Language tests are often hard to understand in terms of structure and assessment methods. The diversity and multitude of such tests makes it difficult for candidates to get a clear notion of a particular test. This course aims at helping prospective IELTS test takers better understand the concept of the test in detail.

About the course

Anyone thinking about taking an English language test, such as IELTS, will find this course particularly useful, but all English language learners will benefit from the tips and advice offered by the course.

The MOOC focuses on the IELTS (International English Language Testing System). IELTS is the world’s most popular English language test for higher education and global migration. It is accepted by over 9,000 organisations worldwide including universities, employers, immigration authorities and professional bodies. Over 2.2 million IELTS tests were taken globally last year.

IELTS is available in two test versions: Academic - for people applying for higher education or professional registration, and General Training for those migrating to Australia, Canada and the UK, or applying for secondary education, training programmes and work experience in an English-speaking environment. Both versions provide a valid and accurate assessment of the four language skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking.

This course will take you through each stage of the IELTS test — reading, writing, speaking and listening. At each stage there will be advice from video tutors and a team of experienced IELTS educators. You will also be asked to share your experiences, tips and opinions with other learners.

What you will learn

By the end of this course, you will:

  • be familiar with all parts of the IELTS test
  • have some useful tips to help you achieve your IELTS goals
  • understand how the IELTS test is assessed
  • have an opportunity to have your written and spoken English assessed by other learners

The British Council has over 80 years’ experience in English language teaching and assessment and delivers IELTS tests in more than 100 countries. The course draws on the British Council’s expertise in online learning and will give you the opportunity to purchase a Statement of Participation.

You can find out more about this course in this 2015 post for the FutureLearn blog: IELTS: a global test for a global language.


The course is aimed at non-native English speakers at around intermediate level (approximately B1 on the CEFR) or above.

About the instructor

Alister Widdowson has been involved with English language teaching for 20 years and now he focuses mostly on developing and running online courses.

Starting date: 13 February, 2017

Duration: 6 weeks, 2 hours per week

Language: English

Instructors: Alister Widdowson

Institution: British Council


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