IELTS preparation – Your step-by-step guide

Do you need to take your IELTS test soon? Are you getting ready to start preparing for the test?  There are a variety of free preparation resources available online and sometimes this can feel a bit confusing as it can be hard to know where to start.  Let’s look at a step-by-step guide on how to navigate our preparation resources so that you can avoid this confusion and get ready for test day!

How do I prepare for my Reading and Listening Test?

Step 1: Understand the test format

It is important to know the structure of the test.  How many questions do you have to answer?  How many sections are there?  What are the types of questions you will see? What are the types of reading or listening passages are there?  Find out more about the IELTS Test Format.

Step 2: Take a practice test

Take an IELTS practice test to see where you are at present.  It is important that you experience sitting a test under timed conditions, so you know what to expect on test day. Work out your correct answers and calculate your band score. If you are close to your desired band score then well done!  If you are not close to the band score that you need, then move on to the next step.

Step 3: Work on your weaknesses

Carefully analyse what areas you need work on.  Is there a specific part of the Reading or Listening section that you need to work on?  Are there questions that are particularly challenging? Once you have identified these weaknesses, then get working on them!  There are a lot of practice materials on our prepare page:

  • An online preparation course. Practice test questions under timed conditions. Watch videos of previous test takers for test day tips and advice.  Get expert advice by watching videos of our IELTS tutors. Track your progress to see how you are improving.
  • Free webinars by our IELTS experts. Attend the webinars that are focused on the skills you need to improve on. Take the opportunity to ask questions about any points that you are unsure of.
  • Sign up for our study pack. Don’t waste time searching for material IELTS preparation material online. Sign up for your study pack and get learning material straight to your inbox!
  • Download our IELTS Preparation App. Our App has a range of excellent preparation resources so that you can prepare for IELTS anywhere!

Step 4:  Take another practice test. Hopefully, if you have used our resources to work on your weaknesses then you will see an improvement in scores.  It does take a bit of time to see improvement so stick with it and you will see success!

How do I prepare for my IELTS Writing & Speaking test?

Step 1: Get familiar with the test format.  You will need to know what is required in the different parts of the test and the types of questions you may be asked and ways to answer them.

Step 2: You will then need to assess where your current level is.  This can be a bit challenging to do on your own.  It is recommended to get help here.  It is worth investing in on online tutor who can assess your speaking and writing skills and guide you on what you need to do to improve.

Step 3: Work on your weaknesses that have been identified by your tutor then practice these. You can use the preparation materials on our IELTS preparation page. Make sure you get your tutor to check your work and advise on where you are improving.  Also, you can do some self-assessment by comparing your work with the IELTS band descriptors:

Step 4: Take another practice test and get your level assessed so that you know if you are ready for test day.

Preparing for IELTS success can take time and it is important that you have a plan for success, so follow these extra tips to help you get the band score you need:

  • Make a plan: Using the steps highlighted above, make a plan for success where you detail all the actions you will take in your IELTS preparation. Make sure you are consistent with your progress and that you track what you are doing.
  • Get help: Make sure you use all the preparation materials available to you and get the help of a tutor if you need one.
  • Be positive: If you don’t see major improvements straightaway, don’t be disheartened. If you stick to the plan, you will see results!

Best of luck with your IELTS preparation!

Visit the IELTS Canada homepage to find out more.

If you are ready to take your test, visit our IELTS registration page.