There are some extremely low-quality IELTS websites out there.

These have bad advice and low-scoring model essays.

Using them can cause you to end up with low IELTS scores on test day!

Today you’ll learn how to recognize these.

This way, you will know to not trust their content.

We’ll tell you what to look out for when you’re using resources online.

#1: Not made by natives

Go to the ‘About us’ section and find out who is making the content.

They should be native speakers.

They should be IELTS experts.

They must have experience and knowledge of the IELTS exam.

It’s not sufficient to be an English teacher

#2: Full of advertisements

Some websites are created solely for advertising income.

If there are a lot of pop-up or banner ads, beware!

Think about the goal of the website.

If it isn’t to help students pass IELTS, don’t use it!

You cannot trust their content if that is the case.

#3: Low quality organization of model essays

For a highly-trafficked website we checked, the model essays were low-scoring.

The templates were band 6 or lower.

“Today I am going to write about…”

This will affect Cohesion/Coherence because the organization is low level.

Your introduction should be impressive with a good topic sentence and a thesis.

If there are missing, you can’t score 7+ for C/C.

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#4: Low level vocabulary in model essays

Additionally, the essays for this website contain low level, common vocabulary.

You must have less common, high level vocabulary to score 7+.

They’re also using vocabulary incorrectly.

The essay contains several new ideas, none of which are supported.

If someone doesn’t know about IELTS, they tend to do this.

Multiple ideas are shared, none of which are supported with details or examples.

What resources can you trust?

We are often asked about printed or online materials.

The main thing to look at is who wrote it.

Are they an IELTS expert.

Furthermore, if you see grammar or spelling errors, you know you shouldn’t trust the content.

Don’t waste their time on these bad resources!

#5: Poor sample answers for Speaking

There are spelling and grammar errors in the title.

The first model answer listed is one sentence.

This is not sufficient!

Your answers should be 3-5 sentences.

The models we provide are band 9.

They give you something to reach for.

Additionally, there are spelling and grammar errors in the model answers.

Incorrect and repetitive vocabulary is also in these sample answers.

Avoid these websites!

If you see these red flags, you know not to trust the content!

  • Low level vocabulary
  • Repeated vocabulary
  • Low quality model essays
  • Low quality sample Speaking answers
  • Grammar and spelling errors

These should make warning bells go off in your head!

Be sure to check who is making the content.

Only trust IELTS resources made by experts who know the exam!


Do not spend time studying the wrong thing!

There are websites out there

Be cautious and find out who made the content!

Notice those spelling and grammar errors.

Do not trust all the model essays online, as some are very low scoring.

The same goes for Speaking answers.

Make sure they really would score highly!

For all the strategies you need, sign up for 3 Keys IELTS!

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Let us know in the comments below.

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