IELTS 2023 Preparation Tips: IELTS Study Material & Preparation Plan at Home


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Rahul Singha

Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert

Updated on Sep 4, 2023 03:52 IST

For IELTS preparation, it is important to learn the exact IELTS test format. After knowing about the IELTS test go through the content of the test and check, which type of questions are asked in each of the sections. It is important to learn about the IELTS exam pattern and format before learning the IELTS preparation tips 2023. If you take the route of self-study to prepare for your IELTS exam, you need to study from the best books and resources for IELTS which are easily available. Since you will be working alone, you should make sure you are well-equipped with the IELTS study material for the preparation stage. In this article, we will inform you on how to prepare for IELTS section-wise and materials for IELTS. We will also inform you on how to prepare for IELTS at home.

Latest Updates on IELTS Preparations

Shiksha Study Abroad launches Free IELTS Online Classes

June 2023 onwards, Shiksha Study Abroad would be conducting free IELTS online classes on all weekdays of the month. In these classes, we would be discussing all four topics that are covered in the four sections of the IELTS exam – Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking in detail. Candidates would also be given an opportunity to clear their doubts at the end of every class by directly interacting with our IELTS preparation expert, Disha Wahi (TESOL Certified Trainer). That is not all, Disha would also be providing you with online questionnaires at the end of every section and IELTS practice papers for candidates to self-assess their IELTS preparations. To register for your Free Online IELTS Classes, Click Here

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Understand the IELTS Exam Format 2023

A good way to start the IELTS preparation is to get familiar with the exam format. Here, we have specified the IELTS test format in brief. There are total two types of IELTS; Academic and General Training. Every test taker takes the same Listening and Speaking tests but different Reading and Writing tests. Ensure that you prepare for the correct test type. Note that the Listening, Reading, and Writing sections of the IELTS are completed on the same day without any breaks in between. However, the Speaking section can be completed up to a week before or after the other tests.

IELTS Reading Test Format

The Reading section comprises 40 questions that test a wide range of reading skills. These include reading for gist, reading for details, reading for main ideas, skimming, understanding logical arguments and recognizing the opinions of the writers, attitudes, and purposes. The test is of total 60 minutes.

Academic Reading Test Format: The test includes three long texts that range from descriptive and factual to discursive and analytical. These texts are derived from books, newspapers, journals, and magazines.

Types of IELTS Reading Questions

Multiple choice

Sentence completion

Identifying Information

Summary completion

Identifying writer’s views / claims

Note completion

Matching information

Table completion

Matching headings

Flow-chart completion

Matching features

Diagram-label completion

Matching sentence endings

Short answer questions

How this section is evaluated?

Every task type assesses the test taker’s abilities on different grounds.

IELTS Writing Test Format

There are two tasks in this section and the test takers get 60 minutes to complete both tasks. For Academic Writing, note that the response to both tasks must be formal. In the case of General Training Writing, the Task 1 can be personal, semi-formal, or formal in style, whereas, the Task 2 can be fairly personal in style.

Academic Writing Test Format

The topics in this section are suitable for test-takers who are going for undergraduate and postgraduate studies or seeking professional registration.

  • Task 1:Here the test takers are asked to describe some visual information such as graph / table / chart / diagram in their own words. The test takers may be asked to describe and explain data, describe the stages of a process, how something works or describe an object or event. They are required to write 150 words in 20 minutes.
  • Task 2:Here the test takers respond to a point of view or problem or any argument. They need to write 250 words in 40 minutes.

How this section is evaluated?

The Task 1 and 2 responses are assessed on:

  • Task achievement
  • Lexical resource
  • Coherence and cohesion
  • Grammatical range and accuracy

IELTS Listening Test Format

In this section, the test-takers listen to the four recordings of native English speakers. After this, they have to write the answers to a series of questions. This section is of total 30 minutes.

  • Recording 1: a conversation between two people set in an everyday social context
  • Recording 2: a monologue set that has been set in an everyday social context
  • Recording 3: a conversation between up to four people set in a training or educational context, for instance: a university tutor and a student discussing an assignment
  • Recording 4: a monologue on an academic subject, for example a university lecture

Paper Format: There are four parts with 10 questions each. The recordings are heard only one time. They include a range of accents like Australian, British, Canadian, New Zealand, and American.

Types of IELTS Listening Questions

  • Multiple choice
  • Matching
  • Map / plan / diagram labelling
  • Sentence completion
  • Form / note / table / flow-chart / summary completion

How this section is evaluated?

The assessors shall be looking for evidence of the test takers’ ability to decipher the main ideas and detailed factual information, the attitudes and opinions of the speakers, and what is the purpose of an utterance. They will also look for evidence of the ability to follow the development of ideas.

IELTS Speaking Test Format

This section evaluates the use of spoken English. It is an oral interview between the test takers and an examiner. Also, every test is recorded. In total, the test is of 11-14 minutes.

  • Part 1:The examiner asks general questions about yourself and other similar topics like your home, work, family, studies and interests. This part lasts for 4-5 minutes.
  • Part 2:Here, a card is given to the test takers and then they have to talk about a particular topic. One minute is given to prepare before speaking up for two minutes. After this, the examiner asks one or two questions on the same topic.
  • Part 3:Here, the test takers are asked further questions about the topic in Part 2. This allows discussing more about the abstract ideas and issues. This part of the test is of 4-5 minutes.

How this section is evaluated? Here the test takers’ fluency and coherence are assessed. Apart from this, the grammatical range, accuracy, and pronunciation are also checked.

You can also take the route of enrolling with a coaching center for IELTS. The official British Council and IDP have their own official study guides and online preparation material. You can get in touch with the British Council for IELTS preparatory classes. Read: IELTS Exam: Tips to Achieve a High Score

Also read: IELTS Practice Test 

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IELTS Practice Test 2023

One of the best ways to self-evaluate your IELTS Exam preparedness is by solving IELTS mock test papers. In this section, we have provided our readers with IELTS sample papers inline with the latest IELTS exam pattern for candidates to practice.  

IELTS Mock Test Papers 2023 Set 1

IELTS Listening Sample Paper (Set 1) IELTS Reading Sample Paper (Set 1)
IELTS Speaking Sample Paper (Set 1) IELTS Writing Sample Paper (Set 1)

IELTS Mock Test Papers 2023 Set 2

IELTS Listening Sample Paper (Set 2) IELTS Reading Sample Paper (Set 2)
IELTS Speaking Sample Paper (Set 2) IELTS Writing Sample Paper (Set 2)

IELTS Mock Test Papers 2023 Set 3

IELTS Speaking Sample Paper (Set 3) IELTS Writing Sample Paper (Set 3)

IELTS Mock Test Papers 2023 Set 4

IELTS Speaking Sample Paper (Set 4) IELTS Writing Sample Paper (Set 4)

IELTS Mock Test Papers 2023 Set 5

IELTS Speaking Sample Paper (Set 5)  

IELTS Preparation Strategies

Having an effective IELTS preparation strategy can give you an advantage over others. Understand the IELTS test pattern and frame your daily routine accordingly. Familiarize yourself with the questions and tasks of every section. Also, go through the IELTS rules and regulations. Then start practicing with IELTS sample questions, this will give you an idea about what to expect in the IELTS test. Also, after a while, learn where you stand and do a progress check. Take IELTS Practice tests with time and without the time and learn your strengths and weaknesses. You can get official IELTS practice material that will help you to give IELTS test experience with real IELTS questions.

Listening Tips for IELTS 2023 Reading Tips for IELTS 2023
Writing Tips for IELTS 2023 Speaking Tips for IELTS 2023

5 Best Prep Tips to prepare for the IELTS 2023

These tips will help you in improving the IELTS test score for IELTS Academic test. Also, preparation can be a fun activity, even watching television discussions and chatting with your friends can be part of your preparation list.

1. Improve Reading Skills

Develop a habit of reading and learning new words and try to use them in the appropriate sentences. Read English newspapers on daily basis and listen to English news. Sharpen your skills and develop an ability to search for details and make notes while reading. You need to manage the time limit, as you have to give answers in a limited time.

2. Enhance your Writing skills

Practice writing in a timely manner and work to improve your speed. By developing writing skills, you will learn to handle task 2 as it is longer and needs more time. Note down the new words and compose sentences using them. Analyze the task 2 question carefully and make sure that all parts of the question have been addressed. Work on your speed, so, you get time to review what you have written.

3. Work on Listening skills

You can watch English news on daily basis and write them later. Remember you can hear the recording only once, so, be attentive and develop your listening skills, so, you don't need to pause the recording. Although if you want to listen to the tape again then listen to the script once more and note the useful expressions. You should know what exactly has been asked and check for the instructions.

4. Learn vocabulary

If you develop, reading skills make sure to learn new words and use them in the proper context. For this, you need to read a lot. Note down the new words and learn how to use them in appropriate sentences. Read editorials and different magazines, so, you get exposure to new words. You need to use new words repeatedly to make them part of your regular speech.

5. Learn the pronunciation and develop fluency

The listening section has been divided into three parts a short talk, a structured interview, and a free interview. Candidates will be asked about 2-3 brief concerns on familiar topics for 4 to 5 minutes. For this practice talk in English for a long time and focus on your pronunciation. Read and listen to different topics, so, you can learn about them and speak on different topics. Record yourself while speaking and learn your weaknesses and strengths.

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How to prepare for the IELTS exam at home?

Due to COVID-19, pandemic many students are taking the IELTS test at home and want to learn how to prepare for the IELTS exam at home. We have mentioned a few IELTS preparation tips for those who want to prepare for the IELTS test at home.

  • Familiarize yourself with the IELTS exam learn what is IELTS syllabus and IELTS test pattern and learn about the test structure
  • Go through the IELTS study material online for IELTS preparation
  • Gather IELTS preparation books and read them carefully
  • Learn more about each of the skills
    • Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking
  • Develop your English capabilities and develop reading, writing, and listening skills
  • Frame IELTS strategies keeping in mind the time constraints in the exam
  • Start taking practice tests

Preparing for IELTS is a process and it takes about 10-12 weeks to move up a score band by one point.

How to prepare for IELTS in one month?

If you plan carefully and have appropriate IELTS preparation material then you can prepare for the IELTS exam 2023 in one month.

  • Solve an IELTS practice test daily
  • Learn how to approach IELTS questions
  • Learn vocabulary
  • Focus on improving your listening and developing reading skills

30-day online preparation course

When you register for IELTS, you will get an online preparation course that will be considered as the top materials for IELTS. The 30-day online IELTS preparation course that will help you prepare for all four skills – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. With this program, you can prepare for the complete IELTS test or focus on your on one or more IELTS skill(s). The course has been designed by IDP in partnership with the Macquarie University. The course includes:

  • Practice tests of your preferred module
  • Up to 25 hours of online study time
  • Model answers and feedback
  • Study strategies and test tips from experts

Candidates will receive an activation link on their email as soon as they register for IELTS. You will have 30-day access on activation.

IELTS Study Materials 2023

Refer to the following materials for IELTS guides and IELTS preparation books to help create a study plan –

Road to IELTS: e-learning and online practice assessment - With over 100 hours of interactive activities, advice videos from British Council experts, hints and tips on question types as well as downloadable practice tests, it is an up-to-date online study material that is aimed precisely at the challenges candidates face.

The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS - This guide is packed with the advice you need to achieve your desired band in the IELTS exam. It is practical and easy to use, it focuses on the language and skills you need to perform with confidence.

IELTS preparation material free download by IDP – This pack is called the IELTS Essentials Pack by IDP. It includes examiner-approved IELTS test preparation tips that are best suited for your test, prepare for the IELTS checklist to help you organize your IELTS journey and detailed information on what to expect on test day.

How to prepare for IELTS 2023

IELTS test 2023 comprises four sections reading, writing, listening, and speaking. We have given preparation tips for every section for the IELTS exam preparation.

IELTS Reading Preparation

IELTS Reading section evaluates your reading skills. You need to read lengthy articles along with multiple-choice questions, short answers, matching information, and sentence completion. The Academic Writing test can be harder than the General Training test.

  • If you are not able to solve a question, skip to another one. Come back later to finish it
  • Carefully go through the graphs, images, or any figures while solving the questions. Focus on minor details
  • Try to understand the passage questions carefully and find answers from the passage itself
  • Use capital letters for answers
  • Make sure you are to the point and grammatically correct

IELTS Writing Task 1 (Academic) Preparation

The Writing section comprises two subsections. Here, you need to write an essay expressing your point of view, and describe a diagram, chart, or graph.

  • Give a limited time to every task like 40 minutes for a lengthier task and 20 minutes for task 1
  • Try to write more than 150 words for the first task and more than 250 words for the second task
  • Make sure you give a conclusion for task 2
  • Avoid repeating words and phrases
  • Avoid passive voice and use active voice
  • Write to the point and avoid writing lengthy sentences
  • Proofread before submitting

IELTS Listening Preparation

The listening section evaluates how well you understand the language. It has four sections and includes 40 questions. Ensure your headphones are working properly, if not then inform the examiner and change them with a working one.

  • Utilize the allotted time to read the questions before the recording starts
  • Make notes on the question paper when listening to the recording
  • Listen to the recording carefully and try to focus on the answers. The recording will be played only once
  • Give answers within the word limit
  • Use capital letters for all answers
  • Proofread for grammar errors and spelling mistakes before submitting

IELTS Speaking Preparation

In the IELTS Speaking section, you need to interact live with an examiner. This section analyses how well you spoke the English language. Here, you need to interact with the examiner, so, you need to be spontaneous. It is divided into three parts.

  • Listen to the questions carefully and answer directly
  • Try to speak slowly (so, the examiner can listen to you) and fluently
  • Be confident while speaking
  • Make sure your answers remain relevant
  • Ask to repeat the question only if it is required
  • Focus on the vocabulary you are using, grammar, and sentence structure
  • Try not to take long pauses

Also Read: FAQs for IELTS Exam 2023

IELTS Preparation Tips FAQs

Q. How to start preparing for IELTS?

A. Beginners should start preparing for IELTS by following these points:
  • First of all, understand the IELTS test format
  • Understand how IELTS scoring works
  • Understand, currently, what is the level of your English knowledge and how much effort you need to prepare for the IELTS test
  • Arrange for the best IELTS preparation tools

Q. What kind of questions are there in IELTS?

A. Candidates need to cover certain topics in each of the sections to prepare for the IELTS test. Every section has some topics that you should prepare thoroughly. You can go through the above article and check all the topics that you need to cover while preparing for the IELTS.

Q. Is the IELTS test be completed in one day?

A. The Reading, Writing, and Listening tests are completed in one day. The Speaking test can be taken within 7 days before or after the test date according to the arrangements made by the local test center.

Q. Who accepts IELTS test score?

A. IELTS tests are held in more than 120 countries globally. The test is recognized by thousands of universities and employers in major English-speaking countries like the USA, UK, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada.

Q. Best app for IELTS preparation.

A. There are a lot of online resources available for IELTS preparation. Few IELTS apps that candidates can use to prepare for the IELTS test.
  • IELTS Prep App, IELTS Word Power offered by British Council
  • The Official Cambridge Guide IELTS mobile app
  • The Vocab24 Vocabulary Builder app
  • IELTS Prep App: This is an official IELTS app developed by British Council and can be used by both Android as iOS users
  • BBC Learning English: One of the best apps to learn English. It is available on both Android and iOS platforms

Q. Can I prepare for the IELTS test within 2 weeks?

A. Although two weeks are less, however, with a solid strategy can help you get a decent IELTS score. Candidates should understand the IELTS test format and prepare a comprehensive study plan for the next two weeks covering all the topics. After covering all the topics in each of the sections give full-length practice tests.

Q. Can the IELTS test be taken without coaching?

A. For some candidates it is important to have a mentor and a regular study plan with fixed timing to prepare for the exam. IELTS test may seem a piece of cake to many but at the same time, it can be difficult for some after knowing its complexities. Candidates can go through the exam pattern and check the topics they need to cover. If you think you need tutoring for preparation then go for coaching or else go for self-study.

Q. Is it difficult to score 7 in IELTS?

A. It is not difficult to score 7 bands in IELTS. Most of the students tend to be around 5-6 bands, so, with more focus on their weak areas candidates can improve their score. Whether it is a writing test or any other area where you scoring less, focus more on that and it won't be that difficult to get a decent score.

Q. Which is the hardest section in the IELTS exam?

A. There may not be a specific answer to this question as it varies from person to person. Somebody may find the Writing section the most difficult while some may find Speaking the hardest. It is better one should go through the IELTS exam pattern and understand each and every section and figure out the toughest section and focus more on that.

Q. Can one pass the IELTS exam without studying?

A. Those who want to give the IELTS test without studying should take some of the IELTS practice tests and then decide whether they need to prepare for the exam or they can give it without studying.

Q. What is a good IELTS band score?

A. Candidates must be aware of the IELTS scoring before giving the test. You can check the complete band scores here




Ibrahim Edwin

3 months ago

Good day sir. Please you need to check the phones number above and correct that, coz someone pick the call and said he has no idea of the whole thing"a; IELTS"a;

Reply to Ibrahim Edwin


Mustafijur molla

4 months ago

Hello shiksha I just finish my B A in political science. I want to study abroad now? Can I complete MA here. And then what kind of work will I get. I would be very happy if you answer. Thank you

Reply to Mustafijur molla


Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert

2 months ago

Hello Mustafijur. If you are looking for assistance with applying to universities abroad. Get in touch with our Shiksha Study Abroad Counsellors and book a counselling session absolutely free, Click Here:


6 months ago

Hi Shiksha Study Abroad, I have a query, I completed my bachelors in the year 2020 with first division, so can I apply on the basis of MOI?

Reply to Aditi


Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert

2 months ago

Hello Aditi. Thank you for writing in. A Medium of Instruction Certificate (MOI) is accepted proof of English proficiency. However, whether your preferred university/ college would be considering the MOI is something you will have to check. This is entirely at the discretion of the university and th




7 months ago

I am 10th pass , I want to check my efficiency in english I am eligible

Reply to Pratham


Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert

2 months ago

Hello Pratham. You can go ahead and take the IELTS exam to check your proficiency in the English language. However, do note that the IELTS exam is for candidates who are looking to study or migrate to countries that use English as their first language. You can opt for other English proficiency tests



Megha Sharma

7 months ago

Hi! Piyush Wanted to know more about the procedure and preparation of IELTS exam. If you could help, please.

Reply to Megha Sharma


Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert

3 months ago

Hello Anmol. Will be happy to help you regarding any query that you may have on the IELTS exam.


Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert

3 months ago

Hello Megha. You can visit our IELTS preparation page for a number of preparation options. we have got sample papers, preparation tips and tricks, IELTS free online classes (recently launched), best books and study material among others. You can also visit the official IDP IELTS website for relevant


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