Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

With so many resources to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start.

Plus, if you are looking for free material, you have to be even more careful.


Because free websites may not be created by IELTS professionals. These knowledgeable individuals will be charging for their expertise.

If the free site is run by a professional, then this site will most likely also be selling products, such as IELTS courses or essay correction services.

Thus, here’s the first tip- look for the site creator. If the person is a qualified professional, he/she will post this information about themselves to encourage trust in their audience.

Next, if you are browsing forums, look for answers only by IELTS professionals, not students.

I’ve seen students posting, claiming they got ridiculously high scores, but their answers are poorly written. Therefore, they don’t have the English ability to get high scores, and do not have good advice.

There are many excellent IELTS blogs online as well. Again, as long as you can identify the person who is creating the material, these can be useful for strategies and suggestions.

In sum, only trust advice from an IELTS professional.


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If you’re not looking for advice, but, rather, test practice, there are also some things to watch out for.

Many sites that have sample IELTS Writing questions also have model essays. Some of them would score highly, but some are poor examples.

My advice here is to trust the template and path you’ve chosen, and don’t get distracted by other essay formats that may not score highly.

Make sure, as well, that the questions, for all sections, are test valid.

This means that they look exactly like they would on the IELTS Exam, written in the same format and at the right English level.

You can gauge this yourself by looking at IELTS practice tests on the British Council site, and comparing that to the practice you’ve found.

Lastly, for listening and reading, make sure you can print out the test questions, so you can practice the same test strategies you’ll use on the exam.

Above all, be critical so you don’t waste your time!

And, of course, the best way to not waste your time is invest in your preparation and your future, with 3 Keys IELTS.

Do you have any IELTS resource questions?

Ask us in the comments section below!


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