What Is the IELTS Test?

The International English Language Testing System, otherwise known as IELTS, is an international standardised exam which tests the English language proficiency of non-native English language speakers. It was first established in 1989, and is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English.

The test measures the ability to communicate in English across all four language skills, including:

  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking

It is mainly carried out by people who intend to study or work where English is the main language of communication. IELTS is the key language qualification which is required for entry into British, Australian (and many American) universities and colleges of higher education.

More than 10,000 education institutions, faculties, government agencies and professional organisations in over 140 countries recognise IELTS scores as a trusted and valid indicator of ability to communicate in English.

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Take the IELTS Test at LSI/IH Portsmouth

LSI/IH Portsmouth is one of the few private English language schools to have been approved by the British Council as an official testing centre, and our test certificates are recognised by more than 10,000 organisations around the world.

You can take your IELTS exam with us even if you do not need the certificate for UK Visa purposes. At LSI/IH Portsmouth, you can receive specialist training in the exam skills required by following our IELTS exam preparation course, and then take the exam at the school. We can also provide assistance and advice to students who are applying to university.

You can book your IELTS test at LSI/IH Portsmouth now, or for more information on the test:

Important Information for IELTS Students

On 20 February 2015, the UK government announced important changes to Secure English Language Tests (SELT) for VISA purposes.

If you make a Visa application to stay or move to the UK, you need to be aware of changes made by United Kingdom Visas and Immigration (UKVI). For more information, please visit the official government page for:

Please note that LSI/IH Portsmouth IELTS Test Centre does not accept applicants under the age of 16.

IELTS Test Dates 2022 at LSI/IH Portsmouth

New Time for IELTS on Paper exams in the UK & Ireland
From 1st of May 2022 the time for the IELTS on Paper exams will change from 10am to 9am .
Exam Date Module
The test fee in 2022 is £185
30th April (Saturday) AC
12th May (Thursday) AC + GT
21st May (Saturday) AC
16th June (Thursday) AC
16th July (Saturday) AC
20th August (Saturday) AC + GT
3rd September (Saturday) AC + GT
15th September (Thursday) AC
13th October (Thursday) AC
29th October (Saturday) AC + GT
10th November (Thursday) AC + GT
26th November (Saturday) AC
10th December (Saturday) AC

For more information about availability, please contact the centre directly by phone (02392 291811) or by email (IELTS@lsi-portsmouth.co.uk)

If you wish to postpone or cancel your test, please contact us at IELTS@lsi-portsmouth.co.uk.

Useful Downloads

Below you can find a list of resources to help you prepare for the IELTS test:

Application Booklet

Information for Candidates Booklet

Notice to Candidates

Third Person Collection Form


How can I apply for an IELTS test?

If you wish to register for the IELTS exam online, please book via the official IELTS website. During the application process, you will be asked to upload a scan of your passport or national ID card (for EU citizens only). On the test day, you must bring the same form of identity with you.

How much does it cost to take the IELTS test at LSI/IH Portsmouth?

The test fee in 2021 and 2022 is £185.

How can I pay for an IELTS test?

You will not be able to pay for the exam until we have received your completed application form and passport copy or EU national ID copy. Once we have received your application and copies of your ID documents, we will send you details on how to make an online payment via Flywire.

What is the deadline to apply for the test?

Applications are closed when a test is fully booked or seven working days before the test date – whichever comes first.

Can I apply for as many tests as I want?

Yes, you can. You must hand submit a new application for each new test. We must also receive new ID copies and payment for every test you take.

Can I reserve a place?

We regret that we cannot reserve a place without a completed online application, ID copy and payment.

Can I apply for an IELTS test at your centre if I am under 18 years of age?

If you are under 18, please contact the centre at IELTS@lsi-portsmouth.co.uk. We will send you a Consent Form which needs to be completed in full by your parent or legal guardian. Next, please return it to the centre via email.

Unfortunately, we do not accept applicants who are under 16 years of age.

What is the difference between the Academic and the General Training?

All candidates are tested in four components: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The Listening and Speaking components are the same for all candidates, but the Reading and Writing components are divided into two modules: Academic and General Training.  For more information on the different test types, please visit the IELTS website.

Which exam do I have to take, the Academic one or the General one?

Generally speaking, if you are planning to apply for tertiary, undergraduate and postgraduate courses and for professional registration – you need to take the Academic Training module.

If you are going to an English speaking country to complete your secondary education, or to undertake work experience or training programmes which are not at degree level, or for immigration purposes – then the General Training module may be more suitable.

It is your responsibility to check which module to take before you apply for the exam. You should check the requirements with the immigration authority or other prospective receiving institutions (academic institutions, government agencies, professional bodies, employers, sponsors, etc.). For more information please visit IELTS website.

How are the IELTS examiners recruited, trained and monitored?

If you would like to know more about how your examiners are recruited, trained and monitored, the official website discloses exactly how.

What are the opening times of the IELTS centre at LSI/IH Portsmouth?

You can come to the centre between 9.00am and 4:30pm Monday to Friday except public holidays.

What are the contact details of the IELTS centre at LSI/IH Portsmouth?

Email address: IELTS@lsi-portsmouth.co.uk
Phone number: 02392291811 (between 9:00am and 4:30pm, Monday to Friday except bank holidays).

What is the address of the IELTS centre?

IELTS Department
LSI/IH Portsmouth
1-13 Lord Montgomery Way
United Kingdom

For a map, please click here

How can I get to the IELTS centre?

By train:

  • Portsmouth and Southsea Station (PMS) – 0.3m from LSI/IH Portsmouth
  • Fratton Train Station (FRT) – 0.9m from LSI/IH Portsmouth
  • Portsmouth Harbour Station (PMH) – 1.0m from LSI/IH Portsmouth

We strongly recommend that if you are travelling by train that you alight at Portsmouth and Southsea train station as it is only a 5-10 minute walk from our centre.

By bus:
Bus numbers 1, 2, 3, X4, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 19, 19A, 20, 21, 23, 700, and the Hoverbus also stop at the station. Bus numbers 7, 19 and 700 also stop on Winston Churchill Avenue and Cambridge Road, which are just a few metres from LSI/IH Portsmouth.

By car:
If you are driving to our test centre, the easiest way to get directions from wherever you are coming from is to enter our postcode PO1 2AH into Google Maps.

There is plenty of pay & display parking near to the school. Please don’t forget to put money in the meter and then the ticket in your car!

I would like to prepare for my IELTS exam at LSI/IH Portsmouth. What are my options?

LSI/IH Portsmouth offers both face-to-face and online options for IELTS exam preparation, you can find more information for each below:

Are there any IELTS preparation materials?

  • Road to IELTS – you are entitled to 30-hour FREE online preparation materials after your application has been approved and paid for. You need to log into the Candidate Area in order to access those materials
  • The IELTS Prep App is free to download.
  • The British Council programme Understanding IELTS is also free through a 7-day trial.

What happens on the IELTS test day?

See our test day flowchart for more information.

What do I have to bring on the day of the test?

The only identification that is accepted is your valid and original PASSPORT or your NATIONAL ID card (for EU citizens only). Please note that we DO NOT accept photocopies or certified copies. If you do not have your passport or EU national ID with you on the test date, you will not be able to take the test and the fee will not be refunded. On the test day, the number on your passport or EU national ID must match the number on your application form.

The only items that you can take into the exam room are: your ID, a couple of pens and pencils, an eraser, pencil sharpener and water in a transparent bottle. You will be asked to leave your bags, coats, watches etc. in a separate room. Please make sure you leave your mobile phones there as well – and make sure that they are switched off!

Valuables: It is strongly recommended that you do not bring valuables with you on the test day. LSI/IH Portsmouth cannot take responsibility for the loss or damage of your personal belongings.

What if I need to send my passport to the Home Office or other institution before the test date?

You MUST make sure you will be able to receive it back before your test date. If there are any delays, you will not be allowed to take the test with us without a valid and original passport or EU National ID card.

What can I do if my passport is at the Home Office?

You are strongly advised to wait until your passport is returned to you before you apply for an IELTS test, as there is often a delay at the Home Office in processing visa applications. You will NOT be able to take the test without a valid and original passport or EU National ID card.

What time do I need to arrive at LSI/IH Portsmouth on the test day?

You need to arrive at LSI/IH Portsmouth between 8:30 and 9:00am (click here for a map)

How long does the IELTS test take?

The three modules in the morning take about two hours and 40 minutes:

  • Listening (approximately. 40 minutes)
  • Reading (60 minutes)
  • Writing (60 minutes)
  • The Speaking module in the afternoon takes around 11-14 minutes. Speaking tests are scheduled between 1.45 and 6.30pm, therefore you must leave the whole day free for your test!

Are there any breaks during the IELTS test?

There will be no breaks during the morning modules.

Where can I have lunch near your centre?

There are many local shops, fast-food chains and cafés available for drinks and food.

You may also bring a packed lunch.

Water coolers are available on several floors.

What happens if I want to postpone or cancel my test?

Refund terms depend upon when you cancel and whether exceptional circumstances apply. 

Refund/Transfer request made MORE THAN 14 DAYS AFTER PAYMENT:

  • request made 14 DAYS OR MORE BEFORE THE TEST £45 fee
  • request made WITHIN 14 DAYS BEFORE THE TEST → no refund / transfer can be offered


Refund/Transfer request made WITHIN 14 DAYS AFTER PAYMENT:

  • Request is received MORE THAN 14 DAYS BEFORE THE TEST → 100% refund or free transfer
  • Request is received WITHIN 14 DAYS BEFORE THE TEST → £45 fee
  • Request is received WITHIN 48 HOURS BEFORE THE TEST → no refund / transfer can be offered


If you cancel your test or request a transfer for medical reasons, you must provide supporting medical evidence within five working days of the test date. Only evidence of serious illness will be considered. Only original medical certificates will be accepted and must state inability to appear for the test on the scheduled test date.

For more information on cancelling your IELTS test or requesting a transfer, please email IELTS@lsi-portsmouth.co.uk.

What happens if I am absent on the day of the test without giving prior notice?

You will lose your full test fee, unless you are able to provide appropriate medical evidence to us to explain your absence. Medical evidence must be provided no later than five working days after the test date. Refunds will only be provided for serious illness and an administrative fee of £40 will be deducted from any refund. If your application for a test date transfer has been approved, you must select a test date within the next three-month period depending on availability in our centre. If you wish to transfer to a test date more than three months away, you should apply for a refund and then re-apply for the test.

When do I get my results?

The test results are issued 13 calendar days after the test. We normally send your test certificate to you by post. If you need to collect it from the centre, please let our invigilators know on the day of the test. Our office is open between 9.00am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday except public holidays. While you are waiting for your certificate, you will be able to check your results online. You will need to input your login details (email and password).

Please note that this online result is provisional and should not be used as an official confirmation of your achievement.

How are IELTS results calculated?

If you would like to know how your IELTS results are calculated, go to:

Understand how to calculate your IELTS scores or IELTS scoring in details.

Can you give me my results by phone, e-mail or fax?

No. Certificates can be sent by post or collected at LSI/IH Portsmouth. If you choose to collect your certificate at the centre, you must bring your original and valid passport or National ID (EU citizens only) with you. You can also check your results online. Click here and input your login details (email and password).

Please note that this online result is provisional and should not be used as an official confirmation of your achievement.

Can someone else collect my results?

Yes, but it is only possible in exceptional circumstances. Please send an email to IELTS@lsi-portsmouth.co.uk. The person who will collect your certificate must present his/her ID document to our staff before collecting your results.

What can I do if I am not happy with my results?

We are not allowed to give you feedback or comment on your test performance. However, you can apply for your test to be re-marked by a Senior Examiner at British Council London, who will notify us of the re-mark results normally within 2 to 21 days from the date they receive your exam materials. There is a charge of £110 for this service, which will be refunded if your result is changed to a higher band score. If you would like to go ahead with Enquiry of Results (EOR), please send an email to IELTS@lsi-portsmouth.co.uk to request an EOR form. You will need to complete it and send it back to us as soon as possible. Please note that all EOR applications must be made within six weeks of the test date.

Who do I need to contact if I have any further questions?

If you have more questions for us, please contact IELTS@lsi-portsmouth.co.uk or call 02392291811 between 9:00am and 4:30pm Monday to Friday (except public holidays).


If you would like more advice about the IELTS test, have a look at our blog posts written by IELTS experts: