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IELTS is the International English Language Testing System. It is the world’s number one English language test, taken by over 1 million people every year from across the world.

Since 1989, IELTS has been proven and trusted worldwide to provide a secure, global, authentic and customer-focussed test which is a reliable indicator of a candidate’s ability to communicate in English.

IELTS has been developed by the British Council in partnership with IELTS Australia and Cambridge ESOL on the strength of forty years of research.


Taking an IELTS test will help to open doors to international education and employment all over the globe. Moreover, candidates with high scores are particularly sought after by universities and employers in English-speaking countries.

IELTS tests are guaranteed to show your true ability to communicate in English across all four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking, in a way that is relevant to the real world.

Over 6,000 institutions, including 2,000 US universities recognise IELTS .The list of US universities includes all Ivy League Colleges.

IELTS is used as proof of your language ability for immigration purposes.

  • The UK Border Agency has announced that skilled workers can use IELTS results for the new UK points-based immigration system.
  • The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, New Zealand Immigration Service and Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools and National Council of State Boards of Nursing USA already recognise or require applicants to hold an IELTS test.
Prepare for your IELTS Test


You can buy the Official IELTS Practice Materials. They consist of a booklet and an audio CD and contain a complete test for both the Academic and General Training Modules with an answer key.


You can also purchase How To Prepare for IELTS, a comprehensive book providing advice and practice in the four skills you need to do your best in IELTS. It includes a CD-Rom for additional exercises.


You can access comprehensive preparation and practice in every aspect of each of the four parts of the IELTS exam on the Road to IELTS CD-ROM. It contains over 120 hours of learning materials.

All the above can be purchased at many British Council IELTS test centres around the world. Please contact your local test centre for current availability.


You will find a list of titles, which are all readily available from bookshops, as well as samples of the different parts of the test on,,, Please note that we cannot take responsibility for information provided by publishers.

IELTS Tips for Success


Read instructions carefully, don't just glance at them. They are not always the same as in practice or previous tests.
Try and anticipate what the speaker will say. This requires concentration, easy in your own language, but more difficult in English.
Remember if you want a high score you should aim to get all questions in parts one and two correct. Don't make any careless mistakes in the easier sections.
Small errors can lead to low scores so be careful with your spelling at all times.
Don't panic if you think the topic is too difficult or the speaker is too fast. Relax and tune in.
Read, write and listen at the same time. Tricky, but practice well.
Don't leave blanks


Leave a question if you can't answer. To spend a long time on one answer is disastrous. Go back later if you have time and guess if you have to.
Don't panic if you don't know anything about the subject matter covered in the passage. All the answers are in the passage and you don't need any specialist knowledge.
Remember you have no extra time to transfer your answers, many candidates think because they have extra time in listening they are able to do this in reading too. You can't.
Before the exam, read as widely as possible (e.g. newspapers, magazines, journals). Don't limit yourself to one type of text and read articles with an academic style where possible.
Look at the ways paragraphs are organised.
Try and predict content of paragraphs from the opening sentence.
Give every paragraph you read an imaginary heading.
Don't concentrate on words you don't know. It wastes valuable time.
Careless mistakes cost many marks. Copy the answer correctly if it is in the passage.
Check spelling.
Only give one answer if that is all that's needed.
Be careful with singular/plural.


Highlight/circle key words.
Clearly divide paragraphs.
Don't repeat ideas in a different way.
Stick to the topic.
Careful with timing - don't rush Task Two, it's longer and is worth more points.
Paragraph simply, with one idea in each paragraph.
Avoid informal language.
Learn to recognise how long 150 words looks in your handwriting. You don't really have time to count.
Get used to always spending several minutes re-reading and correcting your essays.
Don't memorise model answers, they won't fit the question and you will make more careless mistakes.


It tests your ability to communicate effectively, not just your grammatical accuracy.
Don't learn scripts of prepared answers. The examiner is trained to spot this and will change the question.
Develop your answers as much as possible.
Speak more than the examiner.
Ask for clarification if necessary.
Remember it is not a test of knowledge and there is no single answer, but ensure that you give your opinion. Don't worry if you feel it is not sophisticated enough.
The areas covered are fairly predictable and not infinite so practise at home recording ideas onto a tape recorder.

Take IELTS Test in your country

Are you planning to study or work abroad in an English speaking environment? Are you planning to go on a study or work placement from a French university? Do you need to prove your level of English and get your results quickly?

IELTS is now the world’s leading English language test having grown exponentially in the last few years to over a million candidates per year. Take your test with us and gain your passport to international opportunity and global mobility!

Choose your country below and take IELTS test in your country with British Council:


South ASIA


Eastern Europe


Western Europe

United Kingdom and Ireland


Middle East

  • Australia
  • Fiji
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Solomon, Islands
  • Tahiti
  • Tonga
  • Vanuatu

Please check for the countries above. Check your nearest test centre for IELTS here.

The Americas

For other countries, please check your nearest test centre for IELTS here.

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