fourth module, this feature will be beneficial for this student since they can retake the fourth module alone and score better."
- Harkishan Singh, former head of Business Development, British Council

The bigger picture: Harkishan Singh tells us that this move is being welcomed by most, since it will encourage more students and professionals to expedite their transition process abroad.

"It will also reduce their stress of appearing for all four modules if they score less in one module," says Singh.

This is a great advantage at this time because:

  • Many foreign countries like Canada and the UK are opening up their economy to host more Indian students and professionals.
  • Since India has the most number of people who classify as the 'young population', there is a lot of demand to study and work abroad.
  • Over the last few years, lesser number of Chinese residents have been moving abroad, which has increased the pressure on international institutions to invite more candidates from India.
Last updated: November 18, 2022 | 17:14
    Please log in
    I agree with DailyO's privacy policy