IELTS test day preparation

Get enough sleep

The total test time for the IELTS exam is 2 hours and 45 minutes, and it is critical to remain alert and aware throughout this time. Therefore, adequate sleep is recommended the day before the examination.

Identification documents

On the day of your IELTS exam, a member of the staff will ask for your ID, which should be the same one you used to book the test. The ID should be valid with clear picture of you. Prior to the start of the exam, a high-resolution photograph of yourself will be taken at the exam center and include in your Test Report Form (TRF). In some countries, a fingerprint scan will also be performed. All of this is done to shorten your wait time and expedite the registration process.

Stationery for test day

You are only permitted to bring pens, pencils, and erasers into the exam. Remember to fill out your answer sheets for the Listening and Reading tests with a pencil as the processing machine cannot read the ink.

Arrive early

Try to arrive at the testing centre at least 20 minutes early so that you don't have to rush in for the exam without having time to mentally prepare. Furthermore, if you arrive late, you may be denied entry to the examination hall.

Personal belongings must be checked in

Personal items such as your phone, wallet, bag, books, and so on must be checked in because they are not permitted inside the exam room. These items will be kept safe until you finish the test.

Before the exam, use the restroom

The exam lasts about 2 hours and 45 minutes, and while you will be allowed to use the restroom during the exam, the time you lose for that may make you nervous.


At the testing centre, try to remain calm. Take a few deep breaths to help calm yourself if you begin to feel anxious.

Think in English

If English is not your native language, one of the best ways to prepare yourself is to think in English rather than in your mother tongue. This will help you become more comfortable with the language.

Follow the instructions

Pay close attention to the supervisor and follow the test day instructions. Before you begin writing on your test papers, read the instructions on the cover page. Do not lose points for making negligent mistakes because you have not read the question carefully.

Keep track of the time

Although watches are not permitted in the examination room, a clock will be present, so keep an eye on it to keep track of the time for each test.

Provisions for exceptional circumstances

If you need special arrangements because of a disability or other condition, you may request them and they will be done on the day of your test.