IELTS rules and regulations

IELTS Terms & Conditions

To register for IELTS, you are asked to accept the rules and conditions given below. Please read them carefully.

IELTS test Terms & Conditions
You must:
Provide proof of your identity (National Identity Card of an EU country or Passport) at registration. Please be aware that driving licences, residence permits or other foreign identity cards such as the NIE or TIE are not valid forms of identification.
Inform the centre of any changes to your identity document before the test date. If you do not do this you will not be allowed to take the test and you will not be eligible for a refund or transfer.
Bring the same identity document on the test day as the one recorded in your application. If you do not do this you will not be allowed to take the test and you will not be eligible for a refund or transfer.
Arrive at the centre before the scheduled test start time. If you arrive late, you will not be allowed to take the test and you will not be eligible for a refund or transfer.
Leave all personal belongings in the designated belongings area. The only items you may bring into the test room are your approved identity document, a transparent bottle of water without a label, an HB pencil, pencil sharpener and eraser. All electronic devices and all watches must be left in the belongings area and must be switched off. You may be electronically scanned for devices at any time during the test day. Any candidate who breaches these conditions will not receive an IELTS test result or be eligible for a refund or transfer. While the centre will take all reasonable measures to secure your items in the belongings area, they cannot be held responsible for any loss.
Consent for your identity to be verified both at test registration and on test day. This may include:
  • Having your photograph taken. You will be required to temporarily remove any covering from your face. Any candidate who refuses to have a photograph taken will not be allowed to sit the test and will not be entitled to a refund. The photograph taken by the centre will appear on your Test Report Form.
  • Providing a sample of your signature.
  • Having your finger scan taken.
Keep only the following items on your desk: your identity document, pencil(s), eraser(s), and a bottle of water (label-free).
Tell the invigilator at once if you think you have not been given the correct question paper or if the question paper is incomplete or illegible.
Raise your hand if you need to ask the invigilator something. Candidates may not ask for, and will not be given, any explanation of the test questions.
Attend all four components of the test. If you do not attend all four components, you will not receive an IELTS Test Report Form.
Inform the invigilator on the day of the test if you believe that your performance may be affected by ill health, by the way in which the test is delivered at the centre or for any other reason. If you have a complaint relating to the delivery of the test, you must submit your complaint to the test centre before you leave the centre on test day. All complaints will be dealt with in line with the Complaint Policy available on
Leave all test materials in the test room at the end of the test. The test materials include question papers, Speaking booklets, answer sheets and rough paper. Any candidate who attempts to remove test materials from the test room will not receive an IELTS test result.
You must not:
Talk to or disturb other candidates once the test has started.
Lend anything to, or borrow anything from, another candidate during the test.
Eat or smoke in the test room.
Leave the test room without the permission of the invigilator.
Leave your seat until all test materials have been collected and you have been told you can leave.
Engage in any form of malpractice which may damage the integrity and security of the IELTS test. Malpractice includes, but is not limited to:
  • Attempting to cheat in any way, including using notes of any kind from any source.
  • Helping another candidate to cheat.
  • Impersonating another candidate or having another candidate impersonate you.
  • Copying the work of another candidate.  
  • Disrupting the test in any way.
  • Reproducing any part of the test in any medium.
  • Attempting to alter the data on the Test Report Form.
Notice to candidates
Candidates engaging in malpractice will not be allowed to complete the test and will not receive an IELTS test result. Candidates engaging in malpractice may be banned from taking the test in future, and may be liable to legal action. Candidates engaging in malpractice may be reported to regulatory authorities globally.
Your IELTS test result
Results are issued by centres, usually 13 days after the test (or 1-5 days after the test, for computer-delivered tests).
You will receive only one copy of your Test Report Form. Replacement copies are not issued in the event of loss or damage.
The Test Report Form will be issued in your name as it appears on the identity document used at registration. If you find that your personal details are incorrect on the Test Report Form, please contact us. Documentation must be provided to verify the correct details. If you change your name after receiving your Test Report Form, the name will not be changed on the Test Report Form.
Your result may not be issued 13 days (paper-based) or 1-5 days (computer-delivered) after the test if the IELTS Test Partners decide that it is necessary to review any matter associated with your test or the administration of your test. To assist any investigation, you may be required to provide writing and speaking samples. In exceptional circumstances you may be required to re-take one or more IELTS components.
Your result may be cancelled after it has been issued if any irregularity is identified. You may be required to re-take one or more IELTS components.
Your result will be disclosed to the Recognising Organisations which you nominated in your application or to which you applied with your Test Report Form, for the purpose of allowing those organisations to verify the result or to carry out any enquiries in relation to suspected malpractice.  
If any of the data on the Test Report Form provided by you or your agent to Recognising Organisations has been altered in any way, your original test result may be cancelled.
Candidates are not permitted access to the work they produce in the IELTS test.  
  1. I acknowledge that the IELTS test is jointly owned by British Council, IELTS Australia Pty Ltd (ABN 84 008 664 766), which is wholly owned by IDP Education Ltd (‘IDP: IELTS Australia’) and Cambridge Assessment English (part of the University of Cambridge), collectively referred to as the IELTS Test Partners.
  2. I acknowledge that I have read the IELTS Information for Candidates booklet.
  3. I acknowledge that I have read the ‘IELTS Notice to Candidates’ in my Application Form and agree to abide by IELTS test terms and conditions.
  4. I understand that there may be local terms and conditions that I must comply with and that the centre will provide details of these on request.
  5. I understand that if the details on my Application Form are not completed my application may not be processed. I further understand that completing and submitting this form does not guarantee registration on my preferred test date or at my preferred test location. I understand that my registration will be confirmed in writing by the test centre.
  6. I certify that the information in my application is complete, true and accurate.
  7. I understand that my test result cannot be used for United Kingdom Visas and Immigration (UKVI) application purposes and that I will not be eligible for a refund if I subsequently find that I require an IELTS for UKVI test result.
Personal Information
I understand that:
  1. It is necessary for my personal information to be collected and processed in order for me to take the IELTS test, to verify my identity and to receive my results. This personal information is collected and securely stored when I apply for and when I take the IELTS test and is used by the IELTS Test Partners for the purpose of the IELTS test.
  2. My personal information, including, without limitation, test performance or score data and my test result may be disclosed by the IELTS Test Partners to Recognising Organisations to which I apply and to governments (including visa processing authorities) for the purpose of allowing these organisations to verify my test result.
  3. My personal information may be processed in an anonymous form by the IELTS Test Partners for statistical and research purposes.
  4. My photograph will be taken by the test centre on test day and will appear on my Test Report Form. This photograph will be provided to any Recognising Organisations or government authorities to which I apply, to allow these organisations to verify my test result.
  5. I will be required to verify my identity on test day by providing the identity document specified by the test centre. I may also be requested to confirm my identity on test day by having a finger scan taken. The finger scan is taken as a Binary Large Object (BLOB), and no image of my fingerprint will be held. This biometric data will be held for 60 days after my test and will not be disclosed to any entity except the IELTS Test Partners.
  6. My Speaking test will be recorded. In the event the test does not record I will be required to re-take the Speaking test. An observer may attend my Speaking test as part of the examiner monitoring process.
  7. I may be filmed for security and quality assurance purposes when registering for the test and during the test. The video footage will be for held for 60 days after my test and may be used for audit or investigation purposes.
  8. I can access further details on how the IELTS Test Partners use my personal information (including how long it is retained in different circumstances and how I can exercise my rights) at
Test Fees, Cancellations, Transfers and Refunds
I understand that:
  1. I will be charged the full test fee upon registration.
  2. Cancellations: If you cancel your test at least 35 days before the test date you will receive a refund of the test fee, minus a 25% administrative fee. If you cancel your registration within 34 days or less of the test date, you will not receive a refund unless you can provide appropriate evidence to support your cancellation (a medical certificate from a qualified medical practitioner indicating a serious medical condition that prevents you from attending or performing normally on test day; evidence of a domestic crisis, bereavement, trauma or other forms of significant hardship; evidence of unavoidable legal or military obligation; or civil unrest or extreme weather). If you want to do this, please complete and submit a Request for Refund Form along with the supporting evidence. We will need to receive your request and supporting evidence no later than five days after the test date. A 25% administrative fee applies.
  3. Transfers: If you need to request a test date transfer, you must do so at least 35 days before the test. You must select a new test date, where available, within the next three months of your original test date. If your preferred test date is more than three months after your original test date, your transfer will be treated as a cancellation. You can only transfer the same booking once. Any transfer requests received within 34 days or less of the test will be treated as cancellations.
Test Integrity, Security and Malpractice
I understand that:
  1. I must attend all four test components in order to receive a test result and any exception to this must be approved in advance by the test centre.
  2. The IELTS Test Partners have a responsibility to all candidates and Recognising Organisations to ensure the highest confidence in IELTS test results. The IELTS Test Partners may therefore be required to withhold test results temporarily or permanently, or to cancel test results which have been issued, if they consider those results to be unreliable for any reason.
  3. My test result may not be issued 13 days (paper-based) or 1-5 days (computer-delivered) after the test if any of the IELTS Test Partners consider it necessary to review any matter associated with my test or the administration of my test, including making enquiries as to whether any rules or regulations have been breached. I may be required to provide additional samples of my writing and speaking for the purposes of assisting any investigation before or after the test. In exceptional circumstances I may be required to re-take one or more IELTS components.
  4. If I am suspected of engaging in any form of malpractice, or do anything that might damage the integrity and security of IELTS, I may not receive a test result, my test fee will not be refunded and I may be banned from taking the IELTS test in the future. If I am banned I will receive a notification stating the length of the ban. If I am subject to a ban and I register to take the test, I will not receive a test result and I will not be entitled to a refund. If a result is issued to me while I am subject to a ban, this result will be cancelled and I will not be entitled to a refund.
  5. Details of any proven or suspected malpractice may be provided to Recognising Organisations, including governments (including visa processing authorities) and appropriate regulatory authorities, and centrally to the IELTS Test Partners. In instances where malpractice has been proven, I may be liable to prosecution.
  6. The work I produce in the IELTS test remains the property of the IELTS Test Partners and will not be released to me. In cases of proven or suspected  malpractice my work may be provided to relevant authorities.
Disclaimer: The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is designed to be one of many factors used by academic institutions, government agencies, professional bodies and employers in determining whether a test taker can be admitted as a student or be considered for employment or for citizenship purposes. IELTS is not designed to be the sole method of determining admission or employment for the test taker. IELTS is made available worldwide to all persons, regardless of age, gender, race, nationality or religion, but it is not recommended to persons under 16 years of age.

British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English and any other party involved in creating, producing, or delivering IELTS shall not be liable for any direct, incidental, consequential, indirect, special, punitive, or similar damages arising out of access to, use of, acceptance by, or interpretation of the results by any third party, or any errors or omissions in the content thereof.
Contacting Us

To cancel a Test Registration, change your Test Date or request a refund, you must contact Certify Education & Assessment in writing by sending an email to You may wish to keep a copy of your cancellation notice for your own records.
By booking your IELTS test, you agree to the IELTS Test Regulations and IELTS Terms and Conditions above.