Purpose of test

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) assesses the English language proficiency of people who want to study or work where English is used as the language of communication. IELTS is jointly owned by British Council; IDP; IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment.

IELTS scores are accepted by over 10 000 recognising organisations and delivered in 1000+ locations worldwide; In the last year, 3,000,000 people took the IELTS test.

If you are a test taker, you can find out more about the exam on the British Council website, while teachers and researchers can find more information on the IELTS website.


Everyone takes the same Listening and Speaking module but you must select either the Academic or General Training Reading and Writing modules.

  • Academic is usually for admission to undergraduate or postgraduate courses. Overseas qualified medical doctors and nursing staff take the Academic modules.
  • General Training is usually for people going to English speaking countries to complete their Secondary education, to undertake work experience or training programmes not at degree level, or for immigration purposes.

Please bear in mind that it is the test taker's responsibility to select the correct module.

We are now offering IELTS on paper and IELTS on computer. 

Tips (dos, don’ts)

Remember to bring the Identification document that you applied with, photocopies are not acceptable. As you know, IELTS is a very secure test with strict rules. Throughout the test, you will be asked for your government issued ID or passport.

Know the test venue.  Many cities have multiple test locations. Make sure you know your test locations, if unsure contact test centre to confirm the test venue address at least 24 hours before the test. If you are late, you might not be able to take the exam!

Make yourself available for the whole day.  IELTS can take the whole day. Make sure you don’t schedule other plans around these times. If you try and do too much on test day, it might stress you out and affect your performance.

Practice. This is advisable for all test takers, even native English speakers. Practice as many model tests as you can to score good grades in the test. Practice tests will improve your skills and improve your awareness on the test format.

Always check your spelling. You can lose marks for incorrect spelling.

Don’t Cheat! IELTS is very secure. IELTS invigilators and examiners are some of the strictest, best trained, and observant professionals in the language testing world. So, the chances are, if you cheat you will get caught, and have your results withheld permanently!

Special needs procedure

Some test takers have special requirements such as a disability, hearing or sight impairment, dyslexia or a speech impediment, or a short term difficulty such as a broken arm. Special arrangements can usually be made in these circumstances.

Such test takers should email ielts@manchester.ac.uk at the time of their application to inform us of these requirements.  Please note that medical/other official evidence prepared in a period of no more than two years before the test date will be required, and for some special arrangements (e.g. modified test material), a minimum of three months' notice is required. 

Minor test takers

If the applicant is under 16, their online application will need to be submitted by their parent/guardian.