Preparing for your test
Make sure you are ready to demonstrate your English
1. Familiarise yourself with the format of the test by reading this
booklet. If you would like more information about the format
of the test and the question types used, you can find the test
specifications at www.ielts.org/testtakers
2. Practise using sample questions from www.ielts.org/samples
3. Consider doing a practice test. Two volumes of Official IELTS
Practice Materials are available for purchase from test centres
or at www.ielts.org/testtakers
. These materials include a full
practice test with answers, and sample Writing and Speaking
performances with examiner comments.
4. Consider enrolling in a preparation course to improve your
performance in the test. IELTS test centres and language
schools around the world offer IELTS preparation courses.
More information is available from:
Know the IELTS rules and regulations
It’s important to familiarise yourself with the IELTS rules and
regulations. These are laid out in the Notice to Candidates
and Declaration which are included in the application form.
When you sign the application form declaration, or agree to
the terms online, you are confirming that you have read and
understood the IELTS rules and regulations and agree to
abide by them.
Register as soon as possible
When you feel you are ready to take the test, you need to
register for a test date with an IELTS centre. Contact the
centre as soon as possible, as the number of test takers
who can take the test on a particular date may be limited.
You will need to pay the test fee when you register.
Tell your centre if you have special requirements
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.
If you require a modified version of the test, for example a Large
Print or Braille version, you must give the test centre three
months’ notice. This notice period is necessary for the modified
test version to be prepared. If your circumstances require special
administrative arrangements to be made, for example if you need
extra time or you need to use access technology such as a screen
reader, you must give the test centre six weeks’ notice. Please
contact your test centre to discuss your requirements. Any special
arrangements agreed are in accordance with the Joint Council
for Qualifications (JCQ).
There are two modules to choose from –
Academic and General Training.
IELTS Academic is for test takers wishing to study at
undergraduate or postgraduate levels, and for those
seeking professional registration.
IELTS General Training
IELTS General Training is for test takers wishing to migrate to an
English-speaking country (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK),
and for those wishing to train or study at below degree level.
Each organisation sets its own entry requirements. In some cases
both Academic or General Training may be accepted. If you are
in doubt as to which to take, you should contact the organisation
you are applying to in order to check their requirements.
You are tested on all four language skills – listening, reading,
writing and speaking, unless you have an exemption due to
a disability (see section on special requirements). Everyone
takes the same Listening and Speaking tests. There are
different Reading and Writing tests for IELTS Academic and
The Listening, Reading and Writing tests must be completed
on the same day. The order in which these tests are taken
may vary. There are no breaks between these three tests.
The Speaking test may be taken up to seven days before
or after the other three tests.