Why IELTS?

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is the world’s most popular English language test. More than 2 million IELTS tests are taken each year.

Taking IELTS opens doors – it can help you live, study and work around the world. More than 9,000 organisations worldwide accept IELTS, including government, academic and employment institutions. In fact, IELTS is the only English language test accepted for immigration purposes by all countries that require one.

The IELTS test is designed to help you use English in your new life abroad. In less than three hours, it will assess all of your English skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking.

The most effective way of testing your English conversation skills is face-to-face. IELTS is the most widely accepted English language test with a one-on-one speaking test to assess your English language communication skills. 

Designed by experts in English language assessment and trusted around the world, you can be sure that IELTS will give a fair and consistent assessment of your English skills.   

WHY TAKE IELTS WITH THE BRITISH COUNCIL?

The British Council has more than 75 years’ experience teaching and testing English. We have helped people in more than 130 countries gain English language qualifications that help them make the most of their chances in life. That’s a lot of experience, and it means that if you take an English language test with us, you can be confident that you’ll be well looked after.

Here are just a few reasons why millions of people have taken IELTS with the British Council:  

  • Expert support: from videos and books to online interactive courses, you have access to the best preparation materials to help you do well in your test
  • Free resources: Road to IELTS is the British Council’s popular online preparation course. When you register for an IELTS test with us you also get access to 30 hours of free training.
  • Convenient dates and locations: we have more than 500 test locations in over 100 countries. This means that you have a huge range of options for where and when you can take your test. .
  • Easy booking: You can book your IELTS test online and take advantage of flexible payment options in euros.
  • Fast results: We guarantee you will be able to see your results online within just 13 days of the date you take your test.
  • Special arrangements: your English language ability will be assessed objectively, regardless of any disability or special needs that you may have. Find out more about how we can facilitate your special arrangements. Please note, you will need a medical certificate issued within the last two years at the time of registration.

Register

The IELTS test costs 205€ until the end of August. From September 2015 the price will be 210€

You can register for IELTS quickly and easily through our Online Registration Service.

To register, simply follow the steps below:

1 READ THE INFORMATION FOR CANDIDATES

Download and read Information for Candidates (PDF, 933 kb) and the Notice to Candidates (PDF, 524kb) which contain important information about the test format, the question types and the test results.

Please note that IELTS is not recommended for candidates under the age of 16. 

2 DECIDE WHICH VERSION OF THE TEST IS RIGHT FOR YOU

There are two versions of the IELTS test:

IELTS Academic
IELTS General Training

 Read our simple guide to help you decide which version of the test is right for you. 

3 CHECK THE IELTS TEST DATES 

You can check all IELTS test dates and test centres at our IELTS dates, fees and locations webpage.

There are a limited number of places for all our IELTS test sessions. To make sure you get a place, we recommend that you register five weeks before your chosen test date. Of course, places may be available after this date. You can use our Online Registration System to find up-to-date information about test dates and availability.

Please note: Your Listening, Reading and Writing test will be completed on the same day. Your Speaking test may be offered on the same day, or up to a week before or after your main test day. You will receive information about your test one week before your test date.

4. PREPARE YOUR DOCUMENTS FOR UPLOADING

You will need to upload the following when you register for your test: 

  • A copy of your identification document (your passport or EU ID card)

You may only upload one file. The scan may be a jpeg, gif or png, of at most 1600 by 1600 pixels, and less than 1.5 MB. There are strict criteria for acceptance and your scanned identity document must be clearly legible and contain:

  • your ID number
  • your signature
  • your date of birth
  • your photograph 
  • your ID expiry date 

5. REGISTER ONLINE

Use our Online Registration System to book your place on the test.

Please ensure you are able to provide the documents in step 4 and are able to pay using one of the payment methods in step 6. 

Copies of your results

If you would like your results to be sent to universities or other educational institutions, please enter the relevant addresses in the appropriate fields on the online registration. 

You can request the postage of up to five test report forms free of charge. 

6. CHOOSE YOUR PAYMENT OPTIONS

The IELTS test costs 205€. You can pay for your test in one of the following ways:

i)  Online through the online application form
ii)  Via bank transfer

Download our bank details (PDF 37kb) in order to make the payment

  • In the REFERENCE section of your payment please write: [IELTS / family name / city / test date] e.g. 'IELTS / Garcia / Madrid / 09Jan2014'
  • Once you have made the payment, please email the bank transfer receipt to your local IELTS Test Centre.

7.  COMPLETE YOUR REGISTRATION

If you were not able to upload your supporting documentation:

We need to receive all documents within two working days of your online registration. If we do not receive documents within two working days your application will be cancelled. 

We cannot process incomplete applications, so please make sure you have sent us all the necessary information.

8. AFTER YOU REGISTER

After registering you will receive:

  • An automatic email with your access codes to the Candidate area.
  • The confirmation of your registration with your access codes to the 20 hour free online course Road to IELTS (accessed via the Candidate Area)
  • We will send you an email one week before the test date giving you the details about your written test, speaking test date and time and information about the venue.  

For more information please contact your local IELTS Test Centre.

SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS

IELTS is designed to be a fair test and your English language ability will be assessed objectively, regardless of any special needs that you may have.

We can help you with any special arrangements you require for your test. For example, we offer support for people with visual impairments, hearing difficulties and dyslexia.

Please contact us three months in advance of your test date to find out how you can apply for special arrangements. 

REFUNDS

  • If you cancel your registration at least five weeks before the test date, you will receive a refund of the test fee, minus a €47 administration fee. In this case you will have to send us a signed copy of the IELTS refund form (PDF 1mb).
  • If you cancel your registration within five weeks or less of the test date, you will not receive a refund unless you can provide appropriate evidence to support your cancellation. We will need to receive your request and supporting evidence up to 5 days after the test date.

In this case you will have to send the following documents to your IELTS test centre:

  • a signed copy of the IELTS Refund Form (PDF 1mb).
  • a medical certificate* from a qualified medical practitioner, a death certificate, or a police report.

*Please note that the medical certificates must state an inability to appear for the test on the scheduled test date.

TEST DAY TRANSFERS

If you want to transfer to a different test date, you need to notify us at least five weeks prior to the test session you have registered for. To do this, please complete and submit a Test Date Transfer Form (PDF 74kb).

IELTS test date transfers will only be processed if there are places available for the new test date.

CHANGING MODULES

Candidates may change the test module (Academic/General Training) but any amendment must be made prior to your test date. Candidates will be asked to fill in the IELTS Module Change Form (PDF 66 kb).

IELTS modules changes will only be processed if there are places available for the new module requested.

Prepare

If you book your IELTS test with the British Council you can take advantage of our exclusive access to a wide range of learning materials – all designed to help you get the best possible score in your IELTS test. 

1. BRITISH COUNCIL IELTS COURSES AND WORKSHOPS

If you think that you would benefit from face-to-face preparation, we provide a number of courses taught by highly qualified English language teachers with an in-depth knowledge of the IELTS test. 

Find out more about our IELTS courses in Spain.

2. ROAD TO IELTS COURSE – 30 HOURS OF FREE ONLINE STUDY

Road to IELTS, written by the British Council, is a popular online self-study resource for Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking practice. Road to IELTS includes: 

  • Practice materials
  • Timed tests
  • Tutorials
  • Online scoring
  • Self-assessment tools so that you can measure your progress

You can try our Road to IELTS resources with 10 hours of free study right now.

When you register for an IELTS test with us you’ll be free to enjoy a further 20 hours of access to the learning materials. 

3. FURTHER BRITISH COUNCIL ONLINE PREPARATION MATERIALS

We also have a selection of online preparation materials for your Listening and Speaking tests.

PREPARE FOR THE IELTS LISTENING TEST

PREPARE FOR THE IELTS SPEAKING TEST

4. LEARNENGLISH WEBSITE

We have a website dedicated to learning the English language. It’s called LearnEnglish and it has a number of very useful English learning resources, such as:

  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Grammar and vocabulary tutorials
  • Business/work resources and a magazine
  • Games
  • IELTS tips
  • Community networking opportunities

You’ll find that learning materials on the site really support your preparation for your IELTS test, and they’ll give you more confidence when it comes to test day.

5. IELTS BOOKS

You can buy a selection of IELTS self-study books from us. Our books are written by some of the world’s leading English language experts.

Results

We understand that getting your results is important to you. We know you want them quickly, but it is equally important that we give you the score that correctly reflects your performance. 

You can expect your IELTS result to be available 13 calendar days after your test.

IELTS RESULTS ONLINE AND BY POST

You’ll be able to preview your results online from 13 days after the main test day. The system will not display results for more than 40 days from the test date.

Your IELTS results (also known as Test Report Form) will be posted to you by registered post within 2 working days after your results are available online. 

You will not be able to obtain your results over the phone, by email or by fax. 

Find out how to understand your IELTS score.

TEST REPORT FORMS (TRFs)

You will receive one copy of the Test Report Form. Unfortunately, replacements cannot be issued if you lose it.

TEST REPORT FORMS FOR INSTITUTIONS

We can also arrange for additional original copies (up to a maximum of five free of charge) to be posted to receiving institutions (e.g. universities, immigration officers, etc.). If you would like us to do this, please include the relevant addresses when you register, or you may also request this at any time during the two-year validity of your results by filling in the application for the issue of additional test reports (PDF 461kb)

If the addresses of the institutions were entered incorrectly when you registered you can change them by downloading the application for the issue of additional test reports (PDF 461kb)

Institutions may be able to view candidates’ scores through the IELTS Test Report Form (TRF) Verification Service. To do this they will need your Test Report Form number which can be found in the bottom right corner of your Test Report Form.

THE VALIDITY PERIOD OF YOUR TEST REPORT FORM

Institutions will not usually accept a Test Report Form that is more than two years old. After this time you will need to provide them with evidence that you have maintained or improved your English since taking the test. 

UNDERSTAND YOUR IELTS SCORES

IELTS provides results for all levels of English: there is no such thing as a pass or fail. You will be given a score from zero to nine for each part of the test – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking

Find out more about how to understand your IELTS scores and the nine-band system.

Please note that the TRF does not make any reference to the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). Find out how IELTS scores relate to the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

HOW TO QUERY YOUR SCORE

It is unusual for there to be a mistake in the marking. However, if you believe a mistake has occurred you can apply to our Enquiry on Results Service to have your test re-marked. This must be done within six weeks of the test date. You can choose which sections of the test you want to have re-marked. 

There is a fee for the Enquiry on Results Service, which will be refunded should your overall score increase as a result of the re-marking. The Enquiry on Results Service can take up to eight weeks to complete. 

In order to request an Enquiry on Results you must send the following documents to your IELTS Test Centre:

Please contact us for further details about how this service works.

CAN I RE-TAKE THE TEST?

You can take the test as many times as you wish. However, please note that to significantly improve your score it is necessary to undertake further study. IELTS research indicates that scores are unlikely to improve without further English language tuition.