IELTS Courses

Homestay and Residential



  • The Course
  • Passing your IELTS exam
  • IELTS: General or Academic?
  • Accommodation and Welfare

Course Details

Prepare for your IELTS Exam with us!

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Exam Preparation Course

Select English have a long history of teaching IELTS to international students who plan to go onto further academic studies in the UK or who simply want to demonstrate their ability through the exam, which is an internationally recognised qualification.  

Students on our general English courses are able to choose the option of studying IELTS preparation classes during their afternoon classes. Students should have at least an intermediate level of English to start the IELTS course. 

Students taking the 21 hour a week general English course will be able to study six hours of IELTS preparation classes each week as part of their 21 hour package; students taking the 24 hour a week general English course will be able to study nine hours of IELTS preparation classes each week as part of their 24 hour package.  

Alternatively, students can choose to take only IELTS preparation classes, without any additional general English classes. In this case, it’s possible to choose either six hours a week or nine hours a week of IELTS preparation classes (these options can’t be booked via the website, so please contact us by email to book).  

Students on our courses are able to choose the option of studying IELTS (International English Language Testing System) during their afternoon classes (this is subject to there being a minimum of 6 students with the right level of English for an exam class). Also, students should have at least an intermediate level of English to start the IELTS course.

Exam Details

  • Select English have a long history of teaching IELTS to international students who plan to go onto further academic studies in the UK or who simply want to demonstrate their ability through an internationally recognised qualification.

Booking your test

When you are ready to book your IELTS exam, our team will be happy to help you. You need your passport and credit card.  

If you are taking IELTS for visa purposes (UKVI), you need to take the exam in London. If you are taking the standard IELTS exam, you can take the exam in Cambridge.  

The cost of the standard IELTS exam this year is £150, while the UKVI exam costs £200. 

  • We are happy to help book your IELTS exam – the cost of the exam this year is £150. For students who need to take their IELTS exam for UKVI purposes, the cost is £200 and the test centres for this purpose are based in London.

View the timetable below to see the IELTS lesson times

A Day at Select:

09.00 – 10.30Lesson 1 & 2 | General English | 90 minutes
10.30 – 10:45Break
10:45 – 12:15Lesson 3 & 4 | General English | 90 minutes
12.15 – 13.15Lunch
13.15 – 14.45Lesson 4 & 5 | IELTS or Skills | 90 minutes
14.45 – 15.00Break
15:00 – 15.45Lesson 6 | IELTS or Skills | 45 minutes

Advice on how to pass your IELTS exam


Listen to your teachers! All our teachers are experienced in helping students prepare for their IELTS exam, so they can give you useful advice which is personalised for your specific needs.  

Be realistic

Be realistic about how long it will take to get the IELTS score you need. The average person takes around 200 hours of lessons to reach the next level. We have 5 class levels at Select. A1, A2, B1, B2 and C1. You can find information about how your class level relates to your overall IELTS score here: The time it takes to improve your IELTS score depends on a number of factors, for example, the number of hours you study, your initial English level, your age, your first language, how much you use English outside of the classroom and if you have taken the IELTS exam before and are familiar with the format. 

Record Language in Context

Don’t just learn long lists of words. You need to learn new language in context, so that you know how to use it correctly. This will help you to remember new vocabulary.  

Talk to other students

Many students are in the same situation as you – also needing to take the IELTS exam.  

If you study together, you can help and motivate each other. For example, you could test each other using your vocabulary cards. Also, you will meet other students at the school who have already taken the exam. They can give you advice about what to expect.


Paraphrasing is when something is described using alternative words and phrases. IELTS listening and reading tests your ability understand paraphrasing – questions often paraphrase something in the text. So if you can recognize how things are paraphrased, you can find the answer. For example, when preparing for the listening exam, use the tape script. Underline where the answer is and also which key words they relate to in the question. You can do this for the reading part too. Note examples of paraphrasing and synonyms in your notebook. 

Monitor your progress

When your teacher corrects your writing homework, make a note of any common errors you make. The next time you do a writing task, look at the list and check that you haven’t repeated the errors. You should also note examples of good language you have used to help you remember it. When you do practice tests, make a note of your scores for listening and reading. Note which parts were more difficult and do some extra practice in these areas. Your teacher can give you advice about how to improve. 

Vocabulary Notebook and Word Cards

Vocabulary is important in every part of the exam. If you want to improve your IELTS score, you need to understand and be able to use more vocabulary. Keep a vocabulary notebook and write new words. You can also make vocabulary cards. Write the new word/ phrase on one side and the meaning on the other. Look at the meanings and try to remember the word/ phrase. Turn the card over to check.

Use English Outside of the Classroom

Your English will improve more quickly the more you use it. By using English as much as possible outside of the classroom, you will widen the range of vocabulary that you are able to understand and use, and become better at expressing yourself in English. 

Practice guessing meaning from context

Don’t rely on your dictionary too much. You won’t have your dictionary in the exam so you need to practise working out meaning from context. When you find a new word, look at the whole sentence or paragraph and try to guess what it means. 


Pay attention to the time when you do practice tests so that you are used to completing each task under exam conditions. 

Use Apps

There are many useful apps that you can download to help you, including:

Do your homework

Your teacher will give you regular homework. Students who do regular practice over time usually do better than students who don’t do extra study until just before the exam. If you want to do extra practice, you can borrow a book from our library. Your teacher can advise you on which books are best for your needs.  

Use the academic word list

The academic word list contains the most common academic words that are useful for your IELTS exam. You can find the list as well as tests on the meanings in the link below, along with some other useful websites 

IELTS: General Training or Academic

Which IELTS test is right for me?


The IELTS Academic test is for people applying for higher education or professional registration in an English speaking environment. It reflects some of the features of academic language and assesses whether you are ready to begin studying or training. 

General Training

The IELTS General Training test is for those who are going to English speaking countries for secondary education, work experience or training programs. It is also a requirement for migration to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. The test focuses on basic survival skills in broad social and workplace contexts. 

The listening and speaking parts of the test are the same for both the Academic and General Training tests. The subject matter of the tests will differ between the two tests. 

Test takers will take the listening, writing and reading tests on the same day. The speaking test can also be taken on the same day, but could also be taken beforehand or afterwards. 

Each test centre is different and they will give you the dates and times of each section of the exam. 

Test takers will take the Listening, Writing and Reading tests on the same day. The speaking test can also be taken on the same day but could be a week before of after. Each test centre is different and they will give you the dates and times of each section of the exam.

Listening: (30 minutes with an additional 10 minutes to transfer your answers to your answer sheet). 4 recorded monologues and conversations.Listening (30 minutes with an additional 10 minutes to transfer your answers to your answer sheet). 4 recorded monologues and conversations.
Reading: 3 long reading texts with tasks
texts range from descriptive and factual to discursive and analytical. May include non verbal material such as graphs and illustrations. Texts are authentic (e.g. taken from books, newspapers or journals).
Reading: 3 reading passages with tasks. Section 1 contains 2 or 3 short factual texts and section 3 contains a longer text on a topic of general interest. Texts are authentic (e.g. taken from company handbooks or official documents).
Writing: (60 minutes) the candidate will be required to summarise a graph, chart or diagram in 150 words.
Short essay task of 250 words
Writing: (60 minutes) Letter writing task of at least 150 words
Short essay task of 250 words
Speaking: Face to face interview that will include short questions, speaking at length about a familiar topic and a structured discussionSpeaking: Face to face interview that will include short questions, speaking at length about a familiar topic and a structured discussion

Read more about the test

Homestay Accommodation

We can offer homestay accommodation with this course.

Our homestays are carefully selected by our Accommodation Officer. Our homestays can be young or old, single or married; they may or may not have children. Most homestays are 3-5km from the school.
Our hosts are fully inspected. They receive regular visits from our Accommodation Officer. We also monitor hosts through student feedback.
Once we have placed your child in a homestay, you will receive a family profile. We encourage you and your child to contact the family to introduce yourselves prior to arrival.


Students will be accommodated in single rooms. If you are travelling with a friend you can request to be accommodated in the same homestay at the time of booking.


All students will be able to shower or bath at least once a day. Their homestay will show them how to use the shower. Note that bathrooms are normally shared with the homestay.


  • Breakfast and dinner are provided. Breakfast will normally be a choice of cereal, toast, fruit juice and tea or coffee
  • Dinner is generally served between 17.30 and 18.00, but homestays will advise the definite time
  • Lunch is not provided and students will need to buy lunch from one of the many shops, cafes or restaurants near the school


Homestays will advise the best way to get to school from their home. In most cases, students will take the bus. The homestay will point out the bus stop. Students can buy a weekly bus ticket called a “Megarider” from the bus driver. The cost is around £15.00 per week for unlimited travel around Cambridge.


The homestay will do one level basket of washing for you per week. They will advise the laundry day.


Homestays will not normally allow students to use their telephone. It is a good idea to arrange to call your child in their homestay before 22.00 UK time.

In most cases we aim to keep students under 18 separate from over 18s in homestays. However, we realise that there will be cases where friends of different ages may travel together and wish to be accommodated together. In such cases, a request must be made in writing by the agent or parents of the students concerned.

Residential Accommodation

We have residential accommodation available for students aged 16 and over.

  • City centre location, close to Parker’s Piece
  • Twin and Single Rooms
  • Bed Linen Provided
  • Half Board
  • Laundry once a week
  • £250 per week

Care of Under 18s


  • Students are given safety advice as part of their pre-arrival information and first day induction. This can be downloaded from our website


  • This course is for students aged 16 and over. Students aged 16 and 17 will be in classes and share communal areas with students over 18
  • Activities are offered on this course but are not compulsory. You must sign up if you wish to take part in an activity. Students aged 16 and 17 will be offered the same activities as students who are over 18.
  • Staff/student ratios on activities and trips will generally be 1:20. However, ratios will be determined by the risk assessment carried out for each activity
  • The Director of Studies will visit each classroom after the start of the first lesson each day to check attendance. Student under 18 who are not present in class will be contacted by phone in order to explain their absence


  • 15-16 years old – 2230 hours
  • 17 years old 2300 hours
  • 18 years old + 2330 hours / 18 and over may have extensions up to 01.00 hours on Friday and Saturday nights and one other evening during the week (as long as it does not affect lessons the next day). Students must let their homestay host know by 7pm prior to leaving the house

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