Frequently asked questions about
the IELTS test
Registering for the test
Where can I take IELTS?
IELTS Australia offers over 200 test locations in 50
countries. Find a test centre near
can I take IELTS?
IELTS is available on 48 fixed
dates a year – up to four times a month on Thursdays and Saturdays,
depending on local demand. Click here
for a list of test dates then contact a test
centre to book your test.
much does it cost?
The Academic and General Training
tests are the same cost. To find out the test fee for your
country in your local currency, contact your nearest test centre.
I book/register for my test?
Click here for
information about booking your
What if I need to postpone or cancel my
Please contact the test centre where you booked your test.
- If you postpone or cancel your application more than 5 weeks
before the test date, you will receive a refund minus an
- If you postpone or cancel within 5 weeks of the test date, you
will be charged the full fee unless you have a serious medical
- If you provide a medical certificate within 5 days of the test
date, you will receive a refund minus the local administrative
What if I am absent or sick on the day of my
If you are away on the test day with no prior
notice, you will lose your full fee. However, if you are unable to
attend due to a serious medical condition and provide a
medical certificate within 5 days of the test date, you will
receive a refund minus the local administrative cost.
Taking the test
What are the test rules?
rules and guidelines can be found on the Notice to Candidates
provided in the IELTS Application
Form. You are also advised to read the Information
for Candidates booklet carefully so that you understand the
test format and know what to expect on test day.
Do I take all parts of the test on the same
The Listening, Reading and Writing components of
the test are always completed immediately after each other and with
no break. Depending on the test centre, you may also sit the
Speaking test on the same day, or it may
be scheduled up to 7 days either before or after the test
date. Speak to the test centre before
you book your test to confirm their arrangements.
What if I am delayed by circumstances beyond my control
(e.g. a transport strike)?
The test centre may offer
you a test on the next available test date.
What can I take into the examination
Only pens, pencils and erasers. You must bring
the valid passport/national identity card you used on the
Application Form with you to the test.
You must leave everything else outside the examination room.
Mobile phones and pagers must be switched off and placed with
personal belongings in the area designated by the supervisor. If
you do not switch off your phone/pager or if you keep it with you,
you will be disqualified. Find out more about test day.
Which part do I take first?
Listening, Reading and Writing tests must be completed on the same
day. The order in which these tests are taken may vary. Depending
on the test centre, the Speaking test may be taken up to 7 days
either before or after the test date.
What is the Speaking test?
Speaking test is a discussion with a certified and highly
qualified IELTS Examiner. The Speaking test is made up of
three sections. It is recorded on an audiocassette or a digital
recorder. View samples of the Speaking
What do I need for the Speaking test?
must bring the same identification documents (ID) you supplied on
your IELTS Application Form and continue to use the same ID for
each part of the test. Your ID will be checked before you
enter the interview room.
What kinds 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 tests.
Can I write in capital letters?
can use all capital letters in the IELTS Reading and Listening
components and also in the Writing component.
Can I write in pencil?
You must write in
pencil for the Listening and Reading components. In the Writing
test, a pen or pencil may be used.
Can I make notes on the Listening and Reading question
Yes. The IELTS Examiner will not see your
How can I improve my Writing score?
It is vital to fulfil the Writing task,
especially Task 2, in order to demonstrate your skills.
Writing Task 2 is worth twice as many marks as
Task 1. 25 percent of the Writing score for Task 2 (GT and
Academic) is based on the completeness of the response. Make sure
you respond to all parts of the task. This criterion is referred to
as “Task Response”. If all parts of the Writing Task 2 are
addressed, a person will score band 6 or higher for this quarter of
their Task 2 score. If the task is not fully addressed, an examiner
must award less than band 6 for this criterion. So responding to
every individual part of a Writing task is very important.
The remaining 75 percent of the score for Task
2 in Writing is based on vocabulary, accurate grammar and the
structure and linking of ideas. The assessment criteria used for
Academic and General Training writing tests are available here
How are the tests marked?
uses a 9-band scoring system to measure and report test scores in a
consistent manner. You receive individual band scores for
Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking and an Overall Band Score
on a band scale from one to nine. Find out
more about how IELTS is marked.
Is it normal to be stronger in some communication skills
For most people, there is a different band
score achieved for each skill and it is both common and completely
normal to have a difference of up to two bands between skills. This
occurs regardless of the language being tested and the type of
language test taken.
Listening and Speaking are the strongest
skills for the majority of people.
Who sets the ‘pass’ mark for the IELTS
There is no pass or fail in IELTS. Scores are
graded on the 9-band system. Each
educational institution or organisation sets its own level of IELTS
scores to meet its individual requirements. To find out more,
search the list of organisations which accept IELTS scores.
Why is my score higher the second time I have sat the test,
although I haven't done anything different?
It is quite normal for people to score higher on their second
sitting because they are more familiar with the time allowed for
each section, the Reading answer sheet and the number of words
required for the Writing tasks. These are small factors that can
lead to score improvement from the first time an IELTS test is
taken to the second time the test is taken.
When will I receive my test
Your Test Report Form will be available to
you 13 calendar days after your test date. You will only
receive one copy of your Test Report Form, unless you are applying
to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), or United Kingdom
Visas and Immigration (UKVI) – in this case, you can receive
Some test centres provide SMS alerts and you can preview your
Contact your local test centre to
find out more.
How many Test Report Forms (TRFs) am I entitled
You will only receive
one copy of your Test Report Form, unless you are applying to
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), or United Kingdom Visas
and Immigration (UKVI)– in this case, you can receive two.
Up to five (5) copies of your TRF will be posted to the relevant
institution(s) you have listed on your IELTS application form.
Regular postage is free of charge. Charges for courier services
and/or overseas postage will be passed onto you.
Additional TRFs beyond these five can be requested from the test
centre which issued the TRF. Please note, an administration fee may
be charged for additional TRFs. If you have lost your TRF, please
contact the test centre which issued
How can I order more Test Report Forms if my test centre has closed
since I took the test?
If the test centre where you
took your test has closed we can still send a copy of your Test
Report Form to any receiving organisation for the first two years
after your test. If you have not done so, please check the test centre search to make sure that your centre
has been closed.
To request a Test Report Form you will need to complete an
application form for
additional TRFs. It is very important that you complete your family
and given names exactly as they appear on your identification
document. Submit the form by clicking the Submit button at the end
of the form.
Include a scanned copy of the passport or identification
document that you used when you sat the test (this is done after
you click the submit button on the application
Test Report Forms can only be sent to organisations and
additional copies will not be sent to the candidate, their families
There is no charge for this service.
How soon can I re-sit the
There is no limit on sitting the test. However,
IELTS recommends you undertake additional study and
careful preparation before taking the test again. Some test
centres offer preparatory courses and language classes. Contact
your local test centre for more
What if I am not happy with my result?
can apply for a remark (called an Enquiry on Results) at your
test centre within six weeks of the test
date. You must pay an enquiry fee, which is fully refunded if your
band score changes. Note that IELTS Examiners and markers follow
strict assessment guidelines and are regularly monitored. The IELTS
testing process has the highest quality control procedures.