Should I resit the IELTS? (2023)

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Should I resit the IELTS? (1)

By Trisha Alcisto on February 21, 2016 in IELTS Retake

Think you should resit the IELTS? Here are some common reasons why people ask themselves this question and some advice aboutwhat you should do.

“It’s been at least two years since I sat the IELTS.”

IELTS scores are considered to be valid for two years. Some organizations will accept it for up to three years, but generally speaking, a score this old isn’t necessarily representative of your English skills anymore.

If you’ve got to submit an IELTS score for migration, admission, or for getting a job, and your score is two years or older, you should resit the exam.

“My overall score isn’t high enough for admission/entry/hire.”

When your score doesn’t meet the minimum requirements of the organization or institution to which you applied, you may feel like you have no choice but to retake the exam. If this is true for you, consider a few important things first:

If you resit the IELTS, you will be presented with an entirely new set of questions and tasks. This means that it will not be easier the second time around, it will only be different. Research has shown that scores do not improve by merely retaking them – they are very diligently marked by highly trained and qualified examiners and according to a comprehensive marking system.

In other words, if your English level is the same as it was when you took the exam, your score is also likely to be the same. If you must retake the exam tobe admitted/hired/given leave for entry, then you must prepare to retake it. Review the band descriptors to understand what is needed to reach your target score, read about how the test is marked, and get to work onimprovingyour English.

“I didn’t do as well on one section as I expected.”

If you would like to improve the score of a single section of the IELTS, you will have to retake all four sections of the exam. Naturally, you should ask yourself why you wantto improve the score. If your scores are acceptable as they are (see What is a good IELTS score?), then it is not advisable that you retake it. Remember that,as we discussed earlier, scores generally do not improve unless yourEnglish skills have also improved.

“I believe I did better than my IELTS score suggests.”

Again, it is unlikely that simply retaking the exam will yield a higher score. If you believe your performance should have earned youa higher score than you received, you can request for it to be remarked.

“I think I would do better the second time around.”

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, remember that the goal behind taking the IELTS isn’t usually earning a good score, but earning a score that satisfies institutional requirements and makes you eligible. (If you haven’t already, read What is a good IELTS score?) Also, remember thatscores don’t improve just because a test taker hassat the IELTS before. After all, you will never be presented with the same test (e.g. questions, recordings, tasks, topics) a second time.

If you think you would do better becausecircumstances have changed – perhaps time has passed and you have significantly improved your English, or you’ve spent a month in an English-speaking country, you maybe right. If your scores weretoo low to apply for your dream school but you think your English is better now, then it might be a great idea to resit the IELTS.

If, on the other hand, your English skills are as they were, you shouldconsider what you can do to improve your English (and make it happen!) before retaking the exam.

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8 Responses to Should I resit the IELTS?

  1. Should I resit the IELTS? (9)

    RahulApril 8, 2019 at 10:41 pm#

    whoever thought IELTS was just about English. It’s about time management as well. If you didn’t manage your time well first time around (especially with the writing or reading test) – a retake to manage time better seems like the way to go


    • Should I resit the IELTS? (10)

      David RecineApril 9, 2019 at 7:40 am#

      Oh, definitely! Pacing is a huge factor on the IELTS. Of course, English skill can overlap with pacing as well. The more comfortable you are in your English skills, the easier it will be to pace yourself properly on the exam.


  2. Should I resit the IELTS? (11)

    JacoApril 10, 2019 at 5:44 am#

    I retook IELTS to improve my writing score and it did. But my speaking score was less than than the score from the first test. Can I use the best score from each test or only scores of 1 test in full.


    • Should I resit the IELTS? (12)

      (Video) Good News!! Changes in IELTS exam 2022-2023 | 1 Skill retake

      David RecineMay 9, 2019 at 11:31 am#

      Whether or not you can use different section scores from different exams depends on the school, employer, or immigration office you’re applying to. It’s very uncommon for agencies to allow you to use different section scores from different tests in this way, but you may want to double-check with whomever you’re sending your IELTS scores to. It never hurts to ask!


  3. Should I resit the IELTS? (13)

    NishJune 30, 2021 at 12:17 pm#

    if i am in canada and i completed my 1 pgdm course and my ielts score expired can i apply for 2nd course?


    • Should I resit the IELTS? (14)

      Magoosh Test Prep ExpertJuly 12, 2021 at 7:17 pm#

      Hi Nish,

      For the best information, you’d have to reach out to the school that you’re applying to about whether you will need another IELTS. My assumption is that you’d need to retake the IELTS if your score is expired.


  4. Should I resit the IELTS? (15)

    JuanAugust 26, 2022 at 5:26 am#

    Hi everyone,

    I just received my results for IELTS. Overall, I got an 8, with the following scores per section:

    Speaking 8
    Listening 9
    Reading 8.5
    Writing 7

    I am aiming for top universities in the US and UK, and I am worried that my 7 in the writing part could weaken my application. However, all the programs I’m applying to expect, at most, a 7.5 overall with at least 7 per section, which I achieved.

    In your opinion, do you think I should give it another try and resit for the exam? I am also preparing for GRE and I don’t have much spare time.

    I know that band 8 is considered a good mark but, since I don’t take anything for granted, I am worried.

    Thank you in advance!


    (Video) Do IELTS examiners know the score I need when I re-sit my IELTS test?
    • Should I resit the IELTS? (16)

      Magoosh Test Prep ExpertSeptember 9, 2022 at 6:49 am#

      Hi Juan,

      Have you considered all of the factors discussed in the article? If you don’t have time to study again and are preparing for the GRE, and you’ve already met the minimum scores and higher, then I do not advise you to retake the test. Instead, schools (in the US at least) would probably be more interested in your GRE scores if it’s clear you’ve already met the minimum IELTS scores. So, I would recommend that you spend your time on studying for the GRE instead, if that is an application requirement as well.

      I hope this helps! Best of luck to you! 😀


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Is it good to retake IELTS exam? ›

If you didn't show your full potential in one of the four skills (Listening, Reading, Writing, or Speaking) on test day, IELTS One Skill Retake can help you get back on track. You can choose to take IELTS One Skill Retake at any test centre where it is offered.

When should you retake IELTS? ›

If you didn't get the IELTS score you wanted, you can apply to resit the test as soon as you feel ready. However, before applying for a resit you need to keep in mind that your score is unlikely to improve without a significant effort to improve your English.

Should I recheck IELTS score? ›

You need to apply for a re-marking no later than six weeks after the test date, regardless of whether you have taken IELTS on paper or computer. Your Enquiry on Results result will normally be available in 2 to 21 days, depending on several factors including the number of sections requested for remark.

What if I fail my IELTS exam? ›

Fortunately, the exam can be retaken as many times as you need to obtain a passing score. However, you do have to pay each time you take the exam. Rather than blindly attempt to retake the exam multiple times until you get a passing score, it's better to determine what went wrong and why you failed the first time.

What happens if second IELTS score less than first? ›

If you think your band score is less in the IELTS reading section, then you need to retake the IELTS exam on the whole - for all four sections.

How much does it cost to retake IELTS? ›

IELTS retake fee

There is no limit to how many retakes you can take for the IELTS exam. However, you have to pay the complete fee every time you take one (INR Rs. 15,500).

What are the new rules for IELTS 2023? ›

From March 2023 students will have the provision to retake the IELTS for one component if they did not get the desired score on the first attempt. Students who wish to study abroad can now take an IELTS retest in a module for which they did not get the desired score.

Can I retake ielts writing only? ›

With the right preparation and support, our test takers can achieve their best scores. To help you feel confident going into your IELTS test, we've developed IELTS One Skill Retake. You can now retake any one part of the test; Listening, Reading, Writing or Speaking without redoing all four parts.

Can I retake just one section of IELTS? ›

IELTS One Skill Retake allows you to retake one of the four skills (Listening, Reading, Writing, or Speaking) if you need to improve in just one area.

Is it OK to ask the examiner to repeat the question in IELTS? ›

You can ask the examiner to repeat the question in IELTS speaking part 1 (Could you repeat that, please?) but that's all. You can't ask other questions. The examiner is limited to asking questions only in speaking part 1 and can't help you or explain.

Can I combine 2 IELTS results? ›

No. Your IELTS result has to meet our English proficiency requirement in one single test. Combining two or more results is not acceptable. This also applies to other forms of testing we accept as proof of English proficiency.

Does your IELTS score affect admission? ›

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores are required to get admission in UG and PG courses abroad, and to obtain PR in English-speaking countries.

How many people fail IELTS? ›

by jims varkey | Medium. Why 70% of people fail to clear IELTS writing and how to succeed in it.

Is 2 weeks enough for IELTS? ›

We recommend that students spend at least 6-8 weeks preparing for the IELTS exam, focusing on basic grammar, reading speed, test strategies and writing skills. Each part of the IELTS exam is different, so ensure you fully understand what is expected of you.

Is 7.5 a bad IELTS score? ›

Ans. Yes. A 7.5 IELTS score is an extremely good score to get selected for the university of your choice.

Can I retake IELTS if I fail? ›

You may take the IELTS test as many times as you like. You can use the result of the test you prefer. However, as the IELTS centre, we strongly recommend you do additional study before taking the test again. You can also improve your skills by using the IELTS Official Free Practice Materials and Preparation Book.

Do you lose marks for writing too much in IELTS? ›

It is possible to write under the word count and you will get no fixed penalty. But will it impact your score? Writing a short essay which is under 250 words will definitely impact your score and not in a good way.

What happens if I get 4.5 in IELTS? ›

An IELTS band 4.5 is between an IELTS band 4 and a band 5. At an IELTS band 4, you have a very basic understanding of English and you are more comfortable communicating in familiar situations. It is difficult to use complex language. Then, at an IELTS band 5, you have a limited command of the language.

Why do I keep getting 6.5 in IELTS writing? ›

It is simply a by-product of the IELTS method of scoring. If someone receives a band 6.650, it gets rounded down to 6.5. But if someone receives band a 6.750, it goes up to band 7!

Has anyone got 9 IELTS? ›

Yes, getting an IELTS band score of 9 in the actual exam is very much possible. This is possible if you have met the expectations of the IELTS examiner and showcased the qualities of a competent user of the English language.

Do I need to retake IELTS after 2 years? ›

The validity of the IELTS certificate will be perceived as invalid once it surpasses the duration of two years in most cases. Aspirants may retake the examination if the certificate surpasses the overall validity period.

Is IELTS pattern changed in 2023? ›

The Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking parts are all required for the IELTS exam in 2023 . Both the IELTS General Training and IELTS Academic listening and reading components of the IELTS syllabus 2023 won't change. The test topic for the speaking and listening sections will be different, though.

How many attempts of IELTS are allowed? ›

Q. How many IELTS attempts can be given? A. There is no limit set by the conducting bodies of IELTS for taking the IELTS exam. You can take the IELTS test as many times as you want until you get your dream/target score. However, you have to pay the IELTS test fee for every attempt.

What is the minimum IELTS required to study in USA? ›

FAQs: What is the minimum IELTS band for the USA? In order to acquire a study visa in the United States, international students are required to score a minimum of 6.0 band in each module with an overall score of 6.5.

Why do people score less in IELTS writing? ›

Fatigue might play a role. In all the discussions of why IELTS Writing scores are routinely lower than scores for Listening, Reading and Speaking, there is one very important factor that is virtually never mentioned: the placement of the Writing Test within the structure of the overall exam.

Is it okay to write 400 words in IELTS writing? ›

IELTS Writing: Word Count Rules

IELTS have set a task of writing OVER 150 words for IELTS writing task 1 and 250 for writing task 2. However, there is no upper word limit.

Is writing most difficult in IELTS? ›

Yet there is a good reason why most candidates score lower in writing than any other part of the IELTS exam: it is the most difficult.

Is there a penalty for wrong answers on IELTS? ›

There is no penalty for giving an incorrect answer.

Is 6.5 a good score in IELTS? ›

How Good is a 6.5-7 Score in IELTS? IELTS scores range from 0 to 9, with a score of 9 denoting a candidate's proficiency in the language and ability to use/comprehend it in all its complexity. Someone who receives a score of 6.5-7 is considered fairly good and proficient in the language.

What is IELTS one skill retake? ›

IELTS One Skill Retake allows test takers to re-attempt one of the four skills from the complete IELTS test: Listening, Reading, Writing or Speaking.

What is the lowest score in IELTS Speaking? ›

They are designed to be simple and easy to understand. They are reported as band scores on a scale from 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest). All formats of IELTS use the same scoring system.

Can I Reshedule my IELTS exam? ›

You may change your test date at any time before the test. However, depending on when you make your transfer request – that is, how near to the test day – your request may be treated as a cancellation. You must select a test date, where available, within three months from your original test date.

Is IELTS 6.5 difficult? ›

Scoring 5.5 or 6 may seem possible from 4.5 or 5 with a little more practice and preparation; however, reaching 6.5 is a little difficult but not impossible. It will require substantial practice on your part.

Do colleges look at IELTS? ›

You can use your IELTS score to apply to educational institutions around the world. Multinational companies also accept IELTS as proof of your English-language skills, as well as immigration authorities in Australia, Canada, the UK and in the USA.

What is the average IELTS score in the world? ›

The IELTS average score varies between 6.5-8 approximately. The average IELTS band score is calculated on the basis of evaluating all four sections, namely Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing.

Do universities care about IELTS? ›

In fact, universities like Oxford, Harvard and Cambridge require international students to get IELTS results of at least 7.0 to be eligible for most of their programmes. As an admission process, you must send IELTS scores to universities you are applying to.

What is the hardest thing in IELTS? ›

According to several surveys on IELTS modules, the Writing module is the toughest among the four. The writing is considered as the most difficult module of any exam. It may be in major English proficiency tests like IELTS or in school-tests.

What is most difficult in IELTS? ›

As per the surveys on IELTS modules, the writing section is considered the most challenging module of this exam.

Why is IELTS so difficult? ›

The type of questions included and the methodology used to correct the test and the length and format of every part of the exam are standardized. If one comes without preparation then any exam is difficult. Preparing for the IELTS exam includes focusing on different areas of the English language.

In which month is IELTS the easiest? ›

Therefore, the best time to take this exam would be before the questions change, meaning in the months of August, April, and December. During this time, the candidate will be aware of most of the topics, which will help in scoring a better band.

How can I pass IELTS in first attempt? ›

5 tips to pass IELTS your first time taking it
  1. Practise, practise, practise. As with any other language, you must practise English a lot before you can pass IELTS. ...
  2. Diversify your sources. ...
  3. Have everyday conversations. ...
  4. Polish your weak points. ...
  5. Prepare to pass IELTS on test day.
Mar 12, 2022

How to score 7 bands in IELTS in 15 days? ›

How To Crack IELTS In 15 Days? Day-wise Study Plan
  1. Day 1- Understand the Structure. ...
  2. Day 2- Learn the Marking & Grading Pattern. ...
  3. Day 3- Get Confident with Reading Section. ...
  4. Day 4- Comprehension. ...
  5. Day 5- Skimming & other Reading Techniques. ...
  6. Day 6- Practise Full-length Reading Passages.
Jan 10, 2023

Is IELTS 7 hard to get? ›

Getting an IELTS band 7 in writing is very difficult for many students, and most do not know what the examiner is looking for. So the aim of this lesson is to look more generally at what is required to get a band 7 in the writing test.

What is 30 out of 40 in IELTS listening? ›

Band score 7 = 30 out of a raw score of 40.

How many attempts can I give for IELTS? ›

Q. How many IELTS attempts can be given? A. There is no limit set by the conducting bodies of IELTS for taking the IELTS exam. You can take the IELTS test as many times as you want until you get your dream/target score. However, you have to pay the IELTS test fee for every attempt.

Can I still use my 1st attempt result if I take the IELTS twice? ›

Yes. The IELTS score from any test you take will be valid for 2 years from the date of the exam. You will, of course, choose to use your best overall score.

Can I have two IELTS results? ›

A copy of your IELTS score is on your Test Report Form or TRF. You will receive only one copy of your IELTS Test Report Form, which is valid for two years. If you are applying for Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) or the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA), you can receive two copies of your TRF.

What happens if I get 8 in IELTS? ›

A band score of 8 in IELTS means the applicant is an expert user and has a good grasp of the English language. With an 8-band in IELTS, applicants will have no problem working or studying in English-speaking countries.

What happens if I get 7 in IELTS? ›

So, if you have scored 7 or more then you are marked as a good user. If you scored 8 then you are a very good user. Also, if you scored 6 then also you are a competent user. Below we have given the description of the different IELTS Band scores to understand the IELTS score better.

Can I pass IELTS in first attempt? ›

This exam is designed to assess one's command of the English language. As you may have heard, passing the test on the first attempt is difficult, but it is not impossible. If you want to clear the IELTS test on your first try, you must plan ahead of time and begin practicing diligently.

Can I get into Harvard with 6.5 IELTS? ›

A minimum IELTS score of 7.5 or higher is required. Individual section IELTS scores must be at least 7.5.

Does Harvard accept 6.5 IELTS? ›

Earning a minimum score of 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic test.

What is a good IELTS score for USA? ›

USA IELTS Band Requirement 2023

On average, the minimum IELTS score required for admission to top US institutions is a 6.0 band in each module, with an overall score of no less than 6.5.

Can I combine 3 IELTS results? ›

Submitting multiple IELTS test results

As long as you have a minimum score of 7 in each respective area of the test, this can be achieved across multiple tests. Let's look at some examples: On your first attempt you get three band 7s and a band 6.5 in listening. In your second test, you achieve a Band 7 in listening.

Can I combine two IELTS results USA? ›

The IELTS sections cannot be taken separately from one another. You must take the whole test again. It is also not possible to combine results of two tests to get a higher score.

What is the percentage of passing IELTS? ›

There is no pass or fail score in IELTS. Your test results are reported in band scores from 1.0, the lowest, to 9.0, the highest, in half band increments. You will receive an overall band score, as well as individual band scores for each test section - Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.

What is the new rule of IELTS? ›

From March 2023 students will have the provision to retake the IELTS for one component if they did not get the desired score on the first attempt. Students who wish to study abroad can now take an IELTS retest in a module for which they did not get the desired score.


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