IELTS (The International English Language Testing System) is one of the most popular tests in the world and it is required for studying at university and certain professions in the UK, and also for UK visas and immigration. It is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English. On their website you can find information about the IELTS test format showing detailed information on each paper. There are two types of the IELTS test: Academic and General Training. When taking an IELTS test, you need to know what documents and items are allowed at the IELTS test center and in the examination room.
Documents and other items needed by candidates at the IELTS test
Your current valid passport is the only identification document that is accepted at the examination centre. Your identity will be checked when you arrive at the IELTS test location. It is compulsory for the entire examination i.e. listening/reading, writing and speaking sections. It is also the only identification document accepted at the registration process of IELTS examination candidates. The identification document you produce at the examination should be the same as the one you submitted when you made the application for the examination. Remember to take one colour photocopy of the front and back pages of the passport. Candidates without a valid ID will not be allowed in the examination centre for ILETS.
Items needed at the examination centre include
- 2 recent identical passport-sized photographs of yourself:
These photographs are needed in case the photograph that was uploaded in your registration form is not clear. If this happens, you will have to submit a fresh photograph at the initial ID check on the day of the examination.
- Printout of the confirmation e-mail received from the British Council to your registered email address after the registration for the IELTS exam. This printout is stamped at the entrance to the listening, reading, writing and speaking examinations.
- A few stationary items such as a black or blue ballpoint pen, a few pencils, a sharpener and an eraser.
- A small water bottle (500ml) that should be transparent and without any labels. However, this may not be necessary at some centres because arrangements will have been made to provide the exam candidates with drinking water/refreshments, and other essential requirements.
Apart from the above mentioned items nothing else needs be taken to the examination centers.
Taking the IELTS test center in London
In London, there are different test locations, which are accredited by the British Council. In order to find your test location easily, use the website transport for London.
When you arrive at the IELTS test center, ask for the examination room. Items such as mobile phones, watches and electronic devices are not allowed in the examination room, so avoid carrying them or they have to be left outside at a designated place before you enter the examination room. Mobile phones must be switched off and put in your bags before leaving them in the designated place.
During the test, test takers will only be allowed to have a pen or pencil, an eraser and your ID on your desk. If you have any questions during the test, put your hand up to ask for help. If you need to go to the bathroom during the test, you need to raise your hand to attract the attention of the invigilator. Try to do this without disturbing the other candidates.
When you take the Listening test, make sure you can hear the recording. If you cannot, then raise your hand and tell the invigilator about this. Try not to forget that you will have 10 minutes after the Listening section to transfer the answers on your answer sheet but you will not have 10 minutes after the Reading section, so please ensure that you write your answers on your Reading answer sheet as you complete each section.
You are NOT allowed to remove from the examination room any question papers, answer scripts, working papers or any other materials you are given. If you contravene any of the above rules your test result will be withheld and the institution or professional body you may have nominated to receive your results will be notified.