Get answers to some of the most common questions about the IELTS test.

by Tim Martyn

a question mark drawn on a blackboard with chalk
Generally speaking, IELTS results are valid for 2 years. However, each organisation is free to set a validity period that works for their purposes, so you should always check the validity period for the organisation you’re applying to. Read more here.
You can apply to retake the test as soon as you feel ready. However, you should do some more preparation before you retake the test; otherwise, it’s very unlikely that your score will improve very much.

It’s a good idea to write your Listening and Reading answers in capital letters. This is especially important if you’re doing the paper-based IELTS test because you need to make sure that the marker can read your handwriting easily.

In the Writing section, however, you should use regular upper- and lower-case letters. This is because you need to show that you can use punctuation (and capital letters) correctly.
If you take the paper-based IELTS test, you’ll get your results 13 days after you take the test. For the computer-delivered one, it’s 3–5 days after the test.