About Practical IELTS

Hey, I’m Tim Hampson. The founder of Practical IELTS. I have spent nine years teaching including four years as an IELTS teacher. I started this website after meeting so many students who were misinformed about the IELTS test. The truth is that so much information about the IELTS exam is overpriced, wrong, or overpriced and wrong. I believe that everyone deserves access to good information about the IELTS because the test is too important for students’ lives.

How is practical IELTS different to other websites?

In my experience, IELTS students are almost always trying to get as good a result in as short a period of time as possible. For that reason, I think it is important to make sure IELTS lessons are able to make as big an impact in as short a period of time as possible. In fact, I feel so strongly about this that I named the website ‘Practical IELTS’.

When I am putting together materials, I always aim to create materials that focus on the most direct way to a higher score. While some teachers may want to teach you extra materials so they can charge you for more classes, we don’t do that here. The materials on this website avoid activities that are easy and feel good, but aren’t actually helpful for IELTS learners.

What’s my experience?

I’ve been teaching English for nine years in Korea, China, and online with four of those working specifically on the IELTS exam. While I started teaching English thinking it was something I might do for a year or two, it quickly became obvious it is what I want to spend my life doing. I love learning more about teaching as well as sharing my love of teaching with others.

In 2018, I started a master’s degree at my dream university: Oxford. This was an incredibly intense and rewarding experience for me and I learned a huge amount about how languages are learned. I also learned a lot about academic writing as Oxford has very high standards and expects you to cover a lot of material with a short word count. Here’s me at the department in 2018 and at my (pandemic-delayed) graduation ceremony in 2022:

Me as a fresh Oxford student in 2018.
Me after graduating.

I’ve also presented over 15 academic conferences for language teachers on a range of topics and written a coursebook about conversation teaching. I am currently working on my PhD at University College London researching international universities.

Other interests

When I’m not teaching, I enjoy jogging and cooking. I fell in love with Chinese food living in China and have been studying how to cook the perfect dumpling since then.