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Book I
Cambridge Practice Tests for


About the book
This book has been written for candidates preparing for the revised version
of the International English Language Testing System, known as IELTS.
This is a test designed to assess the English language skills of non-English
speaking students seeking to study in an English speaking country

Aims of the book

— to prepare you for the test by familiarising you with the types of texts
and tasks that you will meet in the IELTS test, and the level and style of
language used in the test.
— to help you prepare for your studies at university or college
by introducing you to the types of communication tasks which you are
likely to meet in English speaking study environment.
Content of the book
The book contains four complete sample IELTS tests, each comprising
Listening and Speaking modules and Academic Reading and Writing modules.
In addition there is one set of the General Training Reading and Writing
modules. (NB all candidates do the same Listening and Speaking modules.)
To accompany the tests there is an answer key at the back of the book and you
should refer to this after you have attempted each of the practice tests.

Benefits of studying for IELTS

By studying for IELTS you will not only be preparing for the test but also
for your future as a student in an English speaking environment. The test
is designed to assess your ability to understand and produce written and
spoken language in an educational context. The book makes reference to
the ways in which university study is organised in many English speaking
countries and the types of academic tasks you will be expected to perform

These include:
• Reading and understanding written academic or training language
• Writing assignments in an appropriate style for university study or within a training
• Listening to and comprehending spoken language in both lecture format as well as
formal and informal conversational style
• Speaking to colleagues and lecturers on general and given topics in formal and
informal situations


The tests in this book are similar in length, format and content to the real test, but
success in these tests will not guarantee success in the real test. It often seems
easier to work on practice materials than to sit the tests themselves because you
are not under the same pressure.
In order to maximise your use of these tests, you should make a note of the time it
takes you to answer each of the sections. As you progress through the book, be
stricter with yourself about the time you allow yourself to complete the sections.
Answer sheets
When you sit for the real IELTS test, you will have answer sheets on which to
write your answers. A sample of these is given at the end of this book. To help you
prepare for the test, we suggest that you write your answers on separate sheets of
paper, rather than in the book itself.
Answer keys
In addition to the answer key, you will find tapescripts for all of the listening
passages. These have been annotated to show where in the text the answer to each
question can be found. There is very often a signpost word which will cue your
listening. Look out for these signposts. Remember, the answers are usually short
and never more than three words. Read the questions carefully, in the time
provided on the tape, before you listen to each section of the tape.

You will meet a number of different question types in the IELTS test. It is a
useful strategy to become familiar with them and learn how best to approach
them. The answer keys at the back of this book not only provide you with the
answer to each question, but also give a suggested approach to each type of
question, so take the time to work through them carefully.
You will find four sample answers to the writing tasks, one for each task type
on each module. These have been included to give you an idea of the type of
writing expected. However, there will be alternative approaches to each
question and the model answers given should not be seen as prescriptive.
Look carefully at the description of the writing test (given above in the
Introduction) to see exactly which criteria you should be paying attention to in
each task.
The sample speaking tasks are to help you prepare for part 3 of the Speaking
test. Remember that the examiner will expect you to show how much English
you know and it is up to you to demonstrate that. You are expected to ask a lot
of questions in part 3 and the examiner will not speak very much and may
even appear to be “unhelpful” at times, to encourage you to ask more
questions. The sample speaking tasks include suggested examiner’s prompts
so that you can see how the interaction might unfold. It may be a useful
preparation strategy to work with a friend and practise the interview format in
this way, using the sample tasks in the book.
Book II

Guide to the IETS Exam

Welcome, Magooshers!
This Complete Guide is meant to serve as a roadmap that provides a comprehensive
overview of the IELTS exam. In it, you will find crucial information on the structure of the
test and its question types, plus important strategies and tips that will help you do the
best you can on test day..

2.1 What's on the IELTS?

2.1.1 IELTS Format
The IELTS Format
The IELTS is divided into four sections, each of which focuses on one language skill.
sections are: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.
For Listening, Reading, and Writing, you get a test booklet with pre-printed
Unlike many other standardized tests, the IELTS is not a computer-generated test
that is
viewed onscreen. You enter your answers on paper with a pencil instead of using a
keyboard. Multiple versions of the IELTS exist, each with a different mix of questions.
booklets are changed often, to prevent cheating. The Speaking section is an
and is scheduled separately from the rest of the exam.
2.1.2 The Reading Section
The Reading exam lasts one hour and consists of 40 questions. The Academic IELTS
contains three passages. Even though they are written at a college or university
level, the passages , do not require in-dept subject matter knowledge,time management is a key

2.1.3 The Listening Section

The Academic and General Training IELTS have the same Listening exam. It contains four
passages, each with 10 questions (40 questions total). During the first 30 minutes,
test-takers listen to the passages and mark answers in their test booklets as they listen.
Each recording is played only one time. The first two passages are usually about topics
from daily life, while the last two are more academically oriented. The language gets
increasingly challenging from the first recording to the last.

2.2 How Hard is the IELTS?

This is a very common question from students, and unfortunately there is no easy answer.
Let’s consider the Academic IELTS. In theory, an Academic IELTS score should provide an
academic institution with a useful measurement of how well a student can perform tasks
like these in English:
● Can the student write a clear essay in a short amount of time?
● Can the student communicate complex and abstract ideas when speaking?
● Can the student understand a detailed academic lecture?
The reality is that some test-takers will be more comfortable performing these kinds of
IELTS tasks than others. Importantly, this variation cannot simply be explained by English
language ability. Test-takers who are not familiar with IELTS-like tasks will have a more
difficult time performing them. For example, a student with excellent English skills who
has very little experience writing a five-paragraph essay will find the IELTS writing section
very tough! Similarly, someone whose main exposure to English is through television or
movies may struggle to understand the topics in some of the more challenging IELTS
Listening passages.

2.2.1 How Hard is IELTS Reading?

Generally speaking, Academic IELTS reading is near the same difficulty as reading
authentic news sources, although the subject matter and vocabulary aren't exactly the
same. News media are not as focused as the IELTS on topics taken from academic
subjects, such as science and history. That academic focus is a large part of the difficulty.
But the sense of "difficulty" one experiences depends in part on your native language.
That's because there is no conversational, informal English in the text—only material you
might find in a book that you read from a newspaper or for a university class. And if your
native language has Latin roots (e.g. Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, or French), then
academic English may be easy compared to informal English, because academic English
often has Latin roots. If your mother tongue isn't Latin-based, though, those academic
words are more difficult, because they are rare in general English. Words like "comprise,"
for example, might show up in IELTS reading, but are rarely used in relaxed speech.
General Training
General Training Reading is much less difficult than the Academic IELTS Reading. This is
primarily because:
1) Only one of the three sections will contain a lengthy academic or journalistic
article with the kind of complex vocabulary and subject matter found on the
Academic IELTS exam.
2) Much of the reading material, especially towards the beginning of the Reading
exam, is relatively short and basic. Often, you will have to read advertisements,
public notices, or other type of reading material taken from daily life.
The vocabulary found in the first two sections are words that one is likely to encounter
simply from living in an English-speaking context, reading for fun, or navigating daily life.
Since the first texts in the section are shorter, time management is a smaller problem for
many test-takers on the General Training IELTS than it is on the Academic IELTS.

The Testing Center

Many testing centers are computer labs in schools or universities. But other test centers
are administered by specific education organizations, such as IDP, British Council,
AMIDEAST, and the Anglo Mexican Foundation. Either way, the test center will probably
be inside a larger building, which in turn will likely be on a large campus or in a busy
business district. There probably won’t be any obvious signs outside the building, saying
“IELTS test this way.” In fact, you may not even see any signs for IELTS testing once you
get into the build Identification and Security Measures on Test Day
One thing you’ll be expected to bring is a document that proves your personal
identification. ID is very important, since you need to prove you really are the test-taker
who registered. In most countries, you need to have either a passport or a valid,
government-issued national photo ID card. However, identification can vary from country
to country. So be sure to check with your local test center regarding the ID you need to