On this page, you’ll find more general IELTS information related to the exam itself. Here I cover a range of frequently asked questions that don’t easily fit into the subject matter of the other pages in this section of the website.
Read through this list of questions then scroll down for the answers.
Prefer to watch and listen? Click on this video.
IELTS exam fees vary from country to country and test centre to test centre. On the day I’m writing this (23rd November 2019) I’ve found these examples of current fees:
You local test centre will be able to tell the fee in your country and area. Click this link to find a test centre near you.
There is no age restriction for the IELTS exam but it is recommended for candidates of 16 years old and over. Anyone under the age of 16 will need to submit a Minor Consent Form signed by their parent or guardian in order to take the test. They will be sent this form automatically. The completed form can be emailed to the test centre or taken along on the test day.
In most cases, an original and current passport is the only ID acceptable. EU citizens can use their National ID Card instead. Driving licenses are not accepted as ID.
* Important – you must take the same ID along to the exam as you use for registration. If you do not have this with you, you won’t be allowed to take the test.
check current registration requirements with your test centre as they can change.
Also, be sure to arrive for your test in plenty of time to go through the
At most test centres, a photograph will be taken of you on the day of your exam. This will appear on your Test Report Form (TRF) as proof of your identity and the form's validity.
It will take up to 10 business days to process your IELTS application
form and check your identity. Online registration is recommended and should
take less time. After this, you will receive email confirmation that your
application has been accepted.
A more detailed confirmation will be sent to you 5-10 business days before your test date. It will include:
You must take a copy of this
email with you when you take your test. Some centres will only accept a hard
copy and not an electronic copy.
If you haven’t received this email, or don’t take a copy with you, you will not be allowed to take the test. Contact your test centre if you haven’t received it within 5 business days prior to your test date.
For more details on applying for your test, see this page: IELTS Information – Exam Dates & How To Book Your Test
Security procedures can take up to 30 minutes so it is sensible to arrive at least an hour before the test is due to begin. This will give you plenty of time to be checked in, use the bathroom and get settled ready for the test to start as calmly as possible. Feeling rushed will only add to nerves and stress.
You are allowed to take in a pen, a pencil and an eraser. You will probably also be permitted a bottle of water but it must not have a label or any writing on it. You must also keep your ID document with you and a hard copy of your Test Booking Confirmation.
* Important – You must use a pencil to fill in the answer sheet in the Reading and Listening tests. For the Writing test, you can use either a pen or a pencil. Make sure that you take an eraser in case you make mistakes.
You are not allowed to take a mobile phone,
wristwatch or any electronic device into the exam room. If you are found with
any of these during the exam, you will be disqualified. There will be an area
for you to leave personal belongings but it may not be secure so leave valuable
items at home.
There will be a clock in the exam room for you to check the time.
Always check the IELTS information provided by your local test centre as they may have extra rules.
There is more IELTS information on this subject on this page: IELTS Exam Dates
You will only be able to get
a refund (minus administrative cost) or a rescheduled date for a missed test if
you can prove that you had a valid reason for not attending. If you had a
serious medical condition on the day, the proof would be a medical certificate.
This must be produced within 5 days of the test date. Minor illnesses are not
considered a valid reason for non-attendance.
Other exceptional circumstances that are acceptable reasons for missing your test include:
Again, you must be able to
Inform the test centre that you will miss your test as soon as possible.
If you arrive late for your exam, you will not be allowed to take it. If you can prove that the circumstances were beyond your control, you may be offered an alternative date for your test without having to pay another fee.
effort is made to make the IELTS test accessible to everyone and appropriate support
for people with additional needs is offered whenever possible.
Test centres require three months’ notice to put special arrangements in place, so notify them of your needs early. When you book your test, you will need to provide a medical certificate issued within the past two years as proof of your needs.
Specific difficulties for which there should be help available are:
You will find details of the specific help available for each area of difficulty via this link: IELTS information – Special Requirements
for candidates with mobility issues will vary between test centres. Your local
centre will tell you if they can easily accommodate you and may recommend a
more suitable location for your test if they can’t meet your needs.
You can use either UK spelling or American spelling but you should not use both. Choose one and use it throughout your test. You will lose marks for incorrect spellings, so be careful.
The test centre will post out your results 13 days after your test date. They will come in the form of a Test Report Form (TRF).
Some test centres will allow you to collect your results in person. This might be a good idea if you live at an insecure address. Results cannot be given over the phone or by fax or email. Some centres also offer a preview by SMS alert service so that you can see your results as soon as they are available.
* Important – online results are only provisional and should not be used until you have received your validated TRF.
Your TRF will include the following IELTS information:
This certificate will be valid for 2 years from the date you took the test. You will need to take the test again if you need to provide an IELTS certificate after this time period is over.
You will only receive one copy of your TRF so keep it safe. If it gets lost or damaged, you will not be issued with a replacement.
You can ask for up to five copies to be sent to relevant institutions for application purposes free of charge. For additional copies, there is a small administration charge.
Your results are stored on a database to which institutions have access, so they will be able to check your scores.
For more IELTS information on the band score system, see these two pages:
Yes, you can re-take the IELTS test, as many times as
you want. The most likely reason to want to do this is that you didn’t get the
results you needed on previous attempts.
There is more IELTS information on re-taking the test on this page: Your IELTS Score – FAQ’s
No, definitely not. IELTS is a standard global test. Questions may vary slightly depending on which country your test centre is located in, but test and result standards are strictly maintained throughout the world.
is the most widely accepted proof of proficiency in the English language and
accepted by more than 10,000 institutions and organisations worldwide, including
universities, professional bodies, immigration departments and multinational
The British Council website has a database of thousands of these. It includes details of the minimum band score each requires and which test, Academic or General Training, is preferred.
If this IELTS information would be useful to you, click here to use this search facility.
These are just a few of the many questions you probably have about the IELTS exam. This website is crammed full of IELTS information that aims to make passing your test with a high score as easy as possible.
For more about the exam itself, check out the pages below.