Of all the free resources for IELTS test takers, videos may have the most to offer as you prepare for the IELTS exam: They are informative and they offer valuable listening practice. The latter is particularly useful for those who have limited exposure to authentic English. IELTS videos in your native language will be helpful, but give yourself the added benefit of learning about the exam in the language of the exam! Below is a list of the best IELTS videos on YouTube for tips on preparation and, importantly, listening practice—in UK, North American, and Australian English!
On the IELTS The Basics
Meet the examiners!
The best person to advise you about the exam is an IELTS examiner. Here are a couple videos from the English testing professionals about what you can expect.
Meet Shanel Summers, an IELTS examiner from the UK who offers practical advice about what you should and shouldn’t do on the test. (UK English) (NOTE: The introduction of the video isn’t in English; skip to 0:42 to meet Shanel who only speaks in English).
Next, meet Meg, a former IELTS examiner from the U.S. In this second examiner video, you’ll hear some “secrets” about what it’s like to be an examiner and pointers to keep in mind when you take the test. Bonus: The video has subtitles so you can double-check your understanding! Try listening once without reading to subtitles to test your comprehension. (North American English)
General Information about the Exam
The IELTS—What is it? Here’s a general overview of the IELTS including why it’s taken, how it’s organized, and what differences there are between the academic and general tests. (Australian English)
What’s the examiner looking for? The video below from the British Council that explains the four qualities assessed in the exam. Unlike the previous video, this one is unscripted, so it’s a great example of natural British English. (UK English)
Successful test takers are a fantastic source of insight on how to prepare. The IELTS folks interviewed previous test takers about how they prepared and what their experience was like. Check it out here!
BEST IELTS Videos on Youtube by Section
Spend some time getting familiar with each section of the test. Here are some videos about the IELTS speaking, writing, reading, and listening sections from official sources and other experts.
Pronunciation is a point of concern for many speakers. This video on how pronunciation from the British Council explains how this aspect is pronunciation marked and how can improve your pronunciation for this section of the test. (North American English)
Similarly addressing specific features of your speech, the British Council describes the attributes fluency and coherence in this video on the IELTS speaking test and offers some tips for improvement specific to Parts 2 and 3 of the test. (North American English)
Actual IELTS Speaking Exams
How do your speaking skills measure up? These actual IELTS interviews have been recorded, providing a sample of how the IELTS band scores correspond to English speaking ability:
- IELTS Speaking Exam: Band 5
- IELTS Speaking Exam: Band 6
- IELTS Speaking Exam: Band 7
- IELTS Speaking Exam: Band 8
- IELTS Speaking Exam: Band 9
The official IELTS YouTube channel has recently released the IELTS Writing Sample Series including three valuable videos about how IELTS writing tests are marked. They explain how your answers are marked and explain why bands 5, 7, and 9 are assigned for these samples of writing task 1. (North American English)
In the following video, the British Council gives you advice on IELTS writing success by using a sample test taker who failed at his first attempts on the writing portion. Why did he fail and how can he improve? (North American English)
The IDP is a one of the partners responsible for the IELTS. The following is one of their pointer videos on the IELTS reading test, outlining some common mistakes you should avoid. (Australian English)
The British Council also has some fantastic advice on the IELTS reading portion:
- On the reading test format and instructions (North American English)
- On the reading skills skimming and scanning (North American English)
And last, although certainly not least, here are some helpful videos on the listening portion of the exam. First, five top tips on how you can improve your IELTS listening score—and, guess what? Exposing yourself to all the varieties of English makes the list! Check! (Australian English)
On the listening portion, we’ve got more great advice from the British Council:
- A British Council IELTS teacher’s tips on Listening (North American English)
- Listening test format, instructions, and advice (North American English)
Remember that any English videos you watch serve as valuable listening practice, so take advantage of the doubled benefits of using videos as a way to learn about and prepare for the IELTS exam. Happy YouTubing and good luck!