The World’s most widely accepted test of English Language Proficiency is the British Council’s IELTS (International English Language Testing System). It’s a standardized test of English language proficiency established in 1989 and run jointly by:

According to the British Council, over 10,000 institutions around the world accept an IELTS result as a credible measure of your ability in Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking English. That’s including, of course, Canada’s IRCC, Australia and New Zealand’s immigration authorities as well as the UK’s immigration authorities. In the US, educational institutions are increasingly willing to accept IELTS results rather than TOEFL results in order for you to be accepted at an American post-secondary institution. In much of Europe, Universities which offer English-language courses will accept IELTS exam results in prospective students’ application packages.

Woman using computer by Iranian Wikimedians User Group [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

by Mardetanha / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

So, what are the best online IELTS courses? Because unless your English is top-notch and you are already familiar with the IELTS exam format, preparing for something as important as an English Language Test will be vital if you want a good score that will help you get where you’re going.

To answer that question, you should realize that one website, as good as it may be, may not give you all you need. It is often a good idea to combine a full IELTS preparation course (whether paid or free) with exercises from another site that might provide you with additional practice and give you a different perspective on how to improve your English Language Skills.

Here then, are 6 IELTS sites and courses which focus on particular sections of IELTS, and finally, a well-organized course that has lots of free giveaways as well as customized lessons for those who register and pay. 

 

Understanding IELTS: Techniques for English Language Tests

This course is run by the British Council, co-creator and joint owner of IELTS, so it’s from the source so to speak. And it’s free! It’s run in conjunction with the Open University’s digital education platform and it’s a 6-week course with:

  • Videos
  • Samples of Tests
  • Quizzes
  • A Free App so you can take IELTS on the road with you. Go here to download it.
  • Online forums to share questions and get answers
  • Help clinics.

You work your way through each of the 4 sections of the IELTS test:

  • Reading
  • Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking.

and each section will take about a week to cover, with the video tutorials providing you with guidance and help along the way.

Go here to sign up for a free online course.

Please note that starting dates for the course may not be as frequent as you might like, so you will have to be a little patient. But it will be worth the wait, and aside from understanding what English skills you need to improve, you will gain a good understanding of what to expect from an IELTS test.

Please note that your fee online access is limited to the duration of your 6-week course although the free period may last up to 8 weeks. If you want access to the online learning material after that point, you will have to pay.

 

Ed-X IELTS Academic Test Preparation

This online course is delivered through the online edX platform and is run by the University of Queensland in Australia and was put together by experienced professionals with experience in IELTS testing from their English Department. It involves a review of key test-taking strategies, techniques, and skills. The course provides:

  • 80 hours interactive practice materials covering listening, speaking, reading, and writing
  • Comprehensive feedback on your writing tasks to help you develop your written skills
  • The ability to do the course units in any order you like and not just in sequence
  • Additional materials for those who select Verified Enrolment.

The course is divided into 4 Modules that each deal with one of the sections from the test:

  • Module 1: Listening: This module provides an overview of what it is that an IELTS exam’s Listening section assesses. It also explores the differences in each section of the Listening test and gives you practice with the types of questions you will encounter in this part of the IELTS test.
  • Module 2: Speaking: This module outlines the main features of this part of the IELTS test. It gives you examples/help with the type of grammar you need for Part 1 Speaking questions. Part 2 questions are analyzed with examples of how to organize your ideas for this “Individual Long Turn” question. How to get a good start and how to end your talk are covered with examples and practice. Part 3 questions are prepared for by studying some of the vocabulary and grammar you’ll need, especially verb tenses and how to make comparisons. It also covers pronunciation as you study videos of students answering part 3 “Discussion” questions.
  • Module 3: Reading: This module covers what is assessed by the Reading section and also gives you plenty of practice at Reading-section questions.
  • Module 4: Writing: This might be the most important module (along with Speaking) and it focuses on the 2 Writing Tasks in the IELTS test: Writing Task 1 and Writing Task 2. Task 1 involves analyzing some sort of chart or graph or diagram usually so you will study the vocabulary and visualizations you need to successfully describe them. You will study how to do an overall description and how to describe the data in the charts as well as how to organize the information into cohesive paragraphs. Task 2 preparation will involve learning about how to plan and organize an essay. You will study the different types of Task 2 essay questions you are likely to face. You will also receive advice and feedback from fellow students.

The great news is that the course is free. However, if you want a Verified Certificate then the cost is US$99.

 

Magoosh IELTS Preparation Course

While Magoosh is better known for its TOEFL prep course, it also has an IELTS course that is fairly extensive and reasonably priced. It includes:

  • More than 125 lessons covering Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking
  • Over 650 questions that you can practice with and familiarize yourself with IELTS with
  • Email assistance for your questions and problems while taking the course
  • Transcripts of the online video lessons to help you study.

And an attractive feature is their choice of plans. Remember, this is NOT a free course although there are videos on YouTube that you can always check out. The pricing plans come in 3 available options:

  • 1 Week Plan for US$19: this means access to the following for 1 week, in case you need a final week of cramming for your exam:
    • 125 + video lessons
    • 650 + practice questions
    • Video explanations to practice questions
    • 4 full-length practice (mock) tests
    • 1 week of access
    • Email assistance from tutors.
  • 1 Month Plan for US$29: with 4 whole weeks to prepare this is for someone who’s confident but needs a final upgrade in their skills to boost their test scores, and it includes:
    • 125 + video lessons
    • 650 + practice questions
    • Video explanations to practice questions
    • 4 full-length practice (mock) tests
    • 1 month of access
    • Email assistance from tutors
    • Score guarantee of
    • 7-day refund guarantee.
  • 6 Month Plan for US$49: this is not only a great bargain but it’s also the most complete of the 3 plans and perhaps the longest access you’ll get anywhere on a paid IELTS course. It includes:
    • 125 + video lessons
    • 650 + practice questions
    • Video explanations to practice questions
    • 4 full-length practice (mock) tests
    • 6 months of access
    • Email assistance from tutors
    • Score guarantee of
    • 7-day refund guarantee.

Man at computer by FRANKKENYAN [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

by Frankkenyan / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

 

IELTS Buddy

This site offers lots of free materials as well as a handful of e-books and online tutorials that you have to pay for. Go here to have a look at this site. It offers:

  • Writing Task 1 Samples: Includes all sorts of graphs, charts, tables, process diagrams and maps with model answers for each of them in order to compare your work with.
  • Model essays: These are the Writing Task 2 essays that are part of the IELTS Writing Section. The model essays are grouped according to the various types of questions that you will normally see when doing Writing Task 2. For example:
    • Agree/Disagree
    • Discuss Two Opinions
    • Causes
    • Problems and Solutions
    • Advantages and Disadvantages &
    • Other types (especially those from the General Test which are somewhat different in form).
  •  
  • Practice Tests: Here it is important to remember that the Academic Test and the General Test - the General is the one you need for IRCC purposes in most cases unless you are applying to a Canadian post-secondary institution which might require the Academic Test results - only differ in the Writing and Reading sections. The Listening and Speaking sections are the same for both the Academic and the General IELTS tests. The site has a number of types of tests divided into the 4 sections with which to practice.
  • Online Lessons: These cover everything from Academic Reading lessons to writing lessons to Grammar lessons, as well as speaking and listening lessons. Go here to see a list and brief description of the dozens of lessons available.
  • IELTS Buddy also offers: Training Videos, a Forum to interact with other students, and free downloads. Lots of good stuff here folks. There’s so much free stuff that you can use it to complement any pay course you might be taking, or just do it on the cheap.

 

Udemy – Mastering IELTS Writing Task

This course at the online learning site is run by Matt Rainsbury, a veteran English teacher with decades of teaching and IELTS experience. You learn how to organize an essay into a coherent whole while describing the data shown in the graphs or charts or diagrams etc. and you delve into how to construct complex sentences with the right grammatical structure. You also work on developing the right vocabulary. It includes:

  • 4.5 Hours On-Demand Video
  • 1 Article
  • 2 Downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access (to this course)
  • Access on mobile/cellphones or on Smart TV
  • Certificate of Completion.

Now, this is not cheap. The cost is US$99 but that’s identical to what you pay for a certificate from the ed-X course run by Queensland University. Of course, the Udemy Writing course focuses on just one aspect of the IELTS test rather than the whole test the way the ed-X course does. It’s apparently highly rated, so if you have the 100 bucks, it might be a good choice. Go here for more information and to sign up.

 

Udemy – Mastering IELTS Writing Task 2

This is basically the same course but applied to the essay task in the IELTS Writing section. You learn how to write a cohesive and coherent essay, as well as how to compose grammatically complex yet correct sentences and even how to manage your time when writing the IELTS Writing Task 2. It includes:

  • 5 Hours On-Demand Video
  • 1 Article
  • 1 Downloadable Resource
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile/cellphones or on Smart TV
  • Certificate of Completion.

Again, the cost is US$99 which is high for a course on only one part of the Writing Section. However, the Writing Section in IELTS is key and even students who have a good level of English and do well in the Listening, Reading, and even the Speaking Sections, struggle often with the Writing Task which drags down their overall score. So if you can afford it, this may be a smart investment in your future.

Go here to find out whether it’s the ticket for you.

 

IELTS For Free

This site is awesome. It has all sorts of resources and for free! It also has a Premium Membership where you pay for tailored courses that provide lots of feedback and evaluation on your progress. But you can just stick with the free stuff if you want. Some of the many resources they offer for free are:

  • A number of model answers on the Writing Task questions you’ll face.
  • A grammar lesson on adjective order in English and how it relates to IELTS.
  • Passive Voice exercises that help you understand how to use the so-called passive voice in English.
  • A lesson on the subjunctive to help you use a verb form that – if properly used – can improve your fluidity and therefore your score.
  • An exercise on Reported Speech which is very useful for Writing Task 1.
  • Lessons helping you improve your listening skills.
  • Lessons on Gerunds and Infinitives.
  • Lessons on causative verbs.
  • Even more model answers on all types of Writing tasks that you may encounter in IELTS.

This is a site that’s a good complement to any other resource you may be using. And there’s the premium membership if you have the money.

Go here for more information.

 

IELTS Liz

This is a site run by an official IELTS examiner and English teacher from England who has a wonderful site with lots of free stuff, including some very helpful videos. Her format is similar to some of the other courses with lots of lessons and videos and resources, and she’s relaxed and focused in her approach and has excellent questions and model answers and always tells you precisely what IELTS examiners are looking for when they grade your test.

She also gives private online lessons to paying students and has lots of satisfied clients apparently. It’s always worth checking out what Liz is up to by going here.

As well, remember to check out Liz’s YouTube channel here.

 

So there you have it, a short list of some of the best online sites for improving your IELTS score and getting into your first choice of university or moving to the front of the line at IRCC or any other immigration authority that requires IELTS results.


Book an Immigration Consultation
Category: 

Immigroup.com/news is independently run and does not seek editorial input from IMMIgroup Inc. The views of the authors of content on immigroup.com/news do not reflect the views of the consultants employed by IMMIgroup Inc.

"All images on immigroup.com are CC licensed, public domain or the work of IMMIgroup employees. If you see your image on immigroup.com and it has not been CC licensed, please contact us immediately at [email protected] so we can take it down."