Frequently Asked Questions

Your frequently asked questions are answered here

Who can take IELTS?

Do I need to know about a specific subject to take the test?

IELTS measures the language proficiency of people who want to study or work where English is used as a language of communication. The IELTS test assesses your abilities in the English language through 4 components – listening, reading, writing and speaking. The test covers a range of subjects within the item contents, but you are not being tested on these subjects.

What level of English do I need before I can sit the IELTS test?

IELTS tests are designed to assess test takers from beginner through to advanced levels. However, the test is aimed at test takers with a level of intermediate and above.

Do I have to study at an English language school before I sit the IELTS test?

You might not have to study at an English language school, however, you may consider practising with the IELTS preparation materials which will familiarise you with the types of questions you will be asked in the test and to get your best possible score.

Do I need computer skills to take the computer-delivered test?

You do not need any special computer skills. Please note that a QWERTY keyboard is used for the computer-delivered test. If you are not used to this type of keyboard, it may help to practice with one before you take the test. Don’t worry if you can’t type fast enough, the computer test is designed for people with normal typing skills.

Discover Computer-delivered IELTS

How old do I need to be to take IELTS?

IELTS is not recommended for anyone under the age of 16.

What are the mandatory documents I need to have before booking an IELTS test?

You must have a valid passport to be eligible to sit an IELTS test.

I don’t have a valid passport, can I use my driver’s licence or other ID?

You can still apply to sit the IELTS test in Australia if you don’t have a passport, however only for three specific scenarios given below. The following options will have to go through our Verification of Identity process before being accepted.

  • Australian citizen by birth – birth certificate, drivers’ licence, and Medicare.
  • Not born in Australia, but acquired Australian citizenship – Australia citizen certificate, driver licence or photo ID and Medicare.
  • Refugee – A travel document – a certificate with a serial number able to be verified by the Australian government or An Immi Card – issued by the Australian government; containing integrity features able to be verified by the Australian government. We also ask that you provide us with a driving licence and Medicare card.
What IELTS test score do I need for my visa or University admission?

The IELTS score you require will depend on which visa you need when moving to Australia. Find out what IELTS score you need at the Department of Home Affairs. Before you book your IELTS test, we recommend that you check with your university, workplace or Australian Government in order to understand the level of skill you need to demonstrate, and which version of IELTS you need. Check who accepts IELTS in Australia here.

Legislation about immigration changes frequently. It’s important to check the Australian Department of Home Affairs website for changes that may apply to you. If you are interested in Australian student visas, work visas, or looking to migrate permanently, you need to lodge an application with the Australian Government. You may want to consider getting support from a lawyer or migration agent. However, you can also get free advice for student visas.

Check out our migration hub
Find out more about moving to Australia
Find out more about studying in Australia

Which IELTS test do I need to take?

The IELTS test is offered in two formats – IELTS Academic and General Training.

The Academic format is designed for those who want to study or train in a university that teaches in English at undergraduate or postgraduate level or institutions of higher and further education. Many professions (e.g. medical, nursing, accounting, engineering) also require an Academic test result for registration purposes.

The General Training format is for those who are going to English-speaking countries to do secondary education, work experience or training programs. This version of the test may be a visa requirement if you are planning to migrate to English speaking countries.

IELTS is accepted globally by more than 11,000 organisations including universities, professional bodies, employers and Australian student visa and migration applications. Find out who accepts IELTS in Australia here. The IELTS General Training test is the only non-academic test of English accepted for migration to Australia.

Which IELTS test do you need?

How many times can I take the IELTS test?

There is no limit to the number of times you can sit the IELTS test or how long you need to wait in between sessions. You may have to re-sit the IELTS test if you do not achieve your desired test result.

For a better result, we recommend doing more preparation and study before you take the next IELTS test. Take a moment to consider your IELTS preparation – have you done enough to increase your band score if you re-sit the test? View our IELTS preparation materials here.

Do I have to take IELTS in my home country?

No, you can sit the IELTS test anywhere in the world, provided you have a valid passport with you.Find my nearest test centre

I am a native English speaker, do I still need to take an IELTS test?

Whether you need an IELTS test or not depends on your reason to sit the test. If you are enrolling for higher studies/courses/training, the University/school/workplace might ask for an IELTS test score. As part of the migration process, you might have to provide the IELTS scores with your visa application.

We strongly recommend that even if you are a native English speaker, you prepare for the IELTS test and become familiar with the test format. Knowing what to expect on test day is essential, and if you are not familiar with the test you may make avoidable mistakes. We also recommend you become familiar with the assessment criteria to fully understand how the examiner will mark your test. Download IELTS Support Tools to help you get ready for test day.

If I sit IELTS in a different country, will it be easier?

IELTS is an international test, and every version of the test is the same level of difficulty, no matter where in the world you take the test. We suggest you take the test wherever you feel most at ease and select a Test Centre that suits you. Use the Australian Test Centre search to browse Test Centres in your city based on your needs (close to public transport, small test rooms etc.)

I have an accent – will that impact my IELTS test result?

IELTS is an international test, and we accept your accent wherever in the world you’re from. When you sit your Speaking test, remember that your pronunciation is important – however, you will not lose marks for speaking with an accent. A variety of accents will also be used during the Listening test.

How is my IELTS test different if I take it for UK visa purposes?

UK visa applicants must ensure that they register for an ‘IELTS for UKVI’ test date at one of the UKVI locations.

The IELTS test for UK visa purposes is designed to meet certain administrative requirements that are specific to UK Visas and Immigration. There are no differences in the test format or questions. The actual test taken is the same – same content, examiners, format, level of difficulty, scoring and so on.

Test Report Forms, however, will be slightly different in order to show that test takers have taken the test at an IELTS UK visa session.

IELTS for the UK

If I take an IELTS test for UK visa purposes, can I use my result in other countries/for other purposes?

Yes. IELTS test results are accepted by over 11,000 organisations worldwide, including universities, colleges, governments and employers.

Where can I take an IELTS or IELTS Life Skills test for a UK visa application?

The tests are available throughout the world, in locations specified by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).
You must confirm at the time of registration that you wish to use your test result for a UK visa application. You must sit the test in an ‘IELTS for UKVI’ test session, as UKVI will not accept results from other testing locations.

How can I book an IELTS Test?

How much is the IELTS test fee?

The cost of an IELTS test in Australia is $375.00. The price for the exam is the same whether you take IELTS General Training or IELTS Academic. There is no separate registration fee or payment processing fee. There is also no late payment fee. However, in some locations, the test fee can be slightly higher.

Find more about the price of an IELTS test

How do I book my IELTS test?

Booking your IELTS test is easy. Locate your closest Australian IELTS Test Centre here. Once you find an IELTS Test Centre and a test date that suits you, follow the steps to book your test.
You must have a clear and legible scanned copy of your current valid passport to upload when applying. The copy you upload must be of the page(s) with your photo, name, date of birth, passport number, and expiry date.

If you have any difficulty booking your test, please contact the team at IELTS Australasia Contact Centre who can assist with completing your booking.

How can I pay for the test?

You can pay online via either of the below modes:

Credit Card / Debit Card

Payment must be made within 48 hours of registering online.

Can I pay the fees by instalment?

No. The test fee must be paid in full at the time of booking.

If I do not have an existing IELTS account, then how do I book a new test?

You can create an account as a new user and book your IELTS test here.

Do I need to submit passport photographs when booking an IELTS test?

You don’t need to submit passport photographs when booking an IELTS test online. You are required to attach a scanned copy of your current valid passport only.

I have a special requirement. How can you help?

In order to ensure that the language ability of all test takers is assessed fairly and objectively, IELTS provides a comprehensive service for test takers who have special requirements, including specific learning difficulties, hearing difficulties and visual difficulties, medical conditions or infant feeding.

If you require a modified version of IELTS, you must give your test centre at least six weeks’ notice. If your circumstances require special arrangements to be made, e.g. extra time, you must also give the test centre six weeks’ notice.

I can only see Listening, Reading and Writing tests in the booking website, is the Speaking Test not included in the test fee?

Yes. Speaking Test is included in the test fee, however the time slot for speaking test is booked separately. Please contact our Customer Support Team or the test centre where you wish to sit the test about their speaking test booking procedure.

What to expect on the test day?

How are you going to verify my identity on the test day?

You’ll be asked to verify your identity both before the Speaking test and the rest of the sections. Part of the verification process is capturing your photo and your finger-scan. Your details and your photo will appear on your Test Report Form, so it’s important to make sure all your information is correct.

What do I need to bring on the day of the IELTS test?

On the day of the test, you must bring your current passport (only original and current passports are accepted). Your passport must have an expiry date of at least 7 days after the test date to be considered valid. Photocopies or certified copies will not be accepted.

Clear bottle of water – remove all labels and bottle must be see-through.

You can bring pencils and erasers with you (usually IELTS test centres will provide these to you during the test. Please check at the reception if you can take the stationery items inside the test room).

Find your test centre here

Do I need to bring passport photos?

No, the test centres will take your photo on the test day when you go for the registration.

What not to bring?

Mobile phones must be switched off and placed with personal belongings in the area designated by the supervisor.

Usually a secure room for personal belongings is available. You are strongly advised not to bring any valuable items with you to the test.

Items not allowed in the test room include:

  • mobile phones
  • all electronic devices
  • keys
  • wallets
  • food
  • bags
  • watch/smartwatch/fit-bit
  • all other belongings
When should I arrive at the test centre?

Please give yourself at least an hour’s time to complete the registration process and relax before sitting the test.

Will I take all test components on the same day?

Whether or not you take all the components (Speaking, Writing, Reading and Listening) of your IELTS test on the same day or not will depend on where you sit your test. Please check with your Test Centre for details about how they deliver IELTS.

Find your Test Centre

What if my details change?

If your address changes or you’re issued with a new passport after you’ve applied to take IELTS, please contact IELTS Customer Support Team or the test centre to update your details. On the day of the test you’ll need to bring both your old and new passport to registration – photocopies or certified copies will not be accepted on test day.

Can I leave the test room during the Listening, Reading or Writing sections of the test?

Test takers are not permitted to leave the test room:

  • during the Listening test
  • between each section
  • in the last 10 minutes of each section

Test takers are permitted to leave the test room during the Reading and Writing section. If you need to leave the test room at any time during these tests, including if you become ill, please quietly raise your hand and an invigilator will assist you. Test takers who leave the test room for any reason will not be permitted extra time to complete the test.

Can I bring my children or other family members with me?

No. Test takers and test staff are the only people permitted to enter the test venue during testing. If you have a family member or friend who will collect you after your test, please advise them that they will need to wait for you outside the test venue.

Is there time at the end of the reading section of the IELTS test to transfer answers to the answer sheet?

The reading section takes one hour, and you must write all your answers on the answer sheet in that hour.

Can I write on the question papers?

Yes. The examiners do not see your question papers.

How long does the IELTS test take to complete?
  • Paper-based Test – Writing, Listening, Reading – Up to 3 hours
  • Computer-delivered Test – Listening, Reading, Writing – Up to 2 hours 45 mins
  • Speaking Test (Both) – 11-14 mins
Will headphones be provided for listening test?

Headphones are provided for computer-delivered tests. For paper-based tests, please check with the test centre.

What happens if I am absent on the day of the IELTS test without giving prior notice?

If you are unable to attend your test due to a serious medical condition and can provide a medical certificate within five days of the test date, you may qualify for a refund minus the local administrative cost. However, if you are away on the test day with no prior notice, you will lose your full fee.

Contact IELTS if you have any questions

When can I get my test results?

How long does it take to get my IELTS test results?

Results for computer-delivered IELTS tests are available within 2-5 days, and for paper-based IELTS in 13 calendar days.

How do I access my IELTS test results?

Provisional online results are available after 5pm on the IELTS Australia website, 13 days after each test (paper-based tests).

Access results online now

The provisional online test results are not considered formal advice of results and comprise only one stage of the results delivery process. Provisional online results must not be considered as the final test result and cannot be used to support any applications, test takers make to recognising organisations.

Provisional results will only be available online for a period of 28 days.

Results will be mailed directly to the Australian or overseas address you supply in your test application form.

Test results mailed to addresses in Australia are sent by standard Australia Post services. Results sent to a local address usually take 3-6 business days.

If you would like your test results posted to an address overseas you will need to supply your test centre with a pre-paid Australia Post International Express Letter Envelope. Please write the address where you would like your test results sent on the envelope and give it to the test centre on or prior to the test day. The address must be written in English as well as the language used where the envelope will be sent.

Can you send the results to my email ID?

No. We are unable to share results via email, fax or phone.

Do you send results by SMS?

In some instances, your IELTS Test Centre will offer you to receive your provisional IELTS results direct to your mobile phone by text message. If you want to know if this option is available, please check with your Test Centre before your results are released.

Can I collect my IELTS results from the test centre?

You may have the option to pick up your Test Report Form from the test centre on the results release day. Please check with your test centre first.

Who accepts IELTS in Australia?

IELTS is recognised by more than 11,000 universities and employers globally. It’s also recognised by professional bodies, immigration authorities and other government agencies. Click here to find out who accepts IELTS in Australia and what the minimum band scores are for your university or institution.

There is an error on my Test Report Form, how can I get it corrected?

If there is an error on your Test Report Form, please contact your IELTS test centre. The test centre will re-issue a new Test Report Form.

How is IELTS marked?

Unlike other English tests, the IELTS test relies on human input to assess your English. There is, however, a firm structure and process around this to ensure the marking is consistent no matter where in the world you take your IELTS. A minimum of two expert markers look at your writing and they follow detailed assessment criteria that dictate how they must grade your skills. There is also a strict monitoring process in place to further ensure marking quality and consistency, as well as ongoing training provided to our examiners, globally. For more information about marking and band scores click here.

Want to understand how we mark your test? Attend an expert IELTS Masterclass for free.

Is there room for human error in the marking process?

We see the human aspects of IELTS as being equally reliable as a computer-based marking and in some cases even advantageous to you as a test taker. In the IELTS Speaking test, for example, the examiner is listening to your level of skill and will adjust the level of difficulty of the questions to enable you to best demonstrate your ability. They can adjust their pace to suit you, and you can ask them to clarify or repeat a question. While you are responding, there is no limit or pressure, waiting to cut you off. These are aspects of IELTS that are not part of other English tests.

Read more about Artificial Intelligence (AI) in English language tests

How do I request a re-mark?

You may request a test remark by applying for an Enquiry on Results with your Test Centre, within six weeks of sitting your test. Please contact the team at IELTS Customer Service for more information. An Enquiry on Results (EOR) costs $176. Should your band score increase, the cost will be refunded in full and a new Test Report Form will be issued.

How long are IELTS test results valid?

While it is up to each organisation to set a validity period that works for their purposes, the IELTS partners recommend a 2-year validity period for IELTS test results.

Can I re-sit the test?

Yes, you may re-sit the IELTS test if you do not achieve your desired test result. Before you re-sit the test, we encourage you to pause, reflect and prepare. Take a moment to consider your IELTS preparation – have you done enough to increase your band score if you re-sit the test? View our IELTS preparation materials here.

If I have to repeat the test, can I do only one part (e.g. just Reading, or just Writing, etc.)

No, you must do all four parts if you need to repeat the test. This is the same at all Test Centres. Locate your closest Australian IELTS Test Centre here.

Can I reschedule or cancel the test?

How do I request a refund or test date transfer?

If you wish to request a refund, or transfer your test date, you must contact your Test Centre as soon as possible. Your Test Centre will advise on the process and any administration costs to complete the refund of transfer. Locate your Test Centre details here.

What if I am sick on the test day?

You must visit a registered doctor on or before test day and get a medical certificate which covers the date of the test. You need to submit the medical certificate to the test centre within five days after the test date. If your application is approved, the test centre will refund the test fee to you or transfer the test date.

Can I transfer my test to another test centre?

No, all the test centres are separate organisations, so you are unable to transfer the test to another test centre. However, you can request for a refund at the current test centre and book a new test at your preferred test centre. Locate your closest Australian IELTS Test Centre here.