Last Updated: 25th March 2020
Test Day FAQ:
Q. When should I reach the test centre?
Answer: You should reach your test centre at least 45 minutes before your exam schedule. After you reach the test centre, your identification papers will be checked, you will have to submit all your gadgets and electronic tools, take the “Test Day Photography” and then enter the exam room. All these procedures might take roughly 30 minutes. So reaching the exam centre 45 minutes before the test is advisable.
Q. When do I enter the test room?
Answer: After your identification check and gadget handover are done, a test invigilator will guide you to your seat. You should not speak to other candidates or write any notes then. If you have a question, just raise your hand and a staff member will come forward to assist you. On your desk, you are only allowed to have your identification, pens/pencils, eraser and a bottle of drink in a transparent bottle. Keep in mind, if you arrive without the correct ID, you will not be allowed to take the test.
Q. If I arrive late, will I be allowed extra time to finish my test?
Answer: If you arrive late, you may not be allowed to take the test. So always arrive early on your test day.
Q. What if I am delayed by circumstances beyond my control (e.g. a transport strike or natural disaster)?
Answer: In such circumstance, the test centre may offer the candidate, affected by some extraordinary circumstances, another test on the next available test date.
Q. What if I am delayed by the traffic jam?
Answer: In this case, the test centre will do nothing for you. You won’t be even granted access to the test centre. So it is always advisable to consider the traffic congestion when you leave home for the test centre on the test day.
Q. What type of dresses should I wear for the test?
Answer: It’s really up to you. There is no dress code or restriction on the type of dresses you can wear. But, it is good to wear something comfortable.
Q. Can I bring some food and drinks in my exam room?
Answer: You are not allowed to bring any food in the exam hall. For drinks, you are only allowed to bring water in a transparent bottle with the label removed.
Q. Should I follow my own watch/clock?
Answer: You should always look at the watch/clock placed on the wall in the exam hall by the exam authority. This is the clock the teachers would follow to submit your question papers. They will also ask you to stop writing based on the time on this clock.
Q. If I am not allowed to take my watch (a digital one), how do I keep track of time.
Answer: There will be a wall clock in the exam room and it is mounted at such a location that everybody can look at it and see the time. You should keep track of your time by looking at this clock. So pace yourself as required depending on the time left as you take the test.
Q. Am I allowed to take my mobile phone in the exam room?
Answer: No, you are not allowed to take your mobile phone or any other gadget in your exam room.
Q. Then, what can I take with me into the examination room?
Answer: The IELTS candidates must bring a valid passport/national identity card that they used to fill up the IELTS Application Form. Besides other things like pens, pencils and erasers should also be taken if the candidates take the paper-based IELTS. Other than those items, mentioned above, the test takers must leave everything else in the area, designated by the supervisor.
However, if somebody takes computer-delivered IELTS, pencils and paper will be provided to them at the test centre, and therefore, the candidates do not need to bring those items on their own.
Q. What personal belongings or items are forbidden in the exam room?
Answer: You are, in fact, not allowed to take any personal items into the exam room. Test centre authority or test day staff will collect and safely store your personal belongings before you can enter the test room. Items which are forbidden to be taken to the test room include – pager, tabloid pcs, mobile phones, hand-held computers, cameras, digital clocks, smartwatches, hats, scarves, wallets, books or notes.
Q. What are the test rules I should know?
Answer: IELTS test takers may find the rules and guidelines on the Notice to Candidates provided on the 2nd page of the IELTS Application form for GT candidates. The IELTS candidates are also advised to read the IELTS – Information for candidates booklet carefully so that they understand the test format as well as know what to expect and what not to expect on test day.
Q. Do I take all parts of the test on the same day?
Answer: It is expected that the Listening, Reading and Writing section of the test are always completed on the same day immediately after each other and with no break. However, when it comes to the Speaking test, there is no guarantee that the Speaking test would also take place on the same day. In fact, the speaking test may be scheduled up to 7 days either before or after the test date, depending on the arrangement of the local test centres. However, if anybody wants to take computer-delivered IELTS, the Speaking test can be taken on the same day.
Q. So apart from speaking, which part do I take first?
Answer: The Listening, Reading and Writing parts must be completed on the same day even though the order in which these tests are taken may vary. However, Listening test followed by Reading and Writing tests are usually taken in many test centres.
Q. Do I have to use a pencil to write my answers on the answer sheet?
Answer: Ideally speaking, it is generally the pencils which have always been recommended for the IELTS Listening and Reading parts of the test. But, lately, the IELTS test authority is using a pencil to take the writing test also because many of the test centres are gradually upgrading to new scanners. And, since these scanners work best with pencils and since these test centres are also using the answer sheets with a slightly updated design, there is no risk of having any blemish mark or spots on the answer sheet as would be the case with an ink pen.
Q. Can I write my answers in capital letters?
Answer: Yes, you can use all capital letters in the IELTS Reading and Listening section and also in the Writing section of the IELTS test.
Q. Can I make notes on the Listening and Reading question papers?
Answer: Yes, you can absolutely make notes on the listening and reading question papers since the IELTS Examiner will not see them or mark them.
Q. Can I make notes if I take the computer-delivered IELTS?
Answer: Yes, you can make notes if are taking the computer-delivered IELTS test since this IELTS test provides a note-taking and highlight function on the computer on which you can use to take notes whenever you need. However, you won’t be given any papers to make notes, nor will you have question papers to do that.
Q. What kinds of accents can be heard in the Listening and Speaking tests?
Answer: IELTS is an international test, and that is why a variety of English accents, including Australian, American, British, Canadian, are used in both Listening and Speaking tests.
Q. Can I go to the restroom/bathroom during a test?
Answer: You are not permitted to leave the test room, or even go to the bathroom, during the first or last 10 minutes of any of the test sections. Other than that, you can go to the bathroom, but for that, you first have to put up your hands to seek the attention of the invigilator. With his/her permission, you can go to the bathroom.
Q. If I can’t understand something from the question paper, should I raise my hand and ask the invigilator?
Answer: The invigilators or test centre staff will not provide any explanation on the questions, nor will assist you to understand a question. They will only solve problems when you cannot hear the instructions, or you feel ill. In that case, just raise your hand to attract the attention of the supervisor.
Q. If I finish writing answers earlier, can I leave early?
Answer: Even if you finish answering all the questions, you cannot leave your seat or the exam room until you have notified an invigilator and given permission to leave. If you finish your test early you must wait quietly until the test is finished and you are advised that you can leave.
Q. I have taken some notes during my test. Can I take them out with me?
Answer: No, you have to leave any notes or materials you have used during your test on the desk after you finish the test.
Q. Do I get an additional 10 minutes to transfer my reading test answers to the answer sheet?
Answer: Candidates ask this question because, after the “Listening” test, they get 10 minutes to fill in the answer sheet. However, keep in mind that this is not the case when you take the Reading test. You will NOT have 10 minutes (in fact, no additional time) after the Reading test to transfer your answer to the answer sheet. So be sure to write your answers on your answer sheet when completing the Reading test.
Q. How do I collect my belongings that I submitted before I entered the exam room?
Answer: After you leave the test room, the test day staff will arrange that. Just make sure you have been returned everything you have submitted.