IELTS Exam Day: Dos and Don'ts

IELTS Exam Day: Dos and Don’ts

IELTS Exam Day: Dos and Don’ts: The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a globally recognized English proficiency exam, taken by millions annually. Whether you’re taking it for academic, professional, or immigration purposes, achieving a good score is crucial. Just like any other exam, preparation is vital. Yet, what you do and don’t do on the actual test day is equally significant. Here’s a handy list of dos and don’ts to ensure you navigate your IELTS exam day smoothly.


  1. Arrive Early: Ensure you arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled time. This gives you ample time to relax, familiarize yourself with the venue, and complete any necessary formalities.
  2. Bring Your Identification: Your passport or national ID card is mandatory. Double-check you have the same ID you used during registration, as mismatched details can cause complications.
  3. Eat a Healthy Breakfast: A balanced meal fuels your brain. It’s essential to be alert and focused during the exam.
  4. Wear Comfortable Clothes: Dress in layers so you’re prepared for any room temperature. Remember, you’ll be sitting for extended periods.
  5. Listen Carefully to Instructions: Every section of the IELTS exam comes with specific instructions. Paying attention ensures you don’t lose marks for simple mistakes.
  6. Manage Your Time: Time is of the essence. Always keep an eye on the clock, ensuring you allocate adequate time to each section or question.
  7. Stay Calm: It’s natural to feel nervous. However, deep breaths and positive affirmations can help you maintain composure.
  8. Stay Hydrated: Drink water before entering the exam hall, but don’t consume too much to avoid frequent restroom visits. It keeps your brain hydrated and helps maintain concentration.
  9. Practice Mindfulness: If you find yourself getting overwhelmed, take a moment to ground yourself. Focus on your breathing and try to bring your mind back to the present moment.
  10. Review Your Answers: If you finish before time is up, don’t just sit idle. Go through your answers to ensure you haven’t made any obvious mistakes.
  11. Ask for Clarification: If you’re unsure about any instruction, don’t hesitate to ask the invigilator. It’s better to ask than to make an avoidable error.

Also, Read IELTS Listening Tips: Acing the Audio Challenges


  1. Don’t Bring Prohibited Items: Mobile phones, notes, bags, and food are not allowed in the exam hall. Familiarize yourself with the list of prohibited items before the exam.
  2. Don’t Memorize Answers: IELTS tests your genuine English skills. Prepared or memorized answers may not fit the questions asked and could lead to a loss of marks.
  3. Don’t Write Before the Allotted Time: Wait for the invigilator’s signal before you start answering. Writing before the given time can result in penalties.
  4. Don’t Leave Questions Unanswered: There’s no negative marking in IELTS, so it’s better to attempt all questions, even if you’re unsure.
  5. Don’t Wear Heavy Jewelry: Avoid wearing any accessories that may cause noise, such as bangles, as they can be distracting.
  6. Don’t Panic: If you find a section challenging, don’t spend excessive time on it. Move ahead and return to it if time allows.
  7. Don’t Overthink: If a question seems too straightforward, don’t second-guess yourself. Trust your first instinct unless you have a strong reason to change your answer.
  8. Don’t Discuss the Exam: During your breaks or after the test, avoid discussing the questions with fellow candidates. This can increase anxiety and second-guessing.
  9. Don’t Rush: While it’s essential to manage your time, don’t hurry through the questions. Ensure you understand each question fully before answering.
  10. Don’t Let One Difficult Section Affect the Rest: If you find one section particularly challenging, don’t let it demoralize you. Remember that each section is scored separately; doing poorly on one doesn’t mean you’ll do poorly on others.

Conclusion: IELTS Exam Day: Dos and Don’ts

In conclusion, preparing for the IELTS exam isn’t just about mastering English skills but also about strategizing and being aware of the test-day procedures. Keeping these dos and don’ts in mind will not only help you feel more confident but also ensure you present your best self on exam day. Remember, every exam is a learning opportunity, so approach it with a positive mindset and do your best.

FAQs: IELTS Exam Day: Dos and Don’ts

Q1: What should I bring with me on the IELTS exam day?

  • A: Bring your valid passport or national identity card (whichever you used for registration), stationery such as a pencil and eraser, and a transparent water bottle without labels.

Q2: Can I wear a wristwatch during the exam?

  • A: No, wristwatches, including smartwatches, are not allowed in the examination room. However, there will be a wall clock in the exam room to keep track of time.

Q3: Should I arrive early for the exam?

  • A: Yes, it’s advisable to arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled test time to complete the necessary verification processes.

Q4: Is there a dress code for the IELTS exam?

  • A: There is no strict dress code, but wear comfortable clothing. Remember, security procedures may require you to roll up your sleeves and pant legs, so dress accordingly.

Q5: Can I eat during the exam?

  • A: No, you’re not allowed to eat during the exam. You can drink water, but ensure your bottle is transparent and label-free.

Q6: What happens if I am late for the test?

  • A: If you are late, you risk not being allowed to take the test. It’s crucial to ensure punctuality on exam day.

Q7: Am I allowed to take breaks during the exam?

  • A: Only during the scheduled break between the Listening, Reading, and Writing tests and the Speaking test. There are no breaks during individual sections.

Q8: Can I leave once I finish my exam?

  • A: You should stay for the entire duration of the test. Only leave when instructed by the examiner or invigilator.

Q9: Is it okay to guess answers if I am unsure?

  • A: Yes, it’s better to attempt an answer than to leave it blank. There is no penalty for wrong answers.

Q10: What shouldn’t I bring into the examination room?

  • A: Do not bring bags, notes, books, mobile phones, electronics, watches, or any other unauthorized items. Storage will be provided for personal items outside the exam room.

Q11: How do I handle anxiety on the test day?

  • A: Stay calm, practice deep breathing techniques, believe in your preparation, and remember it’s just an exam. If you’ve prepared well, you’ll do well!
About Jones Miller 81 Articles
I am Jones Miller, an experienced English trainer based in New York with over a decade of expertise in linguistics and pedagogy. Passionate about empowering learners to master the nuances of the English language, I have trained students from varied backgrounds and proficiency levels. Beyond the traditional classroom setting, I channel my insights and experiences into my educational blog on WordPress. Through enlightening posts, I offer practical tips, engaging exercises, and in-depth analyses, all designed to help readers elevate their English skills. Whether you're a student striving to overcome linguistic obstacles or a fellow educator on the lookout for fresh teaching perspectives, my blog is your premier destination for all things English. Dive in, and be part of a community passionate about the art and science of language.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.