About IELTS

Why are there two versions of the test?

IELTS has two versions – Academic and General Training. The Academic test is for those who want to study at a tertiary level in an English-speaking country. The General Training test is for those who want to do work experience or training programs, secondary school or migrate to an English-speaking country. All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking tests but different Reading and Writing tests.

Which version should I do?

Read the explanation of the Academic and General Training tests and then contact the organisation or institution to which you are applying to find out what it requires. Note that you must know which version to take when you complete the IELTS Application Form.

What is the test format and how long will it take?

IELTS has four parts – Listening (30 minutes), Reading (60 minutes), Writing (60 minutes) and Speaking (11–14 minutes). The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes. The Listening, Reading and Writing tests are done in one sitting. The Speaking test may be on the same day or up to seven days before or after the other tests. Find out more and see a test sample.

How do I practise and prepare for my test?

The Official IELTS Practice Materials explains the test format in detail and gives you practice tests and answers. You can order your Official IELTS Practice Materials in one of two ways: place an order online or purchase through your local test centre.

Also HR offers IELTS Preparation Classes on following locations: Islamabad – Rawalpindi – Lahore – Karachi – Faisalabad – Multan – Peshawar.

What help is available for candidates with disabilities?

Test centres make every effort to cater for the special needs of candidates with disabilities. It is our aim for all candidates to be assessed fairly and objectively. If you have a special need, talk to your local test centre when registering. Centres may need three months to organise arrangements. Find out more.

Registering for IELTS

Where can I take IELTS?

You can take IELTS in over 900 locations worldwide. Search for your nearest test centre on the IELTS Worldwide Search (http://www.ielts.org/test_centre_search.aspx). IELTS centres have friendly, helpful staff who will help you with the registration process.

When can I take IELTS?

IELTS is available on 48 fixed dates a year – up to four times a month, depending on local demand. Go to your nearest centre to see their next test date.

How much does it cost?

IELTS has a set fee for its test. The Academic and General Training tests are the same cost. To find out the test fee in your local currency, check the IELTS Worldwide Search for your nearest centre.

How do I register for the test?

Find your nearest IELTS centre and check the test dates to find the dates that suit you best. (You can also see the cost of the test at your center in local currency on the IELTS Worldwide Search.

Check with your organisation or on the Global Recognition System whether you need to sit IELTS Academic or General Training.

Print out the IELTS Application Form or ask your test center for a copy. Read the information for candidates, terms and conditions, complete the form and sign it. Please make sure you have a valid postal address and use the same name as on your passport.

If you want your results to be sent automatically to a university or educational institution, include the correct details on the IELTS Application Form.

Take your application into your IELTS test center with your money. If you send it by mail, please talk to your center about the method of payment.

Once you have registered, the test center will confirm your IELTS test date, time and venue. Please note the Speaking test can be up to 7 days before or after the test date.

On the test day, you must bring the same passport or national identity card that you entered on the Application Form.

What if I need to postpone or cancel my application?

If you postpone or cancel your application more than 5 weeks before the test date, you will receive a refund minus an administration charge.

If you postpone or cancel within 5 weeks of the test date, you will be charged the full fee unless you have a serious medical reason. If you provide a medical certificate within 5 days of the test date, you will receive a refund minus the local administrative cost. Please note, this does not apply to minor illnesses.

What if I am absent or sick on the test day?

If you are away on the test day with no prior notice, you will lose your full fee. However, in cases of serious illness, if you provide a medical certificate within 5 days of the test date, you will receive a refund minus the local administrative cost.

Sitting the IELTS test

Is the IELTS test completed in one day?

The Listening, Reading and Writing components of the test are always completed immediately after each other and with no break. Depending on the test centre, the Speaking test may be taken up to 7 days either before or after the test date.

What if I am delayed by circumstances beyond my control (eg a transport strike)?

The test centre may offer you a test on the next available test date.

What can I bring into the examination room?

Only pens, pencils and erasers. You must bring the passport/national identity card you used on the IELTS Application Form to the test. You must leave everything else outside the examination room. Mobile phones and pagers must be switched off and placed with personal belongings in the area designated by the supervisor. If you do not switch off your phone/pager or keep it on you, you will be disqualified. Find out more about test day.

Which part do I take first?

You do the Listening test first followed by the Reading and Writing components of the test. Depending on the test centre, the Speaking test may be taken up to 7 days either before or after the test date.

What kinds of accents can be heard in the Listening and Speaking tests?

As IELTS is an international test, a variety of English accents are used in both of these tests.

Does the Listening tape provide instructions and pauses?

Yes. At the beginning, you hear instructions and a sample question. Then you read the questions in section 1, listen to section 1 and answer the questions. The same procedure follows for sections 2, 3 and 4. In the final 10 minutes, you will transfer your answers onto the answer sheet.

Is there a similar period of 10 minutes in the Reading test to transfer answer?

No. The Reading test is one hour, and you must write all your answers on the answer sheet in this time.

Can I use a pen for the Listening and Reading tests?

No. You must use pencil. The answer sheet is scanned by a computer which cannot read pen.

Can I make notes on the Listening and Reading question papers?

Yes. The IELTS Examiner will not see your question paper.

What is the Speaking test?

The Speaking test is a conversation with a certified IELTS Examiner. The Speaking test is made up of three sections. It is recorded on an audio cassette or a digital recorder. See a sample of the Speaking test.

What do I need for the Speaking test?

You must bring the same identification documents you supplied on your IELTS Application Form and used for the rest of the test. Your ID will be checked before you enter the interview room.

IELTS Test Result

How are the tests marked?

IELTS uses a 9-band scoring system to measure and report test scores in a consistent manner. You receive individual band scores for Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking and an Overall Band Score on a band scale from one to nine. Find out more about how IELTS is marked Click Here.

IELTS test result

Who sets the ‘pass’ mark for the IELTS test?

There is no pass or fail in IELTS. Scores are graded on the 9-band system. Each educational institution or organisation sets its own level of IELTS scores to meet its individual requirements. To find out more, search the IELTS Global Recognition System for specific organisations and the scores they require.