Ways to take IELTS

You will be offered a choice of different ways to sit your IELTS test at our test centres, and in some cases, remotely online. Security is a key priority to ensure that we maintain our trusted status with organisations around the world who accept IELTS results.

Educational institutions may choose to accept results from IELTS Academic tests that have been taken online. All tests that are taken to secure a visa for UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) must be taken at an official IELTS test centre, where we verify your ID and oversee all elements of the test.

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IELTS in a test centre

You have the choice to take your test on paper or on a computer. There is no difference to the test questions, or format, only the way you complete your answers.

IELTS on computer

You can attend an official IELTS test centre and sit your test on a computer. Questions for the Listening, Reading, and Writing sections are shown on the screen and you enter your answers on the computer.

The Speaking section is completed during a face-to-face session with a trained IELTS examiner.


Results for IELTS on computer are available 3–5 days after test completion.

IELTS on paper

If you opt to take the test on paper you will sit at a desk with question-and-answer papers for the Listening, Reading, and Writing sections of your test.

The Speaking section of the test is conducted by a trained IELTS examiner.


Results are available 13 days after test completion.

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IELTS Online

In some countries we offer IELTS Online, and we are adding countries all the time. This is available for the IELTS Academic test only and allows you to sit the test at home or a suitable private location with a stable internet connection. The test has the same format, questions, timing, and marking criteria as completing the IELTS at a test centre.

The Speaking section of the test is completed in an online video call with a trained IELTS examiner. Receiving organisations can decide whether they are happy to accept results from IELTS Academic tests that are taken online or not. The Test Report Form will indicate if you have completed your test online.


Test results are available 6–8 days after taking the test.

Practice tests

Find out more about IELTS Online and experience some free sample tests yourself.

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Find out why you can always trust IELTS results