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Prepare for your IELTS test

Make sure you are ready to demonstrate your English language skills

IELTS test format

Understand the test format

Familiarize 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

Practice 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

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 center.

Purchase from your test center

Consider a preparation course

If you would like assistance with test preparation, IELTS centers 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 center to find out more.

Find your local test center

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 center. We have over 1,600 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 center 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

Book your test

Find your local test center 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.

A test of four skills

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