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.
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.
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.
As IELTS is an international test, a variety of English accents are used in both of these examinations.
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.
No. The Reading test is one hour, and you must write all your answers on the answer sheet in this time.
No. The answer sheet is scanned by a computer which cannot read pen.
Yes. The examiner will not see your question paper.
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.
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.
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.
Under usual test circumstances, the candidates will receive their IELTS results 13 calendar days after 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.
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.
The test centre offers the candidate an alternative test date as soon as possible.
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.
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.
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.
You can take IELTS in over 300 locations worldwide. A full list of these locations ('test centres') is available on www.ielts.org.
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.