Frequently Asked Questions about the IELTS test

Naturally, students taking the IELTS test have questions around what is involved and how their circumstances can affect their application. Here, we answer some of the IELTS FAQs.

What is IELTS?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is used globally to examine English proficiency. It is the world’s most popular testing system for the English language.

Which organisations accept IELTS?

Over 6,000 organisations worldwide recognise the IELTS qualification. These include universities, multinational companies and government agencies and departments, such as the immigration department.

Which version of the IELTS test should I do?

Two versions of the test exist: the General one, which is for those looking to undertake work experience or secondary schooling in an English speaking country, or those seeking to migrate to one; and the Academic version, which is for those wishing to study at university level in an English-speaking country. You should take the version that relates to the sort of activity you wish to undertake.

What is the test format and duration?

The IELTS test has four parts: reading (60 minutes), writing (60 minutes), listening (30 minutes) and speaking (11-14 minutes). The total duration is 2 hours and 45 minutes. The first three components are done in one sitting, while the speaking test will either be on the same day, or up to seven days before or after the other tests.

What happens if I can’t make the test on the day?

Postposing or cancelling your application at least five weeks before the test date results in your fee being refunded, minus an admin charge. If you postpone or cancel under five weeks in advance, or are unable to attend the test on the day, the full fee will be charged. If, however, you provide a medical certificate within five days of the test date, you will receive a refund minus the admin cost.

What do I need for the test?

You only need to bring pens, pencils and an eraser to the test, as well as the passport or national identity card you used on the application form. Mobile devices are not permitted. A pencil must be used for the reading and listening tests, as a computer that cannot read pen s used to scan your answer sheet.

What order is the IELTS test in?

You will complete the listening element of the test first, followed by the reading and writing components. The speaking test may take place on the same day, or up to seven days before or after the other tests, depending on the test centre.

How is the test marked?

The IELTS test uses a 9-band scoring system to ensure consistency in scoring across the organisation. Each component of the test is given an individual band score of 1-9, and an overall score is given at the end.

When will I receive my results?

Test Report Forms are posted to candidates 13 days after the test date. You only receive one copy, which is valid for two years, so keep it in a safe place.

What if I disagree with my score?

You can request an ‘enquiry on results’ at your test centre for up to six weeks following the test date. This is charged, but the fee is refunded if your band score changes.

Here at UKCE we provide a full time and part time ILETS Course to help you prepare for the ILETS exam and improve your English. If you are thinking of enrolling on an IELTS course in London or want further advice on the IELTS test contact UK College of English in London today