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How long is IELTS valid?

By Keith Pilkington

​In locations where it’s permitted and safe to do so, IELTS testing is going ahead, with additional precautions in place to help protect the health of test takers and staff.

If you’ve recently completed the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam, or are considering sitting the test, one of the questions you might have is, once you’ve completed it, how long will your certificate be valid for.

What support do I get to prepare for the IELTS exam?

If you register with the British Council, the materials you receive will include:

  • Free study material with listening audio files

  • Free library reference membership

  • Free online IELTS preparation course, ‘Road to IELTS’

What if I’m sick on the day of my IELTS exam?

If you’re sick or absent on the day, with no prior notice, you’ll unfortunately lose your full fee. However, if you can provide a medical certificate within five days of the test date, you will receive a refund minus an admin charge.

What can I bring into the test room?

Only pens, pencils and erasers are allowed in the exam room. You must also bring the passport/identity card you used on the IELTS application form. Mobile phones and other electronic devices will need to be switched off and placed with your other personal items in the designated area; if you don’t turn off your mobile phone, you will be disqualified. Watches are also not allowed in the room.

How long are IELTS results valid for?

Results are valid for two years from the test date. However, this could depend on the receiving organisation / employer requirements, so it’s best to check directly with them.

My name is printed incorrectly on the certificate – how can I change it?

To change an incorrect name, you’ll have to submit the original certificate, along with a completed Data Change Form and your passport, to your test centre. It’ll take 2-3 working days for the error to be corrected.

For more information about overseas worker requirements, read our collection of blogs.