IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is the world’s most popular English language test. More than 2.2 million IELTS tests were taken globally in 2013, through more than 900 centres in 130 countries.

Taking IELTS opens doors – it can help you live, study and work around the world. More than 9000 organisations worldwide (including 3000 in USA) accept IELTS, including governments, academic and employment institutions. In fact, IELTS is the only English language test accepted for migration purposes by all countries that require one.

The IELTS test is designed to help you use English in your new life abroad. In less than three hours, it will assess all of your English skills: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Results are ready in just 13 days.

IELTS is the most widely accepted English language test. Designed by experts in English language assessment and trusted around the world, you can be sure that IELTS will give a fair and consistent assessment of your English skills. 

Why take IELTS with the British Council?

The British Council has more than 85 years’ experience in teaching and testing English. We have helped people in more than 130 countries gain English language qualifications that help them make the most of their chances in life. That's a lot of experience, and it means that if you take an English language test with us, you can be confident that you’ll be well looked after.

Here are just a few reasons why millions of people have taken IELTS with the British Council:

  • Expert support: from videos and books to online interactive courses, you have access to the best preparation materials to help you do well in your test
  • Free resources: Road to IELTS is the British Council’s popular online preparation course. When you register for an IELTS test with us you also get access to 30 hours of free training.
  • Convenient dates and locations: we have more than 500 test locations in over 100 countries. This means that you have a huge range of options for where and when you can take your test.
  • Easy booking: You can book your IELTS test online and take advantage of flexible payment options.
  • Fast results: We guarantee you will be able to see your results online within just 13 days of the date you take your test.

IELTS in Italy

IELTS is not only the must-have test to study or work abroad. It is widely accepted also in Italy. As a matter of fact, many prestigious Italian universities and higher education institutions recognise IELTS for educational purposes such as total or partial exemption from internal English examinations or tests as well as credits for international study programmes like Erasmus+. 

If you are not a EU citizen and you are applying for a visa to move to or remain in the UK,  there’s an IELTS test for you. You can find more information in our IELTS for UK Visas and Immigration section.

Universities and higher education institutions are invited to join our IELTS partnership programme.

IELTS and the Common European Framework

IELTS is recognized by the Council of Europe. The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) provides a basis for the mutual recognition of language qualifications, thus facilitating educational and occupational mobility. 

CEFR Level A2 B1 B2 C1 C2
IELTS score range 3.5 - 4.0 4.5 - 5.0 5.5 - 6.5 7.0 - 7.5 8.0 - 9.0

On 22 May 2014, the UK Home Office issued guidance on secure English language test (SELT) providers. We encourage you to check the full text and FAQ here.

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



You can register for IELTS quickly and easily through our Online Registration Service.

To register, simply follow the steps below:


Download and read the Information for candidates (PDF) which contains important information about the test format, the question types and the test results. Please note that IELTS is not recommended for candidates under the age of 16.


There are two versions of the IELTS test:

  • IELTS Academic: for those who want to study in universities, institutions of higher and further education and professional organisations. 
  • IELTS General Training: for those who are going to English-speaking countries to do secondary education, work experience or training programs.

Read our simple guide to help you decide which version of the test is right for you. It is strongly recommended that you also check with the organisations you wish to apply to before you book your test.


There are a limited number of places for all our IELTS test sessions. IELTS test with the British Council are very popular, so we recommend that you register one month prior to make sure you get a place. Check the IELTS test dates

Please note: Your Listening, Reading and Writing tests will be completed on the same day. Your Speaking test may be offered on the same day, or up to a week before or after your main test day. You will receive notification if your Speaking test is on a different day to your main test day five days before the test.


Use our Online Registration System to book your place. The fee for sitting a test is 218 Euros. You can pay for your test by credit card on-line through the secured Online Registration Site as the last step of your registration.

IMPORTANT: If we do not receive your completed registration and payment your application will be cancelled.

Copies of your results: If you would like your results to be sent to universities or other educational institutions, please enter the relevant addresses in the appropriate fields on the Online Registration System. We can issue a maximum of five copies per student.


After registering you will receive an automatic email with your access codes to the free online preparation course: Road to IELTS. We will send you a confirmation email about seven days before the test date giving you the start time of your test and the venue address.

For more information about postponement, cancellation, amendment of test version and remarking, please visit our Terms and conditions page. For more information please contact us.

Special arrangements

IELTS is designed to be a fair test and your English language ability will be assessed objectively, regardless of any special needs that you may have.

We can help you with any special arrangements you require for your test. For example, we offer support for people with visual impairments, hearing difficulties and dyslexia.

To find out how you can apply for special arrangements, please contact us:

  • three months before test date if you require adaptation of test papers (e.g. hearing/sight impairment),
  • six weeks before test date if you require administrative changes (e.g. extra examination time, the use of headphones, computer, etc.)


If you want to request a refund, please read our refund policy section in the IELTS Regulations (PDF) prior to making a request.

Test day transfers

If you want to transfer to a different test date, you need to notify us at least five weeks prior to the test session you have registered for. To do this, please contact us. The fee for the transfer is 25 euros.


If you book your IELTS test with the British Council you can take advantage of our exclusive access to a wide range of learning materials – all designed to help you get the best possible score in your IELTS test.


Road to IELTS, written by the British Council, is a popular online self-study resource for Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking practice. The Road to IELTS includes:

  • practice materials 
  • timed tests
  • tutorials
  • online scoring
  • self-assessment tools so that you can measure your progress.

You can try our Road to IELTS resources with 10 hours of free study right now.

When you register for an IELTS test with us you will have a further 20 hours of access to the learning materials free of charge.

A free Road to IELTS mobile app is available also for iPads and Android tablets.


We also have a selection of free online preparation materials for your Listening and Speaking tests.

Prepare for the IELTS Listening Test

Prepare for the IELTS Speaking Test


We have a website dedicated to learning the English language. It’s called LearnEnglish and it has a number of very useful English learning resources, such as:

  • videos 
  • podcasts
  • grammar and vocabulary tutorials
  • business/work resources and a magazine
  • games
  • IELTS tips
  • community networking opportunities.

You’ll find that learning materials on the site really support your preparation for your IELTS test, and they’ll give you more confidence when it comes to test day.


If you think that you would benefit from face-to-face preparation, we provide a number of courses and one day workshop taught by highly qualified English language teachers with an in-depth knowledge of the IELTS test. Find out more about our IELTS courses and workshops.


Prepare for IELTS with these free practice tests and answers. Time yourself and develop your exam technique.

The practice tests in this section offer you the opportunity to:

  • get to know the test format;
  • experience the types of tasks you will be asked to undertake;
  • test yourself under timed conditions;
  • review your answers and compare them with model answers.


British Council IELTS Word Power is a free vocabulary practice app for IELTS test takers. With over 100 questions to test your word power, this app helps to build vocabulary in preparation for the IELTS test. Download it now from Google play on your Android mobile device.


We understand that getting your results is important to you. We know you want them quickly, but it is equally important that we give you the score that correctly reflects your performance.

IELTS results online and by post

Normally, you will be able to preview your results online 13 days after the written test day. Results will be available up to 40 days after the test day.

Check your results online

Your IELTS results (also known as your Test Report Form) will be also posted to you 13 days after the date of the main test day if you have so indicated on the day of the session. Alternatively you will be able to collect your results at our Customer Service desk.

You will not be able to obtain your results over the phone, by email or by fax.

Test report forms (TRFS)

You will receive one copy of your personal Test Report Form. Unfortunately, replacements cannot be issued if you lose it.

Test report forms for institutions

We can also arrange for additional original copies (up to a maximum of five) to be posted to receiving institutions (e.g. universities, immigration officers, etc.). If you would like us to do this, please include the relevant addresses when you register. If you need more copies of your TRF, please let us know at time of registration.

Institutions need original copies of your Test Report Form. Photocopies of your Test Report Form will not be accepted.

Institutions may be able to view candidates’ scores through the IELTS Test Report Form (TRF) Verification Service. To do this they will need your Test Report Form number which can be found in the bottom right corner of your Test Report Form.


Institutions will not usually accept a Test Report Form that is more than 2-3 years old. After this time you will need to provide them with evidence that you have maintained or improved your English since taking the test.


IELTS provides results for all levels of English: there is no such thing as a pass or fail. You will be given a score from zero to nine for each part of the test – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking

Find out more about how to understand your IELTS scores and the nine band system.

Find out how IELTS scores relate to the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).