IELTS Preparation

Prepare for IELTS

British Council offers access to a wide range of IELTS preparation and study resources to help you prepare for your test. Find out about the different options available and the free IELTS materials provided by the British Council. We can help you get the IELTS score you need, however you prefer to learn.

How to prepare for the IELTS test?

IELTS measures your reading, writing, listening and speaking skills, and assesses your ability to communicate for work, study or life in an English-speaking country.

You will need to undertake a number of focused preparation activities. Some of the recommended preparation activities are:

  • Examine our IELTS practice test papers and answers.
  • Take practice tests under timed conditions.
  • Practise with the British Council’s IELTS online preparation resources, available free when you book your test with the British Council.
  • Buy IELTS self-study books and materials.
  • Consider taking an IELTS preparation course with the British Council.
  • Review our IELTS test day advice.

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Understand the IELTS test format

Make sure you understand the IELTS test format. You need to know what will be expected of you on test day. Look carefully at the content of each part of the IELTS test: listening, reading, writing and speaking. Get to know the different types of questions that you may be asked in each part. You can find more information about the IELTS test format by clicking here.

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Practice IELTS with Road to IELTSPrepare with British Council’s Road to IELTS

Road to IELTS is British Council’s exclusive online preparation resource for both Academic and General Training modules. Test drive Road to IELTS Academic or Road to IELTS General now.

With Road to IELTS you get:

  • Practice zones with e-books to help you prepare for each of the four components of the test: listening, reading, writing and speaking
  • Sample videos with tips from candidates and teacher tutorials, highlighting what to do and what not to do on your test
  • Timed practice tests to measure your progress
  • A My Progress section to help you compare yourself with other students worldwide
  • A My Profile section to remind you of your test date

What are the advantages for you?

  • Instant feedback: you will have instant feedback on your performance and monitor your personal progress
  • Understand your mistakes: you can see the correct answers and receive tips and hints to help you improve
  • Develop confidence: as the exercises are based on real IELTS test tasks, you will become more familiar with the test and so feel more confident

Get free access to 10 hours of online preparation hereWhen you take IELTS with British Council you get 20 hours of extra preparation. Register with us and we will send you access codes so you can use this online service.

Additional IELTS preparation materials

IELTS’s official preparation materials

The official IELTS preparation set includes a full practice test with an answer key and a CD for the listening and speaking parts. It helps candidates get an initial idea of their level and familiarises them with the format of the test. The pack costs SDG 130. Request an IELTS preparation pack here.

IELTS practice tests

Prepare for your test using our free IELTS practice tests available at our Take IELTS website. If you prefer to practise offline, you can download the tests, blank answer sheets, transcripts and answers from the introductory pages and complete them in your own time.

IELTS preparation on British Council’s Learn English website

British Council’s Learn English IELTS section you can find practice materials and advice to help you prepare for the test. There is a series of videos focusing on the speaking module of the test, as well as online practice activities and mock test papers for the other three modules.

IELTS tips from candidates

In this collection of videos from British Council candidates tell the viewer how they prepared for the IELTS test and offer some personal advice.

IELTS Word Power App

Do you want to practice your English vocabulary? British Council IELTS Word Power is a free vocabulary practice app for IELTS test takers. Download IELTS Word Power or follow these instructions.

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IELTS test day advice

Prepare for your test day; success starts with IELTS. You will find the test centre staff friendly, welcoming and highly professional. They will make sure that the test is delivered fairly and securely. Follow their instructions carefully.

The week before the test

  • Check the start time and location of your IELTS test the week before, and make sure you know how to get there on time.
  • Remember, the address of your IELTS test location may be different to that of the test centre where you booked your test.
  • Take the time to read full details of the ‘IELTS test terms and conditions’ for important information about your IELTS test day.

Your IELTS test day

  • You need to arrive in good time for your IELTS test. If you arrive late, you may not be allowed to take the test.
  • Switch off your mobile phone and any other electronic devices. You will be asked to place these with other personal belongings outside the test room.
  • The listening, reading and writing tests take 2 hours 40 minutes and there are no breaks between each part of the test.
  • Make sure you are prepared and have something to eat and drink beforehand. You will not be allowed to take food into the test room; you will only be allowed to take a drink in a transparent bottle.
  • Your identity and photographs
  • The IELTS test location staff will check your identity when you arrive.
  • Make sure you have the right ID with you. If you arrive with the wrong ID, you will not be allowed to take the test.
  • You may also need two recent identical passport-sized photographs.

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