General guidance for test takers taking IELTS on paper and on computer

Important notes:

The guidance below is a summary of what all IELTS test takers can expect when registering for an IELTS on paper and on computer test anywhere in the world (except European Union and Americas region - Canada, Mexico, USA and South America). Detailed policy terms vary according to test centre location, so please contact your local test centre if you need further information. 

In some locations/countries, local consumer protection will apply to the IELTS test you have registered for, and will cover cancellation and transfer rights. If the rights are more favourable than the terms set out in this document or in more detailed local test centre guidance, then local consumer protection law will apply. 

If you are taking IELTS for UKVI or IELTS Life Skills, then different policy terms apply. The IELTS for UKVI policy is a standard and globally applicable set of terms and conditions

A. Cancellations 

You can cancel your IELTS test registration at any time before taking your test by notifying your test centre. Refund terms depend upon when you cancel and whether exceptional circumstances apply. 

1. Test taker exceptions

You may make a case for exceptional circumstances to your test centre before the test, and up to five calendar days after the test date, if you did not attend the test. Your test centre will respond to you within seven working days of receiving your case in writing. Your test centre will assess your case for exceptional circumstances. 

All cases for exceptional circumstances and supporting evidence must be received by your test centre before, or no later than, five calendar days after the scheduled test date.

If your test centre approves your case, you will receive a refund. Please be aware that refunds can take four to six weeks to process.

We define exceptional circumstances as:

  • Serious medical conditions which prevent you from attending or performing normally on test day. Conditions such as these require supporting evidence of a medical certificate from a qualified medical practitioner.
  • Evidence of bereavement, trauma or other forms of significant hardship.
  • Military service.

2. Test centre exceptions

Under certain circumstances outside test centre control, we may have to cancel your test. These circumstances include, and are not limited to, extreme weather conditions, natural disaster, civil unrest, industrial action, global pandemic or for reasons of force majeure.

In these circumstances, your test centre will provide you with as much notice as possible and give you the choice of either a full refund, or a transfer to a future test date – whichever you prefer.

B. Transfers

You may change your test date at any time before the test. However, depending on when you make your transfer request – that is, how near to the test day – your request may be treated as a cancellation.

You must select a test date, where available, within three months from your original test date. If your preferred test date is more than three months after your original test date, your transfer will be treated as a cancellation.

You can only transfer the same booking once.