You’ve studied hard, read the best preparation books, and successfully sat the IELTS test (International English Language Testing System). Congrats! IELTS is a demanding test and you should feel proud of your accomplishment. Now it’s time to wait for your results.
But when will you get them?
Unfortunately, there is a bit of a waiting period between taking the IELTS test and getting your results. In this post, we’ll cover not only what that waiting period looks like, but what you can do with your IELTS results after you receive them.
How long does it take to get results?
It depends on the test format. IELTS results are available 13 days after you take the paper-based test. However, it only takes 5-7 days to get results if your test is computer-based! Your results will be delivered to you or you can pick them up in person.
Your results are delivered in a Test Report Form (TRF). IELTS test centres will only provide one copy of the TRF, but you will receive two if you are:
- Applying to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)
- Applying to United Kingdom Visas and Immigration (UKVI)
Additionally, you can submit up to five (5) copies of your TRF to any relevant institutions you have listed on your IELTS application form (more on that below). You can request more TRFs, but anything beyond these five may be subject to an additional fee.
SMS alerts are available at some test centres and you can preview your results online before receiving the Test Report Form. Provisional test results are gradually rolled out 24 hours after the test is taken and are available for preview for 28 days after the test date. Just remember that the test preview is provisional and NOT an official result.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Your original Test Result Form is a valuable document. Make sure you do NOT send your personal copy to any institutions or agencies. Test centres can send up to five additional TRFs to five different universities. This service is available free of charge within one month of your test date. If you need more copies, additional charges will apply.
How to request score sending
So you got your Test Result Form and received a high band score (great job!). But what do you do if you want to submit your IELTS results as part of your school application? Well, you have a few options.
The first option is to request score sharing during your registration. Simply provide the name and address of up to five universities or colleges when filling out your registration. This option is convenient, but the downside is that schools may receive your results before you do! This could jeopardize your chances of admission.
A better option is to make the request AFTER receiving your score. This way, you’ll know for sure if your score meets a school’s eligibility requirements. To do this, login to the IELTS website (make sure it matches the country you took the test in – Canada, UK, India, etc.) and find the Apply for additional TRFs option. You can then fill out an application form.
If you are using ApplyBoard to apply to university or college, we submit your IELTS results for you! All you need to do is include a copy of your TRF as part of your application process and we’ll take care of the rest.
Delivery Methods and Payments
Once you’ve decided on which schools you’ll be sending your results, it’s time to pick a delivery method. Your TRF can be sent either electronically or by paper delivery. However, not every school will accept both methods, so you’ll need to check their official website first before submitting.
Sending your TRF electronically is preferable, as you’ll have to pay for a paper version to be sent by courier (regular postage is usually provided free of charge). Using a courier costs money, but they can better track your shipment and also notify you when it’s delivered.
It takes about five business days for a university to receive your electronic score, while a paper report typically takes between five and ten business days.
Disputing your results
If you’re unhappy with your IELTS results and think there may be a mistake, you can apply for a remark. IELTS refers to this as an “Enquiry on Results” and you can submit your application at your test centre within six weeks of the test date.
Keep in mind that you’ll have to pay an enquiry fee to do so and will only be refunded if your band score changes. IELTS examiners follow strict assessment guidelines and are monitored closely. As such, it’s very unlikely your band score will change during a remark. It’s generally recommended you retake the test instead, as there’s no limit on the number of times you can do so.
For more IELTS test information, check out the 6 Common IELTS Mistakes and How to Avoid Them and What international Students Need to Know About IELTS Canada.