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LearnEnglish Professionals - IELTS
IELTS, exams and study skills
What is IELTS? Read about the exam
IELTS Reading 1 - Practice texts
IELTS Reading 2 - Exam Papers
IELTS Writing - General information
IELTS Academic writing
IELTS Listening
IELTS Listening tips 1 & 2
IELTS Speaking
the IELTS website
IELTS practice - CityU, Hong Kong
IELTS practice - Holmesglen, Australia
To take IELTS in the UK
Index to IELTS Preparation Materials
Welcome to IELTS preparation!

The IELTS exam assesses how well you can understand and use the kind of English you need to study in an English-speaking country.  There are four tests which all candidates have to take:  listening, reading, writing and speaking.  The tests are always taken in this order, and the first three tests are always taken in one day, with the speaking test taken on the same day or up to two days later.  Each test focuses on a different skill:

Listening - you will need to understand spoken English in both everyday life and much more formal situations, such as lectures and seminars.  
Reading - when you study you will not have time to read all the books on your reading lists so you must be able to find important information quickly and accurately from a number of sources.
Writing - when you have collected your information and your thoughts you will be asked to present your ideas as a formal essay or report.
Speaking - you will also need to ask for information, to talk about yourself and to express your ideas in a variety of situations
Time-management - while you are studying, researching or working you will constantly be under great time pressure to find information, think quickly and respond appropriately.  Throughout, IELTS assesses how well you can do all of these.

The modules:  The listening and speaking tests are the same for all candidates but the reading and writing sections of IELTS are available in two different modules:  General Training and Academic. The General Training module is usually taken by people who want to emigrate, and the Academic module is taken by people who want to study abroad. All candidates choose one of these modules depending on the kind of course they intend to follow. You must check with the receiving country or institution to find out which module you need to take.

IELTS is not designed to assess your specialised knowledge and you may not get questions from your particular field.  You should not worry about this because what IELTS is testing is your English.

Scores:    You do not pass or fail with IELTS.  You are given a band score which shows your ability in each of the four tests and an overall band.  When you apply to a university or college they may specify which band you need to be accepted on the course.  All four modules have the same importance.

Results:   IELTS provides a Test Report Form giving a profile of ability to use English as assessed by the Test. A score in each of the four modules, and an overall score, are recorded as levels of ability, called Bands. These Band Scores are recorded on the candidate’s Test Report Form. Each Band corresponds to a generalised descriptive statement of a candidate’s English at that level. The profile provided on an IELTS Test Report Form is normally valid for a period of two years.  Results are normally issued within two weeks of a candidate taking the test.

Examination dates:    Each of the test centres schedules their administrations to suit local needs. Individual centres should be contacted for their programmes.

Examination centres:    the British Council helps nearly a million people every year achieve their goals by obtaining a UK qualification, and we can help you, too.  Contact your nearest British Council Centre or www.ielts.org to find out how to take IELTS with us.

To see the Index to all our IELTS Preparation materials, click here.

Click here to read about the IELTS exam and do some activities.

Click here to listen to some candidates having a pre-course interview and do some activities.

IELTS Preparation homepage
What is IELTS?
Listen to a pre-course interview
IELTS Reading 1
Practice texts
The beetle's secret life cycle
Brain reorganisation
Tourism in Cyprus
To sleep, to sleep...
Desktop publishing
Reading Skills
Recruitment trends
IELTS Reading 2
Exam Papers
IELTS Reading Paper 1-1
IELTS Reading Paper 1-2
IELTS Reading Paper 1-3
IELTS Reading Paper 2-1
IELTS Reading Paper 2-2
IELTS Reading Paper 2-3
IELTS Writing
General information
Writing task 1
Writing task 2
IELTS Academic
writing lessons
Lesson 1a
Lesson 1b
Lesson 2a
Lesson 2b
Lesson 3a
Lesson 3b
Lesson 4a
Lesson 4b
Lesson 5a
Lesson 5b
IELTS Listening
Listening section 1- practice 1
Listening section 1 - practice 2
Listening section 2
Listening sections 3 and 4
IELTS Speaking
Speaking Parts 1 and 2
Speaking part 3

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