General English + IELTS

IELTS is one of the most popular English language examinations worldwide for students wishing to work or study in an English-speaking environment. Candidates receive a score from one (non-user of English) to nine (expert user of English). Most UK universities require a score of 6 or 6.5. At International House Bristol, almost 100% of recent students have achieved the score they needed.


  • The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is designed to assess the language ability of candidates who want to work or study in countries where English is the primary language of communication, and is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment. 
  • IELTS scores are accepted by more than 10,000 recognising organisations worldwide, including universities, professional bodies, employers and migration authorities. 
  • Tests are available in 1600+ locations in more than 140 countries, and in the last year over 3,000,000 people took the IELTS
  • IELTS is available in two modules, Academic or General Training.
    • The Academic module generally is for people who want to study an undergraduate or postgraduate degree course or who wish to register with a professional body*
    • The General Training module focuses on basic survival skills in a broader social and educational setting. General Training is generally suitable if you are joining a training programme or doing work experience in English-speaking countries, but is not designed for degree level. This module may be suitable for those wishing to emigrate to Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
  • Both modules assess the four main skills: reading, writing, speaking & listening. The speaking and listening sections are the same for both Academic and General IELTS, however the subject matter of the reading and writing sections are different depending on which test you take. Most students prepare for and take IELTS Academic.
  • IELTS certificates are valid for 2 years
  • You can take the IELTS exam at IH Bristol - you can book this via the IELTS website here, current cost £207

Course aims

Our IELTS preparation courses are the best way to get ready to take IELTS. As with any exam, it's important to familiarise yourself with the format of the test you are going to take and give yourself as much practise as possible, to give you the best chance of achieving your desired score. We prepare students for both General IELTS and Academic IELTS, the exam required by many universities and academic institutions worldwide. Most students prepare for and take IELTS Academic.

In addition to the General English 20 Lessons course, you have 8 IELTS classes in the afternoon + opportunities to take practice tests every week. The combination of these classes helps you to:

  • Practise the different tasks you have to do for each part of the exam
  • Improve your general English skills
  • Learn personal strategies to do the tasks more effectively
  • Learn the large amount of new vocabulary required for the exam
  • Organise your learning

This course is available year round and can be studied for any number of weeks (up to the maximum duration of your visa, if required).

To make the most of this course we recommend a minimum of B1 (Intermediate) English before beginning, however please do contact us for a free assessment and advice as to how many weeks of study we would recommend in order to reach your goals.

Please note: the minimum age to join IELTS preparation courses is 16

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Syllabus content and focus

We have a separate syllabus for the General English + IELTS course. This focuses on:

  • Key topics that are often in the exam
  • The different elements of good IELTS writing
  • Regular practice of reading, speaking and listening
  • The most useful grammar, vocabulary and functional language for the exam
  • Maximum 12 students per class

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Class timetable

The General English + IELTS course provides specific training and practice for the exam. On Fridays, you can take a practice paper, with answers to assess your progress, join Conversation Club, for extra speaking practice, or use our study room for additional self study.

The content and focus of our IELTS English courses are as follows:

Class Time Focus
Morning class 1 9.15am – 10.00am We use a general English coursebook, which has a balance of skills, vocabulary and grammar. Every morning we also teach you a Phrase of the Day, to help you sound natural. Teachers include additional English focuses which are useful for the students in the class.
Morning class 2 10.00– 10:45
Morning class 3 11:15 – 12:00 We use a general English coursebook, which has a balance of skills, vocabulary and grammar. You'll start the class with a Cultural Question, to help you understand the cultures of the UK and other students. Teachers include additional English focuses which are useful for the students in the class.
Morning class 4 12:00 – 12:45
Afternoon class 5 13:45 - 14:30 We use one main coursebook and a number of other materials to help you practise the IELTS exam tasks and prepare effectively.
Afternoon class 6 14:30 - 15:15

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Free extras

As part of the General English + IELTS course, we'll also give you:

  • When your exam approaches, we will do an extra complete practice speaking test with you
  • We have practice tests and IELTS resources that you can use in the study room between 3:30pm and 5pm from Monday to Thursday (subject to availability). You can also ask the tutor there for help with homework or anything connected with the exam

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Dates & Prices

See our Dates & Prices page here 

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Students aged 16/17 on adult courses

Please note: The minimum age to join this course is 16. The safety and welfare of all our students is very important to us, but especially for students under the age of 18 and any vulnerable adults. You can see more information on our U18s policies, supervision, parental agreements, U18 permission forms here 

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