Test Day at CES

We want you to do well in your IELTS test, so we’ve put together some tips and advice to help you understand what you can expect on test day.


Before the day of your test, check the start time of your IELTS test and make sure you know how to get to the test venue on time. We recommend doing this a week in advance so you’re fully prepared. Make sure to arrive early to the test venue. If you arrive late to the venue, you may not be permitted to sit the test.

Getting to the Test Venue

Computer Delivered IELTS

Venue Location

Getting There & Parking


Paper-Based IELTS

Venue Location

Getting There & Parking


ID Checks

IELTS staff will check your identity upon your arrival at the test venue. You must bring the same identification document (ID) that you used to register.

We only accept: Passport or EU National ID card.

We do not accept: copies of passports, driving licences, student cards, birth certificates, national ID documents from non-EU countries etc. IELTS staff will also take candidates’ photographs and finger scans. Please note that this is a requirement, and the photo taken on test day will be used on your Test Report Form.

Test Tips & Advice


Follow all instructions carefully and remember that in the Writing parts of the test, you will be required to write a specific number of words.


Some questions have guideline time limits for you to follow, make sure you stay aware of the time to ensure you have enough time to answer each question.


Stay calm and take deep breaths if you feel nervous or worried.

Listening Test Advice

Follow this Listening test advice, and make sure you understand how to respond to ‘completion’ type questions.


You will have enough time to read the questions first before listening to the audio, each recording will be played only once.


Write your answers on the question paper provided while you listen. When the test ends, you will be given 10 minutes to transfer your answers onto the answer sheet in pencil. Your answers may be written in either capital letters or lower case.


It is vital that you input your answers to the answer sheet. Anything that you write on your question paper will not be marked.


Follow these helpful tips to help you make the most of your Listening test:

  • Let staff know straight away if you cannot clearly hear the audio.
  • Follow the instructions given carefully.
  • Listen out for the specific information you need.
  • Try to anticipate what the speaker might say.
  • Be mindful about your grammar and spelling.
  • Don’t spend too much time on a question you don’t know the answer to.
  • Focus on what you are asked to do in completion style questions.
  • Be aware of the word limit; if you are asked to finish a sentence using only two words and the correct answer is ‘leather coat’, then ‘coat made of leather’ would be an incorrect answer.
  • Try to answer all questions; you will not lose points for incorrect answers.
  • Check your answers thoroughly.
Reading Test Advice

Follow this Reading test advice, and make sure you understand how to respond to ‘completion’ type questions.


Make sure you write your answers on the answer sheet, anything you write on your question paper will not be marked. If you write down some answers on your question sheet, remember to transfer them to your answer sheet before the end of the test. Please note that you will not be given any extra time to do this.


All of your answers must be written in pencil.


Follow these helpful tips in order to make the most of your Reading test: 

  • Be aware of titles, headings and other special features like italics, underlining, capital letters, facts, graphs, tables and figures.
  • Make sure that you understand the question and follow all instructions carefully.
  • Don’t spend too long on one question or passage, keep an eye on the time you have left.
  • If you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t spend too long on it.
  • Stay calm if the subject of the text is unfamiliar to you, all relevant answers can be found within the text.
  • Take the words you use from the Reading text, don’t change the format or order of the words in the text.
  • Don’t worry if you come across a word you don’t understand, you might not need to use it.
  • Make sure you check your spelling carefully.
  • Pay attention to your use of plural and singular words, check that they are correct.
  • In ‘completion’ style questions, make sure you focus carefully on what you are asked to do.
  • If a question asks you to complete the phrase ‘in the ___’ and the correct answer is ‘evening’, just use ‘evening’ for your answer; using ‘in the evening’ would be incorrect.
  • Be aware of the word limit. If you are asked to complete a sentence with no more than two words, and the correct answer is “silk shirt” for example, saying “a shirt made of silk” would be incorrect.
  • Try to answer all questions; if an answer is incorrect, there will not be a penalty, so give it a go.
  • Be sure to check all of your answers carefully before the test ends.
Writing Test Advice

For your Writing test, all answers must be written in pen or pencil. You can choose whether you would like to write in capital letters or in lower case.


You are allowed to make notes on the question paper, but remember that anything you write on the question paper will not be marked.


Follow this advice for your Writing test to ensure you use your time carefully:

  • Think carefully about each task and be sure to make notes if that helps you.
  • Underline or highlight key words in the tasks to ensure you are aware of what you need to do.
  • Spend time planning your answers before you write them.
  • Use a clear paragraph structure, put one idea in each paragraph.
  • Don’t repeat the same ideas by using different words.
  • Don’t copy entire sentences from the question – you will not get any marks for this.
  • Stick to the relevant subject and don’t write about unrelated topics.
  • Make sure you manage the time you have carefully. Keep in mind that Task 2 is worth twice as much as Task 1.
  • Try to spend approximately 20 minutes on Task 1 and about 40 minutes on Task 2.
  • Keep in mind how many words are required for each task. If you don’t write at least 150 words for Task 1 and a minimum of 250 words for Task 2 then you will lose marks.
  • Practice by learning roughly how long 150 words and 250 words look when written in your own handwriting. During the test, you won’t have time to count them.
  • Do not write your answers in bullet points or in short notes, you need to write your answers in full sentences or you will lose marks.
  • Pay close attention to your grammar, punctuation and spelling. If you make mistakes, you will lose marks.
  • Try to use formal language.
  • Examiners can spot ‘model answers’, so do not memorise them and use them in your test or it will be deemed invalid.
  • Make sure you spend a few minutes re-reading and amending your answers where necessary.
Speaking Test Advice

Your Speaking test will be a face-to-face conversation with an examiner. The test mimics a real-life situation as closely as possible.


In part 1, your examiner will ask you questions about topics such as studies, home life or work. These topics will be familiar and should help you feel as comfortable as possible when you answer.


Make sure you try to relax as much as you can so that you speak as naturally as possible.


Before your test, it’s a good idea to practice your verbal skills with a friend or teacher.


Follow this handy advice for your Speaking test:

  • Try to speak as much as you are able to.
  • Speak as fluently as you can and try to be spontaneous.
  • Try to remain confident and enjoy using your English skills.
  • Expand upon your answers as much as you can.
  • Make sure that you talk more than the examiner does.
  • If you need to, you can ask the examiner to clarify a question.
  • Don’t memorise prepared answers, examiners have the ability to recognise this and will change your question as a result.
  • Remember that you will be marked on your ability to effectively communicate your opinions.
  • The questions that the examiners ask often tend to be quite predictable, so make sure you practice at home but do not memorise your answers.

Test Day Check-list

Don't forget to bring your Identification Document (ID) with you to the test venue. You will not be allowed to sit the test without this.

Plan to arrive early to the venue. We will include our emergency phone number in your test day email. You should call this number if you are having trouble getting to the venue.

Read the IELTS rules and regulations before your test.

Mobile phones, watches or any electronic equipment are not allowed in the test room. There will be clocks in the test room.

Do not take valuable items with you. Personal belongings cannot be taken into the test room. You can only have pencils, a sharpener, an eraser, and your ID on your desk.

Your Test Journey


Test Takers arrive at the test venue. First, you will leave your personal belongings in the cloakroom. You cannot take your phone, watch, or any electronic equipment into the test room. You can only take pencils, eraser, a sharpener, and a drink in a transparent bottle into the test room.


You will proceed with your ID document to registration . Here IELTS staff will check your identity. You will also have your photo and finger scan taken.

Enter Test Room

IELTS staff will direct you to your seat, and will check that you have all the stationary you need. You will be given instructions for the test, and there will be a soundcheck to ensure you can hear the audio, before the first part of test begins.

Test Begins

First you will do the listening test, and this will take 30 minutes (there is time provided in the paper-based test to transfer your answers from the question paper to your answer sheet). Next you will do the reading test, and it will take 60 minutes. Then you will do the listening test. It will take 60 minutes.

Written Test Ends

When the written test has finished, you should check your desk label for your speaking test time (occasionally a test taker's speaking test time will change). When you leave the test room you can collect your personal belongings from the cloak room.

Your Speaking Test

Double check the location of your speaking test. Depending on the test you have booked, this may be at a different venue to where you take the written test.

You should arrive no later than 20 minutes before your speaking test. You will leave your personal belongings in a designated cloakroom. IELTS staff will check Your ID document, and take a second finger scan. Your speaking test will take 11-14 minutes, and you can collect your personal belongings from the cloakroom


If you took the computer delivered IELTS test, your results will be released 2-5 days after your test. If you took the paper-based test, your results will be released 13 days after the test. When your results are released you will be able to view your scores online through your test taker account. On the day your results are released, a hard-copy certificate will be posted to the address provided to us as part of your booking.