international english language testing system, ielts exam, ielts preparation courses, practise papers

Can I prepare for IELTS at home?

By Keith Pilkington

In locations where it’s permitted and safe to do so, IELTS testing is going ahead, with additional precautions in place to help protect the health of test takers and staff.

Passing the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) will prepare you for working in the UK. It measures your listening, writing, speaking and reading abilities for the English language, also assessing your general communication skills.

If you’re planning to sit the IELTS exam and will be preparing for it at home, here are some tips:

Make a plan

With a crucial exam like this, it’s important to follow a study schedule, so you can be sure you’re covering all the required sections. Time management is essential; a balanced study plan can help to manage your stress levels and nerves. Make the most of online practise material and IELTS preparation courses, so you feel ready in all areas of the test; reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Surround yourself with English

Using practise papers and developing exam technique are wonderful ways to prepare for the IELTS exam, but there are other things you can do to ensure you’re absorbing the English language. Watching UK television is a great way to familiarise yourself with English regional accents, which may help you during the listening section of the exam; the BBC is a great place to start. Reading online articles may also strengthen your English language skills, and this is something you can build into your daily routine.


You may not feel 100% prepared, as you won’t know for sure what sort of content you’ll be asked in the IELTS exam, but, this is where practise comes in. Try to plan for as many different outcomes, in each of the sections, as possible. There’s a huge amount of online support available; these websites include practise papers, information on the testing formats, and much more:

There are other, simple ways you can practise too. Why not strengthen your English language writing skills by starting a blog, or posting on social media in English? There’s no such thing as being too prepared!

For more information about overseas worker requirements, read our collection of blogs.