IELTS test terms and conditions



1. You must

1.1 provide proof of your identity (passport or National Identity Card) at registration. Contact the test centre to confirm which type of identity document is accepted. Test takers taking the test outside their own country must use a passport;

1.2 inform the test centre of any changes to your identity document before the test date. If you do not do this you will not be allowed to take the test and you will not be eligible for a refund or transfer;

1.3 bring the same identity document on the test day as the one recorded in your application. If you do not do this you will not be allowed to take the test and you will not be eligible for a refund or transfer;

1.4 arrive at the test centre before the scheduled test start time. If you arrive late, you will not be allowed to take the test and you will not be eligible for a refund or transfer;

1.5 leave all personal belongings in the designated belongings area. The only items you may bring into the test room are your approved identity document, standard pen(s), pencil(s) and eraser(s), and a bottle of water (label-free). All electronic devices and all watches must be left in the belongings area and must be switched off. You may be electronically scanned for devices at any time during the test day. Any test taker who breaches these conditions will not receive an IELTS test result or be eligible for a refund or transfer. While the test centre will take all reasonable measures to secure your items in the belongings area, they cannot be held responsible for any loss;

1.6 consent for your identity to be verified both at test registration and on test day. This may include:

  • having your photograph taken. You will be required to temporarily remove any covering from your face. Any test taker who refuses to have a photograph taken will not be allowed to sit the test and will not be entitled to a refund. The photograph taken by the test centre will appear on your Test Report Form;
  • providing a sample of your signature;
  • having your finger scan taken;

1.7 keep only the following items on your desk: your identity document, pen(s), pencil(s), eraser(s), and a bottle of water (label-free);

1.8 tell the invigilator at once if you think you have not been given the correct question paper or if the question paper is incomplete or illegible. For computer-delivered IELTS, tell the invigilator at once if you don’t see the correct test on your computer screen;

1.9 raise your hand if you need to ask the invigilator something. Test takers may not ask for, and will not be given, any explanation of the test questions;

1.10 attend all four sections of the test (listening, reading, writing or speaking). If you do not attend all four sections, you will not receive an IELTS test result. Exceptions are possible but must be requested at registration and written approval must be received from the test centre;

1.11 inform the invigilator on the day of the test if you believe that your performance may be affected by ill health, by the way in which the test is delivered at the centre or for any other reason. If you have any issues, concerns or complaints relating to the delivery of the test you can submit a complaint. All complaints will be dealt with in line with our Complaints Policy available on IELTS.org.

2. Your IELTS test result

2.1 Results are issued by centres, usually 13 days after the test for paper-based IELTS or 3–5 days for computer-delivered IELTS.

2.2 You will receive only one copy of your Test Report Form. Replacement copies are not issued in the event of loss or damage.

2.3 The Test Report Form will be issued in your name as it appears on the identity document used at registration. If you find that your personal details are incorrect on the Test Report Form, please contact the test centre where you took the test. Documentation must be provided to verify the correct details. If you change your name after receiving your Test Report Form, the name will not be changed on the Test Report Form.

2.4 Your result may not be issued in the required timeframe if the IELTS Test Partners decide that it is necessary to review any matter associated with your test or the administration of your test. To assist any investigation, you may be required to provide writing and speaking samples. In exceptional circumstances, you may be required to retake one or more IELTS sections.

2.5 Your result may be cancelled after it has been issued if any irregularity is identified. You may be required to retake one or more IELTS sections.

2.6 Your result will be disclosed to the educational institutions, governments (including visa processing authorities), professional bodies and commercial organisations that recognise IELTS scores (Recognising Organisations) which you nominated in your application or to which you applied with your Test Report Form, for the purpose of allowing those organisations to verify the result or to carry out any enquiries in relation to suspected malpractice.

2.7 If any of the data on the Test Report Form provided by you or your partner to Recognising Organisations has been altered in any way, your original test result may be cancelled.

3. Cancelling your IELTS test or requesting a transfer

3.1. Please refer to the IELTS Cancellation policy to check your cancellation and transfer rights. You will be asked to acknowledge you have read and agreed to the IELTS Cancellation Policy. In addition, where your IELTS test is due to take place during the Cancellation Period (as defined in the IELTS Cancellation Policy) you will confirm that you are requesting performance of services by the relevant IELTS Test Partner during the Cancellation Period and you will acknowledge that your rights to cancellation and refund will be lost 24 hours before the day of your IELTS test.

4. How IELTS uses your information

4.1 The IELTS Test Partners recognise and support the right of IELTS test takers to privacy.

4.2 When you provide your identity information the IELTS Test Partners link that information to your IELTS test and test result on the Test Report Form. This enables you to submit your Test Report Form to Recognising Organisations and for them to verify your result.

4.3 Test Report Forms will only be sent to those Recognising Organisations nominated by the test taker in their application or at the request of the test taker after the issue of results. When a test taker submits a Test Report Form to a Recognising Organisation they consent to the verification of the result by that organisation.

4.4 The IELTS Test Partners or their authorised representatives may share test taker personal data including without limitation test performance or score data or photographs taken by the test centre with Recognising Organisations or law enforcement agencies and regulatory authorities where required for verification purposes or other purposes to protect the IELTS test and its stakeholders against any form of malpractice. Finger-scan data, where obtained, will not be disclosed to any entity except the IELTS Test Partners.

4.5 The IELTS Test Partners will retain work produced by test takers in the IELTS test and may use it for quality control purposes and for investigations into suspected malpractice. Test score data and test responses, in an anonymous form, may also be used for informational, research, statistical or training purposes.

5. Declaration

5.1 You acknowledge that the IELTS test is jointly owned by the IELTS Test Partners.

5.2 You certify that the information submitted in your IELTS test application is complete, true and accurate.

5.3 You understand that the personal data submitted in your IELTS test application is collected for the purposes of the IELTS test. You accept data, including, without limitation, test performance or score data or photographs taken by the IELTS test centre and your test result may be disclosed by the IELTS Test Partners to those Recognising Organisations to which you apply and to governments (including visa processing authorities) for the purpose of allowing these organisations to verify your test result or to carry out enquiries in relation to suspected malpractice. If the IELTS Test Partners discover that a false or altered Test Report Form has been provided to any of these Recognising Organisations or government authorities you further accept that the IELTS Test Partners may inform the same and provide them with your personal data and any relevant details relating to the work you produce as part of your test taking, including, without limitation, test performance or score data or photographs taken by the IELTS test centre.

5.4 You understand that your personal data may be processed in an anonymous form for statistical and research purposes for the development of Cambridge Assessment English examinations. Cambridge Assessment English and the test centre administering the test confirm that they will not disclose personal information about test takers to others except as stated in this Declaration or to the extent permitted by law.

5.5 You understand that you may view a copy of your personal data submitted in your IELTS test application by contacting ielts@cambridgeenglish.org.

5.6 You understand that if you want a copy of your finger scan it can only be provided as a Binary Large Object (BLOB) and the request must be made to ielts@idp.com or ielts@britishcouncil.org. You understand a fee will be charged for access to this information.

5.7 You understand that if the details submitted are incomplete your application may not be processed. You further understand that completing and submitting your IELTS test application does not guarantee registration on your preferred test date or at your preferred test location. You understand that your registration will be confirmed by email.

5.8 You understand that any personal data collected during the identity verification process by the test centre either at test registration or on test day will be processed and securely stored by the IELTS Test Partners for the purpose of the IELTS test. You acknowledge that the photograph taken of you by the test centre will be provided upon request to any Recognising Organisations or government authorities (including visa processing authorities) to which you apply for the purposes of allowing these organisations to verify your test results or to carry out enquiries in relation to possible malpractice or test integrity issues. You understand that where finger-scan data is obtained it will not be disclosed to any entity except the IELTS Test Partners.

5.9 You understand that you will have your photograph taken by the test centre to allow the Test Report Form to be released. If you have not had your photograph taken by the test centre no result will be issued.

5.10 You understand that the IELTS Test Partners have a responsibility to all test takers and Recognising Organisations to ensure the highest confidence in the accuracy and integrity of test results and that the IELTS Test Partners therefore reserve the right to withhold test results temporarily or permanently, or to cancel test results which have been issued, if they consider those results to be unreliable for reasons of suspected malpractice or any other irregularity in the test process.

5.11 Your result may not be issued in the required timeframe if the IELTS Test Partners decide that it is necessary to review any matter associated with your test or the administration of your test, including making enquiries as to whether any rules or regulations have been breached. You understand that in exceptional circumstances you may be required to retake one or more IELTS sections.

5.12 You understand that if you are suspected of engaging in any form of malpractice, or do anything that might damage the integrity and security of IELTS, you may not receive a test result, your test fee will not be refunded and you may be prohibited from taking the IELTS test in the future. Despite and without limiting any of the terms of this declaration, you understand that details of any malpractice (including evidence of suspected malpractice) that has been established, is suspected, or is being formally investigated may be provided to Recognising Organisations, including visa processing authorities and appropriate regulatory authorities, or otherwise disclosed in accordance with the law, where required for verification purposes or other purposes to protect the IELTS test and its stakeholders against any form of malpractice. You further understand that suspected malpractice will be reported centrally to the IELTS Test Partners and to any relevant test centre by the test centre where the suspected malpractice occurred.

5.13 You understand that if you engage in any form of malpractice, or do anything that might damage the integrity and security of IELTS, you may be banned from taking the IELTS test in the future. You understand that if you are banned you will receive a notification stating the length of the ban. You understand that if you are subject to a ban and you register to take the test, you will not receive a result and you will not be entitled to a refund.

5.14 You understand that if any other person attempts to take the IELTS test in your place (i.e. in place of the person whose details are submitted through the ORPS to register for the relevant IELTS Tests/Materials), both you and such person will be liable to prosecution. Details relating to the situation may be provided to the relevant authorities, including visa processing authorities and appropriate regulatory authorities.

5.15 You understand that the work you produce as part of the IELTS test will be the property of the IELTS Test Partners. You hereby assign to the British Council, by way of present and future assignment, all intellectual property rights (to the extent there are any) in the work you produce as part of the IELTS test. Under no circumstances will IELTS tests be released to test takers or to institutions or organisations, except in the investigation of suspected malpractice whereby the work you produce as part of the IELTS test may be provided to relevant authorities.

5.16 You understand that your IELTS Speaking test will be recorded. In the event the test does not record, you will be required to retake the Speaking test. You also agree that an observer may attend your IELTS Speaking test as part of the monitoring process.

5.17 You understand that your IELTS Speaking test will be recorded and may be conducted on a web-based video application (Zoom). In the event the test does not record, you will be required to retake the Speaking test. You also agree that an observer may attend your IELTS Speaking test as part of the monitoring process.

5.18 You understand that you may be filmed for security and quality assurance purposes when registering for the test and during the test. The video footage will be for held for 60 days after your test and may be used for audit or investigation purposes.

5.19 You understand that you will be charged the full test fee upon registration. You understand that if you request a transfer or cancel your test, your right to a refund will be determined in accordance with local legislation.

5.20 Chargebacks Prohibition. You agree that you will not dispute or otherwise seek a 'chargeback' from the company whose credit card or other method of payment you use to book and pay for the IELTS test or otherwise attempt to reverse payment. If you do so, your IELTS test and/or results may be cancelled immediately, and the IELTS Partners may, at our discretion, refuse to accept future purchases made from accounts on which such chargebacks have been made, and may prohibit future purchases from the account holder, and from any person who booked an IELTS test and reversed payment.

5.21 The British Council cannot accept payments made from banks (or other financial institutions) sanctioned by the UK or any other relevant jurisdiction. Where the British Council discovers evidence of payment from a sanctioned bank and/or sanctioned financial institution we will freeze all funds related to that payment and will be unable to deliver the service for which the payment was intended. Please therefore ensure that you do not make payments from an account in a sanctioned bank and/or sanctioned financial institution.

5.22 The British Council cannot make payments to banks (or other financial institutions) sanctioned by the UK or any other relevant jurisdiction. If you request a refund to be sent to an account at a sanctioned bank and/or sanctioned financial institution, you will be asked to nominate an alternative method of payment that does not breach sanctions. Failure to provide an alternative method of payment will result in non-payment of the relevant funds.

5.23 You understand that this test result cannot be used for UKVI application purposes and that you will not be eligible for a refund if you subsequently find that you require an IELTS for UKVI test result.

5.24 You acknowledge that you have read, or will read before your IELTS test, the Your Guide to IELTS (PDF 1 MB).

5.25 The British Council hopes to make your experience of dealing with the British Council an excellent one and welcomes your comments, suggestions and details of satisfaction or dissatisfaction. If you have any comments or complaints in relation to the Contract, please refer to the Complaints Page (see the definition of 'Complaints Page' for further details) and follow the procedure set out there.

5.26 If a complaint, dispute or claim is not successfully resolved through discussions between you and the British Council, the courts of England will have non-exclusive jurisdiction over any claim arising from, or related to, the Contract. This means that all claims relating to the Contract can be settled by a judge (or a number of judges) in an English court but you or the British Council may, alternatively, bring proceedings in your country of residence or any other relevant country.

5.27 You understand and acknowledge that, whilst you may be asked to select your preferred format for the Speaking test (either in person or by video call at the test centre), the test centre shall ultimately determine, and inform you, which format shall be used for your Speaking test.