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IELTS Preparation: Key facts for test day

IELTS Preparation: Key facts for test day


IELTS is a challenging test. You can reduce the stress 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, and some do’s and don’ts.

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.

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.)

Arrive at your IELTS test venue 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.

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.

Do’s and don’ts in the test

  • 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 the page on the right to sign up for more useful IELTS key facts.

Final thought

Most of this advice is relevant whether you are doing paper-based or computer-delivered IELTS. If you are taking the test on the computer, however, you need to know exactly what to expect as it will be very different from the paper-based tests you are used to from your school days. Click here to find out more.


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