On test day

We want you to do your best on the day of your test so that you get the results you deserve. To help you succeed, read our list of top tips for getting a good IELTS score.

Be prepared

  • Check the time and date of your test.
  • Set an alarm and leave enough time to get to the test centre without rushing.
  • Bring the same identification document that you used when you booked your test. This is important. You won’t be able to take your test if you bring the wrong ID or forget to bring it.

If you are taking your IELTS Academic test online:

  • Before the day of your test you will receive an email about the software that you need to download. Make sure you have downloaded everything before the day of the test.
  • Check that the computer you will use for the test meets our system requirements.
  • Give yourself extra time to log in to your test. If you are late, you might not be allowed to take the test.


  • Stay calm and focus on each question.
  • If you start to feel worried, take some deep breaths to help you calm down.
  • Read the questions carefully and don’t rush your answers.

Follow the instructions

  • Read the IELTS rules and regulations before the test so you understand them.
  • You will be asked to leave all of your personal belongings in a safe place outside the test room. Make sure you switch off your mobile phone and any other electronic devices, so they do not disturb other test takers. 
  • You will do the Listening, Reading, and Writing sections in one test session. This takes 2 hours 40 minutes, and there are no breaks between each section of the test. Make sure you go to the toilet before you enter the test room.
  • Have something to eat and drink before the test. You are not allowed to take food into the test room. You can take water into the test room if it is in a clear (transparent) bottle.
  • Listen to the test supervisor carefully and follow their instructions.
  • Read the instructions before you write your answers.
  • Read the questions carefully to avoid simple mistakes.

If you are taking your IELTS Academic test online:

  • You will need a phone or tablet with a camera to use during the room scan before your test. (But then you will need to switch it off and put it away.)

Watch the time

  • Watches are not allowed in the test room, but every test room in our test centres has a clock on the wall. If you are taking a test online there is a clock on the screen. Stay aware of the time so you can attempt all the questions.
  • The Listening, Reading, and Writing tests have multiple sections. Allow enough time to attempt each section.
  • Some questions have suggested time limits for you to follow and these are related to the number of marks available. Questions with longer time limits are usually worth more marks.

Still have a question? If you need more information on the day or before the day of your test, please contact your test centre who will be happy to help.