Learning, communication and interaction difficulties

Learning, communication or interaction difficulties include conditions such as:

  • dyslexia
  • dysorthographia
  • ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder)
  • ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
  • AS (Asperger Syndrome).

If you have one of these conditions, a combination of some, or all of the below arrangements may be helpful for you: 

  • 25% extra time for Listening (Your test centre can request a modified CD from Cambridge Assessment English for the Listening test.  This will repeat the Listening texts twice and include additional pauses for you to write your answers.) 
  • enlarged print question papers (Your test centre can request modified papers from Cambridge Assessment English with a layout and font style which may help test takers with dyslexia.)
  • 25% extra time for Reading and Writing
  • supervised breaks (which may help test takers with ADHD or anxiety)
  • separate invigilation
  • use of a PC or a laptop for typing answers.

Test takers with a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia are not permitted to use a Reader or Scribe.  In this case you must read and write your own answers.  

Support for physical difficulties 

This category includes test takers such as those with a form of paralysis or those who can write but not by conventional means, e.g. with their feet. 

You will need to include as much information as possible in your application so that suitable arrangements can be made, and the correct modified materials arranged. Medical evidence must be provided in all cases unless your disability is obvious. 

Support workers are not usually allowed to accompany a test taker for any part of an IELTS test.  Usually, they can only stay with you as far as the test room and must then wait outside until the test is finished.  Please provide your test centre with as much information as possible if you are requesting the presence of a support worker.


Special arrangements will enable most test takers to take all four sections of the test and to be assessed in the same way as any other test taker.  However, special arrangements may not meet the needs of some test takers with particularly severe difficulties.  In this case you may apply to be exempt from one or two of the test sections.

Applications for exemptions must include as much medical evidence and background information as possible to justify the request. These will be considered on a case by case basis.

Contact your local test centre

Please contact your local test centre as soon as possible if you have special needs that may require a modified IELTS test version.

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