Choosing a Good IELTS Tutor

good ielts tutor

You may or may not need an IELTS Tutor. But if you do need one, how do you choose a good IELTS Tutor? Here are some tips for finding the right tutor.

Tip #1: Look for Experience

When you look for a good IELTS tutor, you should look for experience. And I don’t just mean tutoring experience. An IELTS tutor should be experienced with the exam itself. The best IELTS tutors have past IELTS teaching experience on their resume.

You may even be able to find an IELTS tutor who used work for the IELTS exam. Many former IELTS examiners and test designers work as tutors. So keep an eye out for these kinds of highly qualified IELTS exam coaches.

Another important point: be willing to see a non-Native English speaking tutor. A non-native Speaker is much more likely to have taken the IELTS. And tutors who’ve actually taken the exam themselves (and scored well) have very valuable direct experience with the exam.

Tip #2: Look for Someone Who Knows British English

The IELTS features a few different accents, but standard British English really dominates the exam. The ideal IELTS tutor is very familiar with British English. UK and British nationals make great IELTS tutors. So do non-native English speakers who have studied British English. Tutors from North America, Australia, New Zealand, etc. can also be great tutors, of course. But make sure that any non-British IELTS tutor understands the distinct, unique features of British English.

Tip #3: Often, the Best Tutors have a Teaching Certificate or TESOL Credential

If a tutor is certified to teach, it shows that they’re very serious about helping students. If an IELTS tutor has a certificate in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) or state teaching certificate in English or language arts, this is a good sign. A well-trained IELTS tutor is a helpful IELTS tutor.

Tip #4: Search for Tutors Both Online and Off

IELTS Tutoring can be done face-to-face. You may be able to find IELTS tutors right in your neighborhood or community. This is especially true if you live in a bigger city. But don’t be afraid to look online as well. If you’re open to online, webcam-based tutoring, you have access to a much bigger selection of IELTS tutors.

Tip #5: A Good Tutor can Address Your Personal Needs

Some larger tutoring companies provide pre-made tutoring lessons. By this, I mean lessons where the materials and activities have already been chosen for you and our tutor. This generally leads to tutoring that is less-than-perfect. In fact, “one-size-fits-all” tutoring can be useless or even harmful for students.

Not only that, but the “one-size-fits-all” approach defeats the whole purpose of tutoring. If you’re meeting a teacher one-on-one, they can give you the exact materials and help you need. Look for a tutor who understands your learning needs. Tell them your strengths, weaknesses, goals, target score, and so on. A good tutor will be willing and eager to help you with your specific challenges.

By the way, improve your IELTS score with Magoosh!

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  • David Recine

    David is a Test Prep Expert for Magoosh TOEFL and IELTS. Additionally, he's helped students with TOEIC, PET, FCE, BULATS, Eiken, SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT. David has a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and an MA from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. His work at Magoosh has been cited in many scholarly articles, his Master's Thesis is featured on the Reading with Pictures website, and he's presented at the WITESOL (link to PDF) and NAFSA conferences. David has taught K-12 ESL in South Korea as well as undergraduate English and MBA-level business English at American universities. He has also trained English teachers in America, Italy, and Peru. Come join David and the Magoosh team on Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram, or connect with him via LinkedIn!

2 Responses to Choosing a Good IELTS Tutor

  1. Max April 21, 2017 at 3:04 am #

    Good points, David. As a ex-IELTS candidate, I can add that price is another important factor when choosing tutor. Unfortunately, majority people from developing countries cannot afford online classes with tutor on regular basis. My opinion based on my own experience … When it comes to choosing a good IELTS Tutor it is also important to learn about tutor from his/her students feedback. I think this is the best way to get an idea of how good is tutor

    • David Recine
      David Recine April 21, 2017 at 6:27 am #


      Those are good points as well. Most online tutoring services have feedback and reviews of their tutors. You can also get feedback of a sort if you have personal friends, family members, or classmates who have seen a tutor and have opinions on that tutor.

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