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Inside IELTS: Preparing for the Test with the Experts

Learn about the skills you need for IELTS Academic and beyond, on this free online course from the experts who produce the test.

428,954 enrolled on this course

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  • Duration

    5 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

  • What skills are important for success in the IELTS Academic test?
  • How do IELTS examiners assess your level?
  • What do you need to do in order to improve your IELTS band score?

This five-week course will help you find answers to questions like these.

Get advice from the IELTS experts

This free online course is created by Cambridge English Language Assessment (part of the University of Cambridge), who produce the IELTS test.

You will have many opportunities to interact with experts and with other learners from around the world. You’ll also have the chance to try authentic IELTS practice tasks and learn exactly what skills they’re testing and how they’re marked.

Learning to learn, for the IELTS test and beyond

You’ll get a clearer idea of what and how to study, both to prepare for the test and to develop your academic English skills.

By the end of the course, you will:

  • understand how IELTS Writing and Speaking are assessed, and have an opportunity to share your own writing and speaking with experts and other learners;
  • know more about the different Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking tasks in the test and how to do your best in these;
  • understand your own strengths and needs, so that you can get a better IELTS band score and improve your English;
  • see how English is used at university, and how this is related to the IELTS test;
  • and be able to prepare for the IELTS test in a way that will benefit you beyond the exam.

IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 11 seconds If you’re planning to take IELTS we invite you to join our free course, ‘Inside IELTS’. I want to attend a university in England so I had to do that myself. That’s why I want to do IELTS. I have to use it for Thailand university and it’s also really important so that I can use for overseas such as in England, in Australia or Singapore. I want to retake my IELTS and I want to use for my Master’s degree maybe in Austria or Germany, I don’t know.

Skip to 0 minutes and 45 seconds This course will cover all four sections of the IELTS Academic test. Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The first time I tried an IELTS exam the most difficult one was Reading. I will practise and it will get better. In my listening, at first it is not so good also but I have to listen to English songs. Reading and writing, especially writing because I don’t like writing so much. The experts behind the test will share with you the skills being tested and give you an idea of what IELTS examiners are looking for. You’ll also learn how preparing for the test will help you when you get into university, in other words, when you succeed in IELTS you also succeed in real life.

Skip to 1 minute and 31 seconds I want to know how I can improve my reading because I don’t have enough time. It’s just like one hour but it has three parts. I need this IELTS exam because my university wants an IELTS exam from me. I want to improve myself. I’m Gad Lim from Cambridge English Language Assessment, the makers of the IELTS test. I hope you’ll join us on ‘Inside IELTS’. Have a good day and see you soon.

What topics will you cover?

  • the content of the IELTS Academic test
  • the skills that learners need in order to improve their IELTS score
  • the way that IELTS candidates are assessed
  • the range of tasks that learners need to complete in the IELTS test, and the skills that these tasks test
  • some of the skills that learners need when studying at university where English is the language of instruction

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explore the skills that IELTS Academic candidates need and how these are assessed
  • Identify their own strengths and needs in relation to IELTS Academic
  • Explore how preparing for IELTS can also help them develop skills that are useful in Higher Education
  • Assess their own specific abilities in order to find ways to improve

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone who wants to improve their IELTS score. It is especially useful for people who want to take IELTS Academic and go to university.

We have tried to use simple English in the course as much as possible, but we recommend your English is at least level B1 (around IELTS band 4.5 or higher) to take the course.

The course is aimed at people preparing for IELTS Academic. If you are preparing for IELTS General Training, you will find that some of this course is useful for you, but not all. Of course, you are welcome to join. Speaking and Listening are the same in Academic and General Training, but Reading and Writing are different.

Who will you learn with?

Dr Gad Lim is Principal Research Manager at Cambridge Assessment English. He conducts research on second language learning, teaching, and testing.

Who developed the course?

Cambridge University Press & Assessment

We are a department of the University of Cambridge. Together with teachers and our partners, we’re here to engage and inspire millions of people throughout their entire learning journey. We help them confidently prove their skills to the world.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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