How to prepare for the IELTS test

Prepare for success with IELTS, one of the world’s most trusted English language tests.

Since 1989, IELTS has helped tens of millions of people to study, work and live in English-speaking countries. Part of our successful track record in English language testing is the support we offer to test takers. 

In this section of the website you’ll find a range of materials to help you prepare for IELTS.

Step 1: Understanding the IELTS test format

Your first step is getting acquainted with the test format so you’ll know what to expect on the day. Make sure you:
Study the test format to make sure you know what to expect.
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.

Step 2: Use our practice materials

When you’ve familiarised yourself with the IELTS test format, we advise test takers to prepare using our range of preparation activities.

We recommend undertaking some or all of these activities:

Download the new IELTS Prep App which includes practice tests, tips and quizzes.
Take Road to IELTS, the comprehensive e-course designed by the British Council.
Get to know our IELTS practice test papers and answers.
Take practice tests under timed conditions.
Practise with IELTS online preparation resources, available free when you book your test with the British Council.
Take an IELTS preparation course with the British Council.
Make sure you read all of our IELTS test day advice.

Advice for native speakers

Some native English speakers are surprised to find that they score lower grades than non-native English speakers who have only been studying English for a few years. This can happen if you take IELTS unprepared.

If you are a native English speaker and need to take IELTS to emigrate, make sure you prepare for the test!

Get Free IELTS Practice Material

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Download the new IELTS Prep App

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IELTS preparation advice
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General tips