Frequently asked questions ©

British Council Asset bank


'What is IELTS?'

The international English language testing system (IELTS) is the world’s most popular English language proficiency test for higher education and global migration, with over 2,9 million tests taken in the last year.'

'What is the test format and how long will it take?'

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.

'What help is available for disabled candidates?'

Test centres 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, talk to your local test centre when registering. Centres may need three months to organise arrangements.

'How much does it cost?'

For information on the price of the test, please visit our online registration system. Transfers made in any other currency will not be accepted, only Turkish Liras will appear in our bank account. 

'How many test locations are there in Turkey?'

The British Council offers IELTS tests in five locations across Turkey: İstanbul, Ankara, İzmir, Adana, Antalya, Erzurum and Karabük. We strongly recommend that you register online at least two months prior to the test date.  

'What is the test availability?'

You can monitor the availabilities of exams for each date and location on our website. You can only apply for the available dates designated on our website. You cannot apply for the test after the deadline.  

'How often can I take the test?'

You may take the IELTS test as many times as you like.

'What is the main difference between Academic and General Modules?'

IELTS has two versions – Academic and General Training. The Academic test is for those who want to study at a tertiary level in an English-speaking country. The General Training test is for those who want to do work experience or training programs, secondary school or migrate to an English-speaking country. In addition to the IELTS General Training and IELTS Academic Tests, UKVI IELTS and IELTS Life Skills test will be available for candidates as of 6 April 2015.  For more information, please visit Take IELTS website.

Every organisation sets its own entry requirements. In some cases both versions of IELTS may be accepted. Check with the organisation you wish to apply to before you book your test. 

'Who accepts IELTS score?'

IELTS is accepted by more than 10,000 organisations worldwide. These include universities, immigration departments, government agencies, professional bodies and multinational companies. 


'Which documents are required for application?'

You need upload your ID or passport to the online registration system. Please note that only valid ID (should not be included old photo) or Passport (should not be expired) are accepted. 

'How long does it take to get confirmation e-mail?'

After registering you will receive an automatic IELTS application summary e-mail including your reference number which you need to use for your payment. In the following few days you will receive a confirmation e-mail ten days prior to your exam date. After receiving this mail, you will be able to access to the free online course: Road to IELTS

Your exam venue, time and oral exam details are announced on our website four days prior to your exam date, on Tuesdays after 18.00

You can access the venue and time details of both your written and oral exams through this link by entering the ID No. that you have used in your application.

For more information please contact our Exams Services

'What if I need to postpone or cancel my application?'

If you postpone or cancel your application more than 5 weeks before the test date, you will receive full refund without any cut. If you postpone or cancel your exam within 5 weeks of the test date, you will be charged the full fee unless you have a medical reason. If you provide a medical certificate in the following 5 days after the exam date, you will receive a refund minus the local administrative cost which is 275 TL.


'What if I am absent or sick on the test day?'

If you are away on the test day with no prior notice, you will lose your full fee. However, if you provide a medical certificate within 3 days of the test date, you will receive a refund minus the local administrative cost (275 TL).

'Is the IELTS test completed in one day?'

The Listening, Reading and Writing components of the test are always completed immediately after each other and with no break. Depending on the test centre, the Speaking test may be taken up to 3 days either before or after the test date.

‘Can I change my speaking test date?’ 

Candidates can choose their speaking test date for IELTS; however, test centre have the right to change the dates. You  can transfer your speaking test date without any charge.  In order to transfer the speaking test date, candidates need to contact their test centre in advance.  

Speaking dates for IELTS for UKVI and IELTS Life Skills exams are assigned by the test centre. If you have any serious health problem with a medical certificate or coming from a different country to take this test, you can let us know before the speaking test dates are assigned.

'What can I bring into the examination room?'

Only pens, pencils and erasers. 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. All watches are banned from the test rooms for all test components. Mobile phones and pagers must be switched off and placed with personal belongings in the area designated by the supervisor. If you do not switch off your phone/pager or keep it on you, you will be disqualified.

'Which part do I take first?'

You do the Listening test first following by the Reading and Writing components of the test. Depending on the test centre, the Speaking test may be taken up to 3 days either before or after the test date.

'What kinds of accents can be heard in the Listening and Speaking tests?'

As IELTS is an international test, a variety of English accents are used in both of these tests.

'Does the Listening tape provide instructions and pauses?'

Yes. At the beginning, you hear instructions and a sample question. Then you read section 1 questions, listen to section 1 and answer the questions.

'Is there a similar period of 10 minutes in the Reading test to transfer answer?'

No. The Reading test is one hour, and you must write all your answers on the answer sheet in this time.

'Can I use a pen for the Listening and Reading tests?'

No. You must do it in pencil. The answer sheet is scanned by a computer which cannot read pen.

'Can I make notes on the Listening and Reading question papers?'

Yes. The IELTS Examiner will not see your question paper.

'What is the Speaking test?'

The Speaking test is a conversation with a certified IELTS Examiner. The Speaking test is made up of three sections. It is recorded on an audiocassette or a digital recorder. 

'What is Test Day Photography?'

Security at IELTS tests is important to us. Certain test locations have introduced a new procedure for enhancing IELTS test security that involves taking and authenticating photographs of test takers on the test day. Under this new procedure, IELTS administration staff will take an individual, passport style, photograph of all candidates present on the test day. The photograph will normally be taken on the day of the speaking test.

'Can I refuse to participate in the test day photography system?'

IELTS Test day photography is an important global initiative which requires all candidates’ cooperation and participation. If you have any questions, or this causes inconvenience on the test day, please notify our staff immediately. Refusal to follow our security procedures may result in candidates not being allowed to sit the test, and not be eligible for transfer, cancellation refund of any kind.

'Do I still need to submit another photo given that my photo is already taken on the test day?'

No, you are not required to submit  photograph(s) along with your application form, whether offline or online. Your passport/ID must have photograph taken within 6 months or the photograph on your passport/ID should not belong to your childhood period.

'How long will the test day photo take?'

It takes 30 seconds per candidate on average to take the test day photo. The process is usually conducted in the speaking test venue; however this may vary due to different venue locations. Candidates will be provided with instructions advising them to arrive at the test venue prior to their interview schedule to have their photograph taken.

'What do I need for the Speaking test?'

You must bring the same identification documents you supplied on your IELTS Application Form and used for the rest of the test. Your ID will be checked before you enter the interview room.

'How are the tests marked?'

IELTS uses a 9-band scoring system to measure and report test scores in a consistent manner. You receive individual band scores for Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking and an Overall Band Score on a band scale from one to nine.

'Who sets the ‘pass’ mark for the IELTS test?'

There is no pass or fail in IELTS. Scores are graded on the 9-band system. Each educational institution or organisation sets its own level of IELTS scores to meet its individual requirements.


'How long does any IELTS score last?'

Test Report Forms are valid for two years. You can take as many as IELTS test in a year. You can use any result that you wish.  

'How can I send my test result to institutions?'

You can request additional Test Report Form anytime during the 2 years of validity. Copies cannot be sent to candidates but IELTS will forward a Test Report Form to your relevant institution or embassy. Up to five electronic copies will be sent free of charge only if the institution is registered on IELTS electronic system. Sending hard copy of TRF will cost courier charge; fees are changing according to the location that you want to send. Contact us or find out more about the Test Report Form. 

The candidates who have not provided their exam details fully will not receive their test result forms. Exam details to be included are; date of exams, city where exam was taken, candidate number and exam module.

'When will I receive my test results?'

Your Test Report Form will be posted to your address that you provide in the exam date 13 days after your test date. Keep your Test Report Form in a secure place as you only receive one copy.

'What if I lose my Test Report Form?'

IELTS Test Report Forms are valid for two years. You can contact us to get a new copy if you have lost it. However, additional copies cannot be sent to candidates. British Council will forward a copy of your Test Report Form to the relevant institution or embassy. Please contact us at for further details.

'How soon can I re-sit the test?'

There is no limit on sitting the test. However, IELTS recommends you do additional study before taking the test again. You can also improve your skills by using the IELTS Official Practice Materials. Please contact us to get a copy of your own.

'What if I feel my test result is wrong?'

You can apply for an ‘enquiry on results’ procedure at your test centre within six weeks of the test date. You must pay an enquiry fee, which is fully refunded if your band score changes. Note that IELTS Examiners and markers follow strict assessment guidelines and are regularly monitored. The IELTS testing process has the highest quality control procedures. Please send us an email to find more about enquiry on results.

'What if I am delayed by circumstances beyond my control?'

You should contact the British Council as soon as possible. The test centre may offer you options such as transfer or refund. 

'If I withdraw from the speaking test, and fail to participate in the test day photography, can I still get the TRF?'

This is an important identification authentication system to enhance IELTS test security. If you withdraw from the speaking test, and failed to attend test day photography before completing the session, the IELTS administrator will not issue the Test Result Form (TRF) to you. If you decide to withdraw from the speaking test but would still like to receive your TRF, you must come to the speaking test venue to complete the test day photography procedure.