This is a list of the best and worst IELTS websites. I will start by explaining my criteria for these reviews, then I will rank websites according to various factors. Finally, at the bottom of this page I will provide reviews for each site mentioned in the big list.
IELTS Website Review – Which Sites Can You Trust?
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 will rank websites by several criteria and then group them into several categories.
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 several areas:
- Level of English – this means how well the website owner speaks English. Most IELTS websites are actually written 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.
- Website Quality – this basically means how easy the website is to navigate or whether it provides an array of useful materials or not. It also judges the value of the materials on the site (ie realistic questions, useful sample answers, etc).
- 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 otherwise deliberately misleading.
Any other notes will be made in the review section below.
Each of these websites will be reviewed in detail, but this table should serve as an overview.
|Website||English Level||IELTS Knowledge||Website Quality||Trust||Total|
|My IELTS Classroom||10||10||10||10||40|
|IELTS with Fiona||10||10||10||10||40|
|IELTS Band 7||1||1||5||4||11|
|IELTS Practice Online||1||1||3||0||5|
Individual IELTS Site Reviews
The best IELTS websites
The following four websites are the very best providers of IELTS materials and advice.
1. 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 honestly 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.
2. IELTS Liz
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.
3. IELTS Advantage
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.
4. 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.
Other Good IELTS Websites
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 and the knowledge provided is always acceptable. This is a generally quite good website.
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.
Simon is an ex-examiner from England, so you can basically trust him as an authority. Unfortunately, he is no longer producing new material but he has a vast back catalogue of excellent work. Some people might worry whether or not this is out of date… but the IELTS exam does not change regularly enough for that to be a problem. The site is not the prettiest but that hardly matters. If I had a quibble with it, I would say that he has posted too many very short articles that lack real substance. However, they are mostly useful and you can trust what he says.
IELTS Websites to Avoid
I am going to now give some reviews about the worst IELTS websites. My aim is not to shame these people or to attack them in any way, but rather to explain to my readers why I have chosen to give some negative reviews and why these websites are damaging.
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 Practice Online
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 without any attribution. Their website gets most of its traffic because it offers stolen materials for free. You should avoid these criminals.
IELTS 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 written in 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!
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.
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 little 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!
This is another classic example of a site to be avoided. They make all their money from scams and false promises. This website provides illegal copies of IELTS materials and also claims to be able to predict future questions. Please stay clear unless you want to be deceived.
This is perhaps the worst of the lot. The people who make this website really cannot speak a word of English and simply steal materials from elsewhere. They even stole one of my books, then removed my name from each page and replaced it with their own! Yet another example of a typical IELTS scam site. Avoid!
Yet another website made by people who can barely speak English and who provide illegal materials made by actual experts. 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?
I hope that this huge IELTS website review has helped you to better understand which sites can help you and which should be avoided. Again, I have no desire to insult anyone but it is important that IELTS students have access to quality materials instead of fake ones with false promises attached.
In future, you can ask yourself some questions before studying from a particular IELTS website:
- Can these people speak English well?
- Do they really understand IELTS?
- Have they made any unrealistic promises?
I know it is difficult to answer these questions yourself, but you can ask someone to help you. If you want an honest opinion, you can send me a message. I promise I will not try to encourage you to use my own website! I will just give you honest feedback on other ones and let you decide for yourself.