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A full Guide for IELTS teachers

IELTS stands for the International English Language Testing System. We assess the English language proficiency of people who want to study or work in English-speaking environments. The test provides a fair, accurate and relevant assessment of language skills. And, IELTS covers the full range of proficiency levels, from nonuser to expert user. We base the test on well-established standards.

There are two main tests. Test takers can choose either Academic or General Training tests. Both tests consist of four separate sections. Each section assesses the four language skills: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.

We designed an Official IELTS Guide for Teachers. It tells you everything you need to know about the test. From question types to the structure of the test. Access it for free below. Or, register to access more resources for teachers.

“It is a must for all IELTS teachers and people interested in assessment in general. I am really pleased that it is available for free.”

Enhance your performance and effectiveness as a TESOL teacher

  • Understand IELTS format, scoring, and assessment criteria
  • Access tips from other teachers to help your students prepare for IELTS

Teaching the four sections of the IELTS test

Four sections of the IELTS test

IELTS: A test of four skills

IELTS is a task-based test. It covers the four language skills (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking). IELTS test takers receive individual scores for each of the four test sections. The average of the four provides the overall band score. We design each of the four sections carefully to focus on one particular skill. This makes it easier to control task difficulty across the many different tests produced each year. And, it results in a fairer test design when compared with tests that assess multiple skills simultaneously.

Organisations that rely on IELTS as proof of English language proficiency benefit from knowing that the score given for each section of the test is a clear and fair reflection of the test taker’s ability in that skill. This is particularly important in academic and professional settings where one skill is deemed to be more important than others. For example, in Canada nurses require to achieve a higher band score in their IELTS Speaking and Writing tests. On the other hand, teachers in Australia need a higher score in their IELTS Speaking and Listening tests.

Tips for teaching IELTS

Tips for teaching IELTS Writing and Speaking

In the Writing and Speaking sections, information that test takers read or hear helps shape the test taker’s own production. However, we carefully control this to ensure that the test taker is not required to carry out an extensive or complex reading and listening in order to respond to the task. This is particularly important because we report a score for each skill. And, it’s unfair to test takers if their performance in one skill area was compromised by their lack of proficiency in another.

Access the IELTS Guide for Teachers