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Are you preparing for IELTS? While mock tests, worksheets and videos can all be very helpful, there are also ways to practise English that aren’t so serious. 

Playing English language games is great way improve your reading, writing, speaking and listening skills without sitting at a desk. Whether you’re alone or with friends, try these games for IELTS students. Boost your English while having fun!


Online Games to Improve English Language

Whether you prefer to study alone or you’re looking for games you can play on your way to work, there are many great options available. Consider these online games to improve English language that you can play anytime, anywhere!

`1. Word Whomp

This online game can help you develop your English vocabulary skills with a big focus on spelling. Players get six random letters. They need to think of as many English words as they can that can be spelt with those six letters.

How Word Whomp Can Enhance Your IELTS Skills

Correct spelling can make a real difference to your IELTS band score. Play Word Whomp here and see how many words you can spell in two and a half minutes.

2. Knoword

This fast-paced word game tests how much vocabulary you know. You receive definitions of English words, and need to guess the correct word before you can move on to the next definition. You get the letter the correct word starts with, and harder words also come with hints. Players start with one minute on the timer and every correct answer gives you a few more seconds.

How Knoword Can Enhance Your IELTS Skills

Knoword helps you think quickly in English and make decisions under time pressure – a useful skill for IELTS where you’ll need to answer questions within a time limit.

Play Knoword here to start practising.

3. Freerice

For a fun quiz-style game that also makes a difference, try Freerice. In addition to boosting your vocabulary and reading skills, this game donates 10 grains of rice to the UN World Food Programme for every correct answer. Players are given an English word and have to identify the closest synonym out of four options. There are 60 levels of increasing difficulty. See if you can reach a higher level each time!

How Freerice Can Enhance Your IELTS Skills

Whether you’re writing or speaking, IELTS examiners look for wide range of vocabulary. Play Freerice here and add to yours.

4. Scrabble Online

You may be familiar with the classic board game ‘Scrabble,’ but did you know you can also play online? If you don’t have anyone to play against, you can play against a virtual player or the computer itself! When playing Scrabble, you get seven tiles with letters on them. You must build words on the Scrabble board using both your tiles and the tiles already on the board.

How Scrabble Can Enhance Your IELTS Skills

If you play Scrabble regularly, you’ll get to see lots of different word forms. This can help you make different types of sentences, which is important for both IELTS writing and speaking.

Play Scrabble Online here to start learning.

Team Games to Improve English Language

5. Articulate

This fun team game helps you practise your English vocabulary and listening skills. Split your group into two teams. Each team takes turns sending one team member to the front of the room. This team member pulls an English word from a hat and must describe the word to their teammates without saying it. Their team must guess the word they are trying to describe.

Set a timer for two minutes and see if your team can guess correctly before the clock runs out! Each correct guess is worth one point.

How Articulate Can Enhance Your IELTS Skills

Paraphrasing, or repeating something in different words, is an important skill in IELTS. Whether you’re writing your essay or being interviewed by the examiner, it’s important to show you can use different vocabulary to refer to the topic rather than just repeating the question you’ve been asked.

6. ESL Charades

This game is similar to the charades we know and love but is designed to help develop English vocabulary skills in people learning or speaking English as a second language. To play ESL charades, first split into two teams. In a similar way to ‘Articulate,’ the teams take turns sending one player to the front of the room. The player at the front of the room takes an English word out of a hat and must act out clues to help their team guess what the word is.

For example, if the word is ‘cat,’ the player could pretend to be a cat. Set a timer for two minutes and see if your team can score a point before they run out of time! You can use the same words and timer as ‘Articulate’ for ESL charades, making them fun games to play at the same party.

How ESL Charades Can Enhance Your IELTS Skills

While you won’t be practising your conversation skills during this game, ESL charades is an entertaining way to expand your vocabulary. Try playing with words connected to these common IELTS speaking test topics.

7. Boggle

For a fun vocabulary and spelling game the whole group can get involved in, Boggle is an excellent choice! Start by giving everyone in the group a piece of paper and a pen. You will also need a timer and a boggle set. A boggle set consists of 16 dice with letters on them, held in a small container. One person shakes the boggle set, which mixes up the dice, presenting 16 random letters.

Everyone in the group then writes down as many words as they can using only the words showing on the boggle set before the timer runs out. Traditionally, players can only use letters that are next to each other on the boggle set, but you could also change the rules to allow your friends to use any of the letters available.

How Boggle Can Enhance Your IELTS Skills

Looking for a game where you can work on both your spelling and conversation skills? Try working on your Boggle word lists in pairs. You’ll improve your communication skills while building up your confidence for the IELTS speaking test.

How Do You Access Free Official IELTS Practice Material?

Achieving a great IELTS score takes time and planning. You can’t just book and take your test in a matter of days – no matter how strong your English skills are. 

Successful students create a schedule to help them study everything they need to know before they sit an IELTS test. They make time to practise all four English topics – ListeningReadingWriting and Speaking – as they know that each one is different. They also check their understanding of the IELTS test format by taking the quizzes on the IELTS by IDP app.

If they have trouble with a topic, they attend a FREE Masterclass with an IELTS expert who can teach them how to improve. And, when they’re almost ready to take IELTS, they will complete as many practice tests as they can find. 

So, when there are hundreds of resources to help you study, where do you begin?

Access our guide to IELTS preparation