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Course Report

[2023] 140+ IELTS Exam Preparation Resources

Here is our list of online courses and other resources to help you prepare for the IELTS exam.

We recently published a list resources to prepare for the TOEFL exam, including online courses, practice websites, mobile apps, youtube videos, vocabulary flashcards, podcasts, and guide books.

Another standardized test of English language proficiency for non-native English speakers is IELTS (International English Language Testing System). Submitting IELTS results is essential as a proof of your English abilities, when you plan to apply for migration, study, or work in Australia, USA, the UK, Canada or New Zealand.

IELTS is even more popular than TOEFL with an estimated 3.5 million test takers in 2018 and higher interest worldwide in Google Trends, as seen in the screenshot below.

IELTS vs TOEFL on Google Trends

Class Central lists nearly 1400 online courses to learn a new language at beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. We also regularly publish collections like the list of Free University Courses to Learn a New Language.

For English, we have published Learn English as a Second Language (ESL) with Hundreds of Courses and Sites. And here is a list of paid and free resources specifically for IELTS. You can find online courses, practice websites, mobile apps, YouTube playlists, and guides and books.


Click on a category to jump to the corresponding section and resources.

About the IELTS Exam

IELTS has been managed by the British Council, IDP Education and Cambridge Assessment English since 1989. It is accepted by over 11,500 organizations worldwide, including universities, colleges, government departments, immigration authorities, multinational companies, and many more. 

Paper-based IELTS vs. Computer-based IELTS

You can take the IELTS on paper or on the computer. They are the same in test format, question types, time duration, content, and registration fees. The only difference is writing answers on paper with an HB-pencil or typing on the screen. The Speaking part is completed face-to-face with an IELTS examiner in both approaches. There is no need to use your own computer as the test center will supply it for the computer-delivered IELTS test.

The advantage of taking IELTS on the computer is that you can receive your results 3 to 5 days after the test while getting results from the paper-based test takes 13 days.

IELTS Online

You can take an online IELTS Academic test from your own computer in nearly 30 countries. Test format is the same as the paper or computer-based tests in a testing center. You will receive your results in 3-6 days. The Speaking test is with a human examiner, via video call. The General training IELTS exam is currently not available in the online version, so you would still need to go to a test center. For other countries including China, you may want to consider the IELTS Indicator.

IELTS Test Types and Formats

The IELTS test includes four parts: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. And there are two different IELTS modules: Academic and General Training. The Academic module and General Training module share the same Speaking and Listening tests but are different in the Reading and Writing tests. Here, you can find the detailed differences in format of two types of tests. If you are interested in studying or living in the UK, you may only need the UKVI or Life Skills versions, which relate specifically to the UK. For the Life Skills test, you only need to demonstrate your speaking and listening skills.

Content No. of Questions Time duration
Listening 2 conversations
2 monologues
40 30 min
Academic Reading 3 long texts 40 60 min
General Training Reading Section 1: 2-3 short texts
Section 2: 2 texts
Section 3: 1 long text
40 60 min
Academic Writing Task 1: Describe visual information
Task 2: Respond to a point of view or argument or problem
2 60 min
General Training Writing Task 1: Respond to a situation
Task 2: Respond to a point of view or argument or problem
2 60 min
Speaking Part 1: General questions
Part 2: Particular topic
Part 3: Further questions about the topic in Part 2
3 11 – 14 min


You do not pass or fail IELTS. After your test, you receive a proficiency rating between Band 1 (non-user) and Band 9 (expert user), stepped in half-bands. Organizations and institutions set the minimum band needed by applicants. Some online courses also recommend a minimum IELTS score, such as A Beginner’s Guide to Writing in English for University Study which recommends an IELTS score of 4.5 or higher.

IELTS Test Fees

Book IELTS test

IELTS registration fee is different depending on where you book the test, and sometimes may be different for the paper-based and computer-based test. At the time of writing, booking an IELTS test costs 250-255 USD in the US, 410 AUD in Australia, and ₹ 16250 in India.

Transfer IELTS test date

You can only transfer the test date once. It’s free of charge if you transfer the test date five weeks before the scheduled test date. But, if you transfer less than five weeks before the scheduled test date, you will be charged a 25% administration fee. You have no chance to transfer less than three days before the scheduled test date.

Cancel IELTS test

Canceling the test five weeks before the scheduled test date means you can be eligible for a refund of 75% of the test fee. But less than five weeks means zero refund.

Exceptional Circumstances

Some exceptional circumstances may allow you to transfer or cancel. These include serious medical conditions (with a medical certificate), recent family bereavement, and special hardship. You need to submit your application for consideration promptly, including supporting documents.

IELTS Exam Preparation Resources

Online Courses

Websites for IELTS Practice Online

Mobile Apps

YouTube Videos 

IELTS Full course

IELTS Listening

IELTS Reading

IELTS Writing

IELTS Speaking

Guides and Books


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Rui Ma

With a background in Health Statistics and Sociology, she has built a career path in Data Analytics.
Pat Bowden Profile Image

Pat Bowden

Online learning specialist, still learning after 150+ MOOCs completed since 2012. Class Central customer support and help since 2018. I am keen to help others make the most of online learning, so I set up a website:  www.onlinelearningsuccess.org

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