I started this website in 2016 because I was sick of looking for IELTS materials and finding the same problem: most IELTS websites are run by people who 1) don’t speak English very well, and 2) don’t understand IELTS. There were only a few decent websites and so I thought I would make my own, which is both useful and reliable.
In the past few years, there have been several good websites founded but hundreds of terrible ones. I feel genuinely upset when I visit these websites for two main reasons:
- They are hurting people who really need help by providing false information.
- Many of them also engage in illegal or unethical activities.
There is not much I can do about this, unfortunately. I try my best to make good study resources but these are often stolen by others, and many people just want to go to the websites that make appealing but totally false promises.
The purpose of this article is to offer a fair and reasonable review of IELTS websites in order that people can better understand what is trustworthy and what isn’t.
I do not want to promote my own website (although I think it’s great 😊) and my only interest in this post is helping people to avoid the worst websites and use the best ones. I will update this post frequently as I find new websites. (If you are a website owner and you want your website added, please get in touch.)
Criteria for Reviews
First of all, let me explain how I have judged these websites. I am going to review them in three areas:
- Level of English – this means how well the website owner speaks English. Most IELTS websites are unfortunately run by people who cannot speak English well and they will just teach you pointless vocabulary and incorrect grammar.
- IELTS Knowledge – this means how well the website owner knows the IELTS exam. There are some people who have perfect English skills but have great misunderstandings about the actual exam. For example, they do not understand the marking criteria or question types.
- Trust – this will refer to whether the website owner has engaged in plagiarism or other forms of theft, as well as unethical practices like making false promises or deliberately misleading you.
Each section will be marked out of 10, so each website will get a total score out of 30. For the sake of convenience, I will list the websites in a handy table and then give a more in-depth review below.
Here is a convenient list of IELTS websites, ranked by quality from highest to lowest. Individual reviews are listed below.
|Name||URL||English Level||IELTS Knowledge||Trust||Total Score|
|My IELTS Classroom||https://www.myieltsclassroom.com/||10||10||10||30|
|IELTS with Fiona||https://ieltsetc.com/||10||10||10||30|
|IELTS Band 7||https://ieltsband7.com/||1||1||4||6|
|IELTS Practice Online||https://ieltspracticeonline.com/||1||1||0||2|
IELTS Website Reviews
Here, I will review each IELTS website individually. I will try to do this fairly. If you have any questions or complaints, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
IELTS Liz has been around for a long time and is considered by some to be the gold standard of IELTS websites. Her advice is excellent and she is a native speaker of English. She understands the IELTS exam and offers realistic suggestions. She offers a wide array of free resources that are highly reliable, in addition to several paid products such as videos and ebooks. The fact that many IELTS websites simply steal her materials is testament to her expertise.
One of the biggest names in IELTS at the moment is IELTS Advantage, which is run by Chris Pell from England. Their website is pretty good although they do not have the quantity of material that most sites do. However, they more than make up for that with quality. Their courses are highly reviewed and their website and YouTube videos are really reliable. I particularly like Chris’ videos that feature mock speaking tests with IELTS students.
My IELTS Classroom
Oh how I wish this website existed back when I was an inexperienced IELTS teacher! This is my favourite IELTS website (apart from my own 😉) and when people ask me for recommendations, I always tell them to visit this site. It is run by a woman called Shelly, who is a fantastic teacher and a really knowledgeable person when it comes to IELTS. She posts very long, helpful articles about important topics and offers some of the best advice that IELTS students could get. I highly recommend you check out her videos and listen to the new podcast she has started.
IELTS with Fiona
Fiona Wattam runs a useful website that offers a range of blog posts and even courses that can help you with your IELTS preparation. She has lots of video lessons and is very good at explaining both language points and general concepts relating to IELTS. I highly recommend both her website and her social media accounts on Twitter and Instagram, where she posts daily lessons. Like the other top-rated IELTS websites, she makes no false promises and only offers honest advice.
Another decent IELTS website. This one seems packed with good information from a qualified teacher. As a native speaker, his English is very good and his advice also seems realistic and sensible. This is a good website to go for IELTS information and preparation techniques.
This website is really good. Jacky seems like an excellent teacher who provides reliable information about different parts of IELTS and also about learning vocabulary. I can see nothing wrong with this website. If I had to nit-pick (and I should), she uses apostrophes to pluralise, which you should never do. But this is trivial.
This website is written by a native speaker, so the English used is good… but it is not perfect. There are some minor errors, like not knowing how to use conjunctive adverbs and randomly capitalising nouns. These are just minor flaws, though, and the website seems great.
This is a very old-fashioned-looking blog that provides a wide range of quite good materials for IELTS preparation. The level of English used is sometimes sub-par, with faulty punctuation quite common, and I am a little put off by the slightly misleading language about how they can help you. Still, it is reasonably good and certainly better than the majority of IELTS sites. They really do have a lot of material, most of which is quite helpful, and they offer things like books and courses. I cannot speak for these as I have not used them.
You probably thought Magoosh was among the very best of IELTS websites and indeed I sort of assumed the same. It’s a huge company with a vast budge and they can hire real experts. Or so it seems. I recently noticed that they are giving out quite terrible IELTS advice in posts like this. Here, they’ve told people to say “There is no doubt/There is no denying that…” which is actually a really poor sentence structure to use. In fact, if you said this you would not be able to get higher than band 7 for Task Achievement. They should know better. However, overall it is a pretty decent company with some great resources.
This is a pretty huge website with lots of resources for all parts of the IELTS test. The level of English used here is pretty good (but there are some mistakes) and the knowledge provided is always acceptable. There is, however, a lot of content there that is slightly pointless… but this doesn’t mean that it’s bad. I think mostly it has been posted for SEO purposes rather than to provide actual value. However, there’s also some good stuff there. This is a generally quite good website, but one thing that puts me off is that there is no author credited. It is hard to trust something anonymous and so focused on simply garnering views.
This is an interesting website from Taiwan. It’s pretty good but the English is slightly unnatural and not all of the advice is perfect. Worryingly, they keep talking about “the three types of task 2 question.” Actually, there are more than three… They really should know this. However, their advice seems pretty solid and I can see no major red flags here.
If I had come across this website simply by searching on Google, I would have given it a great score. It is written by an experience teacher who is also a native speaker of English. The advice seems solid and I like that he does most of his teaching over YouTube, which is a great format for handing out advice. He gets some major points deducted for spamming, though. Recently, my IELTS groups have been overwhelmed by bots promoting his website, which is a huge red flag for me. Do not trust spammers, especially when they are so shameless about it.
IELTS-Jonathan provides lessons for IELTS students, but these have been stolen from other teachers. He is a notorious thief and he should be avoided. His website also contains numerous mistakes and he appears to have a relatively poor knowledge of IELTS or English grammar.
This is another website that is run by people who do not speak English well. It is full of the most basic errors. For one thing, they do not know how to capitalise words correctly and just pick words totally at random. If you did this in IELTS, you would score a maximum of band 5. That’s not the sort of people you want to learn from. Just look at the errors in their header:
Like most IELTS teachers online, they also do not understand the IELTS exam. You can see here that they have made up an IELTS cue card… but they have included 4 bullet points instead of 3!
The website has been listed for sale on Flippa for several years, indicating that they are less interested in helping students than making money.
Sometimes it seems like these people can speak English very well, but other times they make really egregious errors. Also, they sometimes use fake IELTS questions that are not very similar to the real ones, suggesting that their knowledge of the exam is sub-par. As you can see, even the most important page on the site is written with poor English.
This is a pretty nice website in terms of its layout and I cannot see any stolen materials, so it has some positive attributes. They also post some mildly useful language, although I would not trust them to use it with any great accuracy.
This person is clearly no master of IELTS. The English used is pretty bad, the knowledge of IELTS displayed is quite weak, and the only good thing that could be said is that he does not appear to have stolen anything and there aren’t too many false claims on the website. This site appears to have not been updated in many months, so perhaps he has abandoned it. All things considered, that’s probably for the best.
This is an Indian company that has a nice-looking website with lots of courses that promise to help you get a high score. However, the language on the website is absolutely atrocious! It indicates that the people who run this company would probably struggle to score band 5. You can see on this page that they have tried to offer an essay correction yet the person who is marking it cannot even speak basic English. They don’t seem to know how to use articles and their comments indicate that they do not understand the IELTS marking rubric. They have also made very embarrassing attempts to cram their articles full of SEO terms in order to win Google rankings, yet their material offers no value whatsoever. They even suggest that they can predict IELTS essay topics, which is a major red flag.
This website is written by people whose English skills are very poor. Even the most important pages on the website are riddled with errors. Furthermore, the questions here are made up and do not even sound like real IELTS questions. Avoid this site or you will learn bad English.
Evidence of bad English:
Here, you can see that even on the website’s most important page, they use English that is simply atrocious. If you wrote like this in IELTS test, you would be unlikely to score more than band 6. Elsewhere, they advertise a book about IELTS writing, but the author cannot spell “IELTS” or “writing” correctly. 🙄
IELTS Band 7
The only good thing about this website is that it helps to define irony: The people running this would not come close to getting a band 7! 😂 These people mostly produce sample answers to IELTS questions. However, they cannot speak English well and do not understand the basics of IELTS, so their questions are pure gibberish. They also do not understand the basic format of IELTS questions and so there is really nothing here worth learning. Avoid them or your English will suffer!
Bad English… no knowledge of the IELTS test… and stolen materials. This is another shameless, useless website run by bad people. Just look at this:
They are openly promoting illegal material and they display such terrible English that the website owners would surely fail to get even band 6. Avoid this website!
Another rubbish website. This one contains yet more stolen material and bad English. However, I will commend them on citing some other websites that have created the material they often “borrow.” That’s a little better than others on this list. Still, the advice and language is terrible:
Yet another website made by people who can barely speak English and who provide illegal materials made by actual experts. They have stolen books from others (including me!) and illegal made them available. Shame on these despicable people. Moreover, it is absolutely astounding to me that someone would have the audacity to try and teach others about English when they cannot speak it themselves. Look at this:
How could you expect to score more than band 6 for IELTS if you make these sorts of errors? It is clear from their sample questions, too, that they do not understand the basic details about the IELTS exam.
This is another rubbish website. The people who run it don’t even have a basic grasp of English, don’t really understand IELTS, and openly give away illegal material. Here is an amusing example of their incompetence:
This website is trash and should be avoided at all costs.
Is there an award for the worst IELTS website? This is a contender. More stolen materials, bad English, and general ignorance.
IELTS Practice Online
We have another contender for worst IELTS website! These people claim that they can help you improve your IELTS writing score, but they would definitely score a maximum of 5.5 with English like this:
They are also shameless thieves who steal material from real teachers. They have stolen this essay from IELTS-Simon [link now removed] without any attribution. Their website gets most of its traffic because it offers stolen materials for free. You should avoid these criminals.