Information and advice about your IELTS test day

If you are taking IELTS remotely at home or elsewhere, you can find out more about the setup and requirements in our IELTS Online section

The information below only applies if you take your IELTS tests at a test centre.

You might feel a bit nervous about your IELTS test day. We put together some information to help you understand what will happen on the day of your test so that things go smoothly as possible for you.

You will need to arrive at a suitable time for your IELTS test. Your test confirmation e-mail will provide you with timings and procedures for the test day. If you arrive late, you may not be allowed to take the test.

Make sure you are prepared and have something to eat and drink beforehand. You will not be allowed to take food into the test room, and you will only be allowed to take water in a transparent bottle.

If you have asked for special arrangements because of a disability or other conditions, adjustments will be made for you on the test day. Please contact us six weeks in advance about these arrangements.

How long does the test take?

The Listening, Reading and Writing tests take 2 hours 40 minutes and there are no breaks between the parts of the test.

Your Speaking test will take around 11-14 minutes and it may be on the same day as the other sections of the test, or up to a week before or after.

In the IELTS on computer Listening test, the timings are slightly different from IELTS on paper. This is because IELTS on paper requires test takers to transfer answers to an answer sheet.

However, this becomes redundant when answering directly on a computer. The timing of the Listening test is between 30 – 34 minutes for IELTS on computer.

What do I need to bring into the test room?

You need to bring:

  • your identification document which you registered for the test (Turkish National Identity Card or passport)
  • a pencil and a pen (a pencil will be needed for Listening and Reading)
  • an eraser

We recommend you bring:

  • a transparent bottle of water.

You will not be able to take anything else into the test room.

Switch off your mobile phone and any other electronic devices. You will be asked to place these with other personal belongings outside the test room.

What do I do with my belongings on the test day?

There will be a secure area where you need to leave all your belongings. The British Council is not responsible for loss or damage to your personal belongings at the test venue. Therefore, we strongly recommend leaving valuables like mobile phones and computers at home.

When is my ID checked?

The IELTS test location staff will check your identity when you arrive at the test venue.

Please bring the same valid identification document (Turkish National Identity Card or passport) you used when you booked your test. 

If you cannot provide the same valid ID that you used during registration, you will not be able to sit the test.

You will not be allowed to take the IELTS with a driver's license, Blue Card, Residence Permit, Work Permit, Lawyer Identification Card, expired national identity card or passport, and a Turkish National ID card without a photo.

When will I get my test day photograph taken?

Your photograph will be taken on test day as an additional security measure and will appear on your Test Report Form.

What happens at the end of the test?

Stay in your seat until the test supervisor gives you permission to leave the room.

If you think that there have been any issues that may have affected your performance, tell an invigilator straightaway.

If you want to raise an issue or make a complaint, please ask your invigilator for a Test Day Incident Form to complete.

What if I need assistance during the test?

If you have any questions during the test, raise your hand to ask for help.

Before the Listening test starts, check that you can hear the sound properly. Raise your hand straightaway and let the invigilator know if you cannot hear the recording.

In IELTS on paper test, you will have 10 minutes to fill in the answer sheet after the Listening section. However, in IELTS on computer test, you will only have 2 minutes to check your answers after the Listening section.

There will be no extra time given after the Reading and Writing sections. Therefore, make sure you write your answers on the answer sheet within the given time for each section.

If you need to use the restroom during the test, raise your hand to get the attention of the exam invigilator. Do not disturb other test takers. Please note that it is not possible to use the restroom during the Listening test.

The British Council takes your security seriously

Please note that security at a British Council IELTS test is very important. As an added measure, all participants will be required to have their photograph taken by IELTS administrative staff on their test day. Test centres also take fingerprint scans.

All watches irrespective of their style and age are not allowed in the test room. You will be required to leave your watch with your belongings in the secure baggage area. There will be a clock at the test venue.