The guidance below is a summary of what all IELTS test takers can expect when registering for an IELTS test (on paper or computer) anywhere in the world. Detailed policy terms vary according to test centre location so please contact your local test centre as relevant for further information.
If local consumer protection law in the country in which you have registered to take the IELTS test provides for cancellation and transfer rights which are more favourable than the terms set out in this document or in more detailed local test centre guidance, then local consumer protection law will apply.
If you are taking IELTS UKVI (Academic), IELTS UKVI (General Training), or IELTS Life Skills please refer to UKVI terms and conditions which are specific to these tests.
If you are taking any IELTS test in the United States, please refer to the US terms and conditions which differ slightly.
You can cancel your IELTS test registration at any time before taking your test by notifying your test centre. Refund policy is dependent upon when you cancel and whether exceptional circumstances apply.
You may change your test date at any time before the test. However, your transfer request may be treated as a cancellation dependent on how near to the test day it is made.
You must select a new test date, where available, within three months of your original test date. If your preferred test date is more than three months after your original test date, your transfer will be treated as a cancellation.
You can only transfer the same booking once.
Exceptional circumstances and special consideration
On rare occasions, there may be instances where you are unable to attend your test or are disadvantaged on the test day owing to illness, injury, or another exceptional event outside your control and you no longer qualify for a standard cancellation, refund or transfer close to the test date. In these cases, including instances such as bereavement, civil unrest or domestic crisis, you may make an application to your test centre for special consideration due to exceptional circumstances. You can find more information on this process here.
Under certain circumstances outside of test centre control, we may have to cancel your test and transfer it to a future date. These circumstances include, but may not be limited to, extreme weather conditions, natural disaster, civil unrest, industrial action, global pandemic or for reasons of force majeure.
In these circumstances, your test centre will provide you with as much notice as possible and give you the choice of either a full refund, or a transfer to a future test date – whichever you prefer.
If your test is cancelled or postponed due to other circumstances such as technical failure, venue or environmental factors, your test centre will provide you with as much notice as possible and give you the choice of a refund or a transfer to a future test.
Resitting the test
If you do not get the IELTS score you wanted, you can apply to take the test again as soon as you feel ready.
Before you make a new booking, remember that your score is unlikely to improve without extra work to improve your English.
Have a look at our sample test questions and preparation materials before you book your test. You might also want to take an official IELTS practice test to check that you have improved before booking another test.
You may also now have the chance to retake just one part of your test. Find out more about IELTS One Skill Retake (available around the world starting in 2023).
Requesting a re-mark
If you are not happy with your result, you can request a review of your score(s) through a service called an Enquiry on Results (EOR).
During the review process:
- test papers are re-marked by senior Examiners/Markers, who are not aware of the original marks awarded for each test section (Listening, Reading, Writing or Speaking)
- your test centre is then notified of the re-mark result and if the mark has changed, they issue a new Test Report Form (TRF).
You will need to pay an Enquiry on Results fee, which is fully refunded if your band score changes. Contact your test centre for more information about fees.
Your result can become available on the same day as your application and up to 21 days after your application. The time it takes depends on several factors, including the number of sections you’ve asked us to re-mark. If you have not received a response after 21 days, please contact your test centre.
Preparing to take your test again
To get a better score on your IELTS test, think about ways to improve your English. This could include checking you understand the test structure, working through sample questions, taking the IELTS Progress Check practice test, and learning how our scoring works.
Try to practise English at home and in real-life situations so that you feel more confident. Visit our Preparation page for more useful resources and advice.