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Prepare for your IELTS test

Make sure you are ready to demonstrate your English language skills

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Understand the test format

Familiarise yourself with the format of the test by reviewing the content of the test, as well as the question and task types for each section. It’s also important to read through the IELTS rules and regulations. These are laid out in the Notice to Candidates and Declaration which are included in the application form.

Review the test format
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Practise with sample test questions

Completing sample test materials is helpful in preparing for your test. These will give you an idea of what to expect in the Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking tests.

Sample test questions
Official IELTS Practice Materials

Official IELTS practice materials

You may find it helpful to do a practice test. IELTS has developed two sets of official practice materials, designed to help you understand the test format and the types of test questions.

Both volumes of the practice materials offer samples of the Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking tests with sample answers and examiner comments. The CD in Vol. 1 offers samples of the Listening test and the DVD in Vol. 2 shows test takers taking the Speaking test. These are the only IELTS practice materials endorsed by the IELTS partners. You can purchase official IELTS sample materials from Cambridge University Press (click on the links above), or from an IELTS test centre.

Purchase from your test centre

IELTS Progress Check

IELTS Progress Check is an official, online practice test. Completed tests are marked by IELTS trained and qualified markers and you will receive an official feedback report, including an indicative overall test band score as well as a band score for each section of the test (Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking). All within 5 days of completing your IELTS Progress Check practice test!
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Consider a preparation course

If you would like assistance with test preparation, IELTS centres and language schools around the world offer IELTS preparation courses. You don’t have to attend a preparation course, but many test takers find that doing so helps them improve their performance. Talk to your local IELTS test centre to find out more.

Find your local test centre
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Register as soon as possible

When you feel you are ready to take the test, you need to register for a test date with an IELTS centre. We have over 1,200 test locations in more than 140 countries.  The number of test takers who can take the test on a particular date may be limited, so contact the centre as soon as possible. You will need to pay the test fee when you register. 

Find a test location

IELTS Official Facebook page

Our Facebook page is regularly updated with test quizzes, hints and tips to help you prepare for your test.

Helpful resources

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Book your test

Find your local test centre and start your IELTS journey.

IELTS assessment criteria

Learn more about how IELTS is scored and download the band descriptors which describe written and spoken performance at each of the nine IELTS bands.

IELTS classroom - learning the four language skills

A test of four skills

IELTS is a task-based test covering the four language skills (listening, reading, writing and speaking).