The key to successful practice is to vary how you prepare for test day. Some test takers purchase an official IELTS online practice test, IELTS Progress Check, to check how they are progressing with their test preparation. Once you complete an official IELTS practice test, you can then look at your indicative scores and read the feedback you receive on all parts of your test. These tests are untimed as we realise that some of you like to take your time when preparing. You have the option to repeat the test a few times before submitting it, to become more familiar with the test layout and the different IELTS question types.
We have asked our test takers for feedback on the practice tests and have been told that they would like to have a timer on the screen just like computer-delivered IELTS. So, we listened to the feedback and created tests that are timed, just like the real IELTS test.
IELTS Timed Tests
IELTS sets time limits for all parts of the test and this is done in the new timed version of IELTS Progress Check. Look at the table below to see how much time is allowed for each part of the test.
Much like a real test day, if you run out of time, you will not be allowed to continue the test and your answers will automatically be submitted.
Timed practice will help you to prepare better for managing your time in all parts of the test on test day.
|Test part||Timing||IELTS Progress Check notes|
|Listening test||30 minutes||The extra transfer time (paper-test) is included in the practice test|
|Reading test||60 minutes||1 minute is added to submit your test part|
|Writing test||60 minutes||1 minute is added to submit your test part|
|Speaking test||11 - 14 minutes||20-30 seconds is allowed to respond to each of the recorded prompts|
Why should I time myself?
When you prepare for an IELTS test, you need to know if you can write or type fast enough to answer all the questions you need to answer. If you are preparing for the IELTS Writing paper-based test, it is important to check if you can easily write 400-500 words in an hour. This is also true for typing. Some people can type very quickly but they make a lot of errors. It is important to practise error-free writing and typing to give yourself the best possible chance to score higher.
Before you buy a 'timed' practice test, you can buy one that is untimed and see how you go. Try and limit yourself to the recommended timing, to see if you can answer all parts of the test. When you feel you are more prepared, then move on to a 'timed' test to see how you can handle the pressure of being timed.
Answering questions under time pressure shows you if you can actually complete tasks within the allocated time. It also shows your weaknesses so you can work on the test parts and question types that take up more of your time.
Try an untimed test first
We recommend that you try an untimed IELTS Progress Check practice test first. For best practice, buy the first practice test untimed (Practice Test 1), and then move on to the second practice test (Practice Test 2), choosing the timed version. You can then compare your indicative band scores and feedback to see if you could do equally well being timed or not.
If you feel that the pressure is too much and you would like to do the test in your own time, don't worry, just choose the untimed version. However, before you do the real test, you need to make sure that you can handle being timed.
Why not try one now!
If you haven't tried one of our official practice tests, why not try one now. All the materials are new, authored by the IELTS partners to make sure you have the closest possible experience to a real IELTS test day. You can choose from four Academic tests and four General Training tests. The tests come in two versions - timed and untimed.
Follow this link to find out more about our official timed and untimed practice tests - IELTS Progress Check.