IELTS Guides
 IELTS Samples
 TEST Tips
 How to Apply
 Useful Links

  Frequently asked questions

This section provides answers to a lot of frequently asked candidate questions. Please check this section before contacting the IELTS enquiries service.

See also: Computer Based IELTS frequently asked questions

  1. What can the candidate bring into the examination room?
  2. Is the IELTS test completed in one day?
  3. What kind of accents can be heard in the Listening and Speaking tests?
  4. Does the listening tape provide the candidate with necessary instructions and pauses?
  5. Is there a similar period of ten minutes at the end of the Reading test for the transfer of answers?
  6. Can I complete the Listening and Reading answer sheet in pen?
  7. Can I make some notes on the Listening and Reading question paper?
  8. What is the Speaking test?
  9. What should the candidate bring for the Speaking test?
  10. What happens if a candidate loses their Test Report Form?
  11. When will the candidate receive their results?
  12. How soon can candidates repeat the test?
  13. What help is available for disabled candidates?
  14. What happens if a candidate is delayed by circumstances beyond their control (e.g. a transportation strike)?
  15. What happens if a candidate wants to postpone or cancel their application?
  16. What happens if a candidate is absent on the day of the test without giving prior notice?
  17. What can candidates do if they are unhappy with their results?
  18. When can candidates receive copies of their test results?
  19. Where can I take IELTS?
  20. When can I take IELTS?

Answers

1. What can the candidate bring into the examination room?

Only pens, pencils and erasers.  Correction fluid must not be used.  You must leave anything which you do not need, or which is not allowed, either outside the examination room, or as instructed by the supervisor.  Mobile phones and pagers must be switched off and placed with personal belongings in the area designated by the supervisor.  Any candidate who does not switch off their phone/pager, or who retains one in their possession, will be disqualified.

2. Is the IELTS test completed in one day?

The Listening, Reading and Writing components of the test are always completed immediately after each other and in this same order with no schedule break. The Speaking test can be taken up to 7 days either before or after the test date.

3. What kind of accents can be heard in the Listening and Speaking tests?

As IELTS is an international test, a variety of English accents are used in both of these examinations.

4. Does the listening tape provide the candidate with necessary instructions and pauses?

Yes. At the beginning of the test, candidates receive instructions and hear a sample question. Next, candidates read Section One questions and then listen to Section One and answer the questions on the question paper as they listen. The same procedure follows for Sections Two, Three and Four.  This takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.  In the following final ten minutes, candidates transfer their answers onto the answer sheet.

5. Is there a similar period of ten minutes at the end of the Reading test for the transfer of answers?

No. The Reading test is one hour, and you must write all your answers on the answer sheet in this time.

6. Can I complete the Listening and Reading answer sheet in pen?

No.  The answer sheet is scanned by a computer which cannot read pen.

7. Can I make some notes on the Listening and Reading question paper?

Yes.  The examiner will not see your question paper.

8. What is the Speaking test?

The Speaking test is conducted with a one-to-one interview with a certified examiner, which is recorded on an audiocassette or a digital recorder.

9. What should the candidate bring for the Speaking test?

The candidate needs to bring the same identification documents they supplied on registration, as these must be checked again against the information on the application form. These documents will be checked by the administrator and the Speaking examiner prior to the candidate entering the interview room.

10. What happens if a candidate loses their Test Report Form?

At any time within two years of the date of the examination, a candidate can apply to the centre which administered the test to be sent 5 copies of the original Test Report Form free of charge. These Test Report Forms will not be sent to the candidates themselves, but the universities abroad, Embassy and Consulate. For any further copies, there is an administration charge per copy.  Please contact your test centre for further details.

11. When will the candidate receive their results?

Under usual test circumstances, the candidates will receive their IELTS results 13 calendar days after the test.

12. How soon can candidates repeat the test?

There is no limitation on how frequently candidates can sit IELTS. It should be noted however that IELTS scores are not substantially improved merely by taking the test on multiple occasions.  To significantly improve a score it is necessary to engage in further study of a serious nature.

13. What help is available for disabled candidates?

Test centres make every effort to cater for the special needs of any disabled candidates, to enable them to best understand questions and tasks and to give their answers.  It is our aim for the language level of all candidates, irrespective of disability, to be assessed fairly and objectively.  Candidates with special needs should inform their test centre when applying so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

14. What happens if a candidate is delayed by circumstances beyond their control (e.g. a transportation strike)?

The test centre offers the candidate an alternative test date as soon as possible.

15. What happens if a candidate wants to postpone or cancel their application?

Candidates who request a postponement or cancellation of their test within 5 weeks of the test date will normally be charged the full fee unless their request is due to medical reason and they are able to provide appropriate medical evidence to support their request within 5 days of the test date.

16. What happens if a candidate is absent on the day of the test without giving prior notice?

The candidate will lose their full test fee.  However, if a medical certificate is provided within 5 days of the test date then the full fee is refunded minus a local administrative deduction.

17. What can candidates do if they are unhappy with their results?

Candidates may apply for an enquiry on results procedure at the centre at which they took their test within four weeks of issue of results. There is a standard fee for this which is fully refunded should the band score change.

18. Candidates can receive copies of their test results under the following conditions:

19.Where can I take IELTS?

You can take IELTS in over 300 locations worldwide. A full list of these locations ('test centres') is available on www.ielts.org.

20. When can I take IELTS?

IELTS is available on up to 48 fixed dates a year - up to four times a month, depending on local demand. Your nearest test centre can give you the dates.