On test day

A lot of work and preparation goes into your IELTS. Here are our top tips to help you perform at your best on test day.

Be prepared

  • Double check the time and date of your test. If you are taking the test in a test centre, allow plenty of time to travel to the test centre. If you are taking IELTS Online, download the test day software (you will be emailed about this) in advance and give yourself extra time to log in. If you are late, you may not be allowed to take the test.
  • Make sure you have the same identification document with you that you registered with. If you arrive with the wrong ID, you will not be allowed to take the test.
  • IELTS Online test takers must check their computer meets our system requirements.

Relax

  • Try to remain calm at the test centre.
  • If you start to feel worried, take some deep breaths to help you calm down.
  • Work calmly, focus on the questions, don’t rush your answers and you will do your best.
  • Read the IELTS rules and regulations before the test so you understand them. You’ll find these in the IELTS application form.
  • If you have any questions our friendly centre staff are there to help.

Follow the instructions

  • Switch off your mobile phone and any other electronic devices. You will be asked to place all of your personal belongings outside the test room.
  • The Listening, Reading and Writing tests take 2 hours 40 minutes and there are no breaks between each section of the test.
  • Make sure you are prepared and have something to eat and drink beforehand. You will not be allowed to take food into the test room. You will only be allowed to take a drink in a transparent bottle.
  • Listen to the supervisor carefully and follow the test day instructions.
  • When you get your test papers, read the instructions on the cover page first before writing anything.
  • Don’t lose points for careless mistakes because you haven’t read the question properly.

Watch the time

  • Watches are not allowed in the test room. Every test room will have a clock on the wall. Stay aware of the time so you can attempt all questions.
  • The Listening, Reading and Writing tests have a number of sections. Allow enough time for each section.
  • Be aware that some questions have suggested time limits for you to follow.

Need more information about your IELTS test day that we haven’t covered above? Please contact your test centre for further information.

 

Helpful resources

Man in library

Prepare for the test

Once you are familiar with the IELTS test format, you will need to undertake a number of focused preparation activities.

How to prepare
Group of people reading IELTS support materials

Test format

Learn more about what to expect in each section of the IELTS test.

Test format
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Test security and integrity

IELTS takes a multi-layered approach to test security, including a variety of measures taken before test day, on test day and after test day. Find out about some of our security measures.

Test security