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Study up! Here are the answers to all your international student needs for completing the IELTS Canada testing of communicating in English.

IELTS Canada: Most Common FAQs Answered

The IELTS is a test that demonstrates a person’s ability to speak and write in English. The test is required by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for anyone applying for a Canadian visa.

Colleges, universities, and employers across Canada require the exam for international students and employees. It’s even required for people from English-speaking countries, with minimum test score requirements that vary between institutions. Here are the top 4 FAQs prepared by Trillium Education IELTS Study Center.

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FAQ #1: How do I submit an application for the IELTS?

Before you apply for the IELTS, use the search tool on the IELTS website to find a test site near you. There are over 1600 test locations in over 140 countries around the world. The search tool will help you find the location closest to you.

After finding your testing location, there are two options for applying for the test. The first involves registering and paying for the test online. The forms can be found on the IELTS website. When you sign up online, you’ll have to provide proof of your identity in the form of a valid passport. Once complete, you’ll be directed to an online payment link where payments can be made with a debit card, Visa, or MasterCard.

The other registration option involves printing and mailing the application, identity documentation, and payment. It’s important to write as legibly as possible. Since it takes time to process print applications, applicants must include both a preferred test date and one alternate test date. For certain individuals who meet specific criteria, Canada immigration without IELTS is possible. Individuals who have completed their education in English or French-speaking countries are in this category. While not all immigration pathways allow for Canada immigration without IELTS, it is worth exploring alternative options and consulting with an immigration expert to determine the best path forward.

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When sending a print application, applicants should provide a photocopy of their passport and payment. Personal cheques are not accepted for the IELTS, so applicants must include either a money order or a certified cheque.

After the application is processed (either online or with a printed application), the test center will send a confirmation to the applicant containing the date and time for the IELTS test.

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FAQ #2: What are the fees for taking the IELTS?

The IELTS typically costs between $245 and $255 (USD). This includes the costs of the test only. Test applicants may also spend money for transportation to and from the test site and postage for mailed applications.

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FAQ #3: What happens if I have an emergency and can’t attend my scheduled IELTS?

If you’re signed up for the IELTS test, you can transfer or cancel your test. However, all transfers and cancellations will require an $85 administration fee (regardless of reason or notice). All application transfers and cancellations must reach the head office a full four weeks (28 days) before the test date.

However, exceptions are made for applicants who face special circumstances (such as an emergency on the day of the test). The following circumstances may be considered:

  • Hospital admission or serious injury (as long as medical documentation is provided)
  • The death of a close family member (as long as a death certificate is provided)
  • Crime or traffic incident (as long as a police report is provided)
  • Military service (as long as a letter from the government is provided)

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Applicants’ refunds will be granted on a case-by-case basis. Regardless of the cause, an $85 administration fee will apply. Students will receive a refund for their test fees (minus the administration fee).

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FAQ #4: What should I expect on test day for my IELTS?

Registration for the IELTS begins at 8:15 a.m. on the day of the test. Everyone must arrive by 9:15 a.m. to be admitted for the test, which begins at 9:30 a.m. It’s important to bring the exact photo identification used for the application, a printed copy of the confirmation email, pencils, erasers, and a pencil sharpener.

On the test day, your photo will be taken at registration. There will also be a finger scan taken, which must be matched each time you leave and re-enter the test room. The electronic scanner stores a picture of your finger to be used on the day of the test only. It is taken to prevent fraudulent test-taking.

If you refuse to get a finger scan, you’ll be denied admission to the exam. No refund or transfer will be allowed for testers who are denied entry for refusing to take the finger scan.

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Testers are also allowed to have a clear bottle of water, as long as its label is removed. No personal items (such as phones, purses, or backpacks) will be permitted in the testing room. You’ll be able to store personal items in a cloakroom. However, the testing staff is not responsible for lost or damaged items, so you should leave any valuables at home or secured in your vehicle during the test.

Speaking interviews for the IELTS typically happen during the afternoon, between 1:20 p.m. and 5:20 p.m. Your speaking interview time will be provided on the day of the test.

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The IELTS is an important test if you plan to study or work in Canada. The following are a few important things to remember:

  • Apply as early as possible. Whether you apply online or with a printed application, spots are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • There’s an administration fee if you have to transfer or cancel your test date. While a partial refund will be provided in case of an emergency, you’ll be required to pay an administration fee of $85 each time you transfer or cancel the exam.
  • Bring the correct documents and supplies to the testing center. On the day of the test, you’ll need the same ID used in your application, your confirmation email, and test-taking supplies. You may also bring a clear bottle of water as long as the label is removed.

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Once you take the exam, it will take a couple of weeks to receive the results. If you take the test on a computer, you’ll receive results within 3 to 5 days. Most testers will take paper-based tests. Results from these tests will be mailed to the tester about 13 days after the test is administered.

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