We have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions which are of interest to anyone planning to take the IELTS test. They are divided into four categories:
What is IELTS ?
Do I have to take the Academic or General Training module?
What are the skills tested?
How long does the test take?
When is the Speaking test scheduled?
The Speaking test is scheduled to take place in the afternoon of the main test. The last candidate can expect to be finished by 19.00 but this depends on the number of candidates and on the number of absentees.
Do I need to attend a course if I want to take the IELTS?
No, it is not compulsory to take a course. It is up to the candidates where and how they prepare for the test. It is important, however, as for any exam, to be familiar with the content and format of the test. This will help you be better prepared and reduce your stress level.
How can I prepare for the test?
We are offering you 30 hours of online self study materials for free, exclusive to all candidates who register for an IELTS exam with us. When your payment for the IELTS test is confirmed you will be sent access codes to the materials. You will be able to access the materials as many times as you wish up to 3 months before your written exam. APPLY EARLY for the test so that you can get maximum use of this online course.
For more materials and sources see also http://www.britishcouncil.org/brussels-exams-how-to-prepare-for-ielts-2.htm
Is the use of a dictionary allowed during the test?
No. Any candidate using or attempting to use a dictionary or spell-checker will be disqualified.
How are the results reported?
How long are the results valid?
The results are valid for two years.
Can I fail the test?
There is no pass or fail in IELTS. Candidates are graded on their performance in the test, using scores from 1 to 9 for each part of the test – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Your results from the four parts then produce an Overall Band Score.
How often can I repeat the test?
All candidates can repeat at the next available test, regardless of the date of their previous test. Scores on individual parts of the test may vary to some extent from occasion to occasion; if you are retaking the test you may be able to make limited improvements in your result.
However, taking the test on multiple occasions will not substantially improve your IELTS scores. Research indicates that scores are unlikely to improve dramatically without extensive English language tuition.
When can I take the test?
Where can I take the test?
In addition, some Belgian higher education institutions ask us to run IELTS sessions for their students. Please check with your university for more information.
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When should I apply?
The deadline is usually six weeks before the test date. However, it is best to apply as early as possible as sessions fill up quickly and there are often no places left six to seven weeks before a test date. Candidates must register online. As long as the test date appears on the online registration system it means that there are places left. If the date doesn't show anymore, it means that the session is full.
How do I apply?
Can I make a provisional booking for the test?
You cannot make a provisional booking for the test. We can only confirm your test date once your application is complete.
Can someone under the age of 18 sit the test?
Yes, the minimum age is 16. Exceptions can only be made in rare cases, such as the test being a school admission requirement. Generally it is strongly recommended that those under the age of 18 take Cambridge ESOL exams instead.
Can a native speaker take the test?
Can I use a driving licence or a student identity card as a proof of identity ?
No, driving licences and student identity cards are not acceptable forms of identification. Candidates must have a valid passport or identity card to register for the IELTS test. The ID document specified on the application form has to be brought along on the test day. Non-EU nationals must carry their passport.
I have to send a proof of payment. What do you mean by that?
A proof of payment is a document from your bank, stating that you have transferred the IELTS test fee to the British Council or the venue. This could be a ticket from your ‘self banking’, a screenshot from your computer banking, a copy of your bank statement or a receipt signed by an employee of your bank.
Please note that we cannot register candidates who include a proof of payment with a memo-date.
I am not from Belgium/Luxembourg or living in Belgium/Luxembourg. Can I still register for the test in Belgium or Luxembourg?
Yes, this is no problem. Please note that you will have to provide your passport in this case.
Can I take the computer based test?
No, this is not available in Belgium and Luxembourg. All candidates take the pen and paper test.
I have applied to sit the IELTS test. When do I get confirmation of my application?
British Council candidates receive confirmation by email that they have been registered for the test as soon as documents and proof of payment are received (please refer to the full registration procedure).
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I want to take IELTS but have a disability or medical problem. Can you help?
We can offer several kinds of help, for instance large print papers, Braille papers, a computer to be used for the writing, extra time for dyslexic candidates etc. If you need special arrangements, please indicate this on your online application form and post or e-mail us medical evidence with your registration documents. It may take time to make the necessary arrangements – please notify us at least three months before the test. Without specific medical evidence, we cannot provide special arrangements!
I have registered for the test but cannot come. What can I do?
Please consult our IELTS Refund and Transfer Policy page.
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When do I get the results?
How do I arrange to get my results sent to a university or other institutions?
Can I get more copies of my test results?
Can you send my test results to UCAS?
No – IELTS test results should be sent directly to the universities/colleges you are applying to.
My results for one paper were not satisfactory, but the other band scores were fine. Can I only redo that particular part of the test?
No, it is not possible to take only some parts of the test, you will have to redo all parts of the test.
I have done the test some time ago. Can I take a look at my test to see what kind of mistakes I made?
No, this is not allowed. Candidates' answers remain the property of IELTS and will not be available to candidates, schools or administering centres. However, in addition to an overall band you will get one sub score per assessed skill. These sub scores are a valid indication of your performance in the various skills and show you where how well you performed.
I believe my test results are not a reflection of my language ability. Can I have my test remarked?
How long are my test results valid for?
IELTS recommends that the candidate's language ability be re-assessed after two years from the date of the test or that a TRF which is more than 2 years old and submitted to an institution should only be accepted as evidence of present level of language ability if it is accompanied by proof that a candidate has actively maintained or tried to improve their English language proficiency. This recommendation is based on research evidence into the way learners retain their language skills, and is in line with other institutional tests.
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