How To Apply For IELTS in 2024: Best Step-By-Step Guide

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Are you planning to take the IELTS exam in 2024? Whether you are planning to study abroad or seeking employment opportunities in an English-speaking country, IELTS is a globally recognized test for measuring your English language proficiency.

The examination is jointly owned and conducted by three entities:

  • International Development Program (IDP)
  • British Council
  • Cambridge English

Currently, the IELTS exam in India is solely conducted by IDP. You can book your IELTS exam online by visiting the official IELTS website or your nearest IELTS branch if you want to book your IELTS exam offline.

In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about how to apply for IELTS exam successfully. From registration to test day, we’ve got you covered.

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Types of IELTS Exams

The IELTS exam is divided into two categories:

IELTS Academic

If you aim to study in an English-speaking country (higher education) or need it for professional registration purposes, the IELTS Academic test is the right fit for you. 

This test measures your readiness to begin studying in English and focuses on the academic vocabulary you would encounter in an academic setting. The best part is you can choose whether to take IELTS Academic on paper, on a computer, or even online from the comfort of your home or a suitable location.

IELTS General Training

If you are applying to study below degree level, like in an English-speaking school or college, or need it for work experience or other employment training purposes, the IELTS General Training test is the one for you.

Moreover, if you plan to migrate to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the UK, this test is a requirement. IELTS General Training evaluates everyday English language skills you need in social and workplace environments. You can take the IELTS General Training test in either a paper-based or computer-based format.

how to apply for IELTS
Mastering the process of “how to apply for IELTS” is your passport to global opportunities in education, work, and beyond.

IELTS Mode of Examination

When you’re figuring out how to apply for IELTS and register for the exam, you can choose between two modes of examination: Computer-delivered and paper-based tests.

Both tests have the same structure and assessment system, but the difference lies in how the test is delivered.

Paper-based Test

The pen and paper IELTS test is available for up to 48 days yearly. 

Booking your test in advance is essential to secure your desired test centre and time slot. The paper-based test results are typically declared within 13 days after the test.

Computer-based Test

The computer-based IELTS test is available every day of the week and offers three-time slots daily. This allows you to choose a preferred time that suits your schedule. 

The results of computer-delivered tests are usually available within 3-5 days, making it more suitable for students with upcoming college application deadlines. 

An important difference is that the listening section in the computer-based test is 10 minutes shorter than the paper-based one. The extra 10 minutes in the paper-based test are given for transferring answers to an official answer transcript. 

The computer-based test allows you to select and mark answers directly on the screen, eliminating the need for a separate sheet.

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How To Apply For IELTS in 2024: Best Step-By-Step Guide

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How To Apply For IELTS in 2024: Best Step-By-Step Guide

How to Apply for IELTS

When considering how to apply for IELTS, you have two options to choose from for your registration process:

How to apply for IELTS: Online IELTS Registration

The online process is fairly easy. To understand how to apply for IELTS and book your IELTS test, follow these simple steps:

  • Visit the IELTS India webpage.
  • Click on “Register for IELTS” or “Book Now” to start the registration process.
  • Choose the type of IELTS exam you need from the available options: Computer, Paper-Based, UKVI, or Life Skills.
  • Select your preferred test type: IELTS Academic Test or General IELTS.
  • Pick the city where you want to take the test from the drop-down list.
  • Check the availability calendar to find a suitable date and time for your exam.
  • Complete the application form online with the required information.
  • Pay the registration fee using your Visa or Mastercard.

Note: Are you confused about how to apply for IELTS speaking section? If you opt for the paper-based test, remember to register separately for the Speaking section.

How to apply for IELTS: Offline IELTS Registration

Before understanding how to apply for IELTS, you must keep a few things in mind:

  • You must be over 16 years of age and possess a valid passport.
  •  The information given on the application must match the details of the passport.
  •  The passport needs to be carried by you on the test day as well as ID proof.
  •  You need to keep your debit/credit cards handy during registration.

To understand how to apply for IELTS register for the IELTS exam in person, you have two options. Here’s how you can do it:

Method 1: Register at an IDP Branch/Head Office

  1. Go to any IDP Branch/Head Office and use their computer to register online for the IELTS exam.
  2. Pay the test fee and get an instant confirmation of your seat.
  3. Submit a photocopy of your Passport and any observation pages if applicable.
  4. Sign the Terms & Conditions document and hand it over.
  5. Receive your acknowledgement letter confirming your test seat.

Method 2: Register at an IDP Office/Input Node

  1. Fill out your application form available at the IDP office.
  2. Sign the Terms & Conditions provided with your application form.
  3. Submit a photocopy of your Passport and any observation pages if applicable.
  4. Pay the test fee and request the staff to submit your application form, providing you with a tentative seat reservation.

Register by Courier

  1. Download your application form from the official website or get it from the nearest IDP branch office/Input Node.
  2. Fill out your application form and sign the Terms & Conditions document.
  3. Submit a photocopy of your Passport and any observation pages if applicable.
  4. Pay the IELTS exam fee.
  5. Send the completed application form along with all necessary documents and test fee to the IDP Education India Pvt. Ltd. Head Office at the given address.

IELTS Registration Fees

The IELTS exam fee in India varies as per the exam type. Please refer to the below table for detailed information on IELTS test fees before understanding how to apply for IELTS:

Test TypeCost (INR)
Computer-delivered IELTS for UKVI16,500
Computer-delivered IELTS16,250
IELTS Life Skills (A1 and B1)15,350
IELTS for UK Visas and Immigration16,500
Pen and paper-based IELTS16,250

How to apply for IELTS: IELTS Rescheduling

If you’re wondering how to apply for IELTS, and if you need to reschedule or transfer your exam dates, you can follow these instructions:

  1. Log in to your account on the official IELTS IDP India website at ​​
  2. Download the “Transfer, Cancellation Application Form” from the official IELTS website.
  3. In the “Request for Transfer/Cancellation” section, choose the “transfer” option.
  4. Provide all the necessary details on the form.
  5. Upload relevant supporting documents, like a medical certificate, death/cremation certificate or doctor’s note, police FIR, and proof of passport renewal or immigration department receipt.
  6. After submitting the form, wait for an acknowledgement.
  7. You’ll receive confirmation of your new date within 3 days. You’ll be notified through email and SMS if your request is declined.
  8. Once your request is approved, you can proceed to book the new test dates and location.

Important points to remember when rescheduling your IELTS exam or exploring how to apply for IELTS:

  • Rescheduling is possible if your test date is at least 15 days away from the date of your transfer application.
  • If your test date is 34 days or more in the future, you can reschedule without stating a reason.
  • An administrative charge of INR 3,300, inclusive of all taxes, is applicable for the test date transfer.

How to apply for IELTS: IELTS Cancellation

For guidance on how to apply for IELTS and cancel the exam, please follow these steps:

  1. Visit the main IELTS website and log in to your ID.
  2. Select the cancellation option from the list.
  3. Provide the required documents and valid reasons for cancelling the test.

Cancellation and refund policy for understanding how to apply for IELTS:

  • You can request cancellation if your test date is at least 15 days away.
  •  You can apply for cancellation with supporting documents for test dates between 15-34 days or for payments made through offline channels.
  •  After cancellation is approved, a refund will be processed within 8-10 business days, minus administrative charges.

IELTS Test Centres in India

IDP IELTS operates exam centres throughout India, covering 78 locations across 75 cities.

before understanding how to apply for IELTS, it’s advisable to choose a test centre closest to you, considering your travel arrangements for the exam day.

Given the extensive network of locations, you’ll have the convenience of finding a test centre that is conveniently situated near your home.

NagpurNasikNavi MumbaiNavsari
NawanshahrNew DelhiNoidaPatiala
SiliguriSri GanganagarSri Muktsar SahibSurat

Final Thoughts

The IELTS registration process and the thought of how to apply for IELTS can initially seem overwhelming, but with the right preparation and guidance, it can be a smooth and straightforward process.

Once you’ve scheduled your test date, you should begin your preparation well in advance to enhance your outcomes. Consider opting for professional help to ensure a carefully organized and effective study plan.

That’s where Leap Scholar comes in.

Leap can make the process of understanding how to apply for IELTS easy by offering a wide range of study materials, personalized coaching, and other helpful resources to help you achieve your goals.

Ready to take the first step in discovering how to apply for IELTS? Get in touch today!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Q: In which countries is the IELTS score accepted?

    A: The USA, UK, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and Canada accept IELTS. The IELTS score is also accepted at universities in non-English-speaking countries where the majority of courses are taught in English.

  • Q: When should I register for IELTS?

    A: You can register as early as three months before the IELTS test date. This is subject to the availability of seats in your city/test centre where you are looking to register for the exam. However, it is advised that you do not wait till the last moment to finalise your test dates as it may not guarantee the date or the venue of your preference.

  • Q: What is IELTS, and why is it important? 

    A: The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a globally recognized English language proficiency test. It holds significance for individuals aiming to study, work, or migrate to English-speaking countries. IELTS assesses your ability to comprehend, communicate, and use English effectively in real-life situations, contributing to your success in various educational and professional endeavours.

  • Q: How to apply for IELTS test? 

    A: To initiate the registration process, visit the official IELTS website ( Create a personal account by providing your relevant information. Once logged in, you can choose a suitable test date and location from the available options. Complete the registration by submitting the required details and paying the applicable fee using a debit or credit card.

  • Q: What documents do I need to apply for IELTS? 

    A: When applying for the IELTS test, you typically require a valid passport as proof of identity. Additionally, you will need a debit or credit card to make the payment. While these are the general requirements, it’s advisable to review the specific prerequisites of your chosen test centre on their website.

  • Q: Can I choose any test format for IELTS? 

    A: Yes, IELTS offers the flexibility to choose between paper-based and computer-based formats, depending on availability at your preferred test centre. This allows you to opt for the format that aligns with your comfort and familiarity.

  • Q: How can I prepare for the IELTS test? 

    A: Effective preparation involves a combination of strategies. Utilize official IELTS study materials, such as practice tests and guides, to understand the test format. You can contact Leap Scholar, which offers reputable preparatory courses that offer expert guidance and mock tests. Regularly practice your listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills to enhance your overall language proficiency.

  • Q: Is there a limit to the number of times I can take the IELTS test? 

    A: While there is no official limit to the number of times you can take the IELTS test, it is recommended to attempt the test when you are adequately prepared to achieve your desired score. Frequent retakes without substantial improvement may not yield the desired outcome.

  • Q: How long are IELTS scores valid? 

    A: IELTS scores are generally valid for a period of two years from the date of the test. After this duration, the scores may not be considered current for official purposes.

  • Q: How is the IELTS test scored? 

    A: The IELTS test uses a scoring system called the IELTS band scores, which range from 0 to 9. Each section of the test – Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking – is separately scored, and then an average is calculated to determine your overall band score. The band score reflects your level of English proficiency.

  • Q: What if I need special accommodations due to a disability? 

    A: If you require special accommodations due to a disability, you can request these accommodations during the registration process. You will likely need to provide relevant documentation, such as medical certificates, to support your request and ensure a fair testing experience.

Know more about IELTS

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Manisha Angre

Experienced IELTS prep trainer and education management industry veteran. Specializes in public speaking, international education, market research, mentoring, and management.

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