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Online courses: Understanding IELTS

Discover IELTS preparation strategies from the British Council

If you are planning to study abroad or move to another country to work or live, you may be asked to prove your English language ability with the IELTS test.

The four courses in this ExpertTrack from the British Council give you all the information and practice you need to approach all four parts of IELTS with confidence that you can achieve the band score you need.

In each of the four courses you’ll find:

  • a description of each part of the test and what you have to do to achieve a good band score
  • the assessment criteria that tell you what your examiner is looking for
  • exam techniques to help you tackle all types of test questions
  • tips and strategies for successful test preparation and for improving your English ability
  • practice tests to help you know what to expect on test day

As well as that, each course looks at common problems language learners have with that language skill:

Speaking

  • how to give full and fluent answers to the examiner’s questions
  • how to improve your confidence when speaking English
  • planning a short talk in English
  • finding enough to say
  • improving your pronunciation
  • the grammar you need for the test

Reading

  • techniques like skimming and scanning to improve your test reading speed
  • reading about unfamiliar topics in English
  • improving your vocabulary and dealing with unknown words
  • coping with time pressure

Writing

  • understanding and describing charts and data
  • writing about trends
  • planning an essay
  • the grammar and vocabulary you need

Listening

  • listening test techniques
  • widening your listening range
  • staying focused when you listen
  • listening to conversations in English