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What Are My Options If I Fail the IELTS Exam?

It's not uncommon for some people to fail part of or all of their IELTS exam the first time they take it. Fortunately, the exam can be retaken as many times as you need to obtain a passing score. However, you do have to pay each time you take the exam.


Rather than blindly attempt to retake the exam multiple times until you get a passing score, it's better to determine what went wrong and why you failed the first time. By reviewing your current exam results, it can help you uncover the areas you're lacking in and need to improve.


There are four different exam sections you must complete and pass. Each section is awarded its own score. From those four scores, you receive an overall exam score. Depending on your reasons for taking the IELTS exam, you could have minimum score requirements.


Before retaking your IELTS exam, we recommend using the following steps to help you improve and achieve a passing score the next time you take the exam.


Step 1: Review each section of the exam.

Which sections did you get passing scores on? Did you fail one, two, three, or all four sections? By reviewing each section, you'll know which ones you need to practice and prepare for more.

Step 2: Obtain free IELTS exam prep materials from your local Test Centre.

Your local IELTS Test Centre can provide you will access to a wide range of free test prep materials for each section of the exam. Additionally, you can access many of these prep materials online through our website. We also offer "paid-for" test prep materials when you want to be fully prepared to retake your exam.

Step 3: Practice, practice, and practice some more.

The best way to learn English is to practice using it as much as you can. Listen to TV programs and music in English. Read English books. Practice your English speaking abilities with your English-speaking friends. Start a daily journal where you write everything in it in English.

Step 4: Take a practice IELTS exam.

We offer various types of practice exams similar to the IELTS exam. Using our practice exams will further help you prepare before you retake the actual exam.

Step 5: Register to retake your IELTS exam.

Once you're confident, you have prepared sufficiently, register and pay the fee to retake your exam. The night before your exam, eat a well-balanced dinner and go to bed early so you can get plenty of rest. On the morning of the exam, eat a full breakfast before arriving at the Test Centre.

By using these steps, we hope that you successfully pass your IELTS exam when you retake it. To learn more about our free and "paid-for" test prep materials, practice exams, or the location of your nearest Test Centre, please feel free to explore our website further or contact us directly. 


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