Be better prepared for your IELTS test!

IELTS preparation checklist

Register for the test. There are 48 test dates per year and IDP IELTS offers over 200 test locations all over the world. Search for a test centre near you and find a convenient test date. Check the IELTS score required by your chosen university, institution, employer or organisation. Each organisation sets their own requirements so it’s a good idea to contact the organisation directly to check their IELTS requirements.
Taking an English language course is one of the best ways to improve your English. The feedback you receive from your teacher will help you improve the specific skills involved in speaking, listening, reading and writing English. Test preparation is different to an English language course, as it will not help improve your English. An IELTS preparation course can help you familiarise yourself with the types of tasks included in an IELTS test. Ask your local IELTS test centre for more information about a preparation course near you.
Listen to English language radio, television and film. You should try to listen to a variety of English accents including American, Australian, British, Canadian and New Zealand. Read English publications such as newspapers and magazines regularly. Write letters, emails or notes in English whenever possible. Speak English with your friends and family.
Practise the free IELTS test sample questions. Use the Official IELTS Practice Materials (two books available) which include sample questions and sample responses with examiner comments. There is a wide range of IELTS preparation material available for purchase at bookshops and online.
Re-read the Information for Candidates booklet and Notice to Candidates again to ensure that you understand the test format and rules. Plan your journey – ensure you know how to get to the test venue so that you arrive in time. Also, get plenty of rest the night before your test to help you feel more relaxed on the day.
Allow plenty of time to travel to the test venue to ensure you arrive on time. Bring your passport/national identity card with you: You must have the same identification that you provided on your IELTS Application Form or you will not be able to take the test. Bring stationery: pens, pencils and erasers that you need for the test.

Common preparation mistakes to avoid

Don't make these common IELTS mistakes

FAQs about the test

Important information about test rules and guidelines can be found on the Notice to Candidates that is included in the IELTS Application Form. We also recommend that you read the Information for Candidates booklet carefully so that you understand the test format and know what to expect on test day.
The Listening, Reading and Writing tests must be completed on the same day. The order in which these tests are taken may vary. Depending on the test centre, the Speaking test may be taken up to 7 days either before or after the test date.
The Listening, Reading and Writing components of the test are always completed immediately after each other and with no break. Depending on the test centre, you may also sit the Speaking test on the same day, or it may be scheduled up to 7 days either before or after the test date. Speak to the test centre before you book your test to confirm their arrangements.
The test centre may offer you a test on the next available test date.
Only pens, pencils and erasers. You must bring the valid passport/national identity card you used on the IELTS Application Form with you to the test. You must leave everything else outside the examination room. Mobile phones and pagers must be switched off and placed with personal belongings in the area designated by the supervisor. If you do not switch off your phone or if you keep it with you, you will be disqualified.
If you are away on the test day with no prior notice, you will lose your full fee. However, if you are unable to attend due to a serious medical condition and provide a medical certificate within 5 days of the test date, you will receive a refund minus the local administrative cost.
The Speaking test is a discussion with a certified and highly qualified IELTS Examiner. The Speaking test is made up of three sections. It is recorded on an audio cassette or a digital recorder.
You must bring the same identification documents (ID) you supplied on your IELTS Application Form and continue to use the same ID for each part of the test. Your ID will be checked before you enter the interview room.
As IELTS is an international test, a variety of English accents are used in both of these tests. You will hear voices of people from Australia, Britain, Canada and the USA.
You must write in pencil for the Listening and Reading components. In the Writing test, a pen or pencil may be used.
Yes, you can use all capital letters in the IELTS Reading and Listening components and also in the Writing component.
It is vital to fulfil the Writing task, especially Task 2, in order to demonstrate your skills. Writing Task 2 is worth twice as many marks as Task 1. 25 percent of the Writing score for Task 2 (GT and Academic) is based on the completeness of the response. Make sure you respond to all parts of the task. This criterion is referred to as “Task Response”. If all parts of the Writing Task 2 are addressed, a person will score band 6 or higher for this quarter of their Task 2 score. If the task is not fully addressed, an examiner must award less than band 6 for this criterion. So responding to every individual part of a Writing task is very important. The remaining 75 percent of the score for Task 2 in Writing is based on vocabulary, accurate grammar and the structure and linking of ideas.