IELTS Test Prep

What is the IELTS exam?

First there is something about IELTS as a test that people don’t realize. A lot of people treat it like just another memory test, which it definitely isn’t.

It’s testing your ability with specific English skills. Now the reason why that’s important is because you’re being tested against a native English speaker level. And IELTS wants to know how well you can use your English as compared to a native English speaker.

Test format

How long is it?

2 hours 45 minutes

What do the scores mean?

IELTS is graded on a 9-point scale, but with .5 scores possible as well (so participants receive scores of 6, 6.5, etc.). Test-takers receiving a 9 are considered “expert” English users, while those receiving a 4.5 are considered “limited users”.

What is a good score?

Most academic institutions require an IELTS score of at least 6.5 or 7

How is IELTS different from TOEFL and TOEIC?

IELTS is one of the most popular English proficiency exams for second-language learners of English. It is the preferred English exam for most British, Canadian, Australian, Irish, and New Zealand academic institutions. It is accepted by a substantial number of American schools and is a required test for second-language speakers who wish to join a tremendous number of companies and professions around the world.

Why do people struggle with IELTS?


In the listening test, a lot of people don’t understand how the sections are organized and what the questions are testing for.

In particular, they don’t realize that the different types of questions, and there are three main types – the multiple choice question, fill in the gaps question, and map or diagram exercise – they’re all testing different types of skills.

Consequently, they don’t understand the specific strategies necessary to get the answers.



With reading, a lot of peoples’ issues is with the text, but in fact, most of them make mistakes with understanding the question.

Again, as with the listening exercise, there are very specific question types on the reading test, and unless you know what they are testing, and have the skills that you need to get the answers, then you’re not going to do very well.



With speaking, similar to listening, each of the three sections in the speaking test are testing for different skills. And they test them in specific ways.

In particular, Part 1 and Part 3 look very similar, but they are doing two very different things.

A lot of people don’t realize that, and end up answers that don’t make any sense or don’t answer the question, and they therefore score badly.



Finally, when it comes to writing, a lot of people don’t understand how to organize their thoughts well. That’s the first point.

The second point is, again, they fail to understand the question.

Once you understand what the question is asking you to do, and the kind of material that the question is asking you about, then it’s a lot easier to answer the question effectively.

Why take IELTS classes at Englist?

Englist IELTS Test Prep classes prepare students for the conditions and idiosyncrasies of the exam. Students are tasked with understanding each section of the test as well as given ample opportunity to practice the skills necessary for each part.

Englist goes further than most cram-school style test prep programs; instead of rote drilling for each test, Englist students are taught to develop the critical thinking, communication, and analytical skills these exams are looking for.

Watch the video below to get a sample of what is covered in our test prep classes.

Teacher Jon

TOEFL, IELTS, SAT expert and teacher

  • University of Tasmania | Bachelor’s Degree
  • Monash University | Master’s Degree
  • Kojen English Schools | Teacher (high school, university, adult levels)
  • Transcend Admission Consultants | College Application Preparation Consultant
  • Elite English Language Institute of Training and Education | Teacher

Teacher Jon has lived and taught in Taiwan for 15 years. His areas of expertise include TOEFL, IELTS, SAT, GEPT subjects (especially English, history, literature, and writing), academic skills, business English and corporate training (including email writing, resume writing, and preparing for a job interview), and college application essay preparation. His attitude towards teaching involves building a relationship with students, treating them with respect, care, patience, and concern.

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