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What and Why: Background

The IELTS Initiative, an important part of the ELTU Quality Assurance Project, is funded by the Teaching Development and Language Enhancement Grant (TDLEG) to obtain additional information about CUHK undergraduate students’ language needs and to help monitor their English language proficiency over the 3-year ELTU programme period.

Who and How: Eligibility and Selection Process

Using stratified sampling approach (by entrance English proficiency level and by faculty), English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) will identify about 10% of the total cohort (~400) and sponsor them to participate in the IELTS test upon fulfilment of University core requirement in English Language in Year 3. Eligible students will be invited via email to apply for the sponsorship, and a confirmation email will be sent to the successful applicants together with all the necessary details.


Students must fulfil the following conditions to enjoy partial reimbursement of IELTS test fee of HK$2,000 per person.


1. to complete the IELTS online learning components, mock tests before Zoom workshops, and attend Zoom workshops (ALL FOUR sessions) assigned and conducted by ELTU staff.


2. to register and pay for an official IELTS test through the British Council Hong Kong or the IDP Hong Kong in Hong Kong, or an official IELTS test centre outside Hong Kong (please DO NOT register for any IELTS test until you receive a confirmation email from us). The test should be the IELTS ACADEMIC version taken IN CENTRE and should take place after the completion of the assigned ELTU IELTS online learning components, mock tests and Zoom workshops. [N.B. The capped amount of the reimbursement is HK$2,000 per person. The reimbursement will not cover other test versions such as the IELTS Academic Online, IELTS General Training, IELTS UKVI Academic or any other fees involved.]


3. to submit the proof of payment for the IELTS test fee and the test results to ELTU IMMEDIATELY after receiving the official test report (usually to be released two weeks after taking the test) in order to be reimbursed.


4. to complete an online survey form and/or to attend an interview for research purposes, if invited.


5. to grant consent to ELTU for using your IELTS test results, ELTU course grades and coursework for research purposes. [N.B. All collected data will only be processed anonymously. The granting of this consent will not affect your course grades at the University, and your IELTS test results will not be shown in your transcript.


6. to acknowledge and agree that ELTU reserves all of its rights, including but not limited to the acceptance or rejection of your registration, and the assignment of the IELTS online learning components, mock tests and Zoom workshops.


Q1. Do I need to apply for an official test result report from IELTS to mail to ELTU?

No. Only a hard copy of the report will be kept for our record and for research purposes.

Q2. Will the test results be recorded in my CUHK transcript?

No. This IELTS Initiative is a research project launched by ELTU. Your test results will be kept confidential and will only be used for research purposes.

Q3. How can I get the proof of payment?

If you have registered for the test through the British Council Hong Kong, please log into your BC account on their website to download the payment receipt; if an official payment receipt is not available, a confirmation email or information shown on your BC account (with your full name, the test type “IELTS Academic”, test date, and paid fee clearly stated) can be submitted as a proof of payment.

If you have registered for the test through the IDP Hong Kong, an email sent by the IDP Hong Kong with your full name, the test type “IELTS Academic”, test date, and paid fee clearly stated will be regarded as a proof of payment.

Q4. How long will it take to be reimbursed?

Normally, it will take eight weeks for the Finance Office in the University to process and transfer the money to you through autopay or by cheque. There is no difference in processing time for both payment methods. For autopay, please check your bank account around eight weeks after submitting all the necessary documents and information for the reimbursement. If you choose to be paid by cheque, you have to collect it in person from an ELTU staff in our office after receiving our notification email.

[N.B. If there is any problem with your bank account information, the Finance Office will pay you by cheque regardless of your preference previously indicated.]

Useful Links for IELTS Test Preparation:







IELTS Official Website

Test Format

Scoring & Assessment Criteria

IELTS (British Council)

Test Day Advice (British Council)

Tips and Videos (British Council)

IELTS Expert Tips and Introduction to Papers (Cambridge University Press)


Improve Your English and Prepare for IELTS Reading (British Council)



IELTS Writing: Task Achievement (Task 1) & Task Response (Task 2)

IELTS Writing: Coherence & Cohesion

IELTS Writing: Vocabulary

IELTS Writing: Grammar

IELTS Writing Task 1 – Tips and Advice (British Council)

Power Writing for IELTS Task 2 Writing (British Council)

Practice Task 2: Threat of Nuclear Weapons – Essay plan




Computer-delivered Test Speaking Listening
British Council



IELTS Speaking: Fluency & Coherence

IELTS Speaking: Grammar

IELTS Speaking: Pronunciation

IELTS Speaking: Vocabulary

Understanding the IELTS Speaking Test (Cambridge English Webminar)


Improve your English and Prepare for IELTS Listening (British Council)

Ten English Accents You Will Hear in IELTS Listening

TED x IELTS: The World’s English Mania





Sample Test Questions (Computer-delivered Test) Sample Test Questions (Paper-based Test) Speaking – Sample Tests
IELTS Official Website

British Council


IDP (Reading & Writing)

IELTS Official Website

British Council


Full Test Sample 1

Full Test Sample 2

Full Test Sample 3 (Audio only)

Part 1 (Candidate A)

Part 2 Sample 1 (Candidate C)

Part 2 Sample 2

Part 3 Sample 1 (Candidate I)

Part 3 Sample 2 (Candidate J)

Part 3 Sample 3

Part 3 Sample 4

Further Practice / Other Resources
Net Languages IELTS Preparation Course (CUHK log-in required)

Peer Tutoring Scheme (ELTU)

Independent Learning Centre (CUHK) IELTS / TOEFL