Table of Contents:
1. What is IELTS Indicator Test?
2. Format of the test
3. Minimum Requirements
4. Launching the test

1. What is IELTS Indicator Test?

Ever since the Coronavirus outbreak, several countries have shut down public places to avoid gatherings. Given the situation, the British Council decided to come up with an IELTS Indicator test. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is one of the most popular testing systems when it comes to English proficiency and immigration purposes. The IELTS Indicator test is supposed to give you a similar experience with a difference of it being taken at your convenience. The system allows you to take the test at home and it is conducted once a week. A lot of countries are included in the list and you could find it on their official website. It is important to note that the IELTS indicator test does not replace the need for an actual IELTS test. Instead, it serves as an indicative measure for the universities regarding the applicant's capabilities. The university could thus ask you to give an actual IELTS test upon selection once the situation normalises. Unlike the actual IELTS, the IELTS indicator test is not for immigration purposes.

Not all the organisations accept the IELTS indicator test, therefore it is always better to double-check with your university. Fortunately, the list is expanding day-by-day and you could drop an email to your university in case they're planning to accept the test. The test costs $149 and you could book it from their official website. There is ample reference material available on the internet from well-known organisations (both paid and free).

2. Format of the test

The format of the test is similar to an actual one. It consists of four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. You would receive an indicative score at the end of the test and an overall score seven days after the test date. The results will be declared via email to eliminate the conundrum of logging in every time on the website. Unlike the actual test, you could hover in between the sections and complete them in any order as per your convenience.

Listening Section: 30 minutes, 40 questions
Reading Section: 60 minutes, 40 questions
Writing Section: 60 minutes, 2 tasks
Speaking Section: 11 to 14 minutes, orchestrated via a Zoom call.

The speaking test might be conducted on a different day as per the availability. The test taker will be notified two days prior to the test date regarding this schedule. Along with the confirmation, you will receive a meeting URL as well as the credentials for the speaking test. If you want to reschedule the speaking test due to some issues, the British Council could consider your request but make sure you read the FAQs before rescheduling.

3. Minimum Requirements

The minimum requirements are as follows:

Once you register for the test, you will receive a spree of emails regarding the setup. You will be asked to download the Safe Exam Browser (SEB) (for Listening, Reading and Writing) and Zoom (for Speaking). The instructions for the same will be attached in the email, so don't worry regarding the technical difficulties. Your speaker will be tested during the Zoom call. Usually, a 64 bit Windows 10 system (or MacOS latest) is required along with administrative privileges. For more information regarding the configuration, visit the official website.

Remember that the test will be timed and at no point will the timer stop or pause, so make sure you have a free time slot of at least 2 hours, 45 minutes on the test day.

4. Launching the test

The test is launched in a secure browser used by the IELTS. In certain circumstances, your regular browsers can also be used. Once the test is launched, your screen gets locked up so that you can access nothing but only the test content. It is imperative that you have a few blank pages for taking the notes and a pencil. While it is an advantage to be able to switch in between the sections, it is also important not to lose time due to the same reason. One con of the indicator test is that you will not find a review flag button on the top, so it is advised to take note of the questions you would want to visit later. Your camera and microphone will be monitored for cheating, so follow the instructions given on the screen. The initial tabs would ask you to confirm your ID and other details after which the test will begin.

In case, you are not satisfied with your performance, you can retake the exam.

The speaking test, as mentioned before, does not happen on the same day. Join the meeting a few minutes prior to the scheduled time to avoid any last-minute stress. During the speaking test, your interviewer may ask you to show up your ID through the webcam, therefore it is essential to take the test in a well-lit environment. It is fine if you take some help from the interviewer to move forward. Gather your thoughts before speaking but do not take too much time that the other person feels you are stuck. Do not panic if you are unsure about the rules or their accent throws you off a bit. The interviewer has a lot of experience dealing with such situations and they would be happy to help. They will let you know if they want some things to be answered in detail. Prepare well but do not cram the answers to the standard questions word to word because your tone changes a little when you do that and they would recognise it.

The whole process is automated to give you a smooth and painless experience. Prepare well and Good luck!


IELTS Resources


IELTS Writing

IELTS Listening

IELTS Speaking


IELTS Practice Tests/Reading


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