IELTS

Why IELTS?

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is the world’s most popular English language test. More than two million IELTS tests are taken each year.

Taking IELTS opens doors – it can help you live, study and work around the world. More than 8,000 organisations worldwide accept IELTS, including government, academic and employment institutions. In fact, IELTS is the only English language test accepted for immigration purposes by all countries that require one. 

The IELTS test is designed to help you use English in your new life abroad. In three and a half hours, it will assess all of your English skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking.

The most effective way of testing your English conversation skills is face-to-face. IELTS is the most widely accepted English language test with a one-on-one speaking test to assess your English language communication skills. 

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 75 years’ experience 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. We run IELTS preparation courses with trained examiners to give you the best chance of getting the result you want first time. To secure your place for upcoming courses please complete the application form.

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 location: We run IELTS tests at various Centres across South Africa up to three times a month at some Centres.

• Easy booking: You can book your IELTS test online and take advantage of flexible payment options.

• Fast results: You can expect your IELTS result to be available 13 calendar days after your test.

• Special arrangements: your English language ability will be assessed objectively, regardless of any disability or special needs that you may have. Find out more about how we can facilitate your special arrangements. Please note, you will need a medical certificate issued within the last two years at the time of registration. It can take up to 3 months for us to put special arrangements in place.

Register

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

The IELTS registration and payment process has now moved completely online. Offline payment options have been discontinued and immediate payment is required to secure your test place. Both Visa and MasterCard credit cards are accepted. If you wish to pay by debit card please contact your banking provider to check that your card is enabled to make online payments.

Online payments will mean your place on your desired test date is secured immediately and will enable us to get key information about the test to you quickly. 

1 IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR CANDIDATES

Download and read the Information for Candidates (PDF, 933 kb) which contains important information about the test format, the question types and the test results. The IELTS Notice to Candidates also contains useful guidance on IELTS regulations.

Please note that IELTS is not recommended for candidates under the age of 16.

2 DECIDE WHICH VERSION OF THE TEST IS RIGHT FOR YOU

There are two versions of the IELTS test:

IELTS Academic
IELTS General Training

 Read our simple guide to help you decide which version of the test is right for you. 

3 CHECK THE IELTS TEST DATES 

You can access the IELTS test dates for 2015 on our IELTS dates and fees page.

There are a limited number of places for all our IELTS test sessions. You can use our Online Registration System to find up-to-date information about test dates and availability. Test bookings are made on a first-come-first-served basis.

Please note: Your Listening, Reading and Writing test 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 in advance if your Speaking test is on a different day to your main test day.

4. REGISTER AND PAY ONLINE

Use our Online Registration System to book your place and pay online. IELTS Tests are available in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria  and Port Elizabeth. 

Please have a PDF copy of your ID/passport ready when applying.

IELTS Test Fees 2015:

Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban  R2400
Port Elizabeth  R3000

5.  COMPLETE YOUR REGISTRATION

Should you experience difficulty uploading your ID/passport copy, kindly e-mail the same to IELTS.Admin@britishcouncil.org.za

6. AFTER YOU REGISTER

After registering you will receive an automatic email with your access codes to the free online course: Road to IELTS

We will send you a confirmation email one week before the test date giving you the start time of your test and the venue address.

For more information please contact our Exams Services

9. SHOULD YOU NEED TO CANCEL OR CHANGE A TEST DATE 

•  If you cancel your test or request a transfer five weeks or more before the test date, the test centre will charge an administration fee of up to 25% of the total test fee.

•  If you cancel your test within five weeks of the test date for any reason apart from medical ones, you will not be eligible to receive a refund. If you cancel your test or request a transfer within five weeks of the test date for medical reasons, you must provide supporting medical evidence within five working days of the test date. Only evidence of serious illness will be considered. Only original medical certificates (in or translated to English) will be accepted and must state inability to appear for the test on the scheduled test date.

Please fill out the Refund and Transfer Request Form and send back to us. Alternatively, contact us for more information.

Prepare

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. 

1. IELTS WORKSHOPS

This is a half day workshop for 1st language and Advanced 2nd language English speakers. These workshops are currently only available in Johannesburg

• This half day workshop will familiarise you with the IELTS examination and provide practice of all four parts of the IELTS exam (General and Academic)
• The workshop runs from 08:00 – 12:30. A minimum of 12 candidates are required to confirm the workshop
• You will receive exam information, feedback and tips from your trainer, which will help you approach your exam with greater confidence and capability
• Workshops must be booked online and payment made my credit card or EFT by the Tuesday before the workshop. The cost is R750.00 (includes refreshments and materials)
• There will be a R250 fee charged for cancellations (applicant’s request)
Workshop dates for 2015:

• Sunday, 8 February, 2015
• Sunday, 22 February, 2015
• Sunday, 8 March, 2015
• Sunday, 15 March, 2015
• Sunday, 22 March, 2015

If for some reason the workshop needs to be cancelled by British Council, you will be informed by the Wednesday before the course.
Download the IELTS workshop application form found at the bottom of this page. Email your complete IELTS workshop application form and proof of payment to: ssa.enquiries@britishcouncil.org

2. ORDER THE OFFICIAL IELTS PRACTICE MATERIAL

We offer a 90 page book and DVD study pack for R450 for IELTS preparation purposes. This 90 page book contains sample tests, mark schemes, information on the format of the test as well as a DVD with sample listening and speaking tests. Payment for the study pack should be made to:

Nedbank

Account name                British Council

Account number             1454116919

Branch Code                  145405

Reference                      Name Surname

IELTS study pack          R450.00

Kindly send us a proof of payment and completed order form to ssa.enquiries@britishcouncil.org or fax to email 0865700422. The IELTS Study Pack will be couriered to the address provided. Delivery may take up to 5 working days. Please note we require a physical address for delivery.

3. FREE ROAD TO IELTS ONLINE TRAINING

Road to IELTS is a popular online self-study resource for Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking practice. Written by the British Council for its IELTS students, 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’ll be free to enjoy a further 20 hours of access to the learning materials. 

4. FURTHER BRITISH COUNCIL ONLINE PREPARATION MATERIALS

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

PREPARE FOR THE IELTS LISTENING TEST

• Practice your listening now with these online activities which include podcasts, stories and poems

• Practise a listening test with these IELTS mock listening papers

• Download listening materials from the British Council’s iTunes University (you will need iTunes to access this content)

PREPARE FOR THE IELTS SPEAKING TEST

• Practice your speaking with this series of online videos

• Practice your IELTS interview skills with these online tutorials

5. LEARNENGLISH WEBSITE

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.

Results

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. 

You can expect your IELTS result to be available 13 calendar days after your test.

IELTS RESULTS ONLINE AND BY OFFICE PICK UP

You should be able to preview your results online from 12.00, usually 13 days after the main test day.

You will not be able to obtain your results over the phone, by email or by fax. For more information please contact us

TEST REPORT FORMS (TRFS)

You will receive one copy of the 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. 

For a period of two years you can apply (to the centre where you took the test) for verified copies of the Test Report Form at a fee of R550 per copy per institution. These copies will be couriered to these institutions on behalf of the candidate. If you need more copies of your TRF, please send the completed Additional TRF request form, and proof of payment to ssa.enquiries@britishcouncil.org . Payment should be made to:

Nedbank

Account number                      1454116919

Branch Code                           145405

Reference                                Name Surname

If the addresses of the institutions were entered incorrectly when you registered you can change them. Please get in touch with our Exams Services team to do this.

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.

THE VALIDITY PERIOD OF YOUR TEST REPORT FORM

Institutions will not usually accept a Test Report Form that is more than two 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. 

UNDERSTAND YOUR IELTS SCORES

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).

HOW TO QUERY YOUR SCORE

Should you be in doubt of the accuracy of the bands awarded to you in your IELTS test result, you can choose to undertake an Enquiry on Results, which means having your IELTS test re-marked. You can choose to remark one or more parts of your test. The fee will not change regardless of the number of components remarked.

However, you must make this request within five weeks of your test results date. 

Your test will be sent to the UK for re-marking by Senior Examiners. The re-mark is done by trained Clerical Markers and senior examiners employed by the British Council.

The fee for the remark is R1100.00 and is fully refundable should your result change to a higher band score. You will need to fill out an Enquiry on Results form and send us your original Test Report Form within the 5 week deadline after your test results in order for us to process your remark. The remark takes approximately 8 weeks to process.  

Please be advised that all communication regarding your Enquiry on Result must be carried out through the centre with which you wrote the IELTS test. The centre will notify you of the remark outcome. 

Kindly complete the Enquiry on Results form and send it back to us with a proof of payment (R1100.00) as well as the original IELTS certificate received. You recommend you send the original Test Report Form to our office using a courier service, to ensure we receive the same by the cut-off date. The Test Report form should be sent to 275 Jan Smuts Avenue, Dunkeld West, Johannesburg, 2196. The completed request form and proof of payment may be e-mailed ssa.enquiries@britishcouncil.org

Payment should be made to:

Nedbank

Account number                      1454116919

Branch Code                           145405

Reference                                Name Surname

Cost                                         R1100.00

CAN I RE-TAKE THE TEST?

You can take the test as many times as you wish. However, please note that to significantly improve your score it is necessary to undertake further study. IELTS research indicates that scores are unlikely to improve without further English language tuition.