Frequently asked questions about test day

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.

Only pens, pencils and erasers. You must bring the valid passport/national identity card you used on the IELTS 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.

The 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.

You 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.

Typically pencil has been used for the IELTS Listening and Reading components because of the scanners used to save and send test papers for marking.

However, due to the introduction of new scanners in many IELTS test centres, anyone taking the test at a centre where this new scanner is in use will be required to use a pencil for the entire test. These particular scanners work best with a pencil as there is no risk of smudging whereas there is a risk of smudging when answer sheets are filled using pen/ink. These test centres are also using answer sheets with a slightly updated design.

We would like to emphasise that no changes have been made to the test format, content, or marking standards. It is also important to note that if any test takers forget to bring a pencil, the test centre staff should provide a pencil – therefore nobody is at a disadvantage.

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. Read the assessment criteria used for Academic and General Training writing tests carefully before your test day.