Everything you need to know about booking your IELTS test.
Before you book, you need to make decisions about your preferred test date, which type of test you need to take, and whether you will sit a paper or computer-based test.
Before you book your test it’s important that you have decided:
Study at the undergraduate or postgraduate level or join a professional organisation in an English-speaking country/territory.
IELTS General Training
Train or study at below university degree level work or undertake work-related training in an English-speaking country/territory emigrate to an English-speaking country/territory.
IELTS for UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and IELTS Life Skills
IELTS for UKVI and IELTS Life Skills are UK government-approved Secure English Language Tests. They can be taken to support many categories of UK visa applications.
After you have decided which type of IELTS is right for you, you need to decide:
Computer or paper-based test?
IELTS test can now be taken on a computer and as well as on paper.
Test takers opting for IELTS on paper will take the Listening, Reading and Writing sections on a paper with either pen or HB-pencils. The Speaking test is carried out face-to-face with a trained IELTS examiner. The results of the paper-based IELTS test are announced after 13 calendar days.
Test takers opting for IELTS on a computer take the Listening, Reading and Writing sections on a computer. The Speaking test remains face-to-face with a trained IELTS examiner. Computer-based IELTS gives you the convenience to choose from more test dates and results are announced within 3-5 days.
When you have made those decisions, there are three stages to booking your IELTS test:
Booking your test
- Check the availability and select your test dates (you may need to select a separate test date for your Speaking test). Make sure that the test date available is for the test type you have chosen (for example, IELTS for UKVI may be on a different date to IELTS life skills).
- Create an account with the British Council.
- Book and pay for your IELTS test, to book an online IELTS test, click here.
If you are under 18, you will need your parent or guardian to book the test for you.
To continue with this booking you will need:
• An identification document of the test taker. Make sure you have a photocopy or a photo of the identification document at hand, as you will need to upload this as part of the booking process.
• A payment card (if online payment option is available and you wish to pay online)
What will it cost? (What is the test fee?)
The IELTS test (International English Language Testing System) is a global test and therefore the test fee varies slightly from country to country, but costs around £185 in the UK, 14,700 rupees in India and 4,750,000 VND in Viet Nam. Whether you decide on computer-delivered or paper-based testing, the test fee will be the same and you need to check it carefully at one of the test locations in your country.
Can I do an IELTS test online?
There are several IELTS test pilot programs as a result of the covid-19 pandemic but they vary from country to country. Talk to your IELTS test provider to find out what the options and test dates are in your country.
What happens next?
After you have booked your IELTS test…
You will receive emails confirming:
- the start time of your test and the venue address
- your Speaking Test date
- your access to the free online preparation courses: Road to IELTS Last Minute Version and IELTS WordReady.
More information about the test
Download and read our Information for Candidates to learn everything you need to know about the format, the different exam components and test results.
Read the terms and conditions for taking IELTS with the British Council.
The British Council can assist you if you have any accessibility needs that may impact your ability to take IELTS. Click here to find out more about our broad range of support tools and adjustments.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can I take the IELTS test online?
Yes, you can, although it is only available in some countries. Click here to see if you can take the test online from your country.
Can the IELTS exam be taken from home?
IELTS will launch IELTS Online in 2022 to give students the ability to take the test at their homes or other suitable location. Learn more here.