IELTS Results

How long do I have to wait for IELTS results?

One thing which may be more difficult than preparing for the IELTS test is waiting for the IELTS results to arrive once you have done the test. IELTS results are normally sent out to candidates 13 days following the test date. While some IELTS candidates relax and enjoy the break from their IELTS preparation routine after sitting the IELTS test, others wait anxiously for their IELTS results to arrive.

Check your IELTS results online

Instead of waiting for the official letter, you can check your IELTS results online. The British Council and IDP make provisional results available on the official IELTS webpage. To check your results you will need to have the following information:
  • - your full name
    - identification or passport number (as used to register for the IELTS test)
    - date of birth
    - date of you IELTS test
The IELTS webpage states these IELTS results provided online are only provisional, so you will not be able to use them to validate your scores for immigration authorities or any educational institutions you may have applied to. Your official IELTS results are sent to you in an IELTS Test Report Form. This is sent by mail, 13 days after you sit the IELTS test, direct to your home address or in some cases to the IELTS test center where you did the IELTS test. This official document can be used to verify your IELTS results.

I didn't get the IELTS results I expected

Sometimes when people get their IELTS results they can be surprised. Some people get a better score than they expected but other people sometimes receive scores they were not expecting. There are many possible reasons which could explain a disappointing IELTS score. Two of the most common reasons are: misinterpreting one of the writing questions or not fully answering it, and not being relevant enough in writing or speaking sections of the IELTS test.

When your IELTS results arrive you will see a band score for individual skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking. You will also receive a global IELTS band score. This is calculated based on the score in each of the four sections. Here is an example, if you get the following IELTS band scores:
  • - Listening 6.5
    - Reading 8.0
    - Writing 7.5
    - Speaking 6.5
then your global IELTS score is 7.0, which in general is enough for immigration and educational purposes, in most cases. You should understand exactly what IELTS score is necessary for you to achieve your plans, either emigrating or studying abroad. Sometimes an overall band score is specified by authorities, but sometimes they might specify a minimum score in each skill. This normally depends on the individual circumstances of any application you have made.

How to improve your IELTS results

If your IELTS results are not what you expected, you should plan to prepare yourself for the next available IELTS test date in your area. Spend time concentrating on your weak skills to improve them. Practice your English constantly to maintain and improve your IELTS test performance. Try and complete more IELTS practice tests until you consistently score what you need in each of the four sections of the IELTS test.

Many people who take the IELTS test only need a band score of 6.5 overall to achieve their aim of studying abroad or emigrating. In some cases certain educational institutions ask for higher scores. In cases of immigration, the score you need is usually calculated based on the country you are planning on emigrating to. The score you need could also depend on various other factors, for example, age, family status and work skills.