IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is the world’s most popular English language test. More than 2 million IELTS tests are taken each year.

Taking IELTS opens doors – it can help you live, study and work around the world. More than 9,000 organisations worldwide accept IELTS, including government, academic and employment institutions. In fact, IELTS is the only English language test accepted for immigration purposes by all countries that require one.

The IELTS test is designed to help you use English in your new life abroad. In less than three hours, it will assess all of your English skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking.

The most effective way of testing your English conversation skills is face-to-face. IELTS is the most widely accepted English language test with a one-on-one speaking test to assess your English language communication skills. 

Designed by experts in English language assessment and trusted around the world, you can be sure that IELTS will give a fair and consistent assessment of your English skills. On 22 May, the UK Home Office issued guidance on secure English Language test (SELT) providers. We encourage you to check the full text here

Why take IELTS with the British Council?

The British Council has more than 75 years’ experience teaching and testing English. We have helped people in more than 130 countries gain English language qualifications that help them make the most of their chances in life. That’s a lot of experience, and it means that if you take an English language test with us, you can be confident that you’ll be well looked after.

Here are just a few reasons why millions of people have taken IELTS with the British Council:  

  • Easy registration and payment: It is easy to register for your IELTS test in Sri Lanka, just visit the IELTS website to register and pay online.
  • Expert support: from videos and books to online interactive courses, you have access to the best preparation materials to help you do well in your test
  • Free resources: Road to IELTS is the British Council’s popular online preparation course. When you register for an IELTS test with us you also get access to 30 hours of free training.
  • Convenient dates and locations: we have more than 500 test locations in over 100 countries. This means that you have a huge range of options for where and when you can take your test.
  • Fast results: We guarantee you will be able to see your results online within just 13 days of the date you take your test.
  • Special arrangements: your English language ability will be assessed objectively, regardless of any disability or special needs that you may have. Find out more about how we can facilitate your special arrangements. Please note, you will need a medical certificate issued within the last two years at the time of registration.


You can register and pay for IELTS quickly and easily through our Online Registration Service or IELTS registration centres.
To register, simply follow the steps below:

1 Read the information for candidates

Download and read the Information for Candidates (PDF, 933 kb) which contains important information about the test format, the question types and the test results. Please note that IELTS is not recommended for candidates under the age of 16. 

2 Decide which version of the test is right for you

There are two versions of the IELTS test:

IELTS Academic
IELTS General Training

 Read our simple guide to help you decide which version of the test is right for you. 

3 Check the IELTS test dates 

Places are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, so we strongly recommend that you register online at least two months prior to the test date. You can use our Online Registration System or visit our test dates, fees and locations page to find up-to-date information about test dates and availability.

Please note: you will receive an email one week before the test date confirming the venue for your test and the speaking test timetable,  with the exception for the candidates who will be sitting for the test at the Kandy centre.
Kandy centre applicants will be informed of their speaking test timetable at registration. 

4. Register online

Use our Online Registration System to register for the test.

Please ensure you are able to provide the documents in step 5 and are able to pay using one of the payment methods in step 6. 

5. Prepare and send your documents  

Please make sure you either send us or upload (during the online registration process) the following document when you register for the test:

  • A photocopy of your valid passport 

6 Choose your payment options

The cost of sitting a test is Rs. 20,000 (Sri Lanka exams). When you register online you have the following payment options: 

Pay online

  • Please use your Credit/Debit Card at the time of registration. We accept Visa or Mastercard.   

Other options

If you are not paying online, you may use any of the following options: 

i) In person at the British Council Colombo and Kandy reception desk. If you want to pay in person, we accept:

  • Cash
  • Credit card (Visa/Mastercard/American Express)

Find out the opening hours for our branches.

ii)  Via a bank transfer

Please find below our bank details in order to make the payment

Bank name: HSBC
Account name: British Council Sri Lanka
Account number: 001-002377-002

Locate your nearest HSBC branch

  • In the REFERENCE section of your payment please write: IELTS, Candidate's full name e.g. IELTS, Prabath Jayasuriya.
  • Once you have made the payment, please send us the bank transfer receipt with the rest of your registration documents to complete your registration by the due date. Please note that your payment will be valid only for 3 months from the payment date. No refunds will be given for incomplete registrations.

7.  Complete your registration

Print the Application Summary at the end of the registration process (or the email you receive after registration).

  • If you didn't upload the required document during the online registration process, please send it along with your Application Summary to one of the address below:
Colombo Kandy

British Council
Examinations Services
49 Alfred House Gardens
Colombo 3
Sri Lanka

British Council 
Examinations Services
88/3 Kotugodella Veediya
Sri Lanka

We need to receive all documents within five working days of your online registration. Unfortunately, if we do not receive documents within five working days your application will be cancelled. 

We cannot process incomplete applications, so please make sure you have sent us all the necessary information.

Copies of your results
If you would like your results to be sent to universities or other educational institutions, please enter the relevant addresses in the appropriate fields on the online registration form. We can issue a maximum of five copies per student. 

8. After you register

After registering you will receive an automatic email with your access codes to the free online course: Road to IELTS.

  • We will send you a confirmation email close to the test date giving you the start time of your test and the venue address.

For more information please contact our Exams Services at info.lk@britishcouncil.org

Special Arrangements

IELTS is designed to be a fair test and your English language ability will be assessed objectively, regardless of any special needs that you may have.

We can help you with any special arrangements you require for your test. For example, we offer support for people with visual impairments, hearing difficulties and dyslexia.

Please contact us three months in advance of your test date to find out how you can apply for special arrangements. 


If you want to request a refund, please refer to our refund policy and follow the instructions given below 

  1. Submit a completed IELTS: Test date transfer/refund form and IELTS: British Council refund form  to the relevant test centre no more than five working days before or after the test date (can be downloaded from documents section below)
  2. Please provide appropriate documentation or evidence to support your application – for example, a medical certificate from a MBBS qualified medical practitioner, a death notice or certificate or a police report, as applicable
  3. You will be informed whether or not your application has been approved within one week following the date you submit the above documents.

Test day transfers

If you want to transfer to a different test date, please refer to our transfer procedure


If you book your IELTS test with the British Council you can take advantage of our exclusive access to a wide range of learning materials – all designed to help you get the best possible score in your IELTS test. 

1. Road to IELTS Course – 30 hours of free online study

Road to IELTS, written by the British Council, is a popular online self-study resource for Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking practice. Written by the British Council for its IELTS students, Road to IELTS includes: 

  • Practice materials
  • Timed tests
  • Tutorials
  • Online scoring
  • Self-assessment tools so that you can measure your progress

You can try our Road to IELTS resources with 10 hours of free study right now.

When you register for an IELTS test  with us you’ll be free to enjoy a further 20 hours of access to the learning materials. 

2. Further British Council online preparation materials

We also have a selection of online preparation materials for your Listening and Speaking tests.

Prepare for the IELTS Listening Test

Prepare for the IELTS Speaking Test

3. LearnEnglish website

We have a website dedicated to learning the English language. It’s called LearnEnglish and it has a number of very useful English learning resources, such as:

  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Grammar and vocabulary tutorials
  • Business/work resources and a magazine
  • Games
  • IELTS tips
  • Community networking opportunities

You’ll find that learning materials on the site really support your preparation for your IELTS test, and they’ll give you more confidence when it comes to test day.

4. IELTS Books

A preparation book for IELTS is given free of charge to all British Council registered candidates. It contains advice, exercises and practice tests for the four components of the test: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. There are preparation books for IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training.

You will also receive free access to the British Council library’s English Language Zone which features IELTS computer packages, practice tests, grammar and vocabulary practice books and work cards. We also have dedicated listening booths in the library to listen to CDs and practice your English.

5. British Council IELTS courses and workshops

If you think that you would benefit from face-to-face preparation, we provide a number of courses taught by highly qualified English language teachers with an in-depth knowledge of the IELTS test. 

Find out more about our IELTS courses, including how to register

6. One-day IELTS workshop

We also offer a one-day IELTS workshop to help you become more familiar with the test format and the types of questions you will encounter in the test.

Find out more about our IELTS courses, including how to register


We understand that getting your results is important to you. We know you want them quickly, but it is equally important that we give you the score that correctly reflects your performance. 

You can expect your IELTS result to be available 13 calendar days after your test.

IELTS results online and by post

You’ll be able to preview your results online from 13.00, 13 days after the main test day.

Your IELTS results (also known as your Test Report Form) will be couriered to you 13 days after the date of the main test day.

You will not be able to obtain your results over the phone, by email or by fax. 

Test Report Forms (TRFs)

You will receive one copy of the Test Report Form. Unfortunately, replacements cannot be issued if you lose it. 

Test Report Forms for institutions

We can also arrange for additional original copies (up to a maximum of five) to be posted to receiving institutions (e.g. universities, immigration officers, etc.). If you would like us to do this, please include the relevant addresses when you register. 

Institutions need original copies of your Test Report Form. Photocopies of your Test Report Form will not be accepted.

Institutions may be able to view candidates’ scores through the IELTS Test Report Form (TRF) Verification Service. To do this they will need your Test Report Form number which can be found in the bottom right corner of your Test Report Form.

The validity period of your Test Report Form

Institutions will not usually accept a Test Report Form that is more than two years old. After this time you will need to provide them with evidence that you have maintained or improved your English since taking the test. 

Understand your IELTS scores

IELTS provides results for all levels of English: there is no such thing as a pass or fail. You will be given a score from zero to nine for each part of the test – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking

Find out more about how to understand your IELTS scores and the nine-band system.

Find out how IELTS scores relate to the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

How to query your score

It is unusual for there to be a mistake in the marking. However, if you believe a mistake has occurred you can apply to our Enquiry on Results Service to have your test re-marked. This must be done within six weeks of the written test date. You can choose which sections of the test you want to have re-marked. 

There is a fee of  £60 (GBP) for the Enquiry on Results service, which will be refunded should your overall score change as a result of the re-marking. The Enquiry on Results Service can take up to eight weeks to complete. If you wish to request a re-mark of the results must complete an IELTS Enquiry on Results form (given below) and forward along with their original Test Report Form. Please contact us for further information about how the service works.

Can I re-take the test?

You can take the test as many times as you wish. However, please note that to significantly improve your score it is necessary to undertake further study. IELTS research indicates that scores are unlikely to improve without further English language tuition.