The IELTS partners created IELTS Progress Check in response to a need to prepare in a more focused way for the IELTS test. A number of official online practice tests are available for both test types, Academic and General Training.
There are four different tests to choose from, meaning you can experience real test practice before you do an IELTS test. The mock test covers all four parts of the test with newly-authored IELTS material pretested by the IELTS partners.
When you complete the IELTS Progress Check practice test, you receive a feedback report along with indicative band scores in all 4 tests and an overall band score. You will also receive personalised feedback chosen by Expert IELTS markers to help you understand how to improve your Writing and Speaking performances.
This blog will tell you more about the practice test and how to use the marker feedback to improve on performance.
Official online practice tests
You can choose to buy Academic or General Training tests. Each test is completely different, containing new test materials. Each of the four tests is numbered, so if you buy Academic practice test 1, all four parts of the test will be different to Academic practice test 2 and so on.
These practice tests are official partner products, meaning that you will get a very realistic test experience in all four parts of the test.
Each test can only be used once, so when you finish the test and submit it for marking, it cannot be accessed again.
How does it work?
All four parts of the test are done online using a laptop or desktop computer. The test can be done on an iPad using the official IELTS Progress Check app, however, for a better user experience you should try and use a bigger screen. Even though our smart phones are amazing, the test will not work on a smart phone because the screens are too small for reading text and answering questions at the same time and tests will not upload to the test platform.
Make sure that your device is using an up-to-date operating system, such as Windows 10, and only use the latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. Other browsers are not compatible with the test platform. It is also important to check that your internet connection is stable and that you will be able to upload your completed test parts.
Also make sure that you allow IELTS Progress Check to access your microphone, because you will have to answer Speaking test questions and your answers will be uploaded to the test platform. Remember to turn up the volume of your device so you can hear the Listening test audio and the Speaking test questions.
The Speaking test runs differently to a real face-to-face test as the questions you are asked are pre-recorded. You are allowed a certain amount of time to answer each question and when the test is completed, the full recording is uploaded for the marker to listen to and award you an indicative band score.
The system is easy to use and if you have an issue, you can start again, as long as you have not completed or submitted the test for marking.
Remember that it is a practice test, so we want you to be able to practice in a stress-free environment. We allow you to attempt the test again in your own time, so that you get the best possible experience out of your official online practice test.
However, if you want a more realistic test experience, do a timed test and make sure you follow the timings set in the real IELTS test.
|Listening test||30 minutes|
|Reading test||60 minutes|
|Writing test||60 minutes|
|Speaking test||11 - 14 minutes|
Receive an official feedback report
Completed tests are marked by IELTS trained and qualified markers and you will receive an official feedback report, including an indicative overall test band score as well as a band score for each part of the test (Reading, Listening, Writing & Speaking). All within 5 days of completing your IELTS Progress Check practice test!
Every IELTS Progress Check Report comes with official feedback and indicative band scores to show you how you are progressing with your preparation, helping you to prepare better for the real IELTS test. Your official feedback is chosen by our expert markers from the IELTS band score descriptors most representative of your performance. You can show your report to your teacher and they can discuss the feedback with you. You may notice some variability in the indicative score you receive if you take more than one practice test. As with any test, several factors beyond our control can lead to this variability, including test-day issues (such as your mood, state of health or feeling nervous). Another important factor could be the fact that between taking the different practice tests, you may have improved in one or two skill areas, while not maintaining the same level in the other skill areas (i.e., improving in reading and writing, but losing some abilities in speaking and listening).
Rest assured; to ensure the reliability of IELTS we have rigorous quality control of test content and scoring procedures. Markers who score IELTS Progress Check practice tests are trained and certified in standardised marking methods and their performance is regularly monitored.
Remember: Your IELTS Progress Check Report is not an official IELTS Test Report Form and cannot be used to apply for entry to universities, organisations or for visa purposes. It provides an indicative score based on your practice test performance to give you a good idea of your current English language proficiency.
What does the feedback mean?
With each practice test, you will receive a full feedback report including your indicative band scores. You will get some tips on how to improve and some specific feedback from the IELTS marker on your Writing and Speaking performance. The markers will not 'correct' your work and return corrections to you. They rate the tests using the public band descriptors and these ratings and matching criteria feedback appear on your report.
The marker selects feedback that best matches your performance, so if for example you forgot to include all the key features in Academic Task 1, you will be reminded to present all the key features in the diagram. You will also be warned if you have not used enough supporting data. For General Training Task 1, if you don't set out your letter using the correct letter format, you will be told this information, you will also be told if you have used an inappropriate tone for your letter. For Task 2, if you forget to use paragraphs, you will be reminded to use paragraphs. If you only answer one part of the question you will be told that you have partially addressed the prompt, which is why you may have lost marks. If you are told to extend your answer more, you need to include more ideas and examples that are relevant to the question. So, you can learn where you have gone wrong by looking at the feedback the marker has selected for your answers.
You will also receive feedback on your Speaking performance based on the four assessment criteria. If you pause to think too much, or don't use enough discourse markers, you will receive information on this. You will also be told if you make a lot of grammatical errors or use a narrow range of structures. By reading your feedback carefully, you will discover areas that may need more work. You will also receive positive feedback on areas that you did well in.
Practice makes perfect
Remember that practice is the key to improving English proficiency, so if you practice your English test performance by doing tests, you will get better. Use the feedback you receive in your report to focus on the areas that need improvement. We have lots of useful Expert resources on this site to help you prepare for all parts of the test.
If you need more help with Speaking, look at these blogs on how to prepare in a more focused way.
Remember that building your vocabulary will help you in all parts of the test, so why not check out this vocabulary blog. Learn all about different Reading question types and how best to manage certain question types like identifying information in a text or summary completion. There are also blogs on our site to help you improve your Listening skills, for example, learning how to write numbers correctly.
Why not try an IELTS Progress Check practice test to see how you are progressing! If you feel you are well prepared and do well in your practice test, you will be much more confident and ready to book a real IELTS test.