International students interested in studying abroad will often have to complete their IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test. This test assesses English language skills across a series of exams focused on writing, reading, listening, and speaking.
Studying for a test like IELTS can be intimidating. An online search will show you a million different ways you can prepare, and it’s hard to know which is the most productive. While it’s important to use different methods to improve your English language skills, practice tests are one of the most effective ways you can prepare for your IELTS exam.
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Taking IELTS practice tests can help you learn the format of the exam and calm your nerves. It’ll also give you the opportunity to see how well you do under pressure and show you if there are any areas you need to spend more time practicing. After all, practice makes perfect!
To help get you started, here are 5 of the best IELTS practice tests for international students:
1. IELTS Canada Test (Free)
IELTS Canada Test is a website and resource put together by IDP Education. IDP is an international education organization and one of the three owners of IELTS, so you can feel confident in the information they provide.
This website is a helpful resource for prospective students looking to study in Canada, with information on test locations and preparation. IDP also provides downloadable practice tests for both the General and Academic exams.
IELTS Canada Test breaks down the four sections of the exam, explaining the timing and what you should expect. They also include worksheets, audio recordings, and answer sheets so you can get the full experience.
IELTS Essentials is another valuable website run by IDP Education. Here, you can book your test, learn more about IELTS, or find study materials.
IELTS offers computer-delivered tests as an option for the listening, reading, and writing portions of the exam. These computer-delivered exams allow for wider test date availability, and an efficient results-processing period.
While the content of the computer-delivered IELTS is identical to the paper-based test, the interface is inevitably different. These practice tests from IELTS Essentials give you the opportunity to experience a computer-delivered test before the day of your exam, complete with answer key.
3. IELTS.org Practice Test (Free)
IELTS.org is an official hub for the IELTS test. This website provides complete IELTS information for all purposes and organizations.
Because of this, their practice tests look like the booklet you will receive for your actual exam. This is a great way for anxious test-takers to calm their nerves, so they can know what to expect the day-of. IELTS.org also has plenty of free sample test questions you can use to study for your practice test.
4. British Council IELTS Practice Tests (Free)
The British Council is an organization specializing in international cultural and educational opportunities, and one of the other owners of IELTS. Their website offers a straightforward look at what to expect when taking your exam, and how to book.
Booking through the British Council gives international students free access to the online “Road to IELTS” preparation course. They also offer great sample tests for all sections of both the Academic and General exams. The British Council does a fantastic job of explaining the most effective methods for writing your test, and what to expect for timing and marking.
5. Cambridge IELTS Academic Student’s Book or General Student’s Book ($53.10 each):
Are you more comfortable learning from a book? These two textbooks were created by Cambridge Assessment English, the third owner of IELTS.
At 144 pages each, these books are full of details on each section of the test and the scoring system. They also include four authentic examination papers that look exactly like the real thing.
The Cambridge IELTS Student’s Books come with answers, tapescripts, sample writing answers, and audio, so you don’t miss anything while you prepare.