Frequently Asked Questions

Applying for a Test

Is the University of Surrey IELTS Test Centre one of the new UKVI approved SELT Centres?

No it is not. Following the important changes to Secure English Language Tests (SELT) announced by the UK Government on 20 February 2015, please read the following points carefully before booking an IELTS test at this centre:

  • If you are intending to use your IELTS results to apply for either an Undergraduate or Postgraduate degree application at the University of Surrey, you will still be able to take your test at this Centre.
  • If you are intending to use your IELTS results to apply for an Undergraduate or Postgraduate degree at any other UK University, it is our understanding that you can use a test taken at our centre in support of your application. However, we advise you to check first that your intended university will accept our test.
  • If you are intending to use your IELTS results to apply for a Pre-sessional course or a Foundation course in the UK, then you will need to take your test at one of the new UKVI approved SELT Centres.
  • If you are intending to use your IELTS results for any purpose requiring a UK visa, other than those mentioned above, then you will need to take your test at one of the new UKVI approved SELT Centres.
  • If you are intending to use your IELTS results for any purpose that does not require a UK visa, then you will still be able to take your test with us.

For more information please visit the following websites:

When and how should I apply?

Please apply for the IELTS exam online. Provided there are places available, applications will be accepted up until one week before the test date. Please note that many tests are oversubscribed, so you are encouraged to apply for the test well in advance of the test date.

What else do I need?

After applying online, you will need to make an online payment. You will also need to email to or send  by post a photocopy of your passport or National ID card (European Union citizens only) within 4 calendar days.  The copy must show your picture, name, date of birth, passport/ID number, signature, and expiry date.

Please note: You will have to bring the original Passport or National Identity Card indicated on your application to the test. If you do not bring the SAME ID to the exam, you will not be allowed to sit the test and you will lose your test fee.  

Please also note: If you are under 18, please contact the test centre separately for a consent form. Failure to do so may result in an application being rejected.

Should I do the Academic or General Training Exam?

The Academic test is usually taken by those applying for undergraduate and postgraduate courses and for professional registration.

Candidates may choose to take the General Training exam for immigration purposes or to undertake work experience in an English speaking country.

You should confirm which test you are expected to take with your receiving institution, which will be able to explain their entry requirements to you. The above explanations are provided as a guide only.

Can I apply by post?

If you want to apply by post, you can contact us to receive the IELTS application pack, or you can download the IELTS application form

Payment can be sent with the application, either in the form of a cheque, credit card or postal order. Please make cheques payable to ‘University of Surrey’ and use the IELTS Payment Form.

You should also attach a photocopy of your passport or National ID card (European Union citizens only) to your application.

You can return your application and payment to:

IELTS Administrator
University of Surrey Library & Learning Centre
School of Literature and Languages

What if I have to send my passport to the Home Office?

If you have already sent your ID away for visa purposes, or may have to send it away before your test date, please DO NOT make the payment for your test, but contact us at for advice.

Once you have made payment and submitted the copy of your ID, your test place will be confirmed, and if you arrive for your test without the identification you used for your application (a photocopy is not acceptable), you will not be able to take the test and you will lose your test fee.

What happens if I need to cancel my test place?

If you cancel the test there is an administration fee of £30. If the cancellation is less than 5 weeks before the test, you will lose the whole fee unless you are able to provide medical evidence to support your application to cancel or postpone your test.

To apply for a refund before the 5 week period, please complete the 'Cancellation and Refund form' online and return to 

To pay the 'Transfer or Cancellation Fee', please contact us at 

What happens if I miss my test without giving prior notice?

You will normally lose your full test fee unless you are able to provide appropriate medical evidence to explain your absence. Medical evidence must be provided within five days of the test date. It is your responsibility to make sure we receive the medical evidence within the deadline.

Test day

What happens on the test day?

Please arrive in the entrance hall of the Library and Learning Centre (marked as LLC on the map) at 8.30am on the morning of the exam. From here you will be taken to the examination venue, where you will register and have your photograph and finger scan taken by IELTS staff. You will also be asked to provide a sample of your signature. Please do not be late as you will not be allowed into the examination after it has started.

Please note that the photograph taken by the test centre will appear on your Test Report Form. Find out more about the IELTS Candidate Verification System.

What can I bring into the examination room?

Only pens, pencils, an eraser, a pencil sharpener, water in a transparent bottle and the ID document you used to apply for the exam. You will not be allowed to sit the test if you fail to bring your Passport or National ID Card indicated on your application to the test. This document will be used for formal ID purposes.

You must leave everything else outside the examination room. Mobile phones and other electronic equipment must be switched off and placed with personal belongings in a lockable room designated by the test day administrator. If you do not switch off your mobile phone or keep it on you, you will be disqualified. Letters confirming your place and test day details cannot be taken into the examination room.

Will the speaking test be held on the same day as the other modules?

At the University of Surrey, the Speaking test is usually held on the same day as the other tests. The Speaking test can be held up to seven days before or after the written part of the test, but you will be contacted in advance if we plan to hold the speaking test on an alternative day.

After the test

How long does it take to receive my IELTS test results?

Test Report Forms (TRFs) will be issued on the 13th day following the test. You must specify the address to which the results should be sent on your application form and should inform the test centre in advance if you wish to collect the results in person.

Candidates will not be told their results over the phone or by fax/email.

Read more about your IELTS results from the British Council

Can I see my results online?

Your results will be available online 13 calendar days after your test through the British Council’s takeielts website. You will need to keep the candidate number you receive on the test day to log in along with your ID document (passport or EU NI Card) number.

Can I receive additional copies of my Test Report Form?

Candidates can only receive one test report form. You may request up to five additional copies to be sent directly to academic institutions, government agencies, professional bodies or employers. Please complete the relevant section of your application with their contact details. This service is free of charge if you request the additional copies at the time of registration.

If you request copies after the test, there will be a charge of £15 per copy. You need to complete the Additional Test Report form and send it back to and make payment through the online store. Your copies will then be sent by Royal Mail standard second class post.

What can I do if I’m unhappy with my results?

Please note that every attempt has been made to guarantee a fair and accurate assessment of your test result.

You may apply for an enquiry into your results within six weeks from the test date. Please email for more information. The fee is £60 and this is refunded if the results go up. They cannot go down.

After receiving your EOR form, payment, and original TRF, we will send the appropriate test materials together with your EOR form and any accompanying letter to the British Council. The British Council will usually notify us (the Test Centre) approximately eight weeks after the receipt of the materials.  We will then immediately let you know the outcome.

Should your Test Result change due to the re-marking, your payment will be fully refunded within four weeks of the outcome and a new Test Report Form will be issued.

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