IELTS Test Day Advice

Prepare for your IELTS test day

You will find the IELTS test centre staff friendly, welcoming and highly professional. They will make sure that the test is delivered fairly and securely. Follow their instructions carefully.

The week before your test

~ Check the start time and location of your IELTS test the week before, and make sure you know how to get there on time.
~ Remember, the address of your IELTS test location may be different to that of the test centre where you booked your test.
~ Take the time to read full details of the ‘IELTS test terms and conditions’ for important information about your IELTS test day.

Your IELTS test day

~ You need to arrive in good time for your IELTS test in order to allow time for you to register and be seated for the test. Please refer to your booking confirmation for details. If you arrive late, you may not be allowed to take the test.
~ Bring your ID (valid passport/national identity card). You must have the same identification that you provided on your IELTS Application form. If you do not have the correct identification document, you will not be able to take the test.
~ Check-in your personal items
No personal items are to be taken into the test room. Test day staff will collect and safely store your personal belongings. Items which are forbidden from the test room include: mobile phones, hand-held computers, cameras, wallets, books or notes.
~ ID check
When you register on test day, a staff member will check your identification (ID). Your ID must be the same ID that you used when you booked the test. It must also be valid (unexpired) and have a recognisable photo of yourself. You may also need two recent identical passport-sized photographs.
~ As a secure, high-stakes test, IELTS uses the latest biometric technology to verify your identity and to reduce your waiting time on test day. This means that on the day of your test we will capture your high-resolution photograph to include on your Test Report Form (TRF). Your Test Report Form allows the organisation to which you applied a way to confirm your result. We also ask for your finger scan as further measure of your identity. Each time you re-enter the test room (after a toilet break or for your Speaking test), your identity will be verified by simply asking you to scan your finger.
For more information see IELTS candidate identity verification.
~ Switch off your mobile phone and any other electronic devices. You will be asked to place these with other personal belongings outside the test room.

The Listening, Reading and Writing tests take 2 hours 40 minutes and there are no breaks between each part of the test.

Entering the test room

~ When it is time to enter the test room, a test invigilator will guide you to your seat. Do not write any notes. You are not permitted to speak to any other candidates. If you have a question, put up your hand and a staff member will assist you.
~ On your desk, you are only allowed to have your identification, pens/pencils, eraser, pencil’s sharpener and a bottle of drink in a transparent bottle.


~ You are not permitted to leave the test room while instructions are being given, or during the last 10 minutes of each test, or while the papers are being counted after each test.
~ You cannot go to the toilet while Listening test CD is playing, including the 10-minute pause at the end. If you need to leave the test room to go to the bathroom at any other time, raise your hand and ask a staff member.

During the IELTS test

~ If you need to go to the bathroom during the test, put your hand up to attract the attention of the invigilator. Do not disturb other candidates.
~ If you have a problem (for example, if you think you have been given the wrong paper, you cannot hear the instructions, or you feel ill) raise your hand to attract the attention of the supervisor. Remember that the invigilators will not provide any explanation on the questions.
~ When you take the Listening test, check that you can hear the test properly. Raise your hand straightaway and let the invigilator know if you cannot hear the recording.
~ Please remember that you will have 10 minutes after the Listening section to fill in your answer sheet. You will not have 10 minutes after the Reading section, so please make sure that you write your answers on your Reading answer sheet as you complete each section.

At the end of the test

~ Stay in your seat until the invigilator gives you permission to leave the room. You cannot leave your seat until your papers have been collected and you have been told to leave. If you finish the test early you must wait quietly until the test is finished and you are advised that you can leave.
~ If you think that there have been any issues that may have affected your performance, tell the invigilator straightaway.
~ If you want to make a complaint about your test day, you must do so immediately after the test, before leaving the venue.
~ Your invigilator will have a Test Day Incident Form. Please fill this in if you want to raise an issue or make a complaint.

Understand the task
~ Read and follow instructions carefully during the test. Remember that the Writing parts of the test have specific word length requirements.

Allow enough time for each question
~ Some questions have suggested time limits for you to follow. Every test room will have a clock on the wall. Stay aware of the time during the test so that you can complete all the questions.

Stay calm enough to do your best
~ If you feel worried, take deep breaths to calm down. Focus on the questions and do not rush your answers. This will help you to do your best.