About Test Day

For computer-delivered tests.

IELTS assesses 4 skills: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.  Each is worth 25% of your final mark. 

Try to answer all questions. If you get an answer wrong, it is not subtracted from your score.

Find sample test questions here.



Length of Section


Listen to 4 recordings and answer 40 questions about them.  Note that each recording is only played once.

You will hear a variety of native accents, including Canadian, American, English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, Australian, South African, and New Zealander.

30 minutes


Read some texts of mixed length and answer 40 questions in total.

60 minutes


Answer 2 short essay-writing tasks.  Complete both.  There is no choice of questions.

60 minutes


You will have a face-to-face interview with a certified IELTS examiner. 

The examiner will ask you general questions about yourself and everyday, conversational topics.

20 minutes

The start time of your computer test is provided on your confirmation email. The schedule below does not include specific start times for each section, as they will vary depending on the time of your test.

Please check the table below or visit our Help Centre for more information.



Important to Remember

Arrive at least 30 minutes before the first section* of your test.

*For most candidates, the Listening Test is first. However, you might have your Speaking Test first depending on the time you selected. 

Arrival and Check In

  • Present your passport or PR card when you arrive.
  • We will take a finger scan and photo. Learn about how we handle your data here. 
  • Remove watches and jewellery, switch off your phone, and check your belongings in to our secure storage area.  
  • Take a seat in the designated area.  Now is a good time to use the washroom, as there are no specified bathroom breaks during the test.
If you arrive less than 15 minutes before the test, you will be considered absent from the test and will not receive a refund or transfer. 

15 minutes before the start of your test

Pre-test Checks

  • We will provide important instructions and rules for your test.
  • We will assign you a seat (if you are taking the Listening Test first), or take you to the right room (if your Speaking Test is first).

Please keep your approved ID with you and bring it into your test room. 

Duration: 30 mins

IELTS Listening Test

Type answers directly into the computer.  No extra time is needed to transfer answers.

Duration: 60 mins

IELTS Reading Test

Type all answers directly onto the computer. 

Duration: 60 mins

IELTS Writing Test

Complete both writing tasks.  There is no choice of questions.  Word count is available on-screen (no spell-check or grammar-check).

Duration: 20 minute time slot

Your Speaking time slot is selected by you when you book the test.

IELTS Speaking Test

You will have a face-to-face interview with an IELTS examiner.  Check-in at least 30 minutes before your speaking test, if you are not already at the test centre.

  1. Your approved ID document (passport or Canadian PR card). It must be a valid, original, physical document. Photocopies or non-approved ID documents will not be accepted on test day. Find out more about accepted ID documents here. Without your pre-approved ID on test day, you cannot take the test and will not be offered a transfer or refund.
  2. If you are 17 years old or younger on the day of your test, you will need to bring a Consent Form for Minors, signed by both you and your parent/guardian. Click here for more information.
  3. Water in a clear colourless bottle (recommended). Remove all labels and writing from the bottle.

Can I bring anything else into the test room? Please contact us in advance if you have an item or device that must stay with you. Certain personal items may be allowed if they do not cause disturbance/noise or are medically required, but we recommend communicating with us before your test to check.

Do I need to bring any equipment? No, everything will be provided, including rough paper and a pencil to make notes.

Where can I put my things during the test? Small personal valuables can be checked in and locked away during the test. Leave large valuables (like laptops) at home – there is no secure place to store them. Bigger belongings like bags and coats can be left outside the test room. We do not accept any responsibility for any lost personal items.

Find out more about your test day.

  • If you are late or absent without reason: If you arrive less than 15 minutes before the test, you will be considered absent from the test and will not receive a refund or transfer. 
  • If you miss your test due to an emergency: In some situations, you can apply for Special Consideration due to an emergency. If your application is approved, we will transfer your booking to the next suitable test date. You will be asked to provide evidence that you missed your test due to a serious situation within 2 days after your test. A change to your personal or work circumstances is not accepted as an emergency.

Check your confirmation email carefully for your test start time and arrive at least 30 minutes early.  Leave enough time, and plan your journey in advance. 

Need more help?

Are You Ready?

Speak to the ILAC IELTS team to help you plan your test.