Roshan Sunthar

Updated on 03-05-2023


IELTS Score Validity - FAQs

IELTS Score Validity - FAQs

IELTS is valid for how many years?

"An IELTS Test Report Form (TRF) is valid for two (2) years." After two years, it is considered invalid by many English-speaking countries, institutions, or immigration offices. 

1. What is the IELTS score validity? 

The IELTS score validity is two (2) years across the globe. After the test results, the IELTS Test Report Form (TRF) is reportable for a 2-year period. It applies to Academic and General Training (paper/computer-based) tests. 

This two-year validity period from the date of examination applies to all IELTS Academic, General, paper-based, and computer-delivered tests, and it expires automatically after that.

2. Is IELTS validity extended to 3 years due to Covid 19 pandemic?

No. The IELTS score validity is not extended to 3 years due to Covid-19 pandemic.

3. How can I receive my IELTS certificate during Covid-19? 

During Covid-19 pandemic time, you will receive your IELTS certificate by post to the registered address. However, your IELTS results will be made available in 13 calendar days on paper, and in 3 - 5 days on computer. Due to security reasons, your IELTS scores will not be provided by phone, email or fax.

4. Is IELTS now valid for 3 years? 

The IELTS is not valid for three (3) years except for migration to Australia.

5. Can we extend the validity of the IELTS TRF certificate from two to three years? 

No. The IELTS TRF (Test Report Form) certificate cannot be extended from two to three years.  

6. Why are IELTS test results valid for two years? 

The (International English Language Testing System) IELTS  results validity is restricted to two years to avoid out of touch with the English language. Since people and environment change, language too changes with time. To keep students and general candidates up-to-date beyond practice, the validity of IELTS scores is kept for two years only.

7. What if I lost or damaged my Test Report Form? 

If your Test Report Form is lost or damaged, they cannot provide you with another copy; but they can forward a TRF to any institution or organisation on your behalf. Remember that they do not forward results to migration agents.

8. Universities accept expired IELTS scores? 

Universities across the globe do not accept expired IELTS scores. If your IELTS TRF certificate has crossed two years of validity recently, it's advisable to inform the particular college or university you applied for to avoid the risk of rejection. The university examiner will use your IELTS score for overall assessment.

9. How to check the validity of an IELTS certificate? 

IELTS offers the Results Verification Service to organisations to verify the IELTS test results freely produced by the test takers. Just like GRE, it is meant for registered organisations only, where they can download the scores from the IELTS database and match the results. Test takers have no access to this service.

 10. What if I lost my IELTS Test Report Form? 

If you lost your IELTS Test Report Form (TRF), you can contact the IDP IELTS or British Council immediately and get a new copy. However, your IELTS test score is valid for 2 years.

11. What if I feel my IELTS test result is wrong? 

If you think your IELTS test result is wrong, you can use the ‘Enquiry on Results’ facility at your test centre within six weeks of the date of the test. If your band score range (0 to 9) changes, you are subject to get a full refund.

12. How can I make the payment for the Enquiry on Results (EOR)? 

To make the payment for Enquiry on Results (EOR), you can use it via bank transfer only. Please add the following information on the challan:

  • Name and surname
  • Date of the examination
  • Reference number given on the registration portal

13. Does the IELTS score have a lifetime validity?

The IELTS score or result does not have a lifetime validity, but the validity of scores are country-specific.

14. Which countries accept IELTS scores?

IELTS score is accepted by Canada, Australia, the UK, the USA, Ireland, Germany and 140 countries. More than 11,000 organisations, including universities, companies, governments, private organisations and immigration agencies, verify a candidate’s IELTS score for study, work, and migration purposes.

15. Is IELTS Score Validity extended to 5 years?

No. The IELTS score validity is not extended to 5 years. The IELTS score is valid for two years globally, but in Australia, the score validity has been extended from two to three years by the Australian GSM. 

16. Is IELTS score valid from the test date or the result date?

The IELTS exam score or IELTS Test Report Form (TRF) is valid from the result date, not the test date. It is valid for two years from the date of the result declaration.

An Overview of an IELTS Score Validity

IELTS is an internationally recognized English language proficiency test for non-native speakers who want to study or work abroad in countries (where English is the native language). The IELTS score validity is 2 years. Within the validity period students can apply to universities, employers, and other institutions and start their journey. Let’s find out the details about the IELTS score validity and how it works!


As the IELTS exam is conducted in two formats, you must know which exam you are going to appear in. IELTS Academic, exclusively for students who want to pursue higher education, and IELTS General Training, for candidates who wish to travel abroad for job opportunities, migration, etc.

The IELTS score is accepted in more than 120 countries like the USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, etc. To know completely about IELTS validity 2023, read this article till the end as it covers the details of maximum validity of scores for different IELTS exams for different countries.  

Table of Content

How long is an IELTS score valid?

How long are IELTS scores valid? An IELTS Test Report Form (TRF) is valid for two (2) years following your test date. For example, scores for a test taken on September 1, 2023, are reportable through August 31, 2025. The best part is that candidates can give as many attempts as they want in a year and use the recently published results until it expires.

how long is an ielts score valid

Is the IELTS validity extended to 3 years? was the question raised by the IELTS test takers after Covid-19 pandemic. However there was no extension given for the IELTS score validity.   

What are the IELTS band scores? 

Refer to the table below for IELTS band scores:

S No Skill level Band level Remarks
1 Expert 9 Appropriate and efficient command of English language
2 Very good 8 Fully operational command over the language with a few mistakes
3 Good 7 Operational command over the language having mistakes in specific parts
4 Competent 6 Pragmatic knowledge. Fair understanding of complex language
5 Modest 5 Partial language command and coping capacity in most situations
6 Limited 4 Recurrent misconceptions in understanding the language. Unable to use complex language
7 Extremly limited 3 Understanding of only general meanings. Faces recurrent breakdown during communication
8 Intermittent 2 Good communication is impossible. Faces difficulty in writing, speaking and understanding the language
9 Non-user 1 No capacity to use English
10 No attempt 1 Did not attempt the test/no record found

Also Read: IELTS Exam Syllabus

What are the types of IELTS exams & their score validity?

types of ielts exams and their score validity

  • IELTS Academic
    The IELTS Academic test is for students who want to study abroad at a university or college for an undergraduate (UG) or a postgraduate (PG) degree. It contains four  modules - Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking, where each module is evaluated equally. It is basically to test a student’s ability to understand a university lecture, discuss an assignment, etc., at ease. 
  • IELTS General Training
    The IELTS General Training is for aspirants who want to work, study or migrate to an English speaking country. It is to test an individual’s ability to converse in an everyday social context like going to a restaurant, buying groceries, attending a social gathering, etc. The IELTS General test is easier as it has topics of general interest.

How long is an IELTS Academic score valid? 

IELTS Academic score is valid for two years in a row. If you are planning to study next year or a year after that, you can take this test now, which ensures 2 years of validity. ,Since it’s a language-based test, not knowledge-based, candidates above 16 years of age are eligible to write the IELTS Academic test.   

How long is an IELTS General score valid? 

IELTS General score is strictly valid for two years. And, the score validity extension is not possible beyond 2 years.  The IELTS general score is accepted in countries like Canada, Australia, NewZealand, and the UK, and thus job seekers and migrants who are planning to travel can start their preparation system for the exam.  

Validity of IELTS Certificate 

The validity of an IELTS certificate is two (2) years from the result date. It is considered valid only up to two (2) years after getting the certificate. If the IELTS certificate becomes invalid, you need to retake the test.

Why is there validity for IELTS score?

The logic behind validity for IELTS score is that an individual’s language ability naturally changes after a certain period according to its usage in everyday life. That’s why all English speaking countries do not take IELTS scores after the expiration of two years. 

If you’ve missed applying for a visa within 2 years of your IELTS test results and need it again, you need to write the test one more time.

IELTS is valid for how many years?

The IELTS score is valid two years from the exam date, which is used as evidence of English proficiency level to study, work or migrate. This IELTS result validity is the same for English-speaking countries like the USA, Canada, the UK, New Zealand, and Australia.

 IELTS for UKVI & score validity 

The IELTS score validity for UKVI is two years. International students who wish to pursue  undergraduate or postgraduate courses in the UK or apply for a professional registration, need to write the IELTS for UKVI as it is approved by the UK Home Office.

Unlike a traditional IELTS test, IELTS for UKVI is a bit different in test report forms. But, the IELTS validity period for the UK is the same as 2 years. 

IELTS score validity for a Tier 4 Student Visa (UKVI) 

The IELTS exam scores are valid for up to two (2) years, upon which it expires immediately. Tier 4 Student Visa is to enter directly onto a UG or PG degree at a university. The IELTS for UKVI (Academic) is offered online to a limited number of test centres.

Since the English proficiency standards are set by the British universities and colleges, students must meet those standards to apply for a Tier 4 Student Visa (UVKI). 

Is there any difference between the validity of the score of the IELTS test for the paper-based test & the computer delivered test?

There is no difference between the validity of the IELTS score for the paper-based test & the computer-delivered test. It is 2 years like always. IELTS on the computer was first introduced in 2017 in Australia. Now it’s everywhere. Since the testing phase is over, students appear for either a paper-based test or a computer-delivered test. 

The Listening, Reading, and Writing are completed in one day, with no break times in between. The Speaking test is allowed for up to a week before or after the other tests. 

Country wise IELTS score validity

Always keep in mind that each university, college, workplace or institution will fix the eligibility criteria of International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score based on their requirements. There is no IELTS validity extension due to Covid-19 anywhere. Right now, the IELTS result validity is two years and may differ from one country to another. Let’s check it out.

IELTS score validity for Canada

The IELTS score validity for Canada (PR) is two years. It is the same for both normal and express entry. For migration purposes too, it is counted from the date of results. So, whether you scored 5.5 or 8.5 bands of CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark) level or IELTS level, the recent posts of IELTS score stays valid with you for 2 years. 

For Canadian immigration (IRCC) purposes, the candidates must provide their IELTS scores within a year of submitting the application form.  

IELTS score validity for UK 

The validity of the IELTS score for the United Kingdom Visa and Immigration (UKVI) and the UK, in general, is two years only. You could give another test immediately if you didn’t get the required score. Whereas, if you pass the IELTS Life Skills test once, you cannot re-appear to the test for the next two years. To pick the right IELTS test, you can visit the IELTS UKVI Decision-Making available online on the IELTS website.

Remember that, to study in top-tier universities, like the University of Oxford, the IELTS score for UK and the minimum band score of 7.0 or 7.5 is required.

country wise ielts score validity

IELTS score validity for Australia

The IELTS validity for Australia is usually two years. In the case of skilled migration applications for Australian immigration, the IELTS scores validity is up to three years fixed by the General Skilled Migration (GSM). 

If you want an Australian visa, your English proficiency test results go to the Department of Home Affairs for approval. Moreover, the IELTS score you need primarily depends on the organisation you plan to study or work for. For instance, to pursue a medical course, at least a 7 band score is required. The minimum IELTS band score for a bachelor’s is 6, and for a master’s is approximately 6.5. 

IELTS score validity for the USA

The IELTS score is valid for up to two years in the  United States of America (USA). The IELTS TRF (Test Report Form) scores' validity of 2 years hasn't changed despite the band score requirements varying from college and university.

As IELTS score for USA is accepted by more than 3,400 institutions in the country, including schools, associate, undergraduate, professional and law programs, try to apply to as many institutions as possible before your IELTS score expires. Many competitive educational institutions have set their minimum IELTS standards between 6.0 and 7.0.

IELTS score validity for New Zealand

The validity of the IELTS score is two (2) years for New Zealand. However, the candidate must attain the minimum band scores of 6.0 and above in either the IELTS Academic or IELTS General test module and apply for a student visa or whichever is opted for.

New Zealand has eight universities, and they are among the world’s top 3%! Each university has certain IELTS requirements for UG and PG courses. Clearly, the IELTS scores for PG are higher than UG degrees, so try to attain the highest score at a safer side. In case of diploma programmes, candidates must ensure an aggregate IELTS score of at least 5.5. For undergraduate and graduate courses, it is roughly 6.5. But for technical disciplines like engineering, a minimum of 7 band score is needed.

IELTS score validity for Germany

The IELTS score validity period for Germany is two (2) years. After two years, the test-taker must take the IELTS test again. If the test is taken more than once in two years, then the most recent score will be considered valid.

IELTS score validity for Ireland

The IELTS score validity for Ireland is two (2) years after the announcement of results. To study for an undergraduate degree, students must possess an overall 6.0 with no band less than 5.5. And, for a postgraduate, students must have an overall 6.5 with no band less than 6.0. In some universities, students are required to have an overall 7.0 band score. In case of long-term studies, check out the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) as they set the IELTS score for Ireland and the minimum score requirements.

To know the IELTS score validity in other countries, refer to the table below.

S No. Country IELTS Score Validity
1. France A minimum of two (2) years
2. Singapore A minimum of two (2) years
3. China A minimum of two (2) years
4.  Denmark A minimum of two (2) years
5. Greece A minimum of two (2) years
6.  Croatia A minimum of two (2) years

IELTS score validity extension          

For IELTS scores, there is no extension beyond two years. During the Covid-19 crisis, university admissions and immigration were in halt. But certain universities accepted online applications from international students who have crossed the minimum IELTS score requirements.   
There is no IELTS validity extended to 3 years for Canada or any other English speaking country. Once you receive the IELTS TRF (Test Report Form) scores, they will expire after 2 years, and you can not extend the validity.

IELTS score validity for UG & PG students

There is two years validity for IELTS score to pursue undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) courses. However, some English speaking countries like New Zealand, the UK, etc., set the minimum IELTS scores for UG and PG courses separately like 6.0 for UG and 6.5 for PG. Students, after getting their IELTS TRF (Test Report Form) scores/results, can apply to either UG or PG degrees based on their interest and scores obtained. 

IELTS retake score validity

The IELTS score validity is two years even if you retake the test. Students often opt for a re-test to score better marks, and the IELTS results are valid for 2 years from the date of the result announced. Those who are resitting the test need to pay the full IELTS application fee. To get the expected scores, they can use some sample test questions made handy.

If you want to reschedule the test,the first step today is to pay the fee of Rs. 3300/- The test date can be rescheduled five weeks before the actual test date. A fee will be deducted in case of cancellation or postponement.  

IELTS individual section score validity 

The IELTS test consists of four sections (reading, writing, listening, speaking). Each section is unique in its way and carries 25% of total IELTS band score. The validity of IELTS scores for each section is two years. Even if one section is poorly performed, the overall band score in the chart gets affected for both IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. So, give equal importance to each section.

How to prepare for IELTS? 

How to prepare for IELTS? It’s simple. Follow our tutors’ tips to know the effective IELTS preparation tips, made for each module like reading, writing, listening and speaking. It’s proven successful for candidates preparing either at home without coaching or at a coaching centre. 

Besides, do not miss the do’s and don'ts to follow one day before the IELTS test and on the day of the test. If you are new to IELTS, starting from scratch, you can visit our page to know more about IELTS requirements, scholarships, fees, preparation, etc.

Top 7 Tips to Score Maximum in IELTS

If you want to score maximum in IELTS on your first attempt, follow these tips suggested by IELTS experts.

  • Know everything about the IELTS exam.
  • Develop an effective study plan and strategy.
  • Take notes while reading and listening. It will help you in learning new words.
  • Master your writing and speaking as they’re the game changer in IELTS.
  • Practice all modules equally to know the IELTS exam pattern and format.
  • Go through all IELTS sample papers and mock tests available.
  • Reach the hall at least 30 minutes before the exam starts.

Can the validity period vary?

The answer for your question, can the validity period vary? is NO, and it will be remaining as two years like earlier. The IELTS result validity period of the IELTS TRF (Test Report Form) certificate is 2 years and not extended beyond that. For additional information, visit IELTS, British Council, and IDP websites.


Ensure that you get a complete understanding of IELTS scores' validity before leaving this page. It is two years of validity for both IELTS Academic and IELTS General, whether it is paper-based or computer-based. They will not extend beyond 2 years. If you have doubts or any specific questions, you can go through our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you want to know more about the IELTS exam, preparation, fees, etc., you can visit our website anytime and get up-to-date information.


About Author Roshan Sunthar

Roshan Sunthar is a study abroad expert as well as a renowned writer and author in international education. His academic excellence and 5+ years of work experience give him in-depth knowledge of international standardised exams and test preparation in IELTS, TOEFL, GRE, PTE, SAT, etc. The study materials he prepares incorporate exam-like questions. He’s also an expert in writing Statement of Purposes (SOPs) and Letter of Recommendations (LORs) for college admissions. He usually spends his leisure time watching English classics and documentaries, travelling, etc.

More Articles Post by Roshan Sunthar

Kanan International is an IRCC-certified study abroad consultancy that offers reliable services, products, and solutions for students and education institutions. We support students throughout their study abroad journey, ensuring a hassle-free experience. Our expertise and commitment to excellence make us the go-to partner for expanding global horizons. The company provides coaching for IELTS, GRE, TOEFL, and SAT exams and services like visa consultation, accommodation, scholarship assistance, and education loans.

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