IELTS is a challenging test. You can reduce the stress by familiarising yourself with all the different task types, and also by making sure that you understand all the rules and have all the practicalities under control for the test day. Here are four key points you should know, and some do’s and don’ts.
1. Admin for test day
On your test days (both for the written papers and the IELTS Speaking test), you will need to produce the identification document which you used to fill out your IELTS test application form. You might also need two identical passport-sized photos. Check your test documentation to see if this applies to you.
2. Stationery for test day
You are only allowed to take pens, pencils and erasers into the test. Remember to fill in your answer paper for the Listening and Reading tests with a pencil, as the processing machine cannot read ink. (This applies to paper-based IELTS and not computer-delivered IELTS.)
3. Arrive with plenty of time to spare
What is plenty of time? Enough to allow you to calm yourself down and let the panic of trying to find the right building and the right room subside. Plenty of time means you are fully focused on the test when you enter the test hall.
4. Time is points… precious points
The clock does not stop for you to go to the washroom. The time you spend in the washroom is time you are not spending on your test. Those minutes could make all the difference to you getting the IELTS band score you need. So make sure you are comfortable and not distracted before you go into the test hall. (Click here to see other ways you can give yourself the best chance in the IELTS test.)
Do’s and don’ts in the test
Here are a few other points you should be aware of:
- Do switch off your mobile before going into the test room. If it rings, you may be disqualified.
- Don’t leave your seat when you have finished your test; wait until you are dismissed by the invigilators.
- Do know that you are allowed to ask the invigilator if you cannot hear the Listening audio properly.
- Don’t ask the invigilator if you don’t understand the question.
Where can I find out more?
These useful facts come from Clarity’s IELTS Study Guides. There are six of these — on IELTS Preparation, Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking and Test Day — available free of charge here. Scroll to the bottom of that page to sign up for more useful IELTS key facts.
Most of this advice is relevant whether you are doing IELTS on paper or on computer. If you are taking the test on the computer, however, you need to know about a few minor differences and the best ways to prepare for your test. Click here to find out more.