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Thinking of taking the IELTS test to study or work in an English-speaking country? We’ll give you all the information you need to know about the IELTS test. We’ll answer basic questions about IELTS validity, and help you prepare and practise for the test.

In this article, you’ll learn how long the IELTS certificate validity lasts for. As well as:

  • How long the IELTS certificate lasts for;
  • IELTS score and validity for Canada;
  • What the IELTS exam is ;
  • How and when to get your results;
  • How much the test costs and how to pay.

Ready? Let’s go!

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How Long Is IELTS Valid For?

The IELTS is valid for 2 years.

The certificate validity period starts from the time of the result (within 5 to 7 days of the exam). However, the validity of the IELTS score varies between countries.  The TRF (Test Report Form)  is valid for 2 years in the USA, Canada and the UK. For immigration to Australia, IELTS validity is 3 years. Although IELTS validity varies, for most countries the IELTS certificate is valid for 2 years.

The IELTS score validity for Canada, USA, UK and Australia is shown in the table below.:

USA✔️ 2 Years
In the USA, the IELTS certificate is accepted in more than 3,000 institutions.
Canada✔️ 2 Years
For Canadian Immigration, you must submit the IELTS test validity within 1 year of submitting your application.
UK✔️ 2 Years
If you’re not happy with your results, you can request details and appeal within 6 weeks of the release date.
Australia✔️ 3 years
IELTS validity was extended to three years as part of changes in the GSM visa program.

IELTS Score and Validity for Canada Immigration

The IELTS exam is one of the most widely-used exams recognised for the Canadian immigration process. The ability to speak, write, read and listen in English is used in the immigration process, and for students who want to study in Canada.

For Canadian immigration, the IELTS exam results are valid for two years from the date of the results. You’ll need to take the exam again if your certificate becomes invalid.

Because there are different tests recognized by the Canadian government, they created the CLB – Canadian Language Benchmarks. This is a standard that all recognised exam scores can be converted into.

The table below shows you how scores in specific sections of the IELTS exams convert to a CLB GRADE:

CLB levelIELTS ReadingIELTS ListeningIELTS WritingIELTS Speaking

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What Is The IELTS Exam? General Overview And Introduction

IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. It assesses the English language skills level of people who wish to work or live in an Anglophone environment. The IELTS certificate is accepted in nearly every English-speaking country (UK, Australia, Canada…) and in more than 3,000 institutions in the USA. It is required by many professional organizations, academic institutions and is asked for visa and immigration forms.

IELTS is one of the most renowned English-language tests in the academic world. It aims at assessing the English level of non-native English speakers. The IELTS test is required by thousands of universities, companies and institutions when accepting new candidates.

According to the British Council website, more than 3 million IELTS tests are taken each year in over 140 countries, which makes it the most popular English language proficiency test in the world.

What is the competence assessment for the IELTS test?

The IELTS test assesses the candidate’s ability to read, speak, understand audio conversations and write in English.

There is no minimum score required to pass the test. Every candidate who passes the test receives their results through a Test Report Form (TRF) which gives them a score going from band 1 to band 9 (band 0 score is given to those who did not attend the test). Each institution asking for its candidate to take the IELTS sets its own threshold, according to its standards.

Band Score
Skill Level
Very good
Extremely limited
Non user

What are the different versions of the IELTS Test?

There are two versions of the IELTS:

The IELTS test lasts 2 hours and 45 minutes and is divided into 4 parts:

  • Listening: the candidate must answer 40 questions
  • Reading: the candidate must answer 40 questions about 3 different texts
  • Writing: the candidate must write 2 texts of 150 and 250 words
  • Speaking: the candidate must speak to an examiner and answer questions about his personal life, talk about a drawn subject and develop a wider conversation about this subject.

How Long Is the IELTS Valid? Check Your Results

There are a number of variables affecting the length of time over which an IELTS score remains valid. In general, the IELTS score validity is for 2 years. It’s a globally recognized exam. Always check with the institution or government that you are submitting your IELTS certificate to, regarding their views on exam validity period.

How Can You Successfully Register for the IELTS Exam?

You can normally register online with your test center. Times and dates for upcoming IELTS exams will be on a test center’s website. The steps involved in registration include the following:

1. Find your nearest IELTS test location.

You can do this by checking with the IELTS website.

2. Register for your IELTS test via the school’s online portal.

You can do it all online or you can print an application and submit the form and payment in person. You will need to fill a form from the official government ID. Whichever form of ID that you use for registration is also needed on the day of your IELTS exam.

3. You have registered

 You should receive written notification of your registration from the test center. Normally, your writing and speaking components will take place on the same day, but there may be times when the speaking component is scheduled for another day (usually within the same week).

You can find more information on how to register on the official IELTS website.

Take your time to decide the right version of the exam. The academic version is used for admittance to a higher educational institute and the general version is used for immigration or other purposes.

When Do You Receive Your IELTS Certificate Test Report Form?

You will need to show the same ID that you used for registration to pick up your results. Depending on the format that you sit for, you can expect to receive your TRF (Test Report Form) as follows:

  • Paper-based test: Results will be available 13 days after your test.
  • Computer-delivered IELTS: Results will be available between 5 and 7 days after your test.
  • IELTS for UKVI: Results will be available 13 days after your test.
  • IELTS Life Skills: Results are available within 7 days after the test.

You will receive one copy of the TRF for most purposes, but you will receive two copies of the TRF if you are applying to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Please also check the process if you are applying for Canadian universities, visa to immigrate in Canada and work as a nurse in Canada.

Where Can You Receive And View Your IELTS Test Results?

It depends if you took your test on the Internet or on paper.

  • Paper-based test: you will receive your IELTS results by post around two weeks after you’ve taken the test (the letter is posted 13 days after the test).
  • Computer-delivered IELTS: results are available online. You will be notified by your test center. The results remain online for two years.

Are You Allowed to Pass the IELTS Exam More Than Once?

Yes, in fact, it’s not that common for an exam candidate to obtain the desired result the first time. Do not be discouraged if your band score is lower than what you expected on the first time around. Perseverance is key until you succeed. However, keep in mind that you have to pay the IELTS exam fee for each attempt.

What Is the Price for the IELTS Exam in the USA and Canada?

The IELTS test fee is specific to each country’s local currency and may vary from one country to another since the test is taken in dozens of different countries all around the world.

Taking the IELTS test in the US costs between $245 and $255 USD.

Taking the IELTS test in Canada costs around $300 CAD.

The exact price depends on which test centre you wish to take your test in. The fees will vary according to the amount of taxes the province or state charges. You can choose the test centre you wish even though people usually pick the one closest to them. You will find the list of test centers on the IELTS registration website.

a diploma on a calendar

What Are All Payment Methods for the IELTS Exam?

You can choose to pay for the IELTS test when you register

  • By credit card.

Or pay later (you have two days after you register to pay, otherwise your registration will be cancelled)

  • By bank cheque;
  • By cash.

Additional information will be sent to you when you register for the IELTS test.

Train And Practice for the IELTS Online with GlobalExam

Finding a good course for IELTS can take time and you may not have a lot of time. Courses may not start at a date that fits with your deadline.

What do we provide for IELTS preparation?

We have loads of IELTS exercises that give you the opportunity to practice a lot. A large number of practice will get you the band score you require. Our exercises come with corrections, so you’ll know where you went wrong and how to fix the errors and improve.

Our tool is able to track your results and follow your progression. Our statistics will give you a picture of which topics you need to redo. When you find your weaknesses, you can then target them with specific vocabulary and grammar sheets that we provide. With our sixty hours of online training, there’s plenty to do for you.

GlobalExam IELTS online preparation is a premium service that we offer; however, we do offer a free trial version of the platform so that you can get a clear idea of what we do and whether you like it or not. There’s no charge for a trail and no obligation to sign up.

In addition to the above, we offer feedback and study paths for you to choose from, so you have options and flexibility for your preparation. There are mock exams as well that let you experience what it will feel like on your actual IELTS exam day.

All training materials are available online. That means you can access all of our great services and materials at any time of day or night.