In the Answer key at the end of the each set of Listening and Reading answers you will find a chart which will help you assess if, on the basis of your practice test results, you are ready to take the IELTS exam. In interpreting your score, there are a number of points you should bear in mind. Your performance in the real IELTS test will be reported in two ways: there will be a Band Score from 1 to 9 for each of the modules and an Overall Band Score from 1 to 9, which is the average of your scores in the four modules.
However, institutions considering your application are advised to look at both the Overall Band and the Bands for each module. They do this in order to see if you have the language skills needed for a particular course of study. For example, if your course has a lot of reading and writing, but no lectures, listening comprehension might be less important and a score of 5 in Listening might be acceptable if the Overall Band Score was 7. However, for a course where there are lots of lectures and spoken instructions, a score of 5 in Listening might be unacceptable even though the Overall Band Score was 7. Once you have marked your papers you should have some idea of whether your Listening and Reading skills are good enough for you to try the real IELTS test. If you did well enough in one module but not in others, you will have to decide for yourself whether you are ready to take the proper test yet.
The Practice Tests have been checked so that they are about the same level of difficulty as the real IELTS test. However, we cannot guarantee that your score in the Practice Test papers will be reflected in the real IELTS test. The Practice Tests can only give you an idea of your possible future performance and it is ultimately up to you to make decisions based on your score. Different institutions accept different IELTS scores for different types of courses. We have based our recommendations on the average scores which the majority of institutions accept. The institution to which you are applying may, of course, require a higher or lower score than most other institutions. Sample answers or model answers are provided for the Writing tasks. The sample answers were written by IELTS candidates; each answer has been given a band score and the candidate's performance is described. Please note that the examiner's guidelines for marking the Writing scripts are very detailed. There are many different ways a candidate may achieve a particular band score. The model answers were written by an examiner as examples of very good answers, but it is important to understand that they are just one example out of many possible approaches.