difference between the Hong Kong HKCEE and IELTS
Chun Hung from Hong Kong asks:
I'm a fashion design student in Hong Kong. I'm planning to study in
London, but first of all I have to take the IELTS English test. I
would like to know what's the difference between the Hong Kong HKCEE
and IELTS. Is it simply the same?
haven't been able to find out very much about the HKCEE, but I don't
think they can be identical. IELTS (International English Language
Testing System) is designed to provide an assessment of non-native
speakers' language competence for study or training through the medium
of English. It is recognised by British higher and further education
institutions as fulfilling English language entrance requirements
and by professional bodies such as The General Medical Council.
is broadly similar in format and design to the UCLES FCE and CAE
exams, which you may be more familiar with, and comprises separate
listening, speaking, reading and writing tests. Differences include:
the listening is only heard once in IELTS, there is no choice in
the writing tasks and the speaking test is not quite as structured
as in FCE or CAE and is conducted on a one-to-one basis, rather
than two examiners to two candidates.
benefit of IELTS to the candidate is that it is not held on set dates
during the year. Test centres all over the world arrange for IELTS
to be taken at any time according to local need and test results come
out within two weeks of taking the test.
their performance on each of the four sub tests (listening, speaking,
reading and writing), candidates receive separate scores on a band
scale of 1 to 9 and then an overall band score in which individual
scores are added together and then averaged.
institutions and departments - in your case fashion design - then
review the band scores and educational background of the candidate
and, if they want to offer him a place, decide whether he is likely
to be able to pursue the course of study with or without additional
English study first of all.
a linguistically less demanding course such as fashion design, it
may be the case that the institution might be satisfied with an overall
band score of 6.0 or 6.5, rather than the higher level band of 7.0.
The appropriate level required for a given course of study or training
is ultimately something which institutions decide in the light of
their knowledge of their own courses and their experience of overseas
students taking them.
IELTS Handbook defines Band 6 as reflecting a:
'COMPETENT USER: Has generally effective command of the language
despite some inaccuracies, inappropriaces and misunderstandings.
Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in
Band 7 will reflect the abilities of a:
USER: Has operational command of the language, though with occasional
inaccuracies, inappropriaces and misunderstandings in some situations.
Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed
I hope this is helpful. Try to obtain the IELTS Handbook and the
specimen materials that are available. These will give you all the
detailed information that you need. Contact UCLES in Cambridge who
jointly manage IELTS with The British Council and IDP Education
Australia. The website address is: www.ielts.org
and the email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org