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Best advice from British Council

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IELTS test day advice
You will find the IELTS test center staff friendly, welcoming and highly professional. They will make sure that the test is delivered fairly and securely. Follow their instructions carefully.

The week before your test
Check the start time and location of your IELTS test the week before, and make sure you know how to get there on time.
Remember, the address of your IELTS test location may be different to that of the test center where you booked your test.
Take the time to read full details of the ‘IELTS test terms and conditions’ for important information about your IELTS test day.

Your IELTS test day
You need to arrive in good time for your IELTS test. If you arrive late, you may not be allowed to take the test.
Switch off your mobile phone and any other electronic devices. You will be asked to place these with other personal belongings outside the test room.
The Listening, Reading and Writing tests take 2 hours 40 minutes and there are no breaks between each part of the test.
Make sure you are prepared and have something to eat and drink beforehand. You will not be allowed to take food into the test room; you will only be allowed to take a drink in a transparent bottle.

Your identity and photographs
The IELTS test location staff will check your identity when you arrive.
Make sure you have the right ID with you. If you arrive with the wrong ID, you will not be allowed to take the test.
You may also need two recent identical passport-sized photographs.
Check the details that you were given when you booked the test to make sure you take the right ID and photographs with you.

Test Day Photography
Some test locations will now also take a photograph of you on the test day – this photograph taken by the test center will appear on your Test Report Form to provide increased identity security. Your test center will let you know if it is going to do this. For more information see IELTS candidate identity verification.

During the IELTS test
You will only be allowed to have a pen or pencil, an eraser and your ID on your desk.
If you need to go to the bathroom during the test, put your hand up to attract the attention of the invigilator. Do not disturb other candidates.
If you have any questions during the test, raise your hand to ask for help.
When you take the Listening test, check that you can hear the test properly. Raise your hand straightaway and let the invigilator know if you cannot hear the recording.
Please remember that you will have 10 minutes after the Listening section to fill in your answer sheet. You will not have 10 minutes after the Reading section, so please make sure that you write your answers on your Reading answer sheet as you complete each section.

At the end of the test
Stay in your seat until the invigilator gives you permission to leave the room.
If you think that there have been any issues that may have affected your performance, tell the invigilator straightaway.
If you want to make a complaint about your test day, you need to do this within one week of the test date.
Your invigilator will have a Test Day Incident Form. Please fill this in if you want to raise an issue or make a complaint.

Speaking test advice
Follow this Speaking test advice and try to talk fluently.

The Speaking test is a face-to-face conversation with a certified examiner. It is as close to a real-life situation as a test can get.
The examiner will ask you about familiar topics such as home, work or studies in part 1. This should help you feel comfortable when speaking. Try and relax so that you can speak as naturally as possible.
Take time before the test to practice speaking with a partner, friend or teacher.

Make the most of your Speaking test:
• try to talk as much as you can
• talk as fluently as possible and be spontaneous
• relax, be confident and enjoy using your English
• develop your answers
• speak more than the examiner
• ask for clarification if necessary
• do not learn prepared answers; the examiner is trained to spot this and will change the question
• express your opinions; you will be assessed on your ability to communicate
• the examiner’s questions tend to be fairly predictable; practice at home and record yourself

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