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Retaking the IELTS

If you are planning to retake the IELTS, you can schedule a new test as soon as you like. But slow down! Here are some things to consider first.

Do you have options other than retaking the IELTS?

When your IELTS score is bad, you may have other options. You might be able to get your target school to be flexible on their score requirement. Or you may be able to find a different program that will accept you with the score you have. You also might personally find that it’s easier to get a qualifying score on an alternate test such as the TOEFL.

If none of those other possibilities work for you, then you will need to retake the IELTS after all. Below are some things to think about as you get ready to resit the exam.

Retaking the IELTS? Consider what went wrong the first time.

There are many reasons that test-takers don’t reach their target score. Did you study enough? If not, then make a good, well-organised study plan for your your retake.

Did you study with the right materials? Official IELTS practice materials from, IELTS Essentials, and the British Council, are a must. You should also get your hands on some official IELTS books from Cambridge University Press if you can. And any third-party IELTS resources should be reputable and very similar to the real thing.

Or did you have a low IELTS score because you struggle with some aspects of English? If you did particularly poorly in one section or another, focus on your weaknesses. Maybe you need to work more on your speaking, your reading comprehension, accent reduction, written grammar, or other specific skills.

As you carefully assess your skills, you may realise that test skills hurt your score. Sometimes IELTS test-takers get low marks because they use poor strategies for multiple choice questions. Make sure your skills at organising essays and spoken responses are also sufficient for an improved score on your IELTS resit.

In some cases, a person may have gotten a low IELTS score simply because they were ill or were not well-rested when they last took the exam. In that case, self-care and improved luck may be all you need for a successful retake!

Retaking the IELTS? Reschedule freely.

I’ve saved the easiest part for last. As I’ve said, you may schedule a resit for the IELTS whenever you like. Unlike most other standardised tests, the IELTS places no limits on how many times you may sit the exam per year, or how frequently you may schedule a testing session.

So you can reschedule as quickly as you want, or as slowly as you want. Think about how long you need, and how soon — or how much later — you should take the test again. Then do whatever you must in order to have a better test day the next time around.

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10 Responses to Retaking the IELTS

  1. Twinks August 14, 2017 at 11:03 pm #

    If I have already sent my IELTS score to the university, can I retake the IELTS and send the university my new scores ? will they consider it ?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 18, 2017 at 2:27 pm #

      Hi Twinks,

      Usually, if you send more scores before admissions deadlines hit, your newer scores will replace your older ones on your applicant profile. ๐Ÿ™‚ You can always ask the admission departments directly to get the answer from them, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Vinutha G H August 23, 2017 at 10:00 am #

    when I want to retake IELTS test suppose if I get a low score, then should I do the Payment again???
    And how long will the results take to come for academic module??

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 23, 2017 at 5:45 pm #

      Hi Vinutha,

      Every time you take the IELTS, you need to pay the fee, so if you choose to retake, yes, you will pay again. As for the results, IELTS results are available 13 days after taking the test.

  3. Juntha October 29, 2017 at 12:37 pm #

    Hi, I took the ietls and got a 7,5, but I think i could get a higher score in speaking, If I take the exam and, eventually, get a 7,0, can I send my old scores to the school?

  4. Rachana December 28, 2017 at 11:28 pm #

    Can only one module be given like if scored less in Listening can it be given again?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 30, 2017 at 7:55 am #

      Hi Rachana,

      Unfortunately, you will have to retake the entire exam again. You cannot take just one section.

  5. jasvinder kaur February 13, 2018 at 8:42 am #

    hi , as soon as listening start after 3 questions my headphone stopped working 1missed 4 questions. they said u continue with your exam. after listening they said we can’t play as it is rule of british council.
    I complained and mailed but no reply . what they do in these situations.

    • David Recine
      David Recine February 15, 2018 at 12:48 pm #

      Oh man, that’s a tough one. When something like you’ve described happens, you definitely do have a legitimate complaint. If you wait a long time and there’s still no reply, you may want to contact the British Council directly by phone, either by finding the BC number for the country you live in, or calling their British Council customer service phone line in the UK.

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