Abishek Babu M

Updated on 18-05-2023


IELTS Retake: One Skill Retake

IELTS Retake: One Skill Retake

Planning to retake IELTS?

If you’re planning to retake the IELTS for a better band score, here is great news for you. It is officially announced by IDP that test takers can opt for the IELTS single module retake to improve their band scores for any of the sections (writing, reading, listening, and speaking). Currently, IELTS one skill retake is available in Australia and will be launched in other regions and countries throughout 2023. Let’s look at a brief overview of IELTS first.

Organizations like British Council and IDP is the official conducting body of the IELTS test. IELTS is a global exam for both native and non-native speakers of English to validate their reading, writing, listening, and speaking abilities. There are 2 types of IELTS - academic and general, depending on what you want to do in life.

If you are looking for admission for your higher education abroad, you will have to choose IELTS academic, and if your goal is to migrate to a country abroad, then the IELTS general training test is the one you should be taking. IELTS retaking is allowed for both academic and general exams.

Each of the tests has specific patterns and rules. Before you appear for the exams, you have to prepare well in advance. Even though retaking IELTS is allowed any number of times, attempting IELTS without preparation is not a wise decision. Not everyone clears IELTS in the very first attempt. So an immediate question arises - is it possible to retake IELTS and if yes, how can you do that? We’ll answer this one by one.

First and foremost, there’s nothing wrong with trying again when you fail. Trying to achieve a better IELTS score the second or third time after you fail to achieve the desired results the first time is alright. Many test-takers may not be satisfied with their IELTS results in the first attempt.

They may fail to figure out the nature of the test and what they should have done better. Re-attempting or retaking IELTS is the only choice left in such cases. If you're wondering, whether you are eligible for the IELTS one skill retake then here is the answer.

Table of Content

What is IELTS One Skill Retake?


IELTS One Skill Retake is a way that allows test takers to retake any of the four sections such as reading, writing, listening, and speaking. It is developed to improve their confidence and showcase their English language proficiency completely. You’re eligible to book the IELTS one skill retake only if you have recently completed the test on computer and received your IELTS test score from the valid test centre. You can book the IELTS single module retake 60 days from your original test and the retake. There will be no change in the format and timing of the test if you retake one skill. After completing the test, you’ll receive a new IELTS Test Report Form that includes your new IELTS one skill retake result along with the other skills you haven’t retaken. This Test Report Form will be dated the same as the original IELTS Academic or General Training test.

Can I take a one skill retake for the writing section only?

Yes. You can retake the writing section if you want to score high in the writing test. You’re allowed to retake the single module alone, as per IDP's recent update.

ielts writing retake

Can I take a one skill retake for the reading section only?

Yes. You are allowed to retake the reading section if you think your band score is less than what you expected. 

ielts reading retake

Can I take a one skill retake for the listening section only?

Yes. If you want to improve your score in the listening skill, you can retake that particular section.

ielts listening retake

Can I take a one skill retake for the speaking section only?

Yes. You can retake the speaking module alone if you feel your score is less in the IELTS speaking section.

ielts speaking retake

No matter what you’ve scored in the other 3 sections, if you felt your score is less in the IELTS speaking section alone and planned to appear again, you can retake the speaking module. It is possible for one skill retake.

What is the fee and registration cost for IELTS retake?

The IELTS retake fee is Rs.16,250 in India. IELTS second attempt fee is the same as that of the first attempt. The registration cost and the exam fee never change, regardless of how many times you appear for IELTS. 

You can find more about IELTS exam fees in India here. It will give you complete details about the mode of payment, where to pay, split-ups, etc. 

You can choose to register for retaking IELTS on numerous websites like British Council and IDP.

Is there any restriction in retaking the IELTS exam - what’s the official policy?

There is no specific restriction in retaking the IELTS exam. There are “no limits to the number of times IELTS can be retaken”. You can resit for IELTS as soon as you feel you are prepared for it.

Once you have evaluated yourself and understood the strategy that you must follow, you should be ready to retake the exam. The exam happens every year, and 4 times a month.

In terms of age restrictions, the minimum age specified to retake the exam is 16, but that’s simply because people below 16 wouldn’t generally need IELTS.

Also, there’s no upper age limit for taking up IELTS. However, different countries will have their own IELTS requirements. Canada, for instance, has increased the age for IELTS candidates to 64. This opens up an opportunity for those who wish to apply for migration visas.

Is retaking the IELTS bad for college and university admissions abroad?

No. There’s no written rule that if you retake IELTS, it could be a roadblock to your university and college admissions. None of the IELTS test centres inform the universities and colleges abroad about your previous IELTS scores, which you don’t wish to reveal.

Also, they don’t inform the institutes about the number of attempts that you make. They send only the latest score report to the institute of your choice. If you have 2 IELTS test report forms, you must decide which score you would like to send to the university and college. 

There’s no way why retaking IELTS would be bad for admissions because the scores from your previous tests remain between you and the test centre, only.

Can multiple IELTS attempts improve the score?

There is no such rule that retaking the IELTS multiple times will improve your score. This is because each time you attempt the test, each of the question patterns will be different even though the IELTS exam Syllabus is the same.

Although the first few attempts may give you a hint of the test structure, it’s not necessary that it will help you score better. Besides, multiple attempts without any preparation is a complete waste of time and effort, and money. 

If you have been making several attempts by self-studying for IELTS, you may want to consider taking the help of professional trainers and mentors. They can tell you all the tips and tricks and give you sound advice about cracking IELTS in a few months’ time. 

Can you retake the exam for the second time even after scoring well the first time?

You can resit for the exam any number of times. If you are not satisfied with your IELTS results in the first time, then you can opt for the exam further. Oftentimes, students who score below 6 go for the second or third attempts. But if you score 6 and above, there’s no reason to retake the test.

This is because many countries, such as Canada, accept that score for admission or entry. Unless you are very particular about getting a specific score [higher than 6], you shouldn’t worry about resitting for IELTS.

Before you jump in and decide to retake IELTS, you must review and change your strategy. The exam prep strategy that you follow in your initial attempts may not be useful anymore for your latter attempts. 

Is it ok to resit the test after a long break? 

One question that we are often asked is how soon can I take the IELTS test again. Or What should be my IELTS retake period?

The answer is - once you feel you are ready. Most of the test-takers are advised to give themselves 4 months time before retaking the test. However, if a test-taker wants to take a long break, say 6 months, it’s absolutely fine to do so.

You must remember that you’ll have to put more effort compared to what you did earlier if your first-time IELTS scores are not satisfactory. Also, the university you apply to for admissions will not be informed about your break. This will not affect your test scores either. 

What is the Ideal time required to retake the exam? 

The ideal time for IELTS preparation is considered to be 8 weeks. However, it’s possible to prepare for the exam in 15 days. It remains the same for your retaking as well. At Kanan International, we have mentored students for IELTS and prepared them within a short time.

We have seen test-takers who came in at the last minute and scored a band of 6 and above. We have also seen students who came in 2 months earlier and managed to score high in the test. 

Where to apply for the IELTS retake exam?

IELTS tests are offered by popular institutions like British Council and IDP in many countries. Kanan International is another IELTS centre where you can sign up for coaching and exams. To retake the IELTS test, you can get support from the IELTS advisors. 

What are the limitations of retaking IELTS? 

Technically, the minimum age limit to appear for IELTS is 16. This doesn’t mean that those below 16 cannot appear for the exam, but it means that generally, people below 16 don’t need IELTS for any purpose.

Moreover, most universities and colleges overseas accept applications from students who have high-school certifications [that is, above 16-year-olds]. On the other hand, there are some universities and colleges that specify the admission requirements and the upper age limit.

There is no upper age limit according to official reports. But many countries have their own age limits for people seeking higher education or work. Countries like Canada have extended the age limit to 64 for people who want to settle in the country on migration visas. However, other countries follow different protocols. 

Also, the IELTS retake policy is flexible. Ideally, as soon as you’re ready, you can take up the exam in any authorized centre. The exam happens 4 times a month and can be taken at any authorized centre. 

Before retaking the IELTS exam reflect on the following questions:

  1. What was it that did not go well in the first attempt of your IELTS test?
  2. What was your major weakness out of all the 4 modules (Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking) that you studied?
  3. Was there a loophole in your test preparation strategy?
  4. Did you take help from professional IELTS trainers and IELTS training institutes?
  5. Did you give yourself enough time for IELTS prep?
  6. Did you practice enough mocks before taking The International English Language Test (IELTS) test?
  7. Did you pay attention to improving your English?

These are some of the questions you can ask, and see where you can bring about a change, for example, if you were self-studying for the first time for your IELTS, you may want to consider professional, certified trainers for IELTS the next time, for example, Kanan International’s trainers.  

6 Tips to follow if you fail IELTS and want to retake

tips for ielts retake


Some of the handy tips curated from our in-house IELTS experts for IELTS retaking are as follows:

1. Give yourself time: Certain things work best at the right time! In addition to reflecting on the above questions, give yourself time and slow down a bit. If you scored below 5 in your last test, give yourself more time for the re-attempt, if possible at least 6 months. 

2. Mentally prepare yourself: Apart from giving yourself additional time, you should also be ready mentally for your next IELTS exam. It’s better to postpone the exam rather than making a false attempt after you fail the first time.

3. Practice hard: Practice is key for any exam. For IELTS, particularly, the more you practice, the more confident you become. Remember that each time you attempt to take the test, the questions will change so you must study accordingly.

4. Know what suits you: There are 2 different types of IELTS, paper-based and computer-delivered. Know which exam suits you the best. If you feel comfortable with pen-pencil, select the traditional test method. And if you’re not ok with that, go for the latter.

5. Don’t repeat: The mistakes that you made in your last exam should serve as a motivation in your re-attempt. Figure out what went wrong in your IELTS exam so that you don’t make the last blunder a habit. 

6. Learn from the Best IELTS books: Often good books are very handy when it comes to IELTS preparation. When it comes to Retaking the IELTS exam, you cannot take any more chances. You need to buy good IELTS books to assist in your test preparation. 

How to prepare for the test before retaking it? 

Each time you take the test, you’ll find a different pattern and an entirely different set of questions. So it’s important to prepare for every new IELTS exam but in a different way.

There are 2 ways of preparing for IELTS retake - either self-study or professional coaching. Self-preparation for IELTS isn’t easy since it requires a lot of discipline and planning. Self-studying shouldn’t lead to a waste of time and effort.

You also need to have access to high-quality study materials when you self-prepare. May these be the reason why you couldn’t score good IELTS marks in the first attempt. 

Professional coaching is a must-try for those who are short on time and, particularly, want to score high in IELTS at least in their second attempt.

While preparing via online or offline coaching from any professional institute, you must check for the following: 

  1. Are your trainers certified and professional mentors?
  2. Is your training fee within your budget?
  3. What’s the outcome of the training?
  4. How is the coaching institute going to help you prep?
  5. Do you get access to authentic study materials?

Kanan International ticks all the boxes above. We at Kanan International offer professional coaching through certified trainers, who have conducted over 500 batches of IELTS training across India.

Regardless of the way you choose to study, you’ll have to change your strategy each time you retake the test. Below we talk about the 9 strategies to follow for retaking the IELTS exam.

9 strategies to follow for your IELTS retake 

9 strategies to follow for your ielts retake 


1. Relax

Once you know that you didn’t qualify for IELTS in your first attempt, stop right there and take a break. Taking a break after your first IELTS exam may help you be more cautious and aware. Once you get a score, which is not what you expected, you must reflect on your test-taking strategy. Revising your strategy will help you understand what went wrong in the initial attempt. 

2. Reorganize yourself 

Re-focus yourself on the exam. Plan with a strong goal the next time you attempt the test. The important thing to understand here is that IELTS patterns are simple yet tricky. Since there is no one perfect answer to the IELTS questions, you must think about how to give your best. 

3. Identify errors 

Identify what went wrong in the last test. Was it the way you answered each of the sections or was it a lack of time to prepare? Understanding our flaws are important. It goes a long way to save ourselves from any disappointment and embarrassment further. 

4. Strategize

Take the help of mentors and people who you think can give you tips on IELTS. Professional coaching is always great because you get to practice a lot of mocks. IELTS training centres like Kanan International can help you plan and study for your next IELTS. 

5. Practice frequently

Practice online, from books, and with your teachers and friends. The more you practice, the better you become. The common IELTS books available in the market have plenty of practice materials.

Also, when you enroll with a learning centre, such as Kanan’s IELTS training centre, you get access to the e-library wherein you can select many practice materials and other relevant references. 

6. Hire a trainer

We have seen students who like to go with the idea of self-studying. Although we don’t discourage that, for some test-takers self-studying may not work in their favor. If you are someone who doesn’t like the idea of self-study, then consider hiring a mentor.

Having a mentor can make it easier for you to understand the concepts of IELTS, especially when you don’t have enough time. 

7. Check your skills

Different IELTS candidates have different capabilities; some have advanced levels of English skills, and some have intermediate skills. Spot your skills, which means trying to understand what your English skills are. Are you well adapted to grammar basics? Or do you need help with that?

Slow down and ask yourself where you need help the most. At Kanan, the trainers understand that some test-takers may need more time to prepare than the rest. Therefore, they invest more effort to ensure such test-takers learn what they need to. 

8. Learn and upskill

Try to put your learning to use. Upskill yourself by taking help from friends, teachers, and others. What you learn in the classroom can be used in your daily life, for example, speak in public using the vocab that you learn, and speak confidently. 

Write and read as much as possible. Remember that your trainers can only show you a way to qualify for IELTS, but the actual effort must come from you. 

9. Be ready and revise

Be prepared well ahead of the test deadline. It’s not a wise idea to study till the last minute of your exam. Give yourself at least 4 to 6 months to prepare so that you can revise in the last few weeks before the test.

Things to remember before reapplying for IELTS

things to remember before reapplying for ielts 

You can use the below suggestions as a checklist before you retake IELTS:

  • Ensure you have prepared well and better than the last time.
  • Identify where you scored less in your first attempt and why?
  • Give yourself enough time to assess your loopholes.
  • Both IELTS academic and general exams will need the same effort from you, so your test-taking strategy should apply to both.
  • What is your expected score? It’s good to have a goal and work accordingly.
  • Practice as many mocks as possible.
  • If you scored less in listening or speaking the last time, then put more effort in them the next time. However, you must not skip practicing reading and writing sections.
  • Get a mentor. If you are someone who needs direction in your test-taking process, then speak to the IELTS trainers of Kanan.
  • Don’t stress yourself. IELTS can be taken many times so you have a lot of chances.
  • Prepare yourself mentally to give your best.

What is the difference between Rescheduling and Retaking IELTS test?

The difference between rescheduling and retaking IELTS is retaking can be done anytime to improve the band score whereas rescheduling is done for specific reasons such as illness, accident, personal loss, etc.

Any other reasons other than these can lead to the cancellation of your exam. Cancelling your IELTS test can be done at least 5 weeks before the test date. You will receive a refund with the deduction of an administrative fee of 25% from the test fee.

Whether you reschedule or retake IELTS, the IELTS exam pattern is the same. Attempting the exam for a second time without any preparation will never yield any result.

What is meant by IELTS revaluation? Can I go for revaluation without reapplying for the exam?

IELTS revaluation is the process of applying for remarking your test papers. You can choose one or more modules or the entire test to be re-evaluated by IELTS examiners.

This is usually done when you’re confident that you performed well in the exam and don’t want to retake it.

In order to go for revaluation, you must apply for ‘Enquiry on Results’ with your local test centre, You must pay the enquiry fee and wait for your results to be out. Every test centre sends their revaluation reports to the candidates within 2 to 4 weeks. If your scores don't increase after revaluation, then you are not eligible for a refund of the enquiry fee.

You can go for revaluation without retaking the exam for 3 reasons:

  1. If you are confident that you did well overall in the exam, perhaps one or two modules could have been better.
  2. If you are short on time and would like to go for admissions in the current intake you applied for.
  3. If you don’t want to spend more time and money on preparing again.

FAQs on IELTS retake

1. How many times can you retake IELTS?

You can retake IELTS for any number of times as there is no certain limit to taking the IELTS test.

2. How soon can I retake the IELTS test?

You can apply for the IELTS one skill retake 60 days between your original test and single module retake.

3. How much are the IELTS one module retake fees?

The IELTS one module retake fee is Rs.16,250. There is no change in the fees for registration and retake.

4. Can I retake the IELTS writing section only?

Yes. You can retake the IELTS writing section only to improve your score for admission purposes.

5. Can I take IELTS one skill retake?

Yes. You can take IELTS one skill retake if you have completed the IELTS test at a centre on a computer and have a gap of 60 days from your original test.

6. Can I retake IELTS speaking section only?

Yes. Retaking IELTS speaking section only is possible now as IDP has officially announced the IELTS one skill retake.

7. Can I retake IELTS reading section only?

Yes. You can retake the IELTS reading section alone if you feel your IELTS score has not met the requirements of the universities or colleges you're applying for.

8. Can I retake IELTS listening section only?

Yes. You are allowed to retake the listening part only.

9. What happens if I fail IELTS?

You can reappear for the exam. If you score below 5, you can reapply for the exam because most colleges and countries abroad ask for a minimum score of 6 from the test-takers.

There is no limitation to the number of attempts for the test - you can resit up to 4 times in a month. However, you must revisit your test-taking strategy because it’s important to understand what made you fail or score low in your very first attempt.

10. Can I take the IELTS twice?

There is no limit to IELTS retakes. The general thumb rule is if your score is less than what your study destination requires, then you must resit, but with a new strategy and better preparation than the last time.

11. Can I use 2 IELTS scores for my admissions?

If you have taken the exam twice, and got 2 different scores, you can use the highest score. There’s no rule that you have to use only the latest score that you get in IELTS. Remember that IELTS scores are valid for 2 years. Thus, whichever score you decide to use should be valid.

12. Will my first IELTS score become invalid if I reattempt the second time?

No, the scores are valid for 2 years. So if you take 2 exams and get 2 different scores within 2 years, both scores will be considered legit and valid. But, you need to choose only the score that your university or college requires. Ideally, it’s better to use the highest score since that will open up more opportunities for you, say scholarships.

13. What if I fall sick on the day of the IELTS test?

If you fall sick a few days before the test day, you can always reschedule. But, if you fall sick on the day of the test, you’ll have to cancel the exam. Officially, you are entitled to receive a refund minus 25% of the test fee upon cancellation, but only if you are able to provide a medical certificate within 3 days.

14. What if I am late to reach my exam centre?

If you’re late to your test centre on the test day, you must communicate that to your centre. They will arrange some help for you.

15. What does it mean to pass or fail in IELTS?

IELTS is graded from 0 to 9. A band of 6 and above is accepted by most institutions and countries abroad. However, if you score below 6, you must check with your university if that is acceptable. If you score below 5 [which is considered below average], it may not be acceptable by most universities and colleges abroad.

16. What would be the duration for my IELTS second attempt?

IELTS second attempt duration is the same as the first attempt.


About Author Abishek Babu M

Abishek is a seasoned expert in the study abroad processes and IELTS, GRE, TOEFL, and SAT subjects. With over 2.5 years of experience in helping students achieve their foreign education goals, he has become a trusted individual in the industry. His extensive knowledge and authority in the IELTS test have earned him a reputation as a go-to resource for students seeking to excel in their exams. Abishek's exceptional track record has earned him the trust of countless students who rely on his resources to achieve their study abroad dreams.

More Articles Post by Abishek Babu M

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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