What To Do If You Have Not Achieved Your Desired IELTS Exam Band Score?

Although not getting your desired IELTS band score is not ideal, it’s is not worth being too hard on yourself. Each year thousands of students attempt the exam, including many from Singapore. A surprisingly large percentage of these test-takers end up taking the test multiple times before they obtain the score necessary for their tertiary education or immigration applications. It is quite normal for students to underestimate the difficulty of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam and this is the reason that most test-takers don’t get the score they need the first time.

In this article, we will outline exactly what should you do if you have not scored well enough in either the IELTS Academic or the IELTS General Training exams.

Request A Remark Of Your Exam

If you have not scored well enough then you have a few options, the first of which is getting your test remarked. This can be done for another additional fee at the British Council or IDP education, depending on who you booked you booked your test with. However, it is important to note that the changes in scores will not be very drastic, maybe the difference between a half-band or so. Therefore the option of remarking should only be considered in genuine cases where you have just barely missed your required IELTS score.

The answers for the IELTS listening and reading components of the exam are fixed. It is very unlikely that you will see a change in score in any of these components. However, since the writing and speaking task criteria are quite subjective it is possible to see a small score change in these areas. The average change candidates can expect to see is about 0.5.

Request Conditional Acceptance

If you have missed the required IELTS overall band score by just a marginal amount. You could try speaking to your university about conditional acceptance. This means that you will be allowed to study at the university until you retake the IELTS test. There are some universities who have some leeway regarding their IELTS test requirements, and they might accept you despite your low score.

Try Applying Somewhere With Lower Band Score Requirements

Different universities and immigration systems have different overall band score requirements and they also differ greatly in their requirements for the reading, writing, speaking and listening components of the IELTS exam. If you fail to be accepted by your original choice of university, you should consider applying somewhere where the band score condition level is lower.

Retake The Test to Obtain A better IELTS Band Score

If your score is much lower than you need it to be, then I recommend that you retake the test. Candidates are allowed to take the times as many times as they need to, and score for your most recent test will be considered as valid.

Use this retest as an opportunity to learn from your mistakes. Try to improve your preparation for the next time you take the test, especially in the test section you scored most poorly in.

Take a good and honest look at your previous preparation methods and schedule to determine how you can improve upon these areas. Make sure that you give yourself sufficient time to really well prepare and improve your English language skills and abilities. Continuously gauge your progress by taking authentic IELTS practice tests.

The smart thing to do is to take the money you would use on taking the test multiple times and spend it on a course that will provide you with the strategies and skills that will guarantee you a better score next time. I believe the easiest and stress-free way to do this is to find an IELTS teacher, who can help you identify your weaknesses and help you to improve in these areas. Often students have gaps in the understanding of particular types of questions and are completely unaware of it until these issues are pointed out by a professional.

Jonathan has been teaching students to prepare for the IELTS and PTE Exams for more than 10+ years. He's taught English to students in various countries in the world including Singapore, China, Australia, Canada and Colombia.