Choosing the right test

IELTS has two versions – Academic and General Training. The Academic test is for those who want to study at a post-secondary level in an English-speaking country. The General Training test is for those who want to pursue work experience or training programs, secondary school or migrate to an English-speaking country. All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking tests but different Reading and Writing tests.
Contact the organization or institution to which you are applying to find out what it requires. Note that you must know which version to take when you complete the online application process.

Test format

IELTS has four parts – Listening (30 minutes), Reading (60 minutes), Writing (60 minutes) and Speaking (11–14 minutes). The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes. The Listening, Reading and Writing tests are done in one sitting. The Speaking test may be on the same day or up to seven days before or after the other tests. Click here to learn more.
The Speaking test is a conversation with a certified IELTS Examiner. The Speaking test is made up of three sections: introductory questions, a 2-minute talk on a given topic, and a discussion. It takes around 15 minutes and is recorded on a digital recorder.
VCS stands for Video Call Speaking. The test will have the exact same format, content and marking as the in-person speaking test, except that the test room will have a computer to connect with the examiner over Zoom. Please follow this link for more information about IELTS Speaking by VCS
You do the Listening test first following by the Reading and Writing components of the test. Depending on the test center, the Speaking test may be taken up to 7 days either before or after the test date if not held on test day.
The Listening, Reading and Writing components of the test are always completed immediately after each other and with no break. You will be notified if your speaking test must be completed on a different day; however, ELS Centers usually hold the speaking test on the same day whenever possible. A detailed email confirmation with Speaking Test time and location is provided three days in advance; this email is different from the “no reply” email provided at time of registration. Please note that your speaking time can change on the day of the test due to absent test takers, examiner illness, or other factors outside of the test center's control.
As IELTS is an international test, a variety of English accents are used in both of these tests.
Yes. At the beginning, you hear instructions. Then you read section 1 questions, listen to part 1 and answer the questions. After the Listening section, you will have 10 minutes to transfer the answers to the answer sheet.
No. The Reading test is one hour, and you must write all your answers on the answer sheet in this time.

Managing my registration and payment

You can pay for your test with a credit card at the time of registration. If you have any difficulties making payment, please contact us for assistance.
After registration and before the test, you will receive an email with the date, time, location and other information about your test. You can also refer to your registration portal or contact us for further assistance.
You will need to upload a photo or scan of your ID document to complete your registration. Only your passport, US Permanent Resident Card or Employment Authorization Document are accepted and you must bring the same, original document with you on test day to be allowed to write the test.
At the time of registration, please upload a scan or photograph of your passport. If you have not uploaded your passport during registration, please ensure that the passport is uploaded in the next 24 hours.
Test centers make every effort to cater for the special needs of disabled candidates. It is our aim for all candidates to be assessed fairly and objectively. If you have a special need, send us an email before registering. We may need three months to organize arrangements.

Test day information

Yes, ELS provides headphones for the listening portions in San Francisco, Manhattan and Boston.
Only transparent water bottle with no label. You must bring the passport/national identity card you used on the IELTS Application Form to the test. You must leave everything else outside the examination room. Mobile phones and smart watches must be switched off and placed with personal belongings in the area designated by the supervisor. If you do not switch off your phone/watch or keep it on you, you will be disqualified.
No. You must do it in pencil. The answer sheet is scanned by a computer which cannot register pen ink.
Yes. The IELTS Examiner will not see your question paper. You will also be given a piece of paper on which to take notes during the IELTS on Computer Test.
You will select a speaking time during registration. Please refer to your registration portal and check your email before the test as changes may be made at any given time.
You must bring the same identification document you uploaded on your IELTS Registration and used for the rest of the test. Your ID will be checked before you enter the interview room.
You may apply to postpone or cancel your test any time; however, refund terms are dependent on how far in advance you submit your request and whether you are taking IELTS on Paper or Computer. An administration charge will apply to all requests. If you postpone or cancel close to the test date, you will be charged the full fee unless you have documented proof warranting special considerations. The center will review your case and will inform you if approved. Refer to IELTS cancellation policies for more details.
If you are away on the test day with no prior notice, you will lose your full fee. However, if you provide a doctor's note within 5 days of the test date, you might be eligible for a partial refund or paid transfer to a new date upon approval by the test center. Conditions apply. Refer to IELTS cancellation policies for more details.