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  Special Circumstances

IELTS aims to assess the English language communication skills of all test takers fairly and objectively.

Our test centres can make arrangements to accommodate special circumstances or requirements to enable test takers to attend a test centre, and to understand questions and tasks and give their answers.

If you have a disability or another condition which might require special arrangements, you should let the test centre at which you will be doing your test know as soon as you can. Each case is considered individually, so they will need a medical certificate from you to put arrangements in place.

Test centres require three months¡¯ notice to put special arrangements in place. They need to confirm arrangements with Cambridge ESOL, and modified versions of the test may need to be prepared (for example, in Braille).

Visual difficulties

A range of options is available, including enlarged print, and brailed question papers.

Answers may be recorded in a variety of ways, e.g. via an amanuensis, or using a Braille machine or word-processor, and extra time may be allowed for completion of Reading and Writing Modules.

A special needs version of the Listening Module is also available.

Hearing difficulties

If you have partial hearing loss and can hear with the help of headphones or special amplification equipment you may ask for permission to use this equipment when taking listening modules.

A lip-reading version of the Listening Module is available.

In the case of severe hearing difficulties, you can apply for exemption from the Speaking and/or Listening Modules.

Learning difficulties (eg: dyslexia)

You can apply for up to 30 minutes extra time to complete the Reading and Writing Modules, and can also apply to write your answers using a typewriter or word-processor, if you normally write this way.


If you are genuinely ill on the day of or during the test you should let the test supervisor know. Special consideration may be given to test takers who report their illness on the day of the test.