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If you have studied in high school, college or university, probably a teacher or professor assigned readings and materials to you, so when it was time to prepare for the IELTS exam, you already had what you needed. It is a different situation when you are studying the IELTS test.

We’re going to teach you some ways that can help you succeed on the IELTS exam. Knowing where to start and which resources to use can be difficult when you are preparing for a language exam.

In this post, we’ll take a look at books, exercises, timed practice tests, top 10 IELTS listening tips, online resources and websites that will benefit you in your IELTS preparation. Moreover, we will demonstrate what GlobalExam can do for you.

Let’s go!

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Reviewing Sample Exercises For A Good Practice And Preparation

Language is a skill you need to master if you wish to travel abroad. Like any other skill such as playing the piano, you need to practice often and regularly to improve. Reviewing sample exercises from the IELTS exam is a good way to practice and prepare.

Sample exercise shows you what types of questions you will encounter and what vocabulary you need to know. Also, sample exercises show you your strengths and weaknesses, so you can target knowledge gaps and skill deficiencies.

Sample exercises will allow you to prepare in real conditions, with the same type of questions you can find in the IELTS exam. We recommend you to do them repeatedly until you feel comfortable.

Where coul you find sample exercises for your preparation? This is what we will explore in the next sections.

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Classic Preparation Using the Best IELTS Test Books

Books are a great source of review materials for practicing for IELTS. Below is a brief list of some very useful books; many of which can be found at public libraries.

  • Cambridge IELTS Books 1-15 (Academic) contain authentic examination papers with answers. They are a great way to experience the format, question types and wording of questions.
  • The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS Student’s Book with Answers is another official and authentic book that has examples from IELTS tasks and explanations and tips on how to approach a task.
  • Cambridge Vocabulary for IELTS Book with Answers allows you to develop the needed vocabulary for the various IELTS sections.
  • Barron’s IELTS is a good series of texts that provide example tasks, tips, explanations and plenty of practice materials for you.

Using an official book ensures that you are practicing with genuine materials and not wasting time. One of the advantages you could have to use books is to be able to borrow them from a library and make you save you money.

But the most recent edition of some books may not be available at your local library. In that case, you might want to choose online courses that are most of the time more up to date. The main disadvantage of books would be carrying them all day with you. It is still a great source of knowledge if you choose top listed books, but you can pretty much find the same information online.

Mock Exams: A Solution To Practice the Exam Format

The series of books by Cambridge, the Cambridge IELTS Academic Student’s Book with Answers: Authentic Examination Papers (IELTS Practice Tests) series, contains previously used IELTS exams. Try to use more recent volumes (10-15) since they contain the most recent examples of IELTS exams. Older volumes (1-9) provide excellent practice, too, but there have been some changes in question types over the years.

To get the full benefit of exam preparation, you should try doing a full exam and follow the time limits (no cheating). This way you will be able to practice in the real time and real conditions of the IELTS exam, which will ensure you are completely focused and prepared for the big day.

For the IELTS speaking section, you can look at the questions and record yourself on your phone, abiding by the time limits as well. Make sure to set yourself in a silent space, as if you were really in the exam room and act like you are talking to an examinator. You need to trick your brain so when the real exam comes, the situation sounds familiar and easier to deal with.

You may not be able to assess yourself for the writing and speaking, but at least you get the feel of what the time limits feel like, and you can compare your answers to the sample answers in the book to see if they are similar.

Some Online Resources: Blogs, YouTube Videos and Podcasts

It’s the 21st century and over the last ten years, online resources for IELTS preparation have really developed. Below is a short list of some useful resources that often get overlooked in IELTS preparation:


You can find various playlists on the official IELTS Youtube channel, which is perfect for you if you want to practice but don’t feel like reading a book or articles on a blog. This might be the perfect solution for you to stay focused and learn everything you need to know thanks to live sessions, IELTS Speaking tips and writing test samples and tips.

Type in a phrase and Youglish will find hundreds or thousands of examples for you to listen to.


There are several blogs breaking down the IELTS sections to help you understand what is required and to help you practice, such as ielts-blog, blog.ieltspractice or ieltsbuddy. These are some free options but you can also register for programs that might train you more in depth.

AWL is the Academic Word List at the University of Victoria in Wellington compiled by Averil Coxhead. It’s a list of the most common words in academic English with their various forms (analyze, analyzed, analyzing, analyzable, etc).

AVL is the Academic Vocabulary List, which is an updated and expanded vocabulary list (it covers more areas of study).

English Page is a good grammar website with lots of practice exercises.


Podcasts are the best option if you want to practice for the IELTS exam without watching a video or reading a blog. The official IELTS podcast offers free weekly tutorials to help you prepare, available on Apple, Android, iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, YouTube, Stitcher and TuneIn.

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Online Courses To Be Prepared For Your English Test

Taking a popular online preparation course is an excellent alternative for IELTS training. This is not to say that traditional schools are bad, but often when you plan on sitting for an IELTS exam, you will have a tight schedule for preparation, and you cannot wait for the next course at your local college to begin.

Online learning allows you to start any time and study anywhere. You can manage your time in a way that fits your existing schedule with an online course much more readily than with a classroom-based course. Using books and taking an online course are not mutually exclusive. One can complement the other, and you should utilize all resources.

You have the option to enter online programs allowing you to train for the IELTS months before the exam, whenever and wherever you can, which is quite reassuring and easier than carrying some books or following real courses, as long as you are determined and know that you can handle yourself and respect your planning.

What exactly can these programs prepare you for?

Some are more expensive than others, just find which one seems like the most suitable option for you. These online courses will help you practice as if you really were taking the IELTS exam : you will be trained on every section of the test you choose.

The four sections are Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking and the modules are IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training, but you can also apply for Life Skills if you need to prove your English speaking or listening skills, or UKVI if you need a visa. Be careful to choose the specific training you need, depending on what you need it for (study, work or living abroad) because they all have very different purposes.

Make sure you enter and start working on these programs in advance, so you have time to be fully prepared before you set the big date to enter the real IELTS exam (which you should register for in advance as well, as places are limited).

Train With The Most Efficient Preparation To The Test

Speaking of online courses leads us to GlobalExam. We are an online language exam specialist. It’s what we excel at. IELTS is an exam that we are familiar with and have dedicated much time and resources to.

Our materials and services for IELTS are current, relevant and highly effective. We have done the work of organizing, enabling you to focus on the preparation and learning. We can also prepare you to assess your score in case you need to send it to US universities.

Here with the list of our premium services we could offer. We have lots of exercises, giving you all the practice needed and mock exams; we’ll time you and give you feedback and IELTS Reading tips. Also, there are loads of corrected exercises.

One of our best features is progress tracking with statistics, which is valuable for motivation and maintaining your progress. GlobalExam also gives you a choice of study paths in order to track your progress and improve your test performance.

GlobalExam’s IELTS online preparation is a premium service, but we do offer you a trial full version free of charge with no obligation to continue.