IELTS FAQs about “Test Result”
Q. When will I receive my IELTS test results?
Answer: It depends on what kind of IELTS test a candidate takes. If the candidate takes Computer-delivered IELTS, the Test Report Form (TRF) will be posted 5-7 days after the test date. If Paper-based IELTS is taken, the Test Report Form will be available to the candidate 13 calendar days after the test date.
Q. Can I see my IELTS result online?
Answer: If you have taken the IELTS paper-based test, you can see your IELTS test results online 13 calendar days after your test date. For the computer-delivered IELTS test, the result is online within 2-5 days after your test date. And IELTS Life Skills test result starts appearing online on the 7th day after the test.
Please be informed that you’ll need your passport number, personal details, and your test date to retrieve your results.
Q. How long will my IELTS test result be valid?
Answer: Your IELTS test result will remain valid for two (2) years from the date of your IELTS test (not from the date of result publication).
Q. If I take IELTS for the second time, will my first test result be still valid?
Answer: Yes, each IELTS test result will be valid for 24 months (or 2 years) from the date you take the test. And taking a new IELTS test does not make the previous result invalid.
Q. After I have attempted IELTS for the second time, I found that my first test result was better. Can I use my first test result?
Answer: Yes, you can use your first test result even after taking the test for the second or third time considering that you took the first test within the last 2 years (the validity period of a result is two years).
Q. I have taken IELTS twice. Can I combine the test results?
Answer: No, you can’t combine results from different IELTS tests you have taken. For instance, if your scores in Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing sections in the first attempt were 7, 7, 6.5 and 6 and in the second attempt they were 6.5, 7.5, 6 & 6.5, you either need to use results of all four sections from the first attempt or from the second attempt. You are not allowed to mix the first test result with the second test result.
Q. I took the test and got a good score except in writing? Can I repeat only the writing section next time?
Answer: No, you can’t. IELTS does not allow you to take only a part of the test. Each time you plan to take the test, you have to pay the full registration fees and take all four sections of the test.
Q. How are the IELTS tests marked?
Answer: IELTS tests are marked as band scores on a scale from 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest), depending on test-takers’ individual scores on each section of the test – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Finally, the candidates will also be given an overall band score – which is the average of his or her four individual test band scores.
For example, if an IELTS test taker is able to display fully operational command of the language by providing the accurate, appropriate and complete understanding of the language, he/she will be considered as an Expert user, and he will receive the highest band score of 9. Similarly, if a candidate has fully operational command of the language with only some occasional unsystematic inaccuracies as well as some shortcomings in understanding the unfamiliar situations, then he will receive a band score of 8, and he will be considered as a “very good user” of the language. Finally, if someone has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings, but can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations is considered “a competent user” and would be awarded a band score 6.
Q. Who sets the ‘pass mark’ for the IELTS test?
Answer: There is no “pass” or “fail” mark in IELTS. Scores are graded on the 9-band system, with 1 being the lowest and 9 being the highest. However, it is worth mentioning here that each educational institution or organisation sets its own level of IELTS scores to meet its individual requirements, and therefore, all IELTS candidates are advised to check with their institutions or organizations to learn what band scores they accept and prepare themselves accordingly for the test.
For example, a university may ask for minimum 8.0 band score to accept applications for admission while another one may ask for just 5.5 band score.
Q. Why is my score higher the second time I have taken the test, although I haven’t done anything different?
Answer: It is perfectly normal for people to score higher on their second sitting because they become more familiar with the type of questions, which are asked, as well as the time allowed for each section. They also become more familiar with reading the answer sheets and the number of words required for the writing tasks. These small factors, mentioned above, can lead to score improvement when someone takes the IELTS test for the second time.
Q. How many Test Report Forms (TRFs) can I get?
Answer: A candidate will only receive one copy of Test Report Form unless he or she is applying to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), or United Kingdom Visas and Immigration (UKVI). And should that be the case, the candidate will receive two copies of the report forms. By the way, up to five (5) copies of test report forms (TRF) may be posted to the relevant institution(s) which a candidate has listed on his or her IELTS application form.
Anyway, while regular postage is free of charge, charges for courier services and/or overseas postage will be passed onto the candidates. It is also worth mentioning here that additional TRFs beyond five copies can be requested from the test centre, but an administration fee may be charged for additional test report forms.
Q. How can I order more Test Report Forms if my test centre has closed since I took the test?
Answer: A candidate can apply to his/her test centre for up to five additional copies of his or her original test report form at any time within two years of sitting the test. Anyway, these copies will not be sent to the candidates directly but can be sent to universities, embassies, consulates etc. on the candidates’ behalf. An IELTS test taker only ever receives one personal copy of his or her Test Report Form.
However, if at any event, the test centre, where a candidate took his test, closes down, the IELTS test authority can still send a copy of a person’s Test Report Form to any receiving organisation for the first two years after the test. By the way, to request a Test Report Form, a person will need to complete an application form for additional TRFs. It is very important that the candidate completes his/her family and given names exactly as they appear on his/her identification document. Besides, a person would also need to include a scanned copy of the passport or ID card, which he or she may have used during the time of taking the test, after clicking the “submit” button on the application form.
Q. Is it normal to be stronger in some communication skills than others?
Answer: Yes, it is perfectly normal for most people to achieve different band scores for each type of skills as many of them have good listening skills, for example, while not so good reading skills. This kind of difference occurs regardless of how the language is being tested and the type of language test being taken. However, ideally speaking, listening and speaking are the strongest skills for the majority of people even though there might be some band differences between these two language skills. So it is perfectly okay if your speaking skill is quite good while you are still struggling to write the essay to reach a band score level 7.0. The mantra here is ‘more you practise, better you get’.
Q. How soon can I re-sit/retake the test?
Answer: There is no limit on the number of times you can take the test and how soon you want to take the test. However, it is always recommended that a person undertakes additional study and careful preparation before appearing for another test again. Besides, before taking the test again, a person can take advantage of the preparatory courses and language classes, which are offered by some test centres. No discount will be offered for taking the test multiple times.
Q. What if I am not happy with my result?
Answer: If you are not happy with your result, you can apply for a remark/reassess (called an Enquiry on Results) at the test centre within six weeks of the test date. Of course, there is an enquiry fee for that, which is fully refunded, if your result changes to a higher band score. Please note that IELTS examiners and markers follow strict assessment guidelines and are regularly monitored, so there is very little room for any discrepancy as far as the test result is concerned.
Q. Can I request for a single section to be rechecked/re-marked?
Answer: You can request to re-mark or reassess the whole test or any part of it (Listening, Reading, Writing, or Speaking). There is a fee to request for rechecking and if your result improves, the fee will be refunded.
Q. What do different band scores mean?
Answer: IELTS test results are prepared and reported on a 9-band scale. The nine bands and their description are given below:
9 Expert User
Has fully operational command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding.
8 Very Good User
Has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and it appropriates. Handles complex detailed argumentation well.
7 Good User
Has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriateness and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles complex language well and understands the detailed reasoning.
6 Competent User
Has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.
5 Modest User
Has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes. The candidate should be able to handle communication in his or her own field.
4 Limited User
Basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Has frequent problems in using complex language.
3 Extremely Limited User
Conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns in communication occur.
2 Intermittent User
No real communication is possible except for the most basic information using isolated words or short formulae in familiar situations and to meet immediate needs. Has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.
1 Non User
Essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words.
0 Did not Attempt The test
No accessible information provided.