Learn about what you should expect on test day, from the check-in process to test taker tips, to ensure you are best prepared for the test.
As your test day approaches, it’s important to know what to expect before, during and after you take your IELTS test.
Make sure you arrive early and have all the necessary documents with you as the check-in process may vary between test venues. After you have checked-in, you will be able to lock away your personal belongings before you will be guided to your seat by a test invigilator. After this point you won’t be able to talk to fellow test takers.
Once the test begins, keep track of time so you have enough time to complete each part of the test. If you have any questions, you can raise your hand to get the attention of an invigilator. Once the test concludes, you can leave the test room and collect your belongings.
Your provisional test results will be available online 3 to 5 days after taking IELTS on a computer or 13 days after sitting a paper-based test. Your official Test Report Form (TRF) can be picked up from the test venue or mailed to you.
The Listening, Reading, and Writing parts of the test are completed immediately after each other on the same day. In some test centres, you will sit the Speaking test on the same day, or up to 7 days before or after your test date.
If you take computer-delivered IELTS, the Speaking test will be taken on the same day, either before, or after the other three parts of the test.
If you experience difficulty on a test day, please inform the test centre immediately. The test centre may offer you a test on the next available test date.
You must bring the same passport or national identity card that you used to book your IELTS test. If you do a paper-based IELTS test, you can take pens, pencils and erasers into the examination room. If you do a computer-delivered IELTS test, the centre will provide you with pencils and paper.
You must leave all of your personal belongings outside the examination room in a secure area or locker. Mobile phones, pagers and smart watches must be switched off and left with your personal belongings.
If you keep mobile phones or electronic devices with you, you will be disqualified.
If you take computer-delivered IELTS, you will do the tests in the following order on the same day: Listening, Reading and Writing, with the Speaking test before or after this test session.
If you take paper-based IELTS, you will do the tests in the following order: Writing, Reading and Listening. Depending on the test centre, the Speaking test can be done on the same day, or up to 7 days either before or after the test date.
You must bring the same passport or national identity card that you used to book your IELTS test. Your ID will be checked before you enter the interview room and again during the interview.
As IELTS is an international test, a variety of voices and native-speaker accents are used in both the General Training and Academic tests.
Pencil is recommended for the IELTS Listening, Reading, and Writing tests. This is because tests are scanned and work best with pencil. It also means that you can easily erase and rewrite words. If you forget to bring a pencil, the test centre will provide one for you.
Yes, you are encouraged to write notes on the question booklets. IELTS examiners do not have access to your question booklets.
Yes. Computer-delivered IELTS provides a note-taking and highlight function. You can try these functions on the familiarisation tests here. You can also write notes on the login details sheet you receive at the beginning of the test.
Yes, you can use all capital letters in the IELTS Reading and Listening sections. If you use capital letters in the Writing section, make sure that your punctuation is correct and the examiner can see where you start and finish sentences.
Read the assessment criteria used for both Academic and General Training Writing tests carefully before your test day. The examiner will assess your writing based on four criteria for Task 1 and Task 2.
Remember that Writing Task 2 is worth twice as many marks as Task 1. You can improve your Writing band score by practising. Our news and articles page has extensive tips and advice to help you prepare and improve your English-language skills.
The Speaking test is a discussion with a highly qualified IELTS examiner who assesses your ability to talk about a range of topics. The Speaking test has three parts and is recorded. A description of the three parts of the interview is found in the Information for Candidates booklet.
If you plan to study in higher education or seek professional registration in an English-speaking country, you might need to take the IELTS Academic test.
If you plan to move abroad for work or migrate to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK or the USA, you might need to take an IELTS General Training test.
If you want to study or apply for professional registration in the UK, you might need to take the IELTS Academic for UKVI test.