How to Save Money on the IELTS Exam

IELTS preparation can be an expensive process. Especially if you have a deadline to meet and a specific band score to achieve. Data shows that on average, each IELTS candidate spends around 1,130 Euros for preparation and taking the IELTS test, where the IELTS test accounts for roughly a quarter of this amount.

So to cut some costs and save money on IELTS, you can generally do two things; First, get your desired band score in your first attempt at the IELTS, and second, use cheaper (but effective) preparation methods. Fortunately, there are solutions which can help you achieve both goals at the same time, and I am going over them in this article.

The methods that I have listed here can potentially save you 2,000 Euros in your prep. So keep on reading!

Welcome to self-study!

Saving potential: +1000 Euros

IELTS courses and workshops are undoubtedly useful and at the same time, very pricey. However, are they really irreplaceable? Of course not! Despite what you may have heard, with self-study and without taking any classes, you can still get an IELTS band score of 8 or even higher. That’s because there are excellent materials, study aids, and support networks available to help you. Self-studying for IELTS saves you much money that otherwise you would’ve spent on a class or tuition fee.

However, It is difficult for many people to stay on track when they are immersed in self-study. You might make many excuses as to why it is complicated. These excuses create a wall that prevents learning. It is time to forget about these excuses and open yourself to self-study!

Besides saving a considerable amount of money, there are other benefits in self-study for IELTS candidates:

1- You can learn more effectively. Exploring a topic on your own encourages you to engage with the information actively. You can think about topics more deeply and make connections between what you are learning. Moreover, when you are involved (and excited) about what you are learning, you’re able to remember it better.

2- It can boost your self-esteem. As you do more self-study, you become a more confident learner. You can see yourself as an independent person who is able to learn new things without anyone helping you. This can be a significant motivation boost.

3- you can learn at your own pace. Self-study allows you to take learning at your own pace, focusing on areas you are most interested in (or want to understand a bit better). This helps reduce feelings of anxiety, frustration, or boredom that you may struggle within a classroom setting.

With so much information available at your fingertips, it’s easier than ever for you to learn by yourself, and learning can happen anywhere, anytime—not just in the classroom. All being said, self-study is only effective when you have access to the right study materials, and you can use the guidance of an experienced guide or coach.

At Preptical, we provide you with the study materials and resources that you’ll need when you are self-studying for the IELTS test. We select these materials for you based on your level, your goals, and your available time.

Say hello to IELTS mock tests

Saving potential: +300 Euros

Whether you are taking IELTS courses or you are self-studying for the test, you’ll need to know if you are ready to take the IELTS test or not before taking the test. If you take the test unprepared, you’ll most likely not get your desired band score and should take the test another time. This means an extra cost since each time you take the IELTS test; you’ll have to pay around 200 Euros. Therefore by registering for the IELTS test and taking it when you know you are completely ready, you can save at least 200 euros. This is one of the many benefits of taking IELTS mock tests.

At the same time, many IELTS candidates find it very hard to monitor their progress and to see if they are on the right track toward their goals. This usually results in extra expenses in purchasing unnecessary resources or useless materials. Using IELTS mock tests, you can precisely monitor your progress and see if you are on the right track toward your goal, and this is one of the other important benefits of IELTS mock tests.

Especially if your IELTS mock test comes with an analytical report, you can understand which areas you need to focus on and which skills require your special attention. This information can help you choose your next steps more wisely and save money by only paying for materials and resources that you know you’ll need in your prep.

If you want to save money further, you could take an online IELTS mock test. An online mock test usually costs much less than a paper IELTS mock test since everything is done online, and you’ll get your results much quicker. Preptical is currently the leading provider of online IELTS mock tests in the world, which has helped IELTS candidates save money and get their desired band score at the same time since 2005. Please review our Mock tests packages here.

You are also welcome to read this article to learn more about the characteristics of a good IELTS mock test.

Get a coach

Saving potential: +500 Euros

An IELTS coach is an experienced IELTS expert who has a broad knowledge about the best preparation materials, methods, and techniques. They make sure that you can get your desired band score in IELTS by recommending the resources that you need and selecting a study plan for you that suits your requirements.

As I mentioned earlier, preparing for the IELTS test is quite costly, and it becomes costlier if you walk in the wrong direction. Having an IELTS coach is a great money saver that many candidates ignore. But how will an IELTS coach help you save money?

1- To prepare for the test, you’ll need to buy study materials, but there are lots, and lots of them available on the market and not all of them are suitable for you. By recommending only those material that you actually need, and even providing you with some that can be shared, an IELTS coach can help you save a significant amount of money.

2- Failing your attempt at the IELTS exam means that you’ll have to pay another 200 Euros to sit the test, and this can go on indefinitely unless you find a way to break the cycle. The good news is that with a small amount of money, you can get a certified IELTS coach to monitor your progress and let you know when you are ready to take the test.

3- As we discussed earlier, IELTS courses can be pricey, some of them as high as thousands of euros per module or tens of thousands of euros per year. With the help of a coach, you can self-study efficiently and keep attending classes to a minimum. Even if you spend a few hundred euros on resources, you’ll have saved thousands compared to taking a taught course.

Remember that succeeding on the IELTS exam is about following a clear step-by-step strategy and not giving up, and an IELTS coach can be your help during this path to success.

Use free online resources

Saving potential: +200 Euros

There is a wide range of free online study materials and resources to help you prepare for the IELTS test while cutting back on expenses. Online resources are a great source of knowledge, and if chosen wisely, can be as effective as paid study materials or courses.

If you are looking to maximise the benefits of online resources, you should better use them with the instructions of your IELTS coach. He/she will help you choose the ones that are suitable for you based on your current level and according to his/her understanding of your capabilities and limitations.

Here I have listed some of the most useful online resources that can help you for free:

The video lessons from IELTS teacher and examiner Liz are an excellent way of learning some general tips on the IELTS exam. This youtube channel also offers lessons and advice on each of the four skills assessed on the test (Speaking, Reading, Writing, and Listening). The video lessons range from 5 minutes up to 20 minutes and include useful topics that will help you prepare for the test and improve your band score.

This website is packed with useful information and resources about the IELTS exam. These materials include information on the IELTS exam format, IELTS resources, sample questions, and there are also materials for each module that you can download and practice later. It also provides a list of books which can help you study effectively for the IELTS test. On the website, there is also a page dedicated to videos that help you prepare for and understand the IELTS exam.

Simon is an ex-IELTS examiner, and on his website, he provides in-depth advice on the IELTS test. Simon shares his knowledge by writing ‘lesson of the day’ on his website. He has also written an eBook on ideas for IELTS writing topics, as well as his own video lessons.

IELTS Advantage
This webpage provides tips, techniques and advice for those explicitly preparing for the IELTS Speaking test. It includes beneficial information on the test format, the scoring system of the IELTS, and helps you understand what level you are now and what your target band score should be. On the website, you could also find some helpful tips on achieving higher scores by introducing real-life situations to help you practice and expand on your answers.

Use second-hand textbooks

Saving potential: +100 Euros

Every IELTS candidate knows that some of their most significant expenses are owed to textbooks and other study materials. In fact, candidates spend more than 200 Euros on books alone.

While owning your own copies can feel like a requirement, the truth is that the majority of IELTS books and materials can easily be borrowed from the university library or bought second-hand.

But why are IELTS textbooks so expensive? One of the main reasons is the fact that only a few significant players have monopolised the publication industry, and technology has allowed them to release new editions quickly, sometimes every year, that makes the older editions obsolete.

Buying your books brand new will obviously cost more than buying used. Since you’re only going to be using your IELTS textbooks for a short time, there’s certainly no need to buy your IELTS textbooks brand new if you can avoid it.

Buying used textbooks isn’t as unpleasant as it sounds. Sometimes the used books have notes in the margins and highlighted passages that can even help you understand the material better. Needless to say that some used textbooks are in almost new condition.

One other thing to consider is that some publication companies produce new editions that really aren’t so different from the old ones. Try and compare editions if you have access to them, and save money by buying an older (and cheaper!) version if it’s almost the same.


There are numerous ways you can save money and get a high IELTS band score at the same time. IELTS preparation doesn’t have to be an expensive process and getting your desired band score on a budget is absolutely possible.

I listed a few methods you could readily use to cut back your expenses. What other ways do you think there are? Please share your ideas in the comments.

When should I book my IELTS test?

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