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IELTS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Please select which IELTS FAQ you are looking for:

Paper-based IELTS FAQ

Computer-delivered FAQ

FAQ for Paper-based IELTS Test

How much does it cost?

IELTS test fees vary from country to country. Your IDP Education student adviser will advise the test fee for your country in your local currency, or contact your nearest test centre. The IELTS test fee is the same for both versions of the test (Academic and General Training).

The Academic and General Training tests are the same cost. You can check the cost of your IELTS test here.

How do I book/register for the test?

Your IDP Education student counsellor can assist you in choosing a test date and location.

Computer IELTS Test Booking

What if I need to postpone or cancel my IELTS test?

Please contact the test centre where you booked your IELTS test. If you postpone or cancel your application more than 5 weeks before the test date, you will receive a refund minus an administration charge. If you postpone or cancel within 5 weeks of the test date, you will be charged the full fee unless you have a medical reason. 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. If you are delayed by circumstances beyond control (e.g. a transport strike) the test centre may offer you a test on the next available test date.

Do I take all parts of the test on the same day? Which part do I take first?

The Listening, Reading and Writing components of the test are always completed immediately after each other and with no break. You will take the Speaking test up to 7 days either before or after the test date, depending on the test centre. Many of our test centres will allow you to choose if you wish to complete all four components of the test on test day or if you wish to complete the Speaking component on a different day, depending on what suits you best. You will do the Listening component first followed by the Reading and Writing components of the test. Depending on the test centre, the Speaking test may be taken up to 7 days either before or after the test date.

What are the test rules?

Test 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. IDP Education offers practical advice for test day on www.IELTSessentials.com

What can I take into the examination room?

Pencils and erasers are provided by the test centre. You must bring the passport/national identity card you used on the IELTS Application Form 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.

What is the Speaking test?

The Speaking test is a discussion over 11-14 minutes 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.

What do I need for the Speaking test?

You must bring the same passport/national identity card you supplied on your IELTS Application Form and continue to use the same identity documents for each part of the test. Your identity 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 is used in both of these tests.

Can I write in capital letters?

Yes, you can use all capital letters in the IELTS Reading and Listening components and also in the Writing component.

How are the tests marked?

IELTS uses a 9-band scoring system to 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.

Can I write in pencil?

All candidates are required to write the answers using pencil for all the components (Listening, Reading and Writing). Pen is strictly not allowed. Pencils and erasers will be provided inside the test room.

Can I make notes on the Listening and Reading question papers?

Yes. The people marking your answers to the Listening and Reading questions will not see your question paper.

Who sets the 'pass mark' for the IELTS test?

There is no pass or fail in IELTS. Scores are graded on the 9-band system. Each educational institution or organization sets its own minimum IELTS scores to meet its individual requirements. To find out more, search the list of organisations accepting IELTS scores.

When will I receive my test results?

Your Test Report Form will be available to you 13 calendar days after your test date.

How many test report forms (TRFs) am I entitled to?

You will only receive one copy of your Test Report Form, unless you are applying to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), or the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) – in this case, you can receive two. A photocopy of your proof of application to CIC and UKBA must be provided. Up to five 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 results. Please note, an administration fee may be charged for additional TRFs. If you have lost your TRF, please contact the test centre which issued your results.

How can I order more Test Report Forms if my test centre has closed since I took the test?

If the test centre where your test was taken has closed we can still send a copy of your Test Report Form to organisations for two years after your test. Check our list for contact details. To request a Test Report Form you will need to complete an Additional TRF application form. 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 Additional TRF application form). Test Report Forms can only be sent to institutions and organisations. Additional copies will not be sent to students, their families or friends. There is no charge for this service.

How soon can I re-sit the test?

There is no time limit on sitting the test. However, we strongly recommend you do additional study before taking the test again. Some test centres offer preparatory courses and language classes. Ask you IDP Education student adviser or contact your local test centre for more information.

What if I am not happy with my result?

You can apply for a re-mark, known as an Enquiry on Results, at your test centre within six weeks of the test date. You must pay an enquiry fee, which will be 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.

FAQ for Computer-delivered IELTS

IELTs Test Venue Locations

Which test is best for me?

This comes down to personal preference and choice. Some test takers prefer paper-based tests as it replicates exam situations from school, whereas those who feel more comfortable typing will opt for the computer-delivered tests. With IELTS, you have a choice. Explore which IELTS test format is more suitable for you, or take a moment to watch the video below to help you make your decision.

Is it the same content as a paper-based test?

Yes. Just like the paper-based test, the computer-delivered test will cover the listening, reading and writing skills. The test will be the same in terms of content, scoring, level of difficulty and question types. Similarly, the speaking test will be carried out face-to-face with a trained IELTS Examiner.

Is IELTS on a computer harder than IELTS paper-based?

No. The computer-delivered test will be the same as paper-based IELTS in terms of content, scoring, level of difficulty and question types. 

Isn’t the test easier if I can type faster on a computer?

No, since the test will be the same as paper-based IELTS in terms of content, scoring, level of difficulty and question types, it will not be easier. But having the abilities to type fast on a computer will give you the benefit of completing the test in a shorter duration.

Note-taking

If I take my test on the computer, how do I take notes/highlight?

Please watch the videos below to find out how you will be able to do so.

Help during the test

What do I do if i require help during the test?

There is a help button located at the top-right corner of the window. You can find out about the task you are currently doing and how the test works. Alternatively, you can raise your hand and a test invigilator will assist you. 

Special requirements

I need special arrangements for me to take IELTS. Can I still sit the computer-delivered test?

Test takers with special requirements are encouraged to contact their test centre to assess and discuss their requirements first before booking a test. This is to ensure that taking the computer-delivered test is suitable. Alternatively, we have a number of options available to support special requirements test takers through our paper-based format, so speak to your test centre to find the option that best suits you.

Can I bring my own laptop/keyboard?

No. There is no need to bring your own keyboard or laptop as all equipment is provided by the test centre and no other equipment is permitted.

Availability 

Will there be more IELTS sessions available now with the introduction of computer-delivered tests?

Yes, with the introduction of the computer-delivered tests, there will be an increase in test sessions. Visit our IELTS Test Schedule page to find out more.

Computer IELTS Test Booking

Is computer-delivered IELTS available on demand?

Computer-delivered IELTS is not available on demand at present. Registration for computer-delivered IELTS is the same as for paper-based IELTS.

Is Computer-delivered IELTS more widely available than other computer tests?

Computer-delivered IELTS can be offered in three sessions on selected test days. Please view the IELTS Test Schedule to find out more on test availability and location details. 

Computer IELTS Test Booking

Computer-delivered test preparations

How do I prepare for the computer-delivered test and are there any practice materials available?

Please take a look at this short tutorial video to help you understand and prepare for the IELTS computer test.

Before you head into your test, make sure you take some time to get familiar with the computer-delivered format of the test. The sample practice materials below will give you an idea of what to expect in the computer-delivered Listening, Reading and Writing sections.

Practice with some Computer-delivered test questions:

Computer-delivered Listening Practice Tests

Computer-delivered Academic Reading Writing Practice Tests

Computer-delivered General Training Reading Writing Practice Tests

Since all questions and tasks on the computer-delivered test are the same as for the paper-based test, the material is suitable for all test takers.

Comparison with competitors

How does Computer-delivered IELTS compare to other computer tests?

With IELTS, test takers can feel confident they are sitting the world’s most popular high-stakes English language test for study, work and migration. 

IELTS is trusted by more than 10,000 organisations worldwide for its fairness, reliability and high-quality standards. This remains true for both computer-delivered and paper-based tests.

Why isn’t IELTS fully computerised, like other computer tests?

It is essential that the IELTS Speaking test section is delivered through a face-to-face testing enviroment with a trained examiner. This will help test takers develop English speaking skills in the context which they will be used during real-life interactions, as in the real world. 

Results and results turnaround

Does computer-delivered IELTS mean I’ll get my results faster? 

Yes. Upon the completion of the last IELTS test section, paper-based test takers will be able to receive their results in 13 calendar days. In comparison, computer-delivered test takers, will be able to receive their results in 5 to 7 calendar days

Pricing 

Which is more expensive?

IELTS strives to offer the same test experience to all of its test takers regardless of where you take the test. Please verify the price for your chosen test session before you complete your registration.

 Computer IELTS Test Booking

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