IELTS Preparation Level 1&2

IELTS Preparation Level 1&2





Hours Of Study

(per weeks)



(per weeks)


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Scots’ IELTS Preparation Course runs for 24 weeks. Each course consists of 20 hours of face-to-face study per week. Each level of the course will be 12 weeks in length.


The IELTS Preparation Course will be ongoing with courses starting throughout the year. 


Scots English College (12 weeks)

Pathway to..

IELTS Preparation - Level 2 

Tertiary Courses at Bachelor Level

IELTS Preparation Level 1

Certificate and Diploma Courses


What will you learn at Scots’ IELTS Preparation Course?


At the end of the course, you will:      

  • Be familiar with the structure of the IELTS test
  • Be familiar with and able to successfully complete the main tasks in each of the four test modules (as demonstrated by performance results on Practice Tests) - see Key Skills and Sub skills below.
  • Give an accurate written description (at least 150 words in 20 minutes) of information presented in table, or graph form, highlighting trends, comparing and contrasting where necessary; write a formal essay (at least 250 words in 40 minutes) - including introduction, body and conclusion - expressing an opinion supported by personal experience, knowledge and relevant evidence
  •  Speak on familiar topics in short question and answer form; one topic in the form of a two-minute speech; and more abstractly develop the same topic in the form of a discussion
  • Successfully identify and listen for keywords, specific information, main points (gist) in the context of semi-formal and academic listening tasks; in a conversation identify the key participants and their relationships, the location and purpose of the interaction; predict and interpret information from a given context 
  • Skim and scan texts for specific information; summarize texts identifying main and supporting ideas; separate essential from non-essential information based on what questions are asking; distinguish between argument and fact  
  • Have a sufficient working knowledge of the five IELTS key topics (as demonstrated by performance results on each Topic Test)
  • Be able to aim for the equivalent of at least a 5 band score on a full IELTS Test (as demonstrated by performance results on the final full test) which pre-supposes that they are able to: 
    • Communicate reasonably fluently, clearly and interestingly in speaking and writing tasks using appropriate cohesive devices; accurate grammar and sentence structure; and appropriate vocabulary and register 
    • Answer the question concisely without irrelevant divergences
    • Be competent in communication tasks representative of those necessary to function in an English-speaking tertiary study environment (as demonstrated by overall performance results, including the above, and also participation using Focus on IELTS
    • IELTS Key Skills and Sub-skills built upon in the IELTS Preparation program. 


  • Phonology
    • Intonation
    • Annunciation
    • Pronunciation
    • Stress (accented syllables and words)
    • Rhythm
    • Liaison (linking consonant with vowel sounds)
    • Tone
  • Fluency
    • Speed
  • Speaking on familiar topics
  • Speaking at length (2 minutes)
  • Discussion on a theme


  • Understanding context: Identifying speakers, relationship, location, purpose
  • Keywords: Identifying and locating
  • Filtering: Focusing only on key information
  • Interpreting information: Understanding the deeper meaning
  • Predicting from the context
  • Following signpost words
  • Understanding the difference between fact and opinion 


  • Text orientation: headings, subheadings
  • Step-by-step approach: read questions, read text, answer questions
  • Skimming for gist
  • Scanning for specific detail
  • Time management
  • Understanding opinion and attitude 


  • Time management
  • Describing and comparing data presented in graph and table form
  • Write an academic essay using an introduction, body and conclusion
  • Argue using supporting knowledge and experiences
  • Write cohesively using appropriate linking ideas
  • Write using a wide range of vocabulary specific to the task 

IELTS Key Topics: Subtopics / Keywords 

  1. Hometown / Travel, home country, national identity, patriotism, homesickness, culture shock, migration, holidays, (domestic / international) tourism, history, language, culture, architecture / built environment, landmarks, sightseeing, industry, famous products / services  
  1. Education / Work, public schools / education, private schools / education, entrance exams, primary schools / education, secondary schools / education, tertiary institutions, business institutes, major subjects, career / employment opportunities, occupations, jobs, part-time work, casual work, full-time work, shift-work, social welfare (benefits) 
  1. Free time / Health, sports, indoor sports, outdoor sports, summer sports, winter sports, competitive sports, social sports, live sports, armchair sports, leisure, music, entertainment, eating out / in, movies, home entertainment centres, videos, karaoke, music, collections, collectors, groups, clubs, games, cards, computer games, board games, friends, gambling, drinking / pubs, TV, gyms, exercise, hobbies, reading, books, magazines, ; diet, healthy food, balanced diet, essential food groups, protein, meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, grains, rice, wheat, bread, pulses, soy beans, relaxation, stress avoidance, meditation, fast food, MacDonald’s, KFC, junk food, frozen food, TV dinners, take away food, anorexia, caffeine, tea, coffee, medical conditions, illnesses, sicknesses, cholesterol, obesity, overweight, respiratory problems, depression,  stress, work, overtime, overwork, low job satisfaction, low income, basic wage, poverty level, homelessness, unemployment, redundancy 
  1. Science / Technology, computers, the Internet, online, cyber space, e-mail, internet chatting (ICQ), computer games, computer chips, scanning, barcodes, magnetic tape, closed-circuit television (CCTV); mobile phones, electronic products, compact discs (CD’s), CD burning, DVD, Mini-Disc (MD’s), MP3, television, home cinema; DNA, cloning, stem cell research 

5. Environment, energy uses, energy sources, gas, oil, nuclear power, coal, electricity, solar energy, wind, wave, hydroelectricity, (non-) renewable energy sources, pollution, air pollution, water pollution, soil pollution, noise pollution, rubbish, waste, waste disposal, waste minimisation, re-cycling, green, greenhouse gases, global warming, ozone layer, acid rain, Kyoto protocol, conservation, conservationist, wildlife, nature, overpopulation, wars,  weather, natural disasters, droughts, floods, earthquakes, the Richter scale, earth tremors, aftershocks, tidal waves, tsunami, volcanoes, volcanic eruptions, lava flows, landslides, avalanches, sandstorms, dust storms; four (distinct) seasons, summer, autumn, winter, spring, two seasons, the wet season, the dry season, snow, heavy snow, blizzards, snow storms, bitter cold, freezing weather, sub-zero temperatures, storms, thunderstorms, electrical storms, torrential rain, heavy rain, bushfires, fire-fighters, emergency services (SES)


The following table shows a course content sample of Scots’ IELTS Preparation Level 1 program      



IELTS Prep Higher (UI to Adv)

Week 3

Theme: Social inequality

IELTS Target 7.0 Unit 3

Key learning Outcomes

Performance Criteria / Sub-skills



IHS1: Can actively and flexibly participate in fluent animated discussions

Discuss topics related to social issues and social inequality

IHS2: Has sufficient control of grammar and lexis to express some degree of nuance and shades of meaning, including some use of idiomatic or colloquial language

Use vocabulary, collocations etc relating to a range of social issues, including social inequality

Use vocabulary related to money, spending and poverty

Use phrasal verbs

Use relative clauses

IHS3: Can give detailed descriptions and explanations

Give short talks

IHS5: Uses a reasonably wide range of pronunciation features though not always successfully

Apply stress in multi-word (phrasal) verbs and related noun forms

Chunking (phrasing) with relative clauses



IHL1: Can understand in detail most short, carefully-spoke conversations and talks

Understand discussions and talks relating to social issues and social inequality

IHL2: Uses a range of listening strategies effectively and appropriately, chosen according to the purpose for listening

Predict content of the audio from questions

Listen for specific information         

Guess meaning from context



IHR1: Can understand in detail a range of complex texts

Follow general interest texts related to social issues and social inequality

IHR2: Uses a wide range of reading strategies effectively and appropriately, chosen according to the purpose for reading

Skim using topic sentences

Read for main ideas

IHR3: Can follow sophisticated reasoning and complex relationships between ideas

Identify opinions



IHW3: Uses a range of vocabulary, collocation and complex grammar flexibly, allowing for some precision and control of style

Use fronting

Use adverbs of degree

Use vocabulary, collocations etc relating to social issues, social inequality etc

IHW4: Errors generally occur only when using complex grammar; many sentences are error-free

Use fronting

Use adverbs of degree

IHW5: Uses a wide range of cohesive devices to achieve a smooth flow of ideas

Link ideas between paragraphs

Use a range of discourse markers, including those of concession and contrast

IHW7: Ideas are presented logically, with clear progression and focused paragraphs

End paragraphs appropriately


IHW8: Is able to emphasise important points, signal concession, contrast, deduction etc, appropriately

Signal concession and contrast

Express emphasis



ITF1: Knows what to expect in each section of the IELTS test

See opposite for details – activities marked [ITF1,2]

ITF2: Uses appropriate exam technique for each section of the IELTS test

See opposite for details  - activities marked [ITF1,2]

LLS1: Analyses own language learning strengths, weaknesses and needs

Evaluate own progress, strengths and weaknesses

LLS2: Plans and prioritises learning activities with regard to identified strengths, weaknesses and needs

Make or update learning plan


Assessment in Week 3


IELTS practice test - Reading:  CI10 Test 3 (Academic) OR CI8 GT Test A (General Training )

IELTS practice test Writing Task 1: CI10 Test 3 (Academic) OR CI8 GT Test A (General Training ) 


Language focus
e.g. grammar, vocab, functions

Main activities in each macroskill area

Ref & page nos

Oral/aural skills



Discuss topics/use vocabulary  (incl expressions and collocations) relating to social issues and social inequality

Guided discussion; vocabulary input. Topics include: student grants/loans; globalisation, world poverty; appropriate salaries; welfare. Includes practice of Speaking Park 3. [IHS1,2]

TI7 p39

VfI-A Unit 14

TI7 p40

TI7 p43

Use relative calluses; chunking (phrasing) with relative clauses

Grammar practice activities; pronunciation; extend to speaking. Teachers should select from the GfI unit according to the needs of their class.  [IHS2,5; IHW3,4]

GfI Unit 20

NHP-UI p28

Predict content of the audio from questions and any supporting visuals

Read, predict; discuss [IHL2; ITF1,2]

TI7 p34-35

TI7 p44-45

Listen for specific information

Discuss strategies; practice with note/sentence completion and summary completion item types amongst others; analyse approach after completing the tasks [IHL1,2,3; ITF1,2]

TI7 p34-35

TI7 p44-45

Guessing meaning from context

Guided practice [IHL2]

TI7 p35

Use vocabulary related to money, spending and poverty; use phrasal verbs

Guided questions; extend to speaking practice [IHS2; IHW3,4]

TI7 p35, 39, 43

TI7 p43

Apply stress in multi-word (phrasal) verbs and related noun forms

Look at examples, do practice activities [IHS5]

NHP-UI p33

Writing/reading  skills



Use relative calluses; chunking (phrasing) with relative clauses

Grammar practice activities; pronunciation; extend to speaking. Teachers should select from the GfI unit according to the needs of their class. [IHS2,5; IHW3,4]

GfI Unit 20

NHP-UI p28

Use vocabulary related to social issues, money, spending and poverty

Guided questions; extend to speaking practice [IHS2; IHW3,4]

TI7 p35

VfI-A Unit 14

Skim using topic sentences; read for main ideas

Guided practice in the context of the match headings and note completion item types [IHR1,2; ITF1,2]

TI7 p38

Identify opinions

Practice in the context of the Y/N/NG item type [IHR1-3; ITF1,2]

IT7 p38-39

Analyse own test-taking strategies and tactics

Guided questions [IHL2; ITF1,2]

TI7 p36, 39

End paragraphs appropriately; link ideas between paragraphs; use a range of discourse markers including those of concession and contrast; express emphasis; write essay

Guided practice; grammar practice; write essay(s) . VfI-A p79 provides an extra question for further practice, if desired (it makes use of vocab taught elsewhere during the week) [IHW5,7]

TI7 p40-43

VfI-A p79

Use fronting ; use adverbs of degree

Grammar practice activities. Fronting was also dealt with in Week 12. [IHW3,4]

TI7 p42

Give short talks

Practice with Speaking Part 2 tasks; topic is things that cost lot of / no money [IHS3; ITF1,2]





Evaluate own progress, strengths and weaknesses; make or update own learning plan

Look back at test scores, discuss which areas of the test improvement is most needed in; produce a study plan targeting areas of need, including self-access activities (or update existing plan) [LLS1,2]


Homework / Independent study

Finish writing started in class; consider feedback from class and take part in self-access and practice activities accordingly




Core text(s) / Key resources

Gough (2014)  Target IELTS 7.0 Course Book. Reading: Garnet  



Recommended supplementary resources


Bowler & Cunningham (1999) New Headway Pronunciation Course Upper Intermediate. Oxford: OUP


CUP (2011), Cambridge IELTS8. Cambridge: CUP                     


CUP (2015), Cambridge IELTS10. Cambridge: CUP                  


Cullen (2012) Vocabulary for IELTS Advanced with answers and audio CD


Hopkins & Cullen (2007) Grammar for IELTS with Answers and Audio CD. Cambridge: CUP



How many tests will I get? 


You will have assessments every week of the twelve weeks of each IELTS course. Assessments will include homework assignments, class work such as oral presentations, tests in any of the IETLS examination tasks, reading writing, speaking and listening and a full trail IETLS test at the beginning, middle and end of your 12-week course.  Teachers will mark and grade your assessment work and will give feedback to you so that you can identify areas where you may need to do additional work or practice. Your teacher will also allow a lot of class time to the review of tasks completed to allow you to ask questions and to get sufficient feedback

The table below shows what English levels you require to commence the IELTS preparation courses.


CEFR Score

General English

English for Academic Purposes





Upper Intermediate

IELTS Preparation 2



IELTS Preparation 1
















IELTS Preparation : Student intake occurs every Monday.