What Should You Look Out For In A Good Online IELTS Preparation Course?

The IELTS exam is the global standard when it comes to language proficiency tests. Each year thousands of students attempt the exam, including many from Singapore. Obtaining a good score in the exam can open many doors in your life. It is a key factor in determining whether or not you can work or study in an English-speaking country.

The exam is designed by Cambridge ESOL and jointly hosted by the British Council and IDP Education Australia. These are 3 organisations which are known across the world for their extremely high standards and level of integrity.

There are two common types of  IELTS Exams. The IELTS Academic exam is taken by those students who wish to study in higher-level learning institutes that require a certain IELTS band score. The General Training exam is for those students who need to take the exam for immigration purposes. The exam is designed in such a way to assess a person’s ability to English capabilities in four areas, reading, writing, listening and speaking. The content reflects the standard of language in typical real-life situations that one might come across in an English-speaking country.

The test has many complexities in terms of content, and structure, that first-time test takers struggle to understand. This is why free IELTS training and preparation courses have become so popular among test takers. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer volume of online IELTS preparation resources and coaching classes. This article aims to help you make the best decision when choosing an IELTS preparation course.

What should you look out for in an online IELTS Course:

1. Easy to Navigate Page Design and Usability

Appearance might not be the first factor that comes to mind when choosing a course but having a well laid out and easy to access platform is vital for learning. An unnecessarily busy look on a website can often be confusing especially when there is no clear idea about where to begin.

2. Authentic British Council and IDP Practice IELTS And Preparation Materials Included

Make that you choose a course that offers unique IELTS preparation resources and materials, such as notes and video lessons, that provide an in-depth analysis of the IELTS exam and focuses on the skills and techniques required to sit for the test. It should also offer plenty of practical IELTS styled exercises to familiarize students with the level of difficulty of the test. These materials should also be clearly sequenced and accessible on any device.

3. Experienced IELTS Professionals

Check out the credentials of the people in charge. Make sure that the course is run by someone with vast experience in the IELTS industry and is considered an expert. There are far too many second-language speakers offering IELTS courses, and they might not have the necessary language skills to provide quality lessons, even though their English level might be better than yours. Choose native English teachers that are Celta or Delta qualified as this is the highest level of qualification for English as a second language lecturers.

The IELTS Test Simulation Experience

Most reputable online preparation courses do offer practice tests with provisional test band score reports. They also offer the added benefit of providing an analysis of your answers and help with improving your skills in the task types where you failed to score well.

There are hundreds maybe thousands of IELTS test preparation courses available on the internet and it’s important to do your research before spending your hard-earned money. Make sure you incorporate all of the above mentioned criteria into your research before registering for any course.

Jonathan has been teaching students to prepare for the IELTS and PTE Exams for more than 10+ years. He's taught English to students in various countries in the world including Singapore, China, Australia, Canada and Colombia.