How Often Are Requests for an IELTS Rescore Successful?

IELTS Rescore Requests - magoosh

The IELTS is not an easy test. Sometimes, even though you study as hard as you can, you still do not get the score that you need. If this is the case, and you did well in planning when to take the IELTS, then you will still have some time left to fix your problem.

There are two things that you can do: You can either take the exam again, or you can request that the test you just took be rescored by filing an Enquiry on Results.

If you are thinking about whether you should get your IELTS test rescored, you might wonder how often these requests actually work, and result in a better score. The answer is that changes to your IELTS score do happen. However, an increase of a band or more is rare, and it almost never happens on the Listening or Reading sections of the exam. Additionally, the Enquiry on Results process takes a long time, and is expensive.

At the end of the day, the decision of whether to apply for an IELTS rescore is personal, and while this post will give you information on how the rescore process works, the ultimate decision is up to you!

Requesting an IELTS Rescore

After you hand in an Enquiry on Results form, your test will go to the IELTS center in England to be rescored by graders, there. On the form, you can choose which sections you want to have rescored. Whether you want only one section rescored or all of them, the cost is the same, and it takes the same amount of time, so there is little reason not to request a rescore for all of the sections.

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However, rescoring your exam often costs as much as taking a new exam, and while the process is sometimes done in as little as 2 days, it can also often take up to 20 days to complete.

Should You Request a Rescore?

Whether you should request a rescore of your IELTS exam depends on your circumstances, but there are several questions that you should keep in mind as you make this decision:

When do you need passing scores by?

Challenging your IELTS results takes time. Even if you end up being right, and you did score higher than the test results had said, it might not matter: If you need to send passing scores within the next three weeks, your corrected score will come too late.

Do you need to send scores soon?

When you challenge your IELTS score, you will have to send your Test Report Form in along with the Enquiry on Results form. Without the Test Report Form, you cannot send your IELTS scores anywhere. This might prevent you from gaining a conditional acceptance to a school.

Can you afford to contest a score?

The cost of send an Enquiry on Results form to challenge your IELTS score depends on the testing center. However, many charge the same amount for an IELTS rescore as they do to take a new test. This is often around $210. You should contact the testing center where you took the exam to find out the exact price, though.

Do you think your score was good luck?

When you felt like you scored well on the IELTS, did you feel like it was because you were well prepared, or did it feel like you were getting lucky? If you feel like you can do just as well on the IELTS again, resitting for the exam might be the better option.

Listening and Reading Scores are Rarely Changed

The answers that you give for your Listening and Reading sections are usually just one word, or even just a single letter. When graders first look at your answers, there is often very little question if they are correct or not. Even if you lost points on a “technicality,” such as bad IELTS handwriting on the paper-based exam, it will be rare for another grader to change your score.

As a result, if the scores that you are not satisfied with were either for Listening or for Reading, requesting an IELTS rescore will rarely make a difference.

Writing and Speaking Scores Only Change Slightly

Your scores for the Writing and Speaking sections of the IELTS are more difficult to grade. Different graders are more likely to disagree about whether your score is correct or not. However, all of the IELTS graders go through lots of training, so it is rare for them to disagree by more than a point: Some might argue about whether your score should be changed from a 6.5 to a 7, but rarely about whether it should be a 7.5.


If you did not get the score that you needed on the IELTS, but only missed by half of a band on the Speaking or Writing sections, requesting a rescore of your exam might not be a bad idea. However, it will take a long time for the new scores to come back, and can be expensive (though you will get your money back if your score does go up).

On the other hand, if you need a higher score on the Reading or Listening sections, or need more than an entire band increase in your score, requesting an IELTS rescore probably won’t get you what you need.

**Please note we can no longer provide individual re-scoring advice in the comments on this blog post (we just don’t have the resources). However, if you scroll through the comments you will likely find someone in a similar situation as your own. We wish you the best on your IELTS!**

By the way, improve your IELTS score with Magoosh!

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