IELTS is the International English Language Testing System. It is the world’s most popular English language test for higher education and global migration, with over 2 million IELTS tests taken in the last year. The British Council offers IELTS tests and preparation courses in our centers throughout the world.
There are two types of IELTS tests: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. The IELTS Academic test is for people applying for higher education or professional registration in an English-speaking environment.
- Step one - Find your nearest IELTS test location
- Step two - Register for your IELTS test
- You can register and pay online or download an application form to print, complete and submit to your local test center.
- Provide a copy of your valid identity document. You will also need to present the same identity document on the day of the test.
- Step three - Your IELTS test is booked
- Once your application has been processed, your test centre will send you a written confirmation of the date and time of your test.
- The Speaking test, however, can be completed up to a week before or after the other tests. Your test centre will advise.
- The test centre will give you written confirmation of the date and time of the test.
- Your Speaking test time will be scheduled on the same day as the written tests or on a different day within a 7-day window before or after the written tests.
- The test centre will confirm your Speaking test time.
Students have the choice of taking IELTS on paper or on computer.
- The IELTS test has four sections listening (30 minutes), Reading (60 minutes), Writing (60 minutes) and Speaking (11-14 minutes).
- The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.
- You’ll take the first three parts of the test on the same day, in the following order: Listening, Reading and Writing (there are no breaks between these tests).
- Your Speaking test will be held either on the same day or seven days before or two days after, depending on local arrangements.
- Results will be available 13 days after the test.
- Results remain online for 28 days. Please note that the online preview of results should not be used as an official confirmation of your performance.
- Results validity period Organizations will not usually accept a Test Report Form that is more than two years old unless you provide evidence that you have actively maintained or tried to improve your English since taking the test.
- Valid passport; or an original valid UAE National Identity Card.
- Proof of payment (follow this link for methods of payment)
- An IELTS test application form, signed and completed by the candidate
- 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 ielts.org/testformat.
- Practice using sample questions from ielts.org/sampletest.
- Consider doing a practice test. Two volumes of Official IELTS Practice Materials are available for purchase from test centres or at ielts.org/prepare. These materials include a full practice test with answers, and sample Writing and speaking performances with examiner comments.
- 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
- You must present the same identity document that you used when you registered for the test.
- Your photograph will be taken as an additional security measure, and it will appear on your IELTS Test Report Form. In addition a finger scan may be taken.
The exam can be retaken as many times as you need to obtain a passing score.
If you cancel your IELTS test up to five weeks before the test date, you will receive a refund minus an administration fee of 25% of the test fee.
You may change your test date at any time before the test. However, depending on when you make your transfer request – that is, how near to the test day – your request may be treated as a cancellation.
The Academic IELTS is required for university or college admission, while the General Training IELTS is intended for career and immigration purposes. The IELTS Life Skills is a new UK government-approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) to support your UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) application.