Exceptional circumstances and special consideration

Policies for IELTS USA test takers

On rare occasions, there may be exceptional circumstances where you are unable to attend your test or are significantly disadvantaged on the test day owing to serious illness, injury, or another exceptional event outside your control.

Special considerations include:

  • a traumatic experience
  • domestic crisis
  • unavoidable legal or military obligation
  • serious medical conditions which prevent you from attending or performing normally on test day
  • bereavement
  • other forms of significant hardship
  • civil unrest/extreme weather.

In these cases, you may make an application to your test center for special consideration due to exceptional circumstances. You can apply for special consideration before the test, and up to two calendar days after the test date. However, applications for special consideration will not be accepted after your results have been released.

To apply, you will need to write to your test center directly to consider the request. You will need to provide the basis for your request and verifiable evidence when you apply for special consideration to support your request. Your request will be automatically disqualified in the absence of substantiating evidence.

The test center has full discretion to accept or reject a request.

If your application is approved, you should receive a refund or transfer which may be subject to an administrative fee.

If your application is denied, you have the right to appeal that decision through our complaints procedure.