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Impact and washback - test preparation


As a high-stakes test, IELTS impacts on its candidature and test users. Ongoing research ensures that the test is functioning as intended and identifies any relevant issues.


Research focuses on IELTS impact in a range of areas:

  • • entry to higher education and professional registration
  • • prediction of academic language performance
  • • stakeholder attitudes
  • • key tertiary decision-makers
  • • test preparation.

The following research reports cover test preparation:



Title Researcher Published
To what extent is communicative language teaching a feature of IELTS classes in China? Richard Badger, University of Leeds and Xiaobiao Yan, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies IELTS RR 13 2012
The preparation practices of IELTS candidates: Case studies Peter Mickan and Johanna Motteram, University of Adelaide IELTS RR 10 2009
An ethnographic study of classroom instruction in an IELTS preparation program Peter Mickan and Johanna Motteram, University of Adelaide IELTS RR 8 2008
The significance of socio-linguistic backgrounds of teachers of IELTS preparation courses in selected Malaysian institutions Carole Gibson, University of South Australia and Anne Swan, Canterbury Christ Church University IELTS RR 8 2008
The impact of IELTS on the preparation classroom: stakeholder attitudes and practices as a response to test task demands Cyril Weir, University of Luton and Anthony Green, Research and Validation, Cambridge ESOL SiLT 25 2007
A critical analysis of selected IELTS preparation materials Judy Colman and Rae Everett, University of New England IELTS RR 5 2003
Assessing the impact of IELTS preparation programs on candidates’ performance on the General Training Reading and Writing Test modules Chandra Rao, Kate McPherson, Rajni Chand and Veena Khan, The University of the South Pacific IELTS RR 5 2003
The impact of IELTS on preparation for academic study in New Zealand John Read, Victoria University of Wellington and Belinda Hayes, Auckland University of Technology IELTS RR 4 2003
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