Dominic Cole’s IELTS Blog

My IELTS blog

Below are all the lessons on my site. I update my IELTS blog almost very day and you can subscribe to get all the lessons in your email.

latest IELTS lessons

10 key sites for IELTS learning

This is my selection of the best IELTS blogs and sites out there. Don’t worry if not all of them are branded IELTS. To succeed in the test you need to look after key English skills and general English too.

ielts blog



Of course Simon is on this list. His IELTS blog has an enormous amount of good and practical advice. It has been around for a long time – we started about the same time – and has got better and better. The best way to use it is on a “little but often” basis. None of his posts should take you more than 4/5 minutes but that can be a good thing – learning online is not the same as classroom learning and a good 5 minutes is better than a poor half hour. Just browse.


IELTS speaking

This is without question the ultimate resource for IELTS speaking on the net. Pete Travis who runs it has won a lot of awards for a very good reason. There is a clear introduction to the test and excellent vocabulary resources too published on a daily basis. If you are looking for a online speaking course, pay for this one – you won’t regret it.



Don’t worry that this isn’t named “IELTS”, there is plenty of IELTS materials inside. Enda Tuomey has a lot of experience of providing online materials and it shows. The site has always been good but it is now better than ever before. If you are looking for a place to start here, I suggest you take a look at the graphs page. All the writing materials are worth checking out.





Of the younger large IELTS blogs this is for my money clearly the best. Liz has added her own way of approaching the genre by using video to great effect. Video is a terrific way of communicating and Liz is a terrific communicator.


Eng Vid – for better grammar

This site has some good IELTS materials and do check them out. What I particularly recommend here though are the grammar lessons. This is something nearly all IELTS candidates need to work on and this is a clear and helpful resource for just that.




UEfAP – for academic writing skills

This is another longstanding site that I have long recommended. It has very clear explanations of academic writing skills with a lot of help with grammar and vocabulary. If you are going onto university this site will help you with the skills you need there.


BBC Lingohack – for better general English and listening

This is a great resource for getting better general English. You listen to a news report and are given a transcript with key words to listen for. Another truly great little but often site that you should visit regularly. If you like what you find here go and try their video page as well and their old Words in the News archive which is massive.


Flo Joe word bank – for better vocabulary

This is another very old favourite of mine. It’s built for the CAE/FCE/CPE exams but don’t let that worry you – the language is the same. All the site is worth exploring but I have linked above to the word bank. Here you’ll get daily exercises to help you with key aspects of grammar/vocabulary – a real learning site. Another site run by Pete Travis and another award winner!!!


Take IELTS – British Council

This has to be included on the list. It is the most professional site out there and has all the key information you need and has authentic practice for listening and reading. The only drawback to the site is that it is rather impersonal – go through all the advice and materials anyway.


Using English forum – ask a teacher – for language problems

There are a number of forums out there, this I think is the most useful. I get a number of comments/queries asking for advice on little language problems. I’m always happy to help but this is one place where you can find even more help. Of course you need to be careful with forums, but you can feel confident of getting good advice here.


Essay conclusions

Golden rules make sure you answer the questioneither summarise or restate your positiondo not use new informationaim for 2/3 sentences Ideas Make sure you answer the question as it is asked. For example, if the question asks you “to what extent”, make sure your...

Crime and law

Essay questions Without capital punishment (the death penalty) our lives are less secure and crimes of violent increase. Capital punishment is essential to control violence in society. To what extent do you agree or disagree? (Cambridge IELTS 2) Tobacco and alcohol...

IELTS museums essay

Sponsored links In this lesson you will find a sample IELTS essay on museumsa vocabulary exercise to help you write the essay The sample essay Should museums and art galleries be free of charge for the general public, or should a charge, even a voluntary charge, be...

Language and culture

Sample essay questions Language and Culture Many historic buildings are being destroyed or replaced. What are the reasons for this? What should be done to preserve these buildings?  ( complete lesson with essay to download, help with essay vocabulary and 3 exercises...


Essay questions Recent research shows that the consumption of junk food is a major factor in poor diet and this is detrimental to health. Some people believe that better health education is the answer to this problem but others disagree. What is your opinion? – sample...

Environment and housing

Essay questions The best way to solve the world’s environmental problems is to increase the cost of fuel. To what extent do you agree or disagree? (China writing) sample essay with vocabulary exercises and download Some people prefer to live in a house, while others...


Essay questions Today’s food travels thousands of miles before it reaches customers.  Why is this?  Is this a positive or negative trend? Lesson on academic language with a download of the essay and an exercise to help you write it yourself. One of the major problems...


Business and finance It some countries people pay different rates of tax depending on their salary, in other countries everyone pays the same rate. Which do you believe is the best system? Many people judge success solely by money and material possessions. However,...


Questions Subjects such as Art, Sport and Music are being dropped from the school curriculum for subjects such as Information Technology. Many people children suffer as a result of these changes. To what extent would you support or reject the idea of moving these...

Science and technology

Essay questions Television has had a significant influence on the culture of many societies. To what extent would you say that television has positively or negatively affected the cultural development of your society? (see my sample essay) When a country develops its...