Unlike the preparation of other exams, IELTS preparation online/ offline is very much action-oriented. You cannot sit for hours with a textbook and expect to get a high score in IELTS. IELTS does not test your knowledge; it is a very well structured exam that assesses your English Language skills; your listening skills, speaking skills, writing skills and comprehension skills.

We are here with the ultimate online IELTS preparation guide to make your preparation easy and effective:

Test Format

Any exam is half conquered when you familiarise yourself with the test format, question patterns and marking criteria. 

Listening Test

You will listen to four recordings of native English speakers and then write your answers to a series of questions.

  • Recording 1 – a conversation between two people set in an everyday social context.
  • Recording 2 – a monologue set in an everyday social context, e.g. a speech about local facilities.
  • Recording 3 – a conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context, e.g. a university tutor and a student discussing an assignment.
  • Recording 4 – a monologue on an academic subject, e.g. a university lecture.

The examiners will be looking for evidence of your ability to understand the main ideas and detailed factual information, the opinions and attitudes of speakers, the purpose of an utterance and evidence of your ability to follow the development of ideas.

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Reading Tests

The reading test consists of 40 questions, designed to test a wide range of reading skills. These include reading for gist, main ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding logical argument and recognising writers’ opinions, attitudes and purpose.

  • IELTS General Training Test – this includes extracts from books, magazines, newspapers, notices, advertisements, company handbooks and guidelines. These are materials you are likely to encounter on a daily basis in an English-speaking environment.

Writing Test

Topics are of general interest. There are two tasks:

Task 1 – you will be presented with a situation and asked to write a letter requesting information, or explaining the situation. The letter may be personal, semi-formal or formal in style.

Task 2 – you will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. The essay can be fairly personal in style.

Also Read : IELTS Band Scores: Everything you need to know

Speaking Test

The speaking test section assesses your use of spoken English where every test is recorded.

  • Part 1 – the examiner will ask you general questions about yourself and a range of familiar topics, such as home, family, work, studies and interests. This part lasts between four and five minutes.
  • Part 2 – you will be given a card which asks you to talk about a particular topic. You will have one minute to prepare before speaking for up to two minutes. The examiner will then ask one or two questions on the same topic.
  • Part 3 – you will be asked further questions about the topic in Part 2. These will give you the opportunity to discuss more abstract ideas and issues. This part of the speaking test lasts between four and five minutes.

Registration and Exam Dates 

IELTS is offered by both the British Council and IDP. You can register with either of these two and be sure that your procedure will go just fine. There are both online and offline registration facilities; you can either walk into your nearest British Council or IDP office and get yourself registered or register online.

The requirements are the same in both cases: you need your valid passport at the time of registration and pay Rs. 13,250. After that, you can choose the date of the exam and wait for confirmation. Once your registration is confirmed all that is left to do is, just take the exam.

A very common misconception is that the British Council and IDP function differently when it comes to IELTS. This is a total myth and is not supported by any reason whatsoever. You can register with which is nearest to your location. After all, you do not want to tax yourself by travelling on the exam day.

Keep Your Goals Realistic for IELTS Preparation Online/ Offline

When you decide to take IELTS, it is natural that you will expect to hit the highest BAND score. However, we recommend you to keep it realistic. For example, if you are in Band 3 or 4 and need to take IELTS after a month, you will be too ambitious to think that you can score a Band 8.

If your initial level is below Band 6 you will need more time to prepare yourself for a Band 8. IELTS is not about how much you know, it is about how well you know.

How to Start IELTS Preparation Online?

IELTS Preparation for needs dedicated hours of practice. Whether you study by yourself or practice with a partner, you should have proper IELTS preparation material and a routine. Another important aspect of IELTS preparation online is getting a personal trainer. Since computer-delivered IELTS assesses your skills more than knowledge, a trainer can help you overcome your mistakes and help you get better.

We have listed out three kinds of IELTS preparation aides.

Books for IELTS Practice Materials

You will find plenty of books in the market that promise to guide you for the exam. Sadly, most of them are not deep enough. Look for a list of books that are created by experts and are trusted by many students all over the world.

Best app for IELTS Preparation

Mobile apps are also gaining grounds these days in the field of IELTS preparation courses. In the play store or app store, there are some engaging and informative IELTS apps available that can actually help you practice on the go!

Personal Trainer for IELTS Preparation

When it comes to IELTS preparation online or offline, nothing can beat the wisdom of an experienced mentor. Consider getting a personal mentor who can guide you with the latest tips and tricks; give you valuable feedback on your practice and evaluate your essays.


It is not a difficult exam per se, so there is nothing to worry about. It is a greatly detailed language testing system and in order to nail it, you need to dive deep into the subject. Remember that, you are not tested for how much English you know but you are tested on how skilled you are at English. In order to conquer, all you need is a strategy and some quality guidance.

So now that you have all the required guidelines to start the preparation, how are you planning to begin? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Also Read: How to Improve Pronunciation for the IELTS Speaking Questions? Tips to Boost Your Preparation

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About the Author

Indulekha Prabha

My name is Indulekha Prabha. I am an English teacher and a content writer by profession. When I'm not working you can find me writing fiction, reading poetry and painting.

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