Learning a language can be difficult. If you wish to evaluate your level and check your progress, you are at the right place. One of the best ways to do this is to take a recognised test. In this article we’ll be focusing on IELTS and, more specifically, IELTS practice tests online.

In this article, you will:

  • Learn some of the benefits of taking IELTS over other tests.
  • Understand why IELTS exam practice is key to getting a good band score.
  • Discover how GlobalExam can help you prepare with IELTS practice tests online.

Start preparing for the IELTS test now. Let’s dive in!

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Why Should You Make the Decision to Take the IELTS Test?

There are various exams and tests you can take to validate your English level – TOEIC, TOEFL, Bright. One of the best ones to take is IELTS. IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System and it’s one of the most recognised tests worldwide.

If you have plans to study or work abroad, then IELTS is a great test to take. Over 9,000 institutions accept IELTS and these include universities, immigration services and professional associations.

Perhaps you’re looking to change your job and want an up-to-date evaluation of your level. IELTS is highly recommended. Whereas a lot of tests only focus on one or two skills, IELTS looks at listening, reading and writing tests and speaking section. Employers and universities want to take people who can cope with any situation, not just speaking or listening.

There are two types of tests – Academic and General. The Academic test is designed for students wishing to study abroad and the General paper is for people looking to work abroad or validate visa requirements. Although IELTS was created by the British Council, it accepts all native speaker styles. If you wish to have all the information about the IELTS test costs please read our article available online.

Why Is It Important to Prepare With IELTS Sample Tests?

One of the best ways to prepare for IELTS is by taking IELTS practice tests online. Why? As we have already said, IELTS evaluates all areas of your English – listening, reading, writing and speaking – and each section has its own particularities. You need to be prepared. Each section has different types of questions which could come up: multiple choice, choose the correct paragraph, and so on. In addition to this, you also need to pay attention to your spelling. If you spell something incorrectly, it will count as a mistake.

Therefore, you need to practice. Not only do you need to do IELTS sample tests, but you also need to see the corrections. This is where GlobalExam can help you – not only do you have practice IELTS tests, but you also have exercises with corrections and feedback.

Find useful information about affiliated, approved or endorsed IELTS test centers.

IELTS Exam Practice: Example of Exercises and Corrections

We will be going over some sample exercises for each and every section of the IELTS exam:

IELTS Exam Sample Listening Section

The IELTS listening test is made up of 40 questions. It’s the same paper for both General and Academic. The key thing to remember with the listening test is that your answer must be grammatically correct. For example, you read the following question:

The visit costs €___________

If you write “8 euro” or “€8”, your answer is wrong because the € symbol is already provided! The same is true for singular and plural – you must be precise.

With GlobalExam you can see both the answers and the transcript:

audio file transcription

Seeing the transcript is fundamental if you want to expand your vocabulary. Like any standardised test, IELTS has favourite words it likes to use. You need to make sure you know as many of them as possible. In addition to having the transcript, the practice questions are timed to help you stay on track.

IELTS Exam Sample: Speaking

For the IELTS speaking test, you can record yourself speaking and then listen to the recording and read the advice and the sample answer. Don’t memorize answers as examiners are trained to catch them. Sometimes we use informal words such as “so”, “umm”, “ok”, “you know” but should make the effort not to. By listening to yourself, you can start to eliminate these problems, increase your fluency and sound more natural.

sample question for an exam

IELTS Exam Sample Academic Reading

For the Academic reading test, the texts are normally taken from science or engineering. You may need to read a text and use the information to complete a diagram or chart:

exam image instructions

You can also have multiple choice questions and general comprehension questions. One of the key things is to practice timed Reading texts – 20 minutes per text, so you have enough time to answer all the questions. There is no need to panic if you do not understand everything. You just need to understand enough to find the answers to the questions.

IELTS Exam Sample General Reading

Unlike the Academic paper, the General Reading paper looks at situations you may see in everyday life – it’s often taken from advertisements, local announcements and general news.

With the training, we show you the correct answer, and explain both the correct and incorrect answers.

exam sample question and answer

IELTS Exam Sample: Academic Writing Task

The Academic Writing paper is more technical than the General paper. It has two tasks – the first can be describing something like a flow chart, map, diagram and you must write a minimum of 150 words. Task 2 is an essay question with a minimum of 250 words.

For Task 1, you usually need to compare and contrast information: a pie chart

Once you have finished writing, you can see a sample answer and have some general feedback:

answer to an exam question

For Task 2, the essay question often asks you present your point of view and support it:

exam exercise instructions sample

Remember: Task 1 and Task 2 are not weighted the same – Task 2 is worth two thirds of the grade and Task 1 just one third. It’s why you should spend 40 minutes on Task 2 and 20 minutes on Task 1.

IELTS Exam Sample General Writing

For Task 1, it might be asked to write a letter. You should think about including all topics mentioned in the question to get a better score.

exam exercise instruction sample

For this particular example, the style should be quite formal, as you’re writing to a Director of Studies.

For Task 2, not only do we give you an example answer, we also give you some pointers to improve your answers in general!

sample answer for exam question

What Is the Difference Between Online IELTS Practice Tests and IELTS Simulation?

With IELTS exam practice you can focus on the part of the test you find the most challenging. If you are systematically doing well on Listening, but are getting 20 out of 40 on the Reading, you need to spend more time practicing the Reading. You can check your answers on practice tests and see how to improve your IELTS score. You can also take as long as you need.

With an IELTS simulation, you can do a practice test in exam conditions. It is vital you do this before the actual test, so you experience the pressure of the real test, plus the level of concentration required to do the different parts one after the other – in the real test, you don’t have a break between the Listening, Reading and Writing sections.

What Makes a Great IELTS Practice Test Online?

One of the main things is getting feedback – knowing why A is correct and B is incorrect in a Reading paper and reading sample answers (for both Speaking and Writing) will help you improve. There are two other key points to keep in mind.

Firstly, you should work on your timing so you do not run out of time. With our IELTS practice test online, you can easily track your time. For Reading papers, you should spend about 20 minutes per text, not more. Similarly, for the Writing paper, you should spend a maximum of 20 minutes on Task 1 and around 40 minutes on Task 2. It’s why we have a timer at the top of the screen, so you can easily see how you’re doing.

Secondly, you need to increase the difficulty as you work. It’s important to see all types of IELTS questions and texts, which is why you can choose the level you want to work on. For lower levels, start with the easy level and work your way up. For higher levels, push yourself with a difficult paper!

When Should I Start Taking IELTS Sample Tests and How Many Should I Do?

Those are very good questions to ask yourself before test day. Doing one sample test right at the beginning is a great way to benchmark your level. Afterwards, you should focus on the different parts of the test format. When you see that your level is increasing, try another sample test to check. Don’t only study with practice papers – generally you’ll see little improvement. You need to mix IELTS sample tests with IELTS exam technique practice to get the best results.

Prepare for the IELTS Exam Online With GlobalExam

Whether you’re aiming for the IELTS Academic or the IELTS General Training test, GlobalExam is here to help test takers.

We have IELTS mock test question types with corrections for all parts of the test. Also we provide statistics so you can see where you need to do some extra work. You can test yourself under timed conditions and see your progress which is great motivation to continue. If you need more IELTS training materials for your preparation, we have also written an article on the IELTS website that can help.

We don’t only work with IELTS – we have 27 different test preparations available in many languages! So if you’re Spanish and wanting to take DELF, or you speak Mandarin and need to take the TOEIC test, we can provide a learning solution that works. You can even plan your test date and we’ll help you with a study plan but also IELTS tips and tricks. See your progress in order to get the result you need before registering to the IELTS test.

Here with a candidate testimonial that could answer all your questions regarding taking IELTS test.

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