To help make taking the IELTS test an enjoyable experience for you, we have prepared a list of frequently asked questions that will help with any questions you may have. Please take a look at the answers below, and if you still have any additional questions please contact us and we will be happy to assist.
IELTS Frequently Asked Questions
1. IELTS during Covid-19 Period
Does IELTS testing continue now?
We continue to offer the IELTS test with a limited number of candidates at each session in Kazakhstan. We make sure that our test sessions are held according to all health precautions.
New registrations are currently accepted as usual from our website. You can sign up for an IELTS test by visiting our registration page and choosing a convenient date for you.
Is it safe to attend IELTS with the British Council?
The health and well-being of our candidates and colleagues is our top priority. Therefore, we comply with all security measures established by local authorities and the British Council.
We have introduced the measures below to ensure safe conditions in our centres:
- Each test session is conducted with a limited number of candidates.
- Each test venue is ventilated periodically before and during the tests.
- Each test venue is completely disinfected before testing.
- In our IELTS on computer and on paper sessions, all equipment is disinfected before and after each session.
- The venue staff always wear masks and gloves.
- All candidates must always wear masks and maintain a distance of two m. If desired, you can also wear rubber gloves, however, this is not obligatory.
- We ensure that the antiseptic is available in the test room to make sure all staff and candidates can easily access sanitizers. Our candidates may also bring their own sanitizers if preferred.
Is it necessary to wear masks in the premises of the British Council?
Our venue staff and our candidates must wear masks at all time in the test venues. This applies to Speaking tests as well. You can attend the test with your own mask, or it can be provided in the test venue if preferred.
There is no restriction on the type of mask you must use during the test. During the photoshoot and ID check, you will be asked to remove your mask for a short period of time, but the necessary physical distance will be kept during this time.
Do you use Ashyq application?
Yes. Please be ready for Ashyq scanning on the entrance to the building and to British Council office.
How can I receive my certificate during Covid-19?
You can find out your online results of your IELTS test via your test taker account on the portal for IELTS candidates in 13 calendar days for the IELTS on paper, and in 3-5 days for the IELTS on computer.
IELTS test results will be available from the test taker portal , but the scores on the test taker portal cannot be accepted as your IELTS certificate. For security reasons, we are unable to provide you with your test results by phone, e-mail or fax.
How can I receive my certificate from your office?
We are currently offering customers the opportunity to collect their IELTS Test Report Forms from our office, the available visit dates are:
- In Almaty, on Monday - Friday - 10:00 am to 17.00 pm
- In Nur-Sultan, from Monday to Friday - 09:00-18:00 (22 Mangilik El avenue) - for candidates who took the examination after 18 August 2021 (inclusive)
- In Nur-Sultan, 33 Kunayev Street, Business Center "Astanalyk", 2nd floor, office 212 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, from 13.00 to 15.00) - for candidates who have taken the exam before August 17, 2021 (inclusive)
- In Atyrau, on Tuesday and Friday - 14:00-17:00 (Youth palace, Abay centre, 54A Abulkhayir Khan avenue, entrance from the right side of the building)
- In Shymkent, from Monday to Friday, 09:00-17:00 (Cambridge Line school, 259 Nursat street, Chancellery room, next to Director’s office)
You can collect your Test Report Form (TRF) from our office in Almaty 13 days after taking IELTS on paper and in Nur-Sultan after 17 days. You can collect your TRF from our office 5 working days after taking your IELTS on computer in Almaty and 7 working days after taking your IELTS on computer in Nur-Sultan. Please bring the same proof of identification that you used to take your test. If you cannot collect your TRF in person, you can arrange for a third party to collect it by providing a third party ID card or Passport with your power of attorney.
2. General Information about IELTS
What is IELTS?
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world’s most popular English language proficiency test for higher education and global migration, with over 2.9 million tests taken in the last year.
What is the test format and how long will it take?
IELTS has four parts – Listening (30 minutes), Reading (60 minutes), Writing (60 minutes) and Speaking (11–14 minutes). The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes. The Listening, Reading and Writing tests are done in one sitting. The Speaking test is held on the date you choose during your registration.
How much does it cost?
Information on the price of the test can be found in online registration system. For payment, we can only accept Kazakhstan Tenge. Transfers made in any other currency will not be accepted.
How many test locations are there in Kazakhstan?
The British Council offers IELTS tests in three main locations across Kazakhstan: Almaty, Nur-Sultan and Shymkent.
You can visit our website for IELTS test dates.
When can I take the test?
You can monitor the availabilities of exams for each date and location on our website. You can only apply for the available dates designated on our website.
How often can I take the test?
You may take the IELTS test as many times as you like. You can use the result of the test you prefer.
However, as the IELTS centre, we strongly recommend you do additional study before taking the test again. You can also improve your skills by using the IELTS Official Free Practice Materials .
What is the main difference between Academic and General Modules?
IELTS test has two versions – Academic and General Training. The Academic test is typically for those who want to study at the tertiary level in programs which require an English proficiency score. The General Training test is typically for those who want to do work experience, training programs, secondary school or migrate to an English-speaking country.
Every organisation sets its own entry requirements. In some cases, both versions of IELTS may be accepted. Check with the organisation you wish to apply to before you book your test to learn which module is accepted.
Who accepts an IELTS score?
IELTS is accepted by more than 11,000 organisations worldwide. These include universities, government agencies, professional bodies and multinational companies. IELTS is also accepted by the countries who require the English language abilities for immigration.
You can visit our website to view the organizations that accept the IELTS test. In addition, you should also contact the institution you will apply directly about the application criteria.
3. Special arrangements
What help is available for disabled candidates?
We offer special arrangements for your test.
Our official IELTS test centres can help if you have visual, hearing, speaking or learning difficulties. If you need a modified version of IELTS, please give the test centre three months’ notice.
If special arrangements (for example, extra time) need to be made then please give the test centre six weeks' notice.
Your English language ability will be assessed objectively, regardless of any disability or special needs that you may have.
What do special arrangements include?
- braille papers
- special Listening CD with necessary stops and pauses
- lip-reading version of the Listening test
- enlarged print or Speaking task cards in Braille.
What sort of help can I get?
If you have a visual impairment, we can provide:
- enlarged print
- Braille test papers
- an amanuensis to write the answers for you.
If you have hearing difficulties, we can offer:
- special amplification equipment
- a lip-reading version of the Listening module.
If you have dyslexia, we can arrange:
- extra time for the Reading and Writing tests.
Please contact your local test centre by email or telephone as soon as possible if you have special needs that may require a modified IELTS test version.
4. General Enquiries about Test Format and Rules
Is the IELTS test completed in one day?
The Listening, Reading and Writing components of the test are always completed immediately after each other, with no break in between. You can choose the date of your Speaking test. The Speaking test may be taken on the same day or up to 6 days before or 1 days after the test date.
What can I bring into the examination room?
Only pencils, pencil sharpeners and erasers and water in the transparent bottle without any label. You must also bring the passport or national identity card you used during the registration.
You must leave everything else outside the examination room. Mobile phones and other electronic devices must be switched off and placed with personal belongings in the area designated by the supervisor.
If you do not switch off your electronic devices or keep them on you, you will be disqualified from the exam. All watches are also banned from the test rooms for all test components.
Which part do I take first?
You will complete the Listening test first, followed by the Reading and Writing components of the test.
Depending on the test centre, the Speaking test may be taken on the same day or up to 6 days before or 1 day after the test date.
What kinds of accents can be heard in the Listening and Speaking tests?
As IELTS is an international test, a variety of English accents are used in both tests.
Is there an additional period of time given in the Reading test to transfer answers?
No. The Reading test is one hour, and you must write all your answers on the answer sheet in this time.
Can I use a pen for the Listening and Reading tests?
No. You must complete these sections using a pencil.
Can I make notes on the Listening and Reading question papers?
Yes. The IELTS Examiner will not see your question paper since the evaluation is based on your result papers.
What is the Speaking Test?
The Speaking test is a conversation with a certified IELTS Examiner. It is available in two options: face to face and computer videocall through Zoom. The Speaking test is made up of three sections and it takes between 11 - 14 minutes. It is recorded digitally. To learn more about the test format, please visit this website.
If you wish to practice for the Speaking test, you can use this page.
What is Test Day Photography?
Security at IELTS tests is important to us. Certain test locations have introduced a new procedure for enhancing IELTS test security that involves taking and authenticating photographs of test takers on the test day. Under this new procedure, IELTS administration staff will take an individual, passport style photograph of all candidates present on the test day.
IELTS Test day photography is an important global initiative which requires all candidates’ cooperation and participation. If you have any questions, or this causes inconvenience on the test day, please notify our staff immediately. Refusal to follow our security procedures may result in candidates not being allowed to sit the test, and not being eligible for transfer of test date, and/or cancellation refund of any kind.
Do I still need to submit another photo given that my photo is already taken on the test day?
No, you are not required to submit photograph(s) on your test application or on the test day.
What do I need for the Speaking Test?
You must bring the same identification documents you uploaded during the registration and used for the rest of the test. Your ID will be checked before you enter the interview room.
Where can I find more information about IELTS test registration?
IELTS Test registration can be found on our website. You can register for a convenient date by visiting our online registration page.
Which documents are required for application?
Your Kazakhstan national ID or passport. Please note that only ID or passport which has not passed the validity period are accepted. For your IELTS test application, you must accurately record this information in our system during registration and upload your identity document or passport during the application.
Our candidates who do not hold Kazakhstan citizenship must attend the test with their international passport (must not be expired). Resident and work permits are not a valid form of identification.
What if I have no\lost the ID that I used for registration?
You must notify the test centre once it happened by sending your ID or passport copy to our e-mail to make changes in our system.
How can I register a minor?
First, after selecting the appropriate test date from our registration page, you must register to the registration portal as the parent or guardian of the minor and save your personal information in our system. At this stage, you are asked to save your basic information such as email, a password you need to log into your IELTS account, name, surname, date of birth, contact information, address, and also you are asked to specify who you reserved this test for, you should choose ‘my child’ option.
Then, on the next page, you will be asked to save the personal information of the minor candidate. After this step, you need to save the underage candidate's information, check 'Yes; I give my permission' option and complete the registration.
How long does it take to get the test confirmation e-mail?
After registering you will receive an automatic IELTS application summary e-mail including your test reference number.
If you register for the IELTS Life Skills test, you will receive the test details to your e-mail.
For more information, please contact Customer Services.
6. Test Payment
How can I make the payment for my test?
You can make the payment with a credit or debit card when you complete your online registration OR you can pay via bank transfer after you complete the registration. If you will complete the payment via a bank transfer, please include the information below in the explanatory part of the payment.
- Name and surname of the candidate
- Exam date
- Reference number that is shared with you on the registration portal
In case you choose the payment via bank transfer please note that it can take up to 5 working days.
What are the bank details for payment via bank transfer?
You can make the payment for your test to the following account:
ATTENTION: While making payment it is obligatory to mention your full name, IELTS Reference number (your reference number is a 15-digit number that starts with A3-KZ001) and date of the exam. Example: Akhmetov/A3-KZ001-000000-0000/05.05.2021. Without this information we will not be able to identify your payment.
Please be informed that you can pay at any bank except Citibank.
Please remember that your registration is valid within 24 hours of the registration time.
As soon as we get your payment, you will receive a registration summary e-mail stating your test start time, date and test location.
Can I pay from abroad?
You can make your test payment from abroad. May we remind you that there may be extra charges when transferring money to Kazakhstan. Please ask your bank before making the transfer.
For payment, we can only accept Kazakhstan Tenge. Transfers made in any other currency will not be accepted.
Can someone else pay for my test?
Yes. However, the person who makes the payment must include the following information in the explanatory part of the payment.
- Name and surname of the candidate
- Exam date
- Reference number that is shared with you on the registration portal
I have paid for my test but did not receive any confirmation. What can I do?
It may take 5 working days for your payment to reach us. If you still have not received a payment confirmation 5 days after making your payment, please contact Customer Services.
Why was I charged differently from my credit card payment?
As IELTS is an international test, it is also subject to international payment conditions. Some banks may reflect small exchange differences that may occur in spending at times, especially when the currency fluctuation is high, to their customers' spending. If you encounter such a situation, we suggest you contact your bank about this.
7. Test Date and Time
I have paid the test fee. How can I see the date, time and location of my test?
All the details regarding your test date, time and location will be sent to your e-mail address after you complete the registration. You may also find your test details on your test taker portal.
What should I do if I want to cancel my test or change the date?
If you postpone or cancel your application more than 5 weeks before the test date, you will receive a free transfer or a full refund.
If you postpone or cancel your exam within 5 weeks of the test date due to a medical reason, you will receive a refund minus 25% of the test fee. In this case, you must provide a valid proof.
What if I am sick on the test date or cannot come?
If you are absent on the test day with no prior notice, you will lose your full fee.
However, if you provide a medical certificate within 5 working days after the test date, you will receive a refund minus 25% of the test fee. Alternatively, you can pay the stated amount and postpone your test date.
For more information, please contact Customer Services.
Can I change my speaking test date?
Candidates can choose their Speaking test date for IELTS test; however, test centres have the right to change the dates for the Speaking test. You can contact us to change your speaking test date. We are able to help you upon availability.
The IELTS Life Skills speaking test time is assigned by the test centre. If you have any serious health problem with a medical certificate, or you are coming from a different country to take this test, you should let us know before the speaking test dates are assigned.
What if I am running late or could not take one part of my test due to circumstances beyond my control?
You should arrive at the test centre 60 minutes before the scheduled Listening, Reading and Writing test start time and 20 minutes before the scheduled Speaking test start time. If you arrive late, you will not be allowed to take the test and you will not be eligible for a refund or transfer.
8. Identification Document
Can I attend the test with documents such as Driver’s Licence, Residence Permit, Work Permit or Student Card?
No. The above forms of identification cannot be used to attend the test.
You can only attend your IELTS test with the document that you stated on your test registration (Kazakhstan National ID or passport).
If I do not have a Kazakhstan passport, which document is accepted for the test?
If you do not have a Kazakhstan passport, you can only register IELTS with your valid Kazakhstan National ID Card. If you apply from abroad, you can only use valid international passport. Please note that expired documents cannot be accepted.
9. Test Results (part 1)
How long does any IELTS score last?
Test Report Forms are valid for 2 years. You can attend IELTS as many times as you would like to. You can use any result that you wish.
Who sets the pass mark for the IELTS test?
Scores are graded on the 9-band system. Each educational institution or organisation sets its own level of IELTS scores to meet its individual requirements. Therefore, we strongly suggest you contact the institution you want to apply for.
How can I send my test results to institutions?
We can send up to 5 additional copies of your TRF directly to higher education institutes and other organisations that recognise IELTS free of charge via our online system. This can be done if the relevant organisation - universities, immigration offices, etc - is registered on the system. If you would like us to do this, please include the relevant addresses on the Test taker portal within two years of taking the test. You can check this via this link.
If you would like us to do this please enter the relevant organisation’s information when you register or via test taker portal after you have registered, your results will be sent there automatically. You can do this up to 10 days before your test date or after your results have been published. Please note that additional TRFs take 7 working days to be processed.
If the higher education institution is not registered on the online system you will need to send the TRF by a posting service at your own expense.
Can I get more than five additional copies of my IELTS results?
Yes, it is possible. Please follow the steps below:
- A completed application for the Issuing of Additional TRFs
- A copy of your identification (national ID or passport)
- Proof of payment
When will I receive my test results?
If you take IELTS on paper, you can collect your certificate from our office in 13 days after taking the test in Almaty and in 17 days after taking the test in Nur-Sultan.
If you take IELTS on computer, you can collect your certificate from our office in 5 working days after taking the test in Almaty and in 7 working days after taking your test in Nur-Sultan.
Please bring the same proof of identification that you used to take your test. If you cannot collect your certificate in person, you can arrange for a third party to collect it by providing a third party ID card or Passport with your power of attorney.
10. Test Results (part 2)
What if I lose my Test Report Form?
If you have lost your test certificate (Test Report Form) or have forgotten your results, please contact your test centre. If your test centre is closed you can order a duplicate certificate from ielts.org . There is a fee for the reissuance service is 5000 KZT.
How are the tests marked?
IELTS uses a 9-band scoring system to measure and report test scores in a consistent manner. You receive individual band scores for Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking, and an Overall Band Score on a band scale from one to nine. You can reach detailed information regarding the IELTS test format and scoring from our website.
What if I feel my test result is wrong?
Note that IELTS Examiners and markers follow strict assessment guidelines and are regularly monitored. The IELTS testing process has the highest quality control procedures.
You can apply for an ‘Enquiry on Results’ (EOR) procedure at your test centre within six weeks of the test date via Test Taker Portal. You must pay an enquiry fee, which is fully refunded if your band score changes. Please send us an email to find out more about enquiries on results.
How can I pay for the Enquiry on Results (EOR)?
If you did not receive the score you expected you can apply for your test to be re-marked. Applications are accepted within 6 weeks after the exam date. This is called an Enquiry on Results (EOR). You can choose which test sections you want to be re-marked and you need to request this at the test centre where you took the test.
There is a fee of 30 000 KZT for this service which will be refunded should your overall score change. Enquiry on Results can take up to eight weeks to complete.
You can submit an Enquiry on Results online from the Test Taker Portal. Alternatively, you can download the Enquiry on Results Form from the text below and submit it to the test centre where you sat the test. Make sure you attach your proof of payment:
- Completed and signed Enquiry on Results application
- Enquiry on Results fee payment confirmation
- Copy of your passport or national identity card
- Scanned copy of a hand-written application for refund in English
You result will normally be available in 2 to 21 days, depending on several factors including the number of sections requested for remark. If you have not received a response after 28 days, please contact your test centre.