General English and IELTS Exam Preparation

We prepare students for the popular English language exam: IELTS.

IELTS exam preparation is available for students who are Intermediate or above and is studying for a minimum of 4 weeks. We advise you on the best combination of General English and exam preparation. Usually students take General English classes in the morning and exam preparation classes in the afternoon. Exam preparation is subject to availability.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is used to test your ability to follow a course of study in an English-speaking college or university and is recognized all over the world, including the UK, Australia, New Zealand and North America. It tests your ability to read, write, speak and listen in academic contexts. You can take IELTS in Oxford; there are test dates every month.

Course outline

You’re English and IELTS Exam Preparation includes:

  • grammar and how to use it in authentic situations
  • speaking skills: pronunciation, fluency and appropriacy
  • writing skills, both formal and informal
  • reading and listening skills
  • knowledge and use of vocabulary
  • familiarization with the IELTS exam
  • techniques for answering exam questions
  • practice exams and interviews

Course content

Your lessons are dynamic and demanding: our highly qualified and experienced teachers motivate and encourage you to achieve success. Your teachers discuss your progress with you in individual tutorials and help you with your personal study programme.

Different teachers have different styles of teaching, but the Lake School ‘style of teaching’ is dynamic and communicative. In class you will often work in pairs or small groups so you have the chance to speak as much English as possible. Teachers and students take their studies seriously and work very hard, but you will also have a lot of fun in class.

You will receive all the materials you need to use in class; but please bring a notebook with you. You will have homework every night and a revision test at the end of each week, which will help you monitor your own progress.

Exam registration

We will advise you on your IELTS registration in Oxford: exams are held every month. You are responsible for your exam fees.

Achieving your aims

You will achieve a formal qualification in English. You will improve all your language skills, increase your range of vocabulary and develop your understanding of grammar. You will gain confidence in speaking, listening, reading and writing. You will also improve your pronunciation, so you can communicate more fluently and effectively in English, in an academic or work-based environment. IELTS is recognized by universities and employers all over the English-speaking world. It is also on the UKBA list of secure English language tests, if you are applying for a visa to study in the UK.

You will also learn a lot about British culture and make friends from all over the world: our students are of all ages and nationalities.

At the end of your course, you will receive a detailed certificate of your proficiency in English showing your level assessment according to the the Common European Framework.

The Lake School also provides university application advice for students who wish to go on to further education in the UK. Every year, the Lake School successfully prepares students for higher education by helping with their university applications and arranging campus tours or interviews with department tutors.

If you are not sure which is the best English language exam for you, we will be happy to give you exam guidance.

All Lake School students are given access to our online e-Learning Centre for 1 year, free of charge. You can use this while you are in Oxford to support your independent study, or after you return home so you can continue to improve your English.

Which version of IELTS is right for you?

Check with the organizations you wish to apply to before you book your test!

There are two versions of IELTS to choose from:

  • IELTS Academic
  • IELTS General Training

Make sure you know which one you need before you book your test.

What do you want to do? The version you need
I want to:

  • study at university at undergraduate or postgraduate level; or
  • join a professional organization in an English-speaking country
You should take IELTS General Training
I want to:

  • train or study at below degree level
  • work or undertake work-related training in an English-speaking country
  • emigrate to an English-speaking country
You should take IELTS Academic

IELTS scores and test format

Check with the organizations you wish to apply to before you book your test!

The IELTS test assesses your abilities in all four skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking – in under three hours.

The IELTS test format is tried and trusted by organization and test takers worldwide, and has not changed significantly for over 20 years.

You will take the Listening, Reading and Writing testes all on the same day one after the other, with no breaks in between them.they are always taken in this order. Your Speaking  test will either be after a break on the same day as the other three tests, or up to seven days before or after that. This will depend on your test centre.


Two versions of the test

Everyone takes the same Listening and speaking tests, regardless of which version they take. The Reading and Writing tests differ in content, depending on whether you are taking IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training.

IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training are assessed at exactly the same levels.

IELTS scores

You cannot fail the test. IELTS is designed to assess English language skills at all levels.

You will receive IELTS scores based on each for the four skills on a scale of 1 – 9, and you will also be awarded an overall band score. You can score whole (e.g., 5.0, 6.0, 7.0) or half (e.g., 5.5., 6.5, 7.5) bands in each part of the test.

Your overall band score may be crucial if you intend to emigrate, apply for university or take up a job in an English-speaking country

The TOEFL® Test Gives You an Advantage:

Most Widely Accepted, Most Popular and Most Convenient Choice

The TOEFL® test is the most widely respected English-language test in the world, recognized by more than 9,000 colleges, universities and agencies in more than 130 countries, including Australia, Canada, the U.K. and the United States. Wherever you want to study, the TOEFL test can help you get there.

About the TOEFL iBT® Test

The TOEFL iBT® test, administered via the Internet, is an important part of your journey to study in an English-speaking country. In addition to the test, the ETS TOEFL Program provides tools and guides to help you prepare for the test and improve your English-language skills.

What Is the TOEFL iBT Test?

The TOEFL iBT test measures your ability to use and understand English at the university level. And it evaluates how well you combine your listening, reading, speaking and writing skills to perform academic tasks.

Who Takes the TOEFL Test?

More than 30 million people from all over the world have taken the TOEFL test to demonstrate their English-language proficiency. The average English skill level ranges between Intermediate and Advanced.

  • Students planning to study at a higher education institution
  • English-language learning program admissions and exit
  • Scholarship and certification candidates
  • English-language learners who want to track their progress
  • Students and workers applying for visas

Where Can I Get Local, In-language Support?

You can contact a local TOEFL iBT Resource Center for general in-language information about the TOEFL test and test preparation. TOEFL iBT Resource Centers are available in specific countries.

Who Accepts TOEFL Test Scores?

More than 9,000 colleges, agencies and other institutions in over 130 countries accept TOEFL scores. For more information, including using your scores to satisfy visa requirements in Australia and the United Kingdom, how to find institutions that accept TOEFL scores.

Where and When Can I Take the TOEFL iBT Test?

The TOEFL test has more test dates (more than 50 per year) and locations than any other English-language test in the world. You can retake the test as many times as you wish, but you cannot take it more than once in a 12-day period. If you already have a test appointment, you cannot register for another test date that is within 12 days of your existing appointment.

What Resources Can Help Me Prepare for the TOEFL iBT Test?

ETS offers a variety of paid and free preparation materials to help you get ready for the TOEFL test. Watch our video, TOEFL® Resources: An Overview for Students (Flash) to learn about the tools from ETS that can help you prepare for the test.

What Does the TOEFL iBT Test Cost?

The cost of the test can range from US$160 to US$250 and varies between countries. For information on registration, fees, test dates and locations, select your test location.