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IELTS Frequently Asked Questions

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What is IELTS?

IELTS, the International English Language Testing System, is designed to assess the language ability of candidates who need to study or work where English is the language of communication.

Candidates are tested in listening, reading, writing and speaking. The tests are designed to cover the full range of ability from non-user to expert user, with each module consisting of tasks of ascending levels of difficulty.

IELTS is jointly owned by British Council; IDP:IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment .

Where and when can I take an IELTS test?

There are currently more that 400 IELTS test centres in over 125 countries world-wide.

There are currently 45 test centres in the United Kingdom and Cardiff University is a British Council IELTS test centre.

Test dates are scheduled throughout the year. The test is available at Cardiff University at least once each month.  Please see our test dates page for further information.

Where is the test venue?

The test is held at various locations across the University campus. Candidates are provided with details and a location map two weeks before their test date.

Should I take the academic or general training module?

IELTS is available in two formats – Academic and General Training.

The Academic module is for candidates wishing to study at undergraduate or postgraduate levels, and for those seeking professional registration in the UK. It is also a requirement for some professions in other English-speaking countries.

The General Training module is for candidates wishing to migrate to an English-speaking country (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK), and for those wishing to train or study at below degree level.

Each recognising organisation sets its own entry requirements. If you are in any doubt as to which module you should take, you should contact the organisation you are applying to in order to check their requirements. Test centres are not responsible for providing this information.

What help is available if I have special requirements?

If you require a modified version of the test, for example in Braille, you must give the test centre three months’ notice. This notice period is necessary for the modified version of the test to be prepared. If your circumstances require only special administrative arrangements to be made, such as extra time, you must give the test centre six weeks’ notice.

Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

How do I apply for a test?

You should apply for a test as soon as possible before the test date by sending:

  • a completed application form
  • two recent passport-sized photographs (you must not be wearing glasses)
  • a photocopy of your passport/national ID (including visa)
  • the test fee, £145 for 2014

On the day of the IELTS test you must present an original passport. Photocopies are not acceptable. You will not be able to sit your exam without a valid passport.

If you are an EU citizen, you may use your National ID card as an alternative to your passport. Please note that this only applies to EU citizens.

When you attend the test you will have to present the same identity document that you used for your application. This is the only form of identity that will be accepted on the test date.

Send to:

IELTS Test Centre
Cardiff University
Deri House, 2-4 Park Grove
Cardiff CF10 3BN

Tel: +44 (0)29 2087 9156

How can I get an application form?

  • You can download an application form here
  • An application form can be sent to you by post
  • You can collect an application form, from the IELTS Office

How can I pay my test fee?

The fee for an IELTS test is £145 for 2014. Payment can be made as follows:

  • by postal order, payable to Cardiff University
  • by credit/debit card (not SOLO), please complete the credit/debit card payment form
  • by cash, if the application is made in person (cash should not be sent in the post).

Can I cancel my test or transfer to another date?

All requests for cancellation or transfer should be made in writing. Please note the following cancellation and transfer administration fees.

Cancellation or transfer within 5 weeks of test date Full fees forfeited
No show on test date Full fees forfeited
Cancellation or transfer more than 5 weeks before test date £35.00

When are the results of the test available?

IELTS results are released 13 calendar days after the test. This means that results are released on the second Friday following a Saturday test and on the second Wednesday following a Thursday test.

Candidates cannot be given their results by telephone, fax or email.

How long are the results valid for?

The results are recommended as valid for two years.

What if I am unhappy with my results?

You may apply to the IELTS Test Centre for an Enquiry on Results. You must do this within four weeks of receiving your results.

The fee for this is £60.00 and you must complete an IELTS Enquiry on Results form.

Please contact us for further information.

What if I need an additional copy of my results?

Results are issued on a Test Report Form (TRF).

Candidates are given one copy of their Test Report Form and this cannot be replaced. Candidates may request (by completing an Application for the Issue of Additional TRF’s form) additional copies to be sent to receiving organisations/institutions.

Up to five copies can be sent to receiving organisations/institutions within one month of the test date at no extra charge. Additional copies requested after this time will be subject to the following administrative fees:

  • £10.00 per copy sent to an organisation within the UK
  • £15.00 per copy sent to an organisation overseas

How can I prepare for the test?

Candidates are advised to prepare thoroughly for the test.

Some Universities and English Language Schools offer IELTS preparation courses.

There is also a wide range of published preparation materials available from reputable bookshops. The following materials can be purchased from the IELTS office:

  1. Official IELTS practice materials packs 1 and 2. Each pack contains a complete test with answers and Examiner comments. Pack 1 comes with a CD and pack 2 comes with a DVD.
    The cost of each pack is £10.00.
  2. ‘Top Tips for IELTS’ is produced by Cambridge ESOL in collaboration with the British Council. The book comes in two versions – Academic or General Training.  The cost of each pack is £10.00

For further details please click here.

Where can I find more information about IELTS?

For further information about the IELTS test:

English Language Programmes


Download the ELP brochure and information sheet