Prepare for IELTS – General Advice

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Be better prepared for IELTS by following the key steps below. Read through examiner approved tips. Understand the test format and rules. Take advantage of the official free practice test materials.

Step 1: Improve your English

It takes time to learn a language and one of the very best ways to learn is to take an English language course.

  • Use your English every day. Read, speak, listen and write in English as often as you can. This is a proven way to improve your English and therefore your IELTS score.
  • Speak English with your friends and family.
  • Listen to English language radio, television and film. Try to listen to a variety of English accents including American, Australian, British, Canadian and New Zealand.
  • Read English publications wherever possible.
  • Write letters, emails or notes in English to practise your written skills.

Step 2: Understand the test format and rules

Familiarise yourself with the test format so that you know what to expect on test day. Remember that

there are two versions of IELTS – IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. The Listening and the

Speaking components are the same for both tests but the Reading and the Writing components are


  • Read all the information literature provided to you by your test centre carefully. It is designed to share essential information about how to respond correctly to each part of the test.
  • Understand the test format as well as the scoring criteria for the test.


Step 3: Practice sample questions

Download and practice taking sample IELTS exam questions. As IELTS is timed, it is critical that you

practice as many sample exam questions as possible and work to build up your speed.

  • Practice the test using free IELTS test sample questions available on this site.
  • Use the Official IELTS Practice Materials (two books available) which you can purchase from your local test centre.

In addition to practicing sample questions you may also wish to consider attending a Free Masterclass


Step 4: Try to feel relaxed on the day before your test

On the day before your test, take the time to refresh your memory of the test rules, test format and

location so that you feel as relaxed as possible.

  • Make sure you know the test rules.
  • Get plenty of rest the night before your test.
  • Plan your journey − ensure you are familiar with the location of the test venue and know how you are going to get there so that you arrive on time.

Computer-Delivered IELTS Quick Tips Videos

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Scores are accepted by over 10,000 organizations worldwide
IELTS recognises both British and American English in terms of spelling, grammar and choice of words.
The IELTS approach is recognized as being fair, reliable and valid to all candidates.
IELTS has been developed in close consultation with academics, professional bodies and immigration authorities

After graduating from university in Russia I applied to a large company in North America for a position that required English language proficiency. With my IELTS score I was able to prove my true-to-life ability to communicate in English for my first international employment opportunity. I have since worked in Bermuda and now live in Singapore, working for one of the most famous hotel brands in the world. With the invaluable experience that I have gained working overseas, IELTS has made a priceless contribution to progress my career and my life.

~Yulia Chelyakova, Conference Services Floor Manager, Singapore~

IELTS has been growing steadily for 20 years because it works. It’s good to know that IELTS has been the choice of millions of people over the years. IELTS stood out immediately because it tests all four skills – reading, writing, speaking and listening, giving a well-rounded assessment of my English.

~Arnik Surasarang, Bangkok, Thailand~