Can I take the IELTS Exam Online?

Many of my IELTS students from Singapore and other parts of the world have often asked me if it was possible to take the IELTS exam online at home.  Although this has never been true, the owners of the exam (the University of Cambridge ESOL, the British Council and IDP Education Australia) have recently introduced the IELTS indicator test as a stand-in for an actual IELTS exam test result. This change comes as a direct result of the delays and disruptions that the Covid 19 pandemic has caused to IELTS test centres around the globe. While there are test centres that have resumed testing under strict Covid 19 protocols, many have remained closed until further notice.

What is the IELTS Indicator Test

The IELTS indicator test is an online IELTS test which you can take from the comfort of your own home. The test can be taken on a laptop or PC and is very similar in structure to the computer-delivered IELTS test. The same four skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking are assessed. The timings are also very similar to the computer-delivered IELTS tests. You will not be given any extra time for any component of the test and you will not be allowed to pause or take a break at any point during the test. Therefore it’s extremely important to take the test at a place where you can be guaranteed that there will be no interruptions or distractions.

How Will The Speaking Test Be Conducted?

For the first time since the IELTS test’s inception, the speaking section for this particular IELTS indicator test will not be held in person. The speaking test interview will be conducted via a zoom video call.

Who Can Take the IELTS Indicator Test?

At the moment the IELTS indicator test is only available in countries where regular IELTS testing has been postponed. It is a temporary solution for the problems caused by the pandemic and the administrators of the test have not yet confirmed that online at-home tests will be the way forward for the IELTS exam in the future. You can find a list of both countries that offer regular IELTS tests and IELTS indicator tests on the official IELTS website. The booking procedure is very similar to that of a regular IELTS test and you can pay using a debit or credit card

Unfortunately, the test is only available in the Academic format. Therefore those test takers who wish to take the IELTS exam for immigration purposes cannot take the IELTS indicator test. The test is also not available for the United Kingdom Visas and Immigration (UKVI) IELTS exam

Those students who use the IELTS indicator test for applications to universities and higher learning institutes must make sure that their test scores will be accepted by their chosen institutions since not all universities accept IELTS indicator scores as a replacement for an actual IELTS test score

Important Points To Note About The IELTS Indicator Test

  • The ownness is on the test taker to ensure that they have a good internet connection and a suitable microphone and webcam that meets the requirements necessary for taking the test.
  • You should also invest in a good pair of headphones to ensure that the audio quality during both the listening and speaking sections of the test is up to par.
  • Your results will be available after a week of taking the test.
  • The test is exactly the same as the computer-delivered test. Therefore, students can use exactly the same practice materials and resources, such as mock tests and model answers to prepare for this new version of the test

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.