Free IELTS Grammar Practice Tests and Exercises for Better Scores

Looking to boost your IELTS band score? This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about the IELTS test, including detailed assessment criteria, effective tips for score improvement, and a list of free resources to aid your preparation. Whether you aim to study, work, or migrate to an English-speaking country, mastering the IELTS can open doors to new opportunities. Discover the best strategies and resources to help you succeed in the IELTS exam.

What is IELTS?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a globally recognized standardized test that evaluates the English proficiency of non-native speakers aspiring to study, work, or migrate to English-speaking countries. This article provides an in-depth overview of the IELTS assessment criteria, offering practical tips to improve band scores. Additionally, it highlights various free resources available for effective test preparation, aiming to equip candidates with the tools needed to achieve their desired results.

IELTS Recognition 

IELTS is recognized by universities and immigration authorities in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. The test is also accepted by professional bodies and employers worldwide. 

IELTS Benefits 

Taking the IELTS test offers several benefits: 

  • Access to new opportunities: IELTS is recognized by over 11,000 organizations globally, making it a widely accepted test for higher education and global migration. 
  • Career advancement: IELTS helps prove English proficiency to future employers, enhancing career prospects. 
  • International work: The test assesses the candidate’s ability to communicate in English in a variety of international settings. 
  • Settling in an English-speaking country: IELTS helps demonstrate English proficiency to immigration authorities, facilitating the process of settling in an English-speaking country. 

IELTS Test Types 

There are two types of IELTS tests: 

  1. Academic IELTS: This test is designed for students who want to study at a university or higher education institution. It assesses the candidate’s ability to understand academic texts and to write essays and reports in an academic style. 
  1. General Training IELTS: This test is suitable for those who want to work or migrate to an English-speaking country. It focuses on everyday English and assesses the candidate’s ability to understand and communicate in everyday situations. 

IELTS Preparation 

To prepare for the IELTS test, candidates can take practice tests, attend language courses, and use online resources. It is recommended to start preparing at least two months before the test date.  

IELTS Special Arrangements 

The test offers special arrangements for candidates with special needs, ensuring fair testing for all. 

Sections of IELTS 

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is a standardized test designed to assess the English language proficiency of non-native speakers. It consists of four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. Here is a detailed breakdown of each section: 

Listening Section of IELTS 

  • Duration: 30-34 minutes 
  • Format: The test includes four recorded texts, including monologues and conversations, by native speakers. 
  • Part 1: A conversation between two people set in an everyday social context. 
  • Part 2: A monologue set in an everyday social context, e.g., a speech about local facilities. 
  • Part 3: A conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context, e.g., a university tutor and a student discussing an assignment. 
  • Part 4: A monologue on an academic subject, e.g., a university lecture. 
  • Timing: Before each part, you have time to read the questions. After each part, you have time to review your answers. At the end of the test, you have 2 minutes to check your answers. 

Reading Section of IELTS 

  • Duration: 60 minutes 
  • Format: The test includes three long texts taken from books, journals, magazines, and newspapers, notices, advertisements, company handbooks, and official documents. 
  • Question types: The test assesses a wide range of reading skills, including reading for gist, main ideas, detail, skimming, understanding logical arguments, and recognizing writers’ opinions, attitudes, and purpose. 
  • Timing: You have 60 minutes to complete the test. 

Writing Section of IELTS 

  • Duration: 60 minutes 
  • Format: The test includes two tasks. 
  • Task 1: You are presented with a graph, table, chart, or diagram and asked to describe, summarize, or explain the information in your own words. 
  • Task 2: You are asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument, or problem. 
  • Timing: You have 60 minutes to complete both tasks. 
  • Word count: Task 1 requires at least 150 words, and Task 2 requires at least 250 words. 

Speaking Section of IELTS 

  • Duration: 11-14 minutes 
  • Format: The test assesses your use of spoken English by a face-to-face interview without disruptions or distractions. 
  • Part 1: The examiner asks you general questions about yourself and a range of familiar topics, such as home, family, work, studies, and interests. 
  • Part 2: You are asked to talk for up to two minutes about a particular topic. You have one minute to prepare before speaking. 
  • Part 3: You are asked questions about the topic in Part 2. These give you the opportunity to discuss more abstract ideas and issues. 
  • Timing: You have 11-14 minutes to complete the test. Your speaking test may be offered on the same day as the other sections of the test, or up to a week before or one day after. 

IELTS band score 

IELTS band scores are calculated by averaging the scores from the four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. Each section is scored on a band scale from 0 to 9, with increments of 0.25, 0.5, and 0.75. The overall band score is the average of the four section scores, rounded to the nearest whole or half band. Here is a detailed breakdown of how IELTS band scores are calculated and what they mean: 

IELTS Scores 

  • Listening: 0-9 
  • Reading: 0-9 
  • Writing: 0-9 
  • Speaking: 0-9 
  • Overall Band Score: 0-9 

Calculating IELTS Section Scores 

  • Listening and Reading: Each correct answer earns one point, and the total number of points is converted into a band score using a standardized conversion table. 
  • Writing and Speaking: Examiners assess performance based on specific criteria, including task achievement, coherence and cohesion, lexical resource, and grammatical range and accuracy for Writing; and fluency and coherence, lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy, and pronunciation for Speaking. 

Overall Band Score 

  • Rounding: If the average of the four section scores ends in .25, the overall band score is rounded up to the next half band. If it ends in .75, it is rounded up to the next whole band. 
  • Examples
  • If the average score is 6.1, it is rounded down to 6. 
  • If the average score is 6.85, it is rounded up to 7. 
  • If the average score is 6.25, it is rounded up to 6.5. 
  • If the average score is 6.75, it is rounded up to 7. 

IELTS Band Score Descriptions 

  • Band 9: Expert user. Fully operational command of the language. Use of English is appropriate, accurate, and fluent, and shows complete understanding. 
  • Band 8: Very good user. Fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriate usage. May misunderstand some things in unfamiliar situations. Handles complex and detailed argumentation well. 
  • Band 7: Good user. Operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriate usage, and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning. 
  • Band 6: Competent user. Effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage, and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations. 
  • Band 5: Modest user. Partial command of the language and copes with overall meaning in most situations, although likely to make many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic communication in own field. 
  • Band 4: Limited user. Basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Frequently shows problems in understanding and expression. Not able to use complex language. 
  • Band 3: Extremely limited user. Conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. There are frequent breakdowns in communication. 
  • Band 2: Intermittent user. Has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English. 
  • Band 1: Non-user. Has no ability to use the language except a few isolated words. 
  • Band 0: Did not attempt the test. Did not answer the questions. 

IELTS Band Score Chart 

Listening and Reading Scores: 

  • Band 9: 40/40 
  • Band 8: 35/40 
  • Band 7: 30/40 
  • Band 6: 23/40 
  • Band 5: 16/40 

Writing and Speaking Scores: 

  • Band 9: Fully operational command of the language. 
  • Band 8: Fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriate usage. 
  • Band 7: Operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriate usage, and misunderstandings. 
  • Band 6: Effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage, and misunderstandings. 
  • Band 5: Partial command of the language and copes with overall meaning in most situations, although likely to make many mistakes. 

IELTS Scores and the Common European Framework (CEFR) 

CEFR Levels: The CEFR is an international standard for describing language ability. It marks an individual’s language skills along a six-mark scale ranging from A1 (beginners) to C2 (advanced). The highest CEFR level in IELTS would be band 9. 

Tips for achieving a high IELTS score 

To achieve a high IELTS score, it is crucial to understand the format and requirements of each section, practice regularly, and use the given time effectively. Additionally, it is essential to improve your English language skills, particularly in vocabulary, reading, and writing. By following these tips and techniques, you can maximize your score and achieve your desired band score. 

General Tips for achieving a high IELTS score

  • Always review the reason you get answers wrong. 
  • Use the preparation time to think about the task content and focus. 
  • Make sure you know exactly what’s required for each task and check the instructions. 
  • After checking your answers, listen again, and try to work out the cause of any problem. 
  • Use the example given at the start of each section to become more familiar with the topic and the format. 
  • Allow plenty of time to review your essay question and check your work. 
  • Make sure to organize your thoughts and ideas before writing them out on the Written section. 
  • Use a good monolingual dictionary to check proper word arrangement. 
  • Avoid spending too much learning highly specialized words.  

Tips for achieving a high IELTS score in Reading Section

  • Skim and scan to form a general picture of a text quickly. 
  • Make sure you know exactly what’s required for each task. 
  • Check all instructions carefully. 
  • Use the work for further clues about the content and organization of the text. 
  • Remember the key vocabulary may be explained for you in the text. 
  • Don’t use a dictionary until you’ve done the task and checked your answers. 

Tips for achieving a high IELTS score in Writing Section

  • Read the questions carefully. 
  • Use paragraphs. Each paragraph should contain one idea. 
  • Utilize your vocabulary. Try to avoid using the same words too much. 
  • Use the example given at the start of the Writing section to become more familiar with the topic and the format. 
  • Allow plenty of time to review your essay question and check your work. 
  • Make sure to organize your thoughts and ideas before writing them out on the Written section. 
  • Use a good monolingual dictionary to check proper word arrangement. 
  • Avoid spending too much learning highly specialized words. 

Tips for achieving a high IELTS score in Listening Section

  • Use the example given at the start of the Listening section to become more familiar with the speakers, situation, and sounds. 
  • Don’t try to understand every word and phrase you read in each of the IELTS sections. You won’t have time to complete each section if you do. 
  • Review the example answer if one is provided in the Reading section. This can help you develop a correct answer for the actual Reading section questions. 
  • Make sure to organize your thoughts and ideas before writing them out on the Written section. Take a moment and make a rough outline of what you want to write as this will help you express your ideas and opinions. 
  • Allow plenty of time to review your essay question and check your work. 
  • Avoid speaking to the recording equipment during the spoken part of the IELTS. Make sure to address the examiner directly by making eye contact as you speak. 
  • Anytime you give a “yes” or “no” answer to the examiner, make sure to provide a little more detail. Try to explain at least one point of what you were asked. 
  • As you are listening to a recording, only focus on the questions that relate to the part that is currently being played. 
  • Use the preparation time to think about the task content and focus. 
  • Make sure you know exactly what’s required for each task and check the instructions. 
  • After checking your answers, listen again, and try to work out the cause of any problem.  

Tips for achieving a high IELTS score in Speaking Section

  • Practice, practice, practice. Use any opportunity you can to practice speaking English before your test. 
  • Speak clearly. It’s natural to speak quickly when you’re nervous, but this can cause you to make mistakes. Slow down and focus on clear pronunciation. 
  • Stay away from simple “yes” or “no” answers. This is your opportunity to show off your vocabulary and conversation skills. 
  • You can switch your topic angle but you can’t change the topic if you’re not familiar with the subject that is being discussed. 
  • Use the entire 2 minutes to talk about why you don’t own a car, the disadvantages of owning a car and why public transportation is better. 

Using Idioms Effectively in IELTS Speaking

Introduction

Idioms are an essential part of English language, and using them effectively in IELTS speaking can significantly enhance your performance. This guide provides tips and resources to help you incorporate idioms naturally into your speaking responses. Using idioms effectively in IELTS speaking can enhance your performance and showcase your mastery of English vocabulary. By following these tips and resources, you can incorporate idioms naturally into your speaking responses and improve your overall performance.

Why Use Idioms in IELTS Speaking?

  • Enhance fluency: Idioms can help you sound more natural and fluent in your speaking responses.
  • Showcase vocabulary: Using idioms demonstrates your mastery of English vocabulary and can impress the examiner.
  • Add variety: Idioms can add variety to your speaking responses, making them more engaging and interesting.

Tips for Using Idioms in IELTS Speaking

  • Learn idioms in context: Learn idioms in context rather than just memorizing them. This will help you understand their meanings and usage.
  • Practice using idioms: Practice using idioms in your speaking responses to make them sound natural.
  • Use idioms sparingly: Use idioms sparingly to avoid sounding unnatural or forced.
  • Focus on common idioms: Focus on common idioms that are frequently used in everyday English.

Free Resources for IELTS Practice

Here are some online resources where you can find free IELTS preparation tests:

  • IELTS Liz: IELTS Liz offers a range of free IELTS preparation materials, including practice tests, lessons, and tips. You can access these resources on her website.
  • IELTS Buddy: IELTS Buddy offers a range of free IELTS preparation materials, including practice tests, lessons, and tips. You can access these resources on their website.
  • IELTS Mentor: IELTS Mentor offers a range of free IELTS preparation materials, including practice tests, lessons, and tips. You can access these resources on their website.
  • English Grammar Pass: English Grammar Pass offers a range of free English grammar and vocabulary exercises, including IELTS preparation tests. You can access these resources on their website.
  • IELTS Up: IELTS Up offers a range of free IELTS preparation materials, including practice tests, lessons, and tips. You can access these resources on their website.
  • IDP IELTS: IDP IELTS offers free IELTS practice tests, including speaking practice questions and sample tasks. You can access these resources on their website.

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