If you have hearing or speaking difficulties, we may be able to help you take your IELTS.
It may take six weeks for some special arrangements to be made for you, so you should make your application as soon as possible through an IELTS test centre.
What will the IELTS test centre do?
Your centre will:
If your centre does not have the equipment or space you need (e.g. a separate room), they will do their best to help you to find another centre that does.
Your centre may also ask you to provide a medical certificate.
Please note, all requests for special requirements are subject to approval.
What special arrangements can I ask for?
There are lots of different options – choose what you need from the list below.
1. Hearing aids, headphones and other equipment
In the IELTS Listening test, test takers:
If you have hearing difficulties, here are some ways we can help you:
2. Hearing-impaired (lip-reading) versions of the Listening test
You can ask for a hearing-impaired (lip-reading) version of the Listening test. Instead of playing a recording, the supervisor (the person who will give you your Listening test) will read out the material to you. They will read out each text twice. The supervisor will stop reading from time to time during the second reading. This will give you time to write your answers.
Make sure you:
It may be possible for you to practise lip-reading with the person who will give you your Listening test before you take the test. Ask your test centre.
3. Special arrangements for the Speaking test
If it takes you longer than usual to say things or to understand what people say to you, you can ask for extra time to complete the test. You are not allowed to use signing in a Speaking test.
4. Exemptions and endorsed certificates
If you have severe hearing and/or speaking difficulties, and the special arrangements listed above are not sufficient (for example, if you cannot lip-read), you can ask for exemption from taking the Listening test and/or the Speaking test. This means you do not have to take the test(s).
You must apply for exemption before taking your test. Ask your test centre for further information.
For IELTS, you can ask for exemption from one or two components. You will be given a score for the missing component(s) based on your performance on the other components of the test. This score will be used to calculate your Overall IELTS Band Score.
Your Test Report Form will have the following statement printed on it:
‘Due to extreme speaking/hearing (etc.) difficulties, this candidate was exempt from the Speaking/Listening (etc.) test(s). The Speaking/Listening (etc.) test Band Score(s) has/have been notionalised on the basis of the average of the other two/three Band Scores.’