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How to Use the Four Official IELTS Websites

There are four official IELTS websites to find official IELTS practice materials online:

Each of these websites is distinctly different, although there is some content overlap across all four official IELTS websites. IELTS.org, IELTS Essentials, and the British Council all tell you how to register for the exam anywhere in the world, give general information on how to prepare for the exam, and offer information about how the IELTS is scored.

The Cambridge IELTS website stands apart from the other three official IELTS websites, since the practice materials are somewhat hidden and require registering on the website. Despite these extra steps, Cambridge offers a wealth of official IELTS practice materials, including numerous free excerpts from their print books.

How to Use IELTS.org

IELTS.org has a really great selection of IELTS practice questions. The questions for Reading and Listening are organized by question type. And the Speaking and Writing questions are organized into two full sections. There are separate Reading and Writing question sets for IELTS General Training and IELTS Academic.

These questions are the most valuable part of the IELTS.org website. Unfortunately, they can be a little hard to access if you’re not already familiar with the site.

  • To find the practice questions, go to the IELTS.org homepage.
  • Move your mouse over the “About the test” option in the black menu bar that runs just under the IELTS logo at the top of the page.
  • A dropdown menu will appear below the words “About the test.” Click the fourth item in the menu, “Sample test questions.”
Accessing official IELTS practice materials on IELTS.org, one of the official IELTS websites - magoosh

IELTS homepage (Screenshot from IELTS.org)

  • This will bring you to the Sample test questions page. Scroll down a little bit, and you’ll see a row of fields with the following labels: Listening, Academic Reading, General Training Reading, Academic Writing, General Training Writing, and Speaking.
Accessing official IELTS practice materials on IELTS.org, one of the official IELTS websites - magoosh

Sample test questions page (Screenshot from IELTS.org)

 

  • The IELTS.org page will default to “Listening,” with red brackets around the “Listening” field. When you land on the page, you’ll see links to IELTS Listening practice questions if you scroll down.
  • You can move the red brackets by clicking on any other field in the row. When you move to a new field, the questions for that field will appear at the bottom of the screen.
Accessing official IELTS practice materials on IELTS.org, one of the official IELTS websites - magoosh

Selecting practice questions (Screenshot from IELTS.org)

 
This navigation is tricky, but it’s very convenient once you learn how to do it. The setup allows you to view all the different IELTS practice questions on a single page.

How to Use IELTS Essentials

If you want to access the same official IELTS practice materials from IELTS.org in an easier way, go to IELTS Essentials.

  • From the IELTS Essentials homepage, move your mouse over the “Practice and Prepare” menu option.
  • In the menu, move your mouse over the “Free Practice Tests” to see options for Listening, Speaking, Academic Reading and Writing, and General Training Reading and Writing.

Again, this is the same IELTS practice you’ll get on IELTS.org. You’re just accessing it in a different way.

IELTS Essentials also has some other unique materials, including a 40 minute video lecture about preparing for the IELTS, an IELTS Prep PDF, a portal where you can register for free IELTS training events around the world, and a link to the official IELTS IDP Facebook page.

How to Use British Council IELTS

The British Council’s IELTS website has its own unique set of IELTS practice, largely different from the materials and sample questions you see on the other official IELTS websites. The IELTS Reading, IELTS Listening, and IELTS Writing sections are fully unique to the British Council; only the IELTS Speaking section is the same as IELTS.org and IELTS Essentials.

Unfortunately, there’s no obvious way to access these official IELTS practice materials from the British Council IELTS webpage. The good news is that we’ve compiled the links below for you:

How to Use Cambridge IELTS

The Cambridge IELTS is something you might call “a horse of a different color.” That means it’s very different from the other websites.

This is where all the free goodies are: IELTS question sets, full IELTS practice tests, IELTS video presentations, and exam audio. However, all of these free, official IELTS practice materials can only be viewed if you have an account with Cambridge.org and are logged in. This content is completely unique to Cambridge.org, and getting a Cambridge.org account is free. So spend a few minutes registering for an account. It’s well worth the effort.

Other Places to Find Official IELTS Practice Materials

Official IELTS Practice Materials on Your Phone

IELTS practice materials aren’t limited just to the official IELTS websites. You can also get official IELTS practice materials on your phone.

Official IELTS Practice Materials in Book Form

With IELTS books, things finally get simple. There’s just one source: Cambridge University Press. On the Products tab of the Cambridge IELTS website, you can view all of the official IELTS books that are currently in print. Together, these books contain the majority of official IELTS practice materials out there. Some books focus on general test prep or practice exams, while others focus on specific IELTS skills, such as grammar and vocabulary.

For other options to supplement these official IELTS practice materials, check out our post on the best IELTS books and resources.

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