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Learn Grammar for IELTS in 10 Weeks: IELTS Study Material & Schedule

At Clemmonsdogpark, we get a lot of questions from students wondering how they can improve their band scores and English grammar for IELTS. Of course, one way is to learn about the test—how it’s scored, how to approach the various question types, how to strategize for each section, etc. For students who only have a short time to prepare for the exam (six weeks or less), this is the best approach.

However, if you have more time to study, a second way to make significant improvements to your score is quite simply to improve your English. If using classes or tutors isn’t possible or desirable, you can still improve your English skills on your own with the right kind of practice. In this post, we will teach you how to study for the IELTS by yourself, at home, with an IELTS self study schedule.

How to Prepare for IELTS at Home with our Language Development Study Schedule

With the Language Development Study Schedule in this post, you can see how to prepare for IELTS at home with IELTS study material, nine types of IELTS practice material designed for all four sections of the test, and weekly study activities.

Completing this 10-week study plan will help you improve your English in the following ways:

  • You will learn relevant IELTS vocabulary
  • You will learn and practice advanced grammar for IELTS
  • You will gain exposure to a wide variety of IELTS-like reading and listening topics
  • You will practice listening to different English accents
  • You will practice speaking and writing about a wide variety of IELTS-like topics
  • You will develop more fluency when speaking at length about a topic
  • You will write clearer and more accurate sentences more quickly

Do you have fewer than 10 weeks before you take the IELTS exam? You may want to consider our 1-week or 1-month IELTS study schedules instead.

Study Schedule Table of Contents

IELTS Language Development Study Schedule - grammar for IELTS-magoosh

How to Use the IELTS Language Development Study Schedule

Following this schedule is like training for a race or practicing for a musical concert. You will complete weekly training activities that help you refine your skills for all four sections of the test.

Below, you will find a description of the IELTS practice material you’ll encounter each week, followed by 10 tables (one for each week) with these weekly activities. The tables are organized as checklists so you can keep track of your progress. You have the freedom to decide how to spread out the activities over seven days. You can even do the activities in a different order than they are listed in, if you’d like. Just check off exercises as you complete them!

Finishing all of the suggested activities each week can require a significant time commitment. Depending on your speed, it may take 5-10 hours. If you have more than 10 weeks before your exam, I recommend one of the following options:

  1. Spread out the activities in this schedule over more time.
  2. Begin (and possibly complete) this schedule before you begin studying intensively for the IELTS exam itself.

In both cases, you may wish to supplement this schedule with more activities. The best way to do this is to add more reading and listening practice. In the IELTS Study Material section, you will find a list of reading resources. And the weekly study checklists include listening resources with an almost endless supply of content.

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IELTS Study Material

Most of the IELTS study material contained in this schedule is available for free online. Just click the links included in each weekly study checklist!

The exception is the grammar development portion of this study plan. There are many grammar resources available online. However, there are very few with high-quality explanations and exercises that will help you make real improvements to your grammar for IELTS while studying on your own.

The book I recommend for self-study is . This book contains the advanced grammar concepts you should know in order to boost your IELTS band scores, especially in writing and speaking. It also includes many helpful exercises and explanations that you can use to correct your own errors.

Additionally, students have access to the grammar videos that are linked in the grammar section of this study schedule. These videos review key concepts dealing with grammar for IELTS.

IELTS Study Material: Reading Resources

: New Scientist is an international science magazine from the UK. Some New Scientist articles, such as one called , can be found in Cambridge IELTS books and past IELTS exams.

and : Scientific American and American Scientist are two popular American science magazines. They also include health and education articles, which are very similar to IELTS Academic Reading passages. What is more, Scientific American offers hundreds of , which are great for IELTS listening practice!

: Get the latest news from different parts of the world in English. There are many kinds of reading materials on BBC News that work great for IELTS practice material.

: The Economist is another common source for IELTS reading passages. Many articles from past exams were taken from this magazine.

: National Geographic contains articles about geography, animals, culture, the environment, travel and adventure, which are common topics for both the Academic and General Training Reading exams.

and : History Extra and History Net are two great history magazine websites with podcasts, articles and reviews on a variety of events.

Choose articles from any of these major newspapers:

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IELTS Practice Material: Explanation of Weekly Exercises

In the study schedule below, there are many valuable learning exercises that you’ll do every week. Before you start, read this overview of the types of IELTS practice material you will encounter.

15-Minute Writing

Goals:

  • Increase your writing speed
  • Think about how to respond to IELTS-like writing questions more quickly
  • Improve the grammatical accuracy of your sentences
  • Improve the focus and clarity of your writing
  • Expand the vocabulary you use to write

The Exercise:

Here’s what you should do for each 15-minute writing exercise:

  1. Write with pencil and paper like you will on the exam.
  2. Read the prompt provided on the weekly schedule.
  3. Give yourself no more than one minute to think of a response.
  4. Set a timer for 15 minutes and begin writing.
  5. Here’s the challenge: try to keep your pencil moving the entire time. DO NOT use a dictionary as you write. Your goal is to JUST WRITE for 15 minutes and see how much you can produce. Over time, you should try to write more and more.
  6. Review: This is an essential part of this exercise! When you finish, spend 5-10 minutes reviewing what you wrote. This is the time to consider whether your word choice and grammar could be improved. Keep track of consistent mistakes. If possible, share your writing with a native English speaker to get some feedback! Finally, once you are completely done with your initial writing and feedback, use your dictionary and look for places in your response where you had trouble expressing your ideas. NOW you can use your dictionary to search for words that would have improved your response. Add these words to your vocabulary journal, so you can remember them and use them in future writing.

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2-Minute Speech

Goals:

  • Speak more fluently about a wider variety of topics
  • Have an easier time speaking for 1-2 minutes (important for Part 2 of the IELTS Speaking test)
  • Expand the vocabulary you use when speaking
  • Improve the focus and clarity of your responses
  • Improve the grammatical accuracy of your responses

The Exercise:

Here’s what you should do for each 2-minute speech:

  1. Read the prompt in the study schedule.
  2. Give yourself no more than one minute to think about what you want to say. You may write notes if you wish.
  3. Turn on your voice recorder and respond. if you need a way to record yourself.
  4. Review: This is an essential part of this exercise! When you finish, listen to your speech at least once. Think of ways you could have responded more clearly, or in a more organized way. Try to catch grammar or vocabulary mistakes and keep track of regular errors. If possible, ask a native English speaker to review your response and give you feedback! Were there ideas you wanted to express but couldn’t because you lacked the words? Use your dictionary and find vocabulary that could have helped you articulate your ideas. Add these to your vocabulary journal.

Additional tip: Try your best to speak without stopping, and AVOID starting over from the beginning if you make mistakes. Each time you practice, your goal is to make it from the beginning to the end of your response without repeating yourself or getting lost. With repeated practice, you will get better and better at answering these questions with lengthy responses (like IELTS Speaking, Part 2!).

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Vocabulary Journal

Goals:

  • Master new words
  • Create a personalized resource for regular review

The Exercise:

  1. Add new words to your vocabulary journal each day. Since it’s probably unrealistic to work on your journal seven days per week, this study schedule sets the weekly goal at 50 words per week.
  2. Each entry should include:
    -The new word
    -A short and simple definition (or synonym) in English
    -A sample sentence that will help you remember the meaning
  3. Spend a few minutes reviewing words from prior days as well. It is much better to spend a little time reviewing your journal each day (5-10 minutes is good!) than to spend long chunks of time trying to memorize a lot of words in one or two sessions. Simply scan your list and slow down on the least familiar words. Read the definition and sample sentence and then move on. Over time, you will master all the words on our list with enough repetitions.

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Clemmonsdogpark IELTS Flashcards

Goal:

  • Master difficult words that occur frequently on the IELTS exam

The Exercise:

Use as a supplement to your vocabulary journal. On days when you do not add new words to your vocabulary journal from other exercises like reading or listening practice, study your flashcards to ensure you’re learning 10-15 new words each day.

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Azar Grammar Book (recommended)

Goal:

  • Review (or learn for the first time!) and practice advanced English grammar for IELTS, that will boost your score in the Writing and Speaking modules in particular

The Exercise:

Study the chapter(s) of listed in the weekly checklists. It’s fine to skip over topics that you’ve already mastered. Do as many of the practice exercises as you have time to complete each week. You do not need to complete them all. Make sure to leave enough time to review your incorrect answers.

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Clemmonsdogpark Grammar Videos

Goal:

  • Grammar review

The Exercise:

These short videos are excellent for supplemental grammar review. students can click the links in this schedule to access the videos. Alternatively, Clemmonsdogpark IELTS students can go to their Clemmonsdogpark dashboard and select “Lessons” at the top. The Clemmonsdogpark grammar videos are listed for you along the right side of the resulting page.

also offers (free!) instructional videos on the grammar concepts listed in this study schedule. Sign up and search for the videos by title.

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Current Events Listening

Goals:

  • Exposure to challenging listening material covering a wide range of IELTS-like topics
  • Increased comprehension of various English accents
  • Exposure to new vocabulary
  • Increased ability to comprehend discussion of complex topics

The Exercise:

For this exercise, you will listen to the news for 20-30 minutes three times per week. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Click on the provided link in the “Current Events Listening” section.
  2. On the resulting page, search for stories that look interesting to you. Many of these channels also allow you to “listen live,” in order to hear whatever programming is playing at that moment.

Perhaps you can do this exercise when you’re getting ready for school or work in the morning, or possibly on your commute. Whenever it suits for you, just listen and try your best to comprehend what you hear. The radio news outlets linked in these exercises will expose you to accents from the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, the United States, and New Zealand.

If you’re having trouble comprehending the stories, you can most likely find a written article about the topics discussed in the program on the homepage of the radio station you’re listening to.

As always, make sure to write down new vocabulary. Most stories you hear are recorded (not live), so you should have the ability to pause and play the the program if necessary to write down new words.

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Variety Listening

Goals:

  • Exposure to advanced IELTS-like listening content
  • Increased comprehension of various English accents
  • Exposure to new vocabulary
  • Increased ability to comprehend discussion of complex topics

The Exercise:

The passages linked in this section of the study plan are excellent practice for Part 4 of the listening testie, which is the most difficult section of the exam. You will gain exposure to a wide variety of topics and speaking styles. Most of the recordings offer transcripts or supplemental written materials, which can help you if you’re struggling to understand what you hear!

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Variety Reading

Goals:

  • Increased comprehension of challenging reading materials
  • Exposure to new vocabulary

The Exercise:

Three days per week, you should choose one or two articles from the “Reading Resources List” provided below. Your goal is to read for 30 minutes a day.

Read actively:

  • Take notes
  • Underline words you don’t know
  • Try to comprehend the passage as a whole. Can you articulate the main idea of each paragraph after you read it?

When you finish reading, don’t forget to add new words to your vocabulary journal.

Additional tip: Don’t just read articles on topics with which you are already very familiar. It’s likely you already know a lot of vocabulary in this area. Push yourself and read about new things! Keep in mind that IELTS Reading covers a wide range of topics. It’s impossible to predict the specific subjects you’ll encounter on your IELTS exam. Your best bet is to prepare by reading widely!

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Weekly Study Schedule to Improve Your English Grammar for IELTS

Week 1

GrammarIn Clemmonsdogpark, watch these grammar videos:





Understanding and Using English Grammar:
Chapter 1: Overview of Verb Tenses
VocabularyComplete the “Common Words” deck in the free .

Add at least 50 new words to your vocabulary journal this week.
Writing15-minute Writing #1:
Are you a risk-taker? Describe a time when you took a risk at work or school.

15-minute Writing #2:
What is ONE thing others do that annoys you? Describe one or two specific instances when you experienced this, and explain why you find this thing so annoying.
Speaking2-minute Speech #1:
Introduce each member of your family. Provide basic information and say something that is unique about each person.

2-minute Speech #2:
Read a news article online. Summarize the article for your speech.

2-minute Speech #3:
Choose an object in your house and make a commercial about it. Pretend you are trying to sell the item to someone.
ListeningCurrent Events Listening:
This week, listen to for at least 20-30 minutes on three different days.

Variety Listening:
ReadingVariety Reading:
Choose materials from the reading resources list above and read for at least 30 minutes on three different days.

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Week 2

GrammarIn Clemmonsdogpark, watch these grammar videos:





Understanding and Using English Grammar:
Focus on new (or the most difficult) topics from chapters 2, 3 and 4 on verb tenses.

NOTE: This is a lot of material to cover in one week, especially if you find it very challenging. Feel free to spread out these chapters over more than one week if necessary.
VocabularyComplete the “Medium Words” deck in the free .

Add at least 50 new words to your vocabulary journal this week.
Writing15-minute Writing #1:
What is ONE thing you would like to eliminate from your life to make it less complicated? Describe in detail how removing this thing would simplify your life.

15-minute Writing #2:
Do you believe that all things happen for a reason?
Speaking2-minute Speech #1:
Pick a place you know very well (your home, school, office, etc.) and describe it from memory. Provide as much detail as possible.

2-minute Speech #2:
What is a unique skill you possess (something like juggling, drawing, baking, singing, etc.)? Give a speech in which you explain how someone could learn to do this skill.

2-minute Speech #3:
What are some study habits that you find most effective?
ListeningCurrent Events Listening:
This week, choose programs from the . The link directs you to a page that lists news programs of varying lengths. On three different days, try to listen to about 20-30 minutes of the daily programs on these channels.

Variety Listening:
ReadingVariety Reading:
Choose materials from the reading resources list above and read for at least 30 minutes on three different days.

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Week 3

GrammarIn Clemmonsdogpark, watch these grammar videos:







Understanding and Using English Grammar:
Chapter 8: Pronouns
VocabularyComplete the “Medium Words 2” deck in the free .

Add at least 50 new words to your vocabulary journal this week.
Writing15-minute Writing #1:
What is some helpful advice you’ve received from a supervisor at work or a teacher at school? How did it help you?

15-minute Writing #2:
Do you think children who watch violent movies and play violent video games are more likely to be violent adults?
Speaking2-minute Speech #1:
Describe what you did yesterday in as much detail as you can.

2-minute Speech #2:
What is a goal you hope to accomplish within 5 years?

2-minute Speech #3:
Think about your time in primary school. What are your best memories of that time? Who was your favorite teacher? What activities did you like to do in school?
ListeningCurrent Events Listening:
This week, choose programs from the . The link directs you to a page that lists news programs of varying lengths under the “Listen Again” heading on the left side of the page. On three different days, try to listen to about 20-30 minutes of the daily programs on these channels.

Variety Listening:
ReadingVariety Reading:
Choose materials from the reading resources list above and read for at least 30 minutes on three different days.

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Week 4

GrammarIn Clemmonsdogpark, watch these grammar videos:






Understanding and Using English Grammar:
Chapters 9 and 10: Modals Part 1 and Part 2
VocabularyComplete the “Medium Words 3” deck in the free .

Add at least 50 new words to your vocabulary journal this week.
Writing15-minute Writing #1:
In what ways would being very famous make life worse?

15-minute Writing #2:
Summarize a story that you have been following in the news.
Speaking2-minute Speech #1:
Tell a story about an embarrassing thing that happened to you.

2-minute Speech #2:
Who is a national hero in your country? Why is he or she a hero? What do you think about this person?

2-minute Speech #3:
Describe a time you helped someone.
ListeningCurrent Events Listening:
This week, choose programs from the (news from the United States). The link directs you to a page that lists news programs of varying lengths as you scroll down to the bottom of the page. On three different days, try to listen to about 20-30 minutes of the daily programs on these channels.

Variety Listening:
ReadingVariety Reading:
Choose materials from the reading resources list above and read for at least 30 minutes on three different days.

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Week 5

GrammarIn Clemmonsdogpark, watch these grammar videos:





Understanding and Using English Grammar:
Chapter 12: Noun Clauses
VocabularyComplete the “Hard Words” deck in the free .

Add at least 50 new words to your vocabulary journal this week.
Writing15-minute Writing #1:
What is one way your personality is similar to either of your parents?

15-minute Writing #2:
Describe your earliest memory in as much detail as possible.
Speaking2-minute Speech #1:
Search for your favorite piece of artwork online. Study it for a minute and then describe it. Pretend you’re describing it to a person who cannot see what you’re looking at.

2-minute Speech #2:
From memory, describe the route you take to get from your house to another place in your city (school, work, a friend’s house, etc).

2-minute Speech #3:
Do you (or have you ever) believed in magic or miracles? Explain.
ListeningCurrent Events Listening:
This week, choose programs from the . The link directs you to a page that lists news programs of varying lengths as you scroll down to the bottom of the page. On three different days, try to listen to about 20-30 minutes of the daily programs on these channels.

Variety Listening:
ReadingVariety Reading:
Choose materials from the reading resources list above and read for at least 30 minutes on three different days.

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Week 6

GrammarIn Clemmonsdogpark, watch these grammar videos:





Understanding and Using English Grammar:
Chapter 13: Adjective Clauses
VocabularyComplete the “Hard Words 2” deck in the free .

Add at least 50 new words to your vocabulary journal this week.
Writing15-minute Writing #1:
What is one law you would like to see enacted in your city? What problem would it solve?

15-minute Writing #2:
What motivates you to do well at work or school?
Speaking2-minute Speech #1:
Is lying ever okay? If not, why not? If so, in what situations?

2-minute Speech #2:
Think about how the world views your country. What are some misperceptions people have about where you live?

2-minute Speech #3:
Pretend you just received an award for something good you did in the last year. Give a speech explaining how you accomplished this thing, and thank the people who helped you.
ListeningCurrent Events Listening:
This week, choose programs from the . The link directs you to a page that lists the current day’s news programs. On three different days, try to listen to about 20-30 minutes of the daily programs on these channels.

Variety Listening:
ReadingVariety Reading:
Choose materials from the reading resources list above and read for at least 30 minutes on three different days.

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Week 7

GrammarIn Clemmonsdogpark, watch these grammar videos:




Understanding and Using English Grammar:
Chapter 16: Coordinating Conjunctions
VocabularyComplete the “Hard Words 3” deck in the free .

Add at least 50 new words to your vocabulary journal this week.
Writing15-minute Writing #1:
What is one way your country has become a better place to live in the last 50 years?

15-minute Writing #2:
Do you (or did you) find school enjoyable? Explain.
Speaking2-minute Speech #1:
What specific songs and/or what style of music do you listen to most now? What does the music you listen to say about you?

2-minute Speech #2:
Tell a story about yourself starting here: “One time, I was completely surprised when…”

Use as much detail as you can to tell the story. Try to speak for 1-2 minutes.

2-minute Speech #3:
What thing in nature (a shark, a tornado, etc.) frightens you most? Explain why you’re especially fearful of this thing.
ListeningCurrent Events Listening:
This week, choose programs from the . The link directs you to a page that lists news programs of varying lengths. On three different days, try to listen to about 20-30 minutes of the daily programs on this channel.

Variety Listening:
ReadingVariety Reading:
Choose materials from the reading resources list above and read for at least 30 minutes on three different days.

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Week 8

GrammarIn Clemmonsdogpark, watch these grammar videos:




Understanding and Using English Grammar:
Chapter 17: Adverb Clauses
VocabularyComplete the “Hard Words 4” deck in the free .

Add at least 50 new words to your vocabulary journal this week.
Writing15-minute Writing #1:
Describe an event that brought you closer to someone else (a family member, a friend, or anyone else).

15-minute Writing #2:
What is your favorite season of the year? Describe what it’s like to live in your city during this season. Try to use as much detail and description as possible.
Speaking2-minute Speech #1:
Describe a time you felt disappointed by someone or something.

2-minute Speech #2:
Would you take a job that would make you wealthy even if it meant that you had very little time to spend with friends and family? Explain.

2-minute Speech #3:
What place in the world would you most like to visit? Why?
ListeningCurrent Events Listening:
This week, choose programs from the . The link directs you to a page that lists news programs of varying lengths under the “Listen Again” heading on the left side of the page. On three different days, try to listen to about 20-30 minutes of the daily programs on these channels.

Variety Listening:
ReadingVariety Reading:
Choose materials from the reading resources list above and read for at least 30 minutes on three different days.

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Week 9

GrammarIn Clemmonsdogpark, watch these grammar videos:






Understanding and Using English Grammar:
Chapter 19: Connectives that Express Cause and Effect, Contrast, and Condition
VocabularyComplete the “Very Hard Words” deck in the free .

Add at least 50 new words to your vocabulary journal this week.
Writing15-minute Writing #1:
What is one place in your city or region that you would take someone who has never been to your area before? Describe this place and explain why it would be interesting to see.

15-minute Writing #2:
Summarize your favorite movie and pretend you are trying to convince someone to go see it.
Speaking2-minute Speech #1:
Who is a person you find very funny (an actor, friend, or family member)? Describe some of the funny things you’ve seen this person do.

2-minute Speech #2:
Imagine what life was like 200 years ago for people in your country or region. Would would have been some of the good and bad things about living in that time?

2-minute Speech #3:
What animal is most similar to your personality? Explain.
ListeningCurrent Events Listening:
This week, choose programs from the (news from the United States). The link directs you to a page that lists news programs of varying lengths as you scroll down to the bottom of the page. On three different days, try to listen to about 20-30 minutes of the daily programs on these channels.

Variety Listening:
ReadingVariety Reading:
Choose materials from the reading resources list above and read for at least 30 minutes on three different days.

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Week 10

GrammarIn Clemmonsdogpark, watch these grammar videos:



Understanding and Using English Grammar:
Chapter 20: Conditional Sentences and Wishes
VocabularyComplete the “Very Hard Words 2” deck in the free .

Add at least 50 new words to your vocabulary journal this week.
Writing15-minute Writing #1:
Who is a famous person that you would like to have dinner with? Explain why.

15-minute Writing #2:
Describe an object you have kept from your childhood, and explain why you still have it.
Speaking2-minute Speech #1:
What do you most like to do in your leisure time?

2-minute Speech #2:
Wherever you are right now, look out the window and describe what you see in as much detail as you can.

2-minute Speech #3:
Do you think you are influenced by advertising? Explain.
ListeningCurrent Events Listening:
This week, choose programs from the . The link directs you to a page that lists news programs of varying lengths as you scroll down to the bottom of the page. On three different days, try to listen to about 20-30 minutes of the daily programs on these channels.

Variety Listening:
ReadingVariety Reading:
Choose materials from the reading resources list above and read for at least 30 minutes on three different days.

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A Final Word

Congratulations! If you made it this far, you’ve worked to improve your English grammar for IELTS, and completed a very rigorous self-study English course. By now, your English skills should be very sharp.

Relax, be confident, and do your best on the exam. Good luck!

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