The number of IELTS test takers in India increased by about 15% after the pandemic hit the world, recent data by IDP Education said. Not just the test takers but the format of IELTS also changed in the pandemic. What followed were frauds and ghostwriting services floating in the market of IELTS. Let’s have a look at how the English proficiency test shaped itself and its conduct during the pandemic years.
What is the IELTS exam?
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a globally standardised test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. The exam is trusted by more than 10,000 organisations around the world as an indicator of English language proficiency.
Students take the academic version of the exam, which is required by the universities abroad to determine the proficiency of the person in the English language. Apart from IELTS Academic, the IELTS General Training test is taken by people who want to work abroad. It gauges the candidate’s English proficiency in a more day-to-day context.
Why are more people taking the IELTS test in the pandemic?
Experts say that the pandemic hasn’t been great on the Indian education system when compared with other countries. People are still stuck with online classes, whereas students in other countries had the chance to go to colleges for a fair amount of the pandemic years. Meanwhile, students back in India are now exploring more opportunities because of their distance from their colleges. Spending more time in front of screens, the students are exploring options to grow on their own which might also be the reason for their increased growth as test takers.
Another reason might be the ease of online IELTS tests. People found the pandemic as a good opportunity to rush into taking the test, even in the initial years of their colleges. At-home IELTS is much more convenient as the students are able to seek external help.
The rise of IELTS solving gangs
IELTS exam takers gave hefty sums to some ghostwriters who were exploiting the online service of the English proficiency test to let them give the exam in place of the original examinee.
Just as 2022 began, the Delhi police arrested one Raj Teodia who was allegedly involved in running one such gangs. The police said that sophisticated applications such as Ultraviewer, Teamviewer, and Imperius Remote were used by his racket to access the device of the examinee and took the exam remotely. Not just the IELTS but also exams like GRE, GMAT and even JEE. Lakhs of rupees are charged by these gangs in exchange for top scores.