Information and advice on the day of your IELTS test

If you are taking IELTS remotely at home or elsewhere, you can find out more about the setup and requirements in our IELTS Online section.

The information below only applies if you take your IELTS tests at a test centre.

You may be nervous about the day of your IELTS test. So that everything goes as well as possible, we have compiled information to help you know what will happen on the day of your exam.

You will need to arrive on time for the IELTS test. You will receive an email at least three days before the exam so you know what time your exam starts. The email will provide you with information about exam day procedures and times. If you arrive late, you may be unable to take the exam.

If you have requested special provisions due to a disability or other illness, the necessary modifications will be made so that you can take your exam on the agreed day. Get in touch with your IELTS Official Test Center – Instituto Cultural Anglo-Uruguayo – six weeks in advance.

Your speaking test can be taken on the same day as the other sections of the test or up to a week before or after that day. You will be notified if your speaking test is taken before the main test day.

Ensure you are prepared and have something to eat and drink before the test. You will not be able to eat in the room where the exam is carried out, and you will only be able to take water with you in a transparent bottle.

How long is the exam?

The Listening, Reading and Writing exams take 2 hours and 40 minutes, and there are no breaks between the different sections of the exam.

Your speaking test can be taken on the same day as the other sections of the test or up to a week before or after that day. You will receive notification from your IELTS Official Test Center – Instituto Cultural Anglo-Uruguayo – in advance if your speaking test is taken on a day other than the main test day.

What do I need to bring to the exam room?

You need to bring:

  • Your personal identification document
  • A pencil and a pen (you will need a pencil for listening and writing)
  • An eraser

We recommend that you bring:

  1. A clear water bottle

You cannot take anything else to the room where the exam takes place.

Turn off your mobile phone and any other electronic devices. You will be asked to place these devices and any other belongings outside the exam room.

What should I do with my belongings on the day of the exam?

There will be a secure area where you must leave all your belongings. The British Council is not responsible for the loss of or damage to your belongings at the exam site. Therefore, we strongly recommend leaving valuables at home, such as mobile phones and computers.

When is my identity verified?

Staff at the IELTS test site will verify your identity when you arrive.

Remember to bring the same valid personal identification document (national identity document or passport) you used when you reserved your place for the exam.

Invalid or expired personal identification documents will not be accepted. You must provide a valid personal identification document to be able to take the exam.

When will my photograph be taken for the exam day?

Your photograph will be taken on test day as an additional security measure and will appear on your Test Report Form (TRF).

What if I need help during the exam?

If you have any questions during the exam, raise your hand and ask for help.

When you take the listening comprehension test, check that you can hear the sound properly. Raise your hand immediately and let the supervisor know that you cannot hear the recording.

Remember that you will have 10 minutes after the listening comprehension section to fill in your answer sheet. You will not have 10 minutes after the reading comprehension section, so make sure you write your answers on your answer sheet as you complete each section.

If you need to go to the bathroom during the exam, raise your hand to get the proctor's attention. Do not disturb other examinees.

What happens at the end of the exam?

Stay in your seat until the supervisor gives you permission to leave the room.

If you think there has been a problem that may affect your performance, please report it immediately to your supervisor.

If you want to raise a problem or make a claim, ask your supervisor for an "Exam Day Incident Form" to fill out.

The British Council takes your security seriously

Security in a British Council IELTS exam is very important. As an additional measure, all participants must have their photographs taken with the administrative staff of the IELTS Official Test Center – Instituto Cultural Anglo-Uruguayo – on the day of their exam. Be sure to review the instructions provided to you when you reserve a place for your exam. Your fingerprints can also be scanned.

All watches of any kind are prohibited in the exam room. You must leave your watch, along with your belongings, in the secure baggage area. There will be a clock at the venue where the exam is held.

If you need more information, please contact: