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IELTS Academic

IELTS Academic measures whether your level of English language proficiency is suitable for an academic environment.

Take this test if you want to:

  • study at an undergraduate level or postgraduate level anywhere in the world
  • apply for Student Route visa (previously Tier 4) at a university that is a Student Route (previously Tier 4) Sponsor in the UK
  • work in an English-speaking country for a professional organisation (for example registration with the GMC).


IELTS General Training

IELTS General Training measures English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context.

Take this test if you want to:

  • study or train below degree level
  • work or undertake work related training in an English-speaking country
  • emigrate to an English-speaking country
  • get another job in your own country.
  • Paper or computer test?

    At the University of Reading centre, you can now choose if you would like to take your IELTS test on paper or on computer.

    The test consists of four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The Listening, Reading and Writing sections of all IELTS tests are completed on the same day. We also hold the Speaking test on the same day (unless indicated otherwise at the point of booking).

    All aspects of the test are exactly the same, whether it is taken on paper or on computer, including:

    • content
    • timings
    • question types
    • scoring
    • speaking test delivery
    • test report forms
    • results verification.
    • For more information on the format of the IELTS test, please refer to the IELTS Information for Candidates booklet.

      How IELTS is scored

      IELTS results are designed to be simple and easy to understand. They are reported as band scores on a scale from 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest).

      A score is given for each test section - Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. These individual scores are then averaged and rounded to produce an overall band score.

      Find out more about the way IELTS is scored.

      Test Format

      The test consists of four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.

      The Listening, Reading and Writing sections of the test are held on Saturday morning. No latecomers are allowed into the test room once the test has started.

      Interviews for the Speaking section are either held on Saturday afternoon or on the Friday before. You will be notified of the interview time approximately 5 days before the test. If you wish to request a speaking test on the same day as the main test please email (only requests submitted at least 2 weeks prior to the test date will be considered). Spaces are limited and same day speaking is not guaranteed.

      For more information on the format of the IELTS test, please refer to the  IELTS Information for Candidates booklet.

      Ensuring Quality & Fairness

      Writing and Speaking tests are assessed by trained and certificated examiners.

      All examiners are qualified English language specialists, with substantial relevant teaching experience, working to clearly defined criteria and subject to extensive quality control procedures.

      Routine analysis is conducted on each test version to ensure that the performances of test materials, test takers and examiners are in line with expected standards.

      If you have a complaint or feedback regarding the conduct of an IELTS test at our centre then please contact us via . All complaints will receive a response within 72 hrs. If you would like further information, or details of how to contact the British Council directly please visit: IELTS Complaints Policy

      Find out more about examiner recruitment, qualifications and monitoring

      Test takers who feel that their scores do not reject their performance may apply to have their tests re-marked by a senior examiner. For more details of the re-mark process, please see our IELTS Fees and useful forms page.


      When you apply for an IELTS test you will obtain access to the 30 hours of free preparation materials. Details will be sent to you via email once your IELTS test place is secure.

      For further preparation materials, please refer to the following websites:

      There is also an IELTS Prep App which can be downloaded for free via App Store or Play store

      The IELTS Partners are delighted to announce the UK launch of the IELTS progress check in the UK. Progress Check offers official practice tests which are marked by IELTS experts. Test takers receive detailed feedback in 5 working days.

      IELTS Information for candidates 

      For more information on the format of the IELTS test, please refer to the IELTS Information for Candidates booklet (PDF-3.9MB)


How to apply for an IELTS

Information on how to apply for an IELTS test, including ID requirements and special arrangements.


What to do on test day?

How to find the IELTS test centre, what you need to bring and what you can expect from the day.


Receiving your results

You can see your results online, 13 days (IELTS on Paper) and 3-5 days (IELTS on Computer) after the test.

We also post a copy of your test results (the Test Report form, TRF) to the address stated on your application.