The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) measures the language proficiency of people who want to study or work where English is used as a language of communication. It uses a nine-band scale to clearly identify levels of proficiency, from non-user (band score 1) through to expert (band score 9).

Following this free online course from the experts who produce the test, you will know:

  • What skills are important for success in the IELTS Academic test
  • How IELTS examiners assess your level
  • What you need to do in order to improve your IELTS band score

This five-week course will help you find answers to questions like these and more.

About the course

This free online course has been created by Cambridge English Language Assessment (part of the University of Cambridge), who produce the IELTS test.

You will have many opportunities to interact with experts and with other learners from around the world. You will also have the chance to try authentic IELTS practice tasks and learn exactly what skills they are testing and how they are marked.

What you will learn

You will get a clearer idea of what and how to study, both to prepare for the test and to develop your academic English skills.

By the end of the course, you will:

  • understand how IELTS Writing and Speaking are assessed, and have an opportunity to share your own writing and speaking with experts and other learners;
  • know more about the different Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking tasks in the test and how to do your best in these;
  • understand your own strengths and needs, so that you can get a better IELTS band score and improve your English;
  • see how English is used at university, and how this is related to the IELTS test;
  • be able to prepare for the IELTS test in a way that will benefit you beyond the exam.

IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment.


This course is for anyone who wants to improve their IELTS score. It is especially useful for those who want to take IELTS Academic and go to university.

The creators have tried to use simple English in the course as much as possible, but it is recommended that your English is at least level B1 (around IELTS band 4.5 or higher) to take the course.

The course is aimed at people preparing for IELTS Academic. If you are preparing for IELTS General Training, you will find that some of this course is useful for you, but not all. Of course, you are welcome to join. Academic and General Training use the same Speaking and Listening tests, but Reading and Writing are different.

Starting date:  9 January, 2017

Duration:  5 weeks, 3 hours per week

Language: English

Instructors: Gad Lim

InstitutionCambridge English Language Assessment