IELTS Exam Preparation Course

What is IELTS?

IELTS is the world's most popular English language test for higher education and global migration. An IELTS qualification represents a reliable indication of your English language competencies and of your ability to pursue higher education in English. 

About IELTS Preparation Course

Our 4-week IELTS Preparation course consists of 30 lessons of English language skills each week, so 120 lessons in total. The course includes specialist lessons for exam preparation and exam skills. Our IELTS courses are built around a strong course structure that supports learning and guides your personal progress. 

  • Minimum Course Length

    4 weeks

  • Lessons a Week

    30 lessons per week (22.5 hours)
    45 minutes per lesson

  • Minimum English Level

    Intermediate - B1

  • Cost

    Exam fee €225

  • Start Dates


  • Maximum Class Size


  • Minimum Age

    17 in low season
    16 in high season

  • Lesson times

    Mon - Fri 9.00 - 15.00 - all year round
    (in summer, classes begin at 8:30)

Is this 4-week IELTS Preparation Course the best for me?

This intensive 4-week IELTS preparation course is one of a few different IELTS study options we offer here in GCI. 

This course is perfect for you if you are a busy student or a working professional you want to dedicate yourself to improving your English over a short period while enjoying what the lovely city of Galway has to offer. 

If your written and spoken English is currently at B1 level or higher, and you want to concentrate your IELTS study over a short course, then this could be right for you.

During your 4 weeks of IELTS study here at GCI Ireland, you will:

- Refine all of your English skills — specifically, how to read, write, listen and speak for the IELTS test

- Build on your vocabulary and grammar using IELTS preparation material both in class and via home study tasks. 

Are there other IELTS preparation courses available?

Yes! You might prefer either a six-week course with 20 lessons a week (IELTS 6 week EP20) OR a six-week intensive course with 30 lessons a week (IELTS 6 week EP30).

Our 20-lesson course gives you a little more free time to enjoy the bustling city vibes of Galway – the European Capital of Culture 2020! The 30-lesson programme will really push your learning to the maximum, and leave you with a little less free time!

Course objectives

The main aim of this course is to ensure you feel ready for the IELTS exam. 

The course fully prepares you for every aspect of the IELTS examination. You will become very familiar with the exam format and its four papers: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. 

You will:

  • Develop communication skills for a variety of real-life situations.
  • Become familiar with the IELTS exam format, exam papers, focusing on skills, grammar, key vocabulary, pronunciation and skills development using only the most recent IELTS preparation material.
  • Feel confident with the test format by completing regular IELTS practice tests to ensure your optimal exam performance.

Course content

Your IELTS study will be guided by highly-experienced teachers that will give you all the support you need and pesonalised feedback on hoe you can improve your English in general, as well as developing very specific IELTS study skills.

In your IELTS classes, you will have the opportunity to complete a range of IELTS preparation material and tasks - sample exam papers and a mock exam: an exam under the real exam conditions. Your teachers will always use IELTS study taks which are designed to be similar to the exam structure. You will learn so much in a short time on this IELTS course - useful grammar, vocabulary, practical exam skills as well as useful tips and advice about staying calm on the big day!

In your 4-week course, you will be fully prepared for all four papers of the IELTS exam:

  1. Reading
  2. Writing
  3. Listening
  4. Speaking

What IELTS preparation materials will I receive?

 When you arrive you will receive:

  • An IELTS exam preparation book - you will use this for all lessons and IELTS study tasks
  • An IELTS - grammar and vocabulary study & practice book

What other support will I get alongside my IELTS course?

Your teachers will continue to support you outside of lessons. They really do everything they can to help you achieve greater levels of success. This is evidenced by the successful pass rates of GCI candidates.

We also have a well-stocked library with a range of resources.  There are computers available and free WiFi so you don’t have to use up your own data.   We have an English only speaking policy which, once you get used to, is a brilliant way to increase your vocabulary and our support staff are always willing to help out.  There is a large, friendly common room to meet up and practice as well as daily student meetings to give you an opportunity to ask questions whether about lessons or Galway.

What else does Galway Cultural Institute offer to help me improve my English quickly?

During your stay, you will be living with a host family who will be happy to talk with you and help you develop your understanding of English.  Our English only speaking policy means that you have to use English as much as possible, don’t worry – everyone is ‘in the same boat’ and you can find fun ways to explore the language together.  We also arrange trips to the surrounding area and have an extensive social programme. 

What are the IELTS levels?

In IELTS, you are simply graded on a scale that goes from 1 to 9 on each part of the exam, which gives you an overall score e.g. you might achieve a score of 6.0 which is equivalent to B2 Upper Intermediate level on the CEFR.

Some educational organisations might require your overall average score, while other institutions might require a specific score in one paper - they may require a higher writing score, for example.

Here you can find out more information about the IELTS scale.

Is IELTS accepted in Ireland?

Not only is the IELTS test widely accepted in Ireland, but it is accepted by over 10,000 organisations worldwide. It is also a certificate proving that you are competent in English to a level to which you could live, work and study in an English-speaking environment.  It is recognised by universities, schools, immigration authorities, employers and professional bodies.

More about IELTS worldwide acceptance…

IELTS is accepted as evidence of your  English abilities for various purposes such as migration, study or work. It opens a world of opportunity for you if you wish to work or study abroad in an English speaking country. 

For work

Organisations and employers around the world rely on IELTS to help them select the right people for the job. Professional bodies around the world trust IELTS to give them a benchmark of a person’s English language abilities.

For study

The IELTS Academic Test -  such as the one Galway Cultural Institute can provide at the end of your course -  is suitable for entry to study at undergraduate or postgraduate levels, and also for professional registration purposes.

For migration

IELTS is accepted for many visa categories in many countries across the globe. If you are applying for a work visa, professional recognition or for permanent residency in an English-speaking country, it is likely that you will be asked to demonstrate your English language proficiency by producing evidence, which you’d get through an IELTS certificate.

Why should I come to the Galway Cultural Institute?

Due to be the European Capital of Culture in 2020, Galway is situated on the West of Ireland, nestled in Galway Bay (yes, it’s where they filmed Ed Sheeran’s Galway Girl – the bar they used is 10 minutes from the school!).  It is a warm, friendly city surrounded by stunning views, not least of all The Cliffs of Moher which features in the Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. 

Imagine spending St Patrick’s Day in the heart of the Galway community or visiting the Galway International Arts Festival which happens each year in July and attracts over 200,000 visitors to a combination of music, visual art, theatre and street performances.

Another excellent reason to book with us today is that Galway Cultural Institute is an authorised IELTS English Testing Venue. You can take your IELTS test here at your own school in Salthill. 

Find out more about Galway

Our Galway Guide and Student Guide will give you all the information you need for an enjoyable stay in the West of Ireland.

Read more about IELTS Preparation

Why not read our “How to prepare for the IELTS test” blog for more top tips? 

Or click here to know more about the IELTS Test Format.

Sample timetable 

During the summer, courses start at 8.30



Synonyms and Collocations


Matching headings

Giving personal information

Passive forms

Verb patterns

Listening: Sentence completion

Labelling a diagram

Conditional forms
Review of the week

Listening: Multiple choice & Topic discussion

Comparative forms

Writing: Describing data presented as a pie chart.
Listening Task: Completing notes

Vocabulary: Units of measurement.
Individual topics practice

Reading Task (Yes/No/Not given tasks)
Essay structure & organisation

Note completion
Defining and non-defining clauses

Adjectives with multiple meanings

Expressing opinions

Multiple choice & Topic discussion
Locating information; Multiple-choice & Topic discussion
Word building & Speaking practice
Clarifying & giving examples

Adjective + Noun Collocations
Speaking exam practice:
Discussions & language for expressing agreement.