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Frequently Asked Questions

Check out our list of FAQs in case we have already answered your question. Contact us if you have any other queries.

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What is the test format and how long will it take?

IELTS has four parts:

  • Writing – 60 minutes
  • Reading – 60 minutes
  • Listening – 30 minutes
  • Speaking 11-14 minutes.

The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

The writing, reading and listening tests are done in one sitting the same day. The speaking test is usually done on the Friday before the test or on the Saturday of the test.

The IELTS tests will be taken in the following order:

  1. Writing
  2. Reading
  3. Listening

Which version should I do?

Read the explanation of the Academic and General Training tests on the IELTS website.

It's best to contact the organisation or institution to which you are applying to find out what it requires.

What help is available for candidates with special needs?

The test centre makes every effort to assist candidates with the special needs. Requests for special administrative arrangements should be addressed to us 2-3 months in advance supported by the relevant documentation (i.e. medical certificate or other specialist assessment).

How do I apply to sit for an IELTS test?

Candidates register online.

If you want to do this yourself at home, please prepare:

  • A passport file (coloured and clearly shown your information, photo and signature).
    • Size: less than 1.5 Mb.
    • File format: tiff, jpg, doc, docx, pdf, png, gif, jpeg.
  • Method of payment: credit card or PayPal account

If you want to register in person at the IELTS centre, you can use the computers here to complete the booking online.

Please bring:

  • current valid passport
  • your test fee.

How much does the test cost?


  • $340 (GST exempt)
  • $374 (GST inclusive)

Alice Springs

  • $340 (GST exempt) - Please note there is an additional offsite administration fee of $176
  • $374 (GST inclusive) - Please note there is an additional offsite administration fee of $176

How do I pay?

There are two ways to pay your fees.

  • Pay online: go to CDU webpay and click on 'Services and accommodation', then select 'IELTS', or
  • In person at:

The cashier's office
Building Orange 1, Ground Floor
Casuarina campus
Info Shop, Alice Springs campus

Payment must to be made within 48 hours after you complete the onine registration. If you don't pay within 48 hours your booking will automcaticaly be deleted from the system. After making the payment, you will automatically receive the Receipt of Payment from Charles Darwin University.

Bookings will be manually confirmed during normal business hours. An email "IELTS Essentials Payment Confirmation" from IELTS/IDP should follow within two days after payment. You must contact the Test Centre as soon as possible if you do not receive these email notifications as your booking remains unconfirmed and will expire soon.

Will I get a refund if I cancel my application?

Cancellations must be made with five weeks notice. This will incur a $90.75 fee.

If you cancel your test within five weeks before your test, you will not be refunded.

Can I apply by post?

No. You can only make bookings online at

What photographs do I need to provide in my IELTS application?

As of 1 January 2014, candidates are no longer required to bring/provide any passport photos.

What if I want to change the date of my test?

You must give five-weeks notice if you want to transfer to a new test date. This will incur a $90.75 administration fee.

Transfers less than five weeks are effectively cancellations. You will need to pay the whole registration fee again.

What courses are available to help me prepare for the test?

The IELTS Test Centre runs IELTS workshops throughout the year. These are held over three days. For more information, visit IELTS.

Do you have any materials I can purchase to help me prepare for the test?

IELTS preparation books are for sale at IELTS Reception.

What do I bring on test day?

You must bring your passport.

Please do not bring:

  • valuables
  • large sums of money
  • mobile phones
  • dictionaries
  • stationery. 

Your belongings will be stored in a room while you take your test.

What can I take into the test?

  • Water in a clear bottle
  • Your passport

What to expect on test day?

Please arrive at registration at 8am. You will be escorted to the test room where your personal belongings will be stored while you take the test. The test for writing, reading and listening usually finishes between 12.30pm - 1pm.

What if I am sick on test day?

If you are sick on the day, please obtain a medical certificate (within 5 days of the test date) and providing you had a serious illness on the day, you will be allowed to transfer to a later test date.

A fee of $90.75 will apply if a refund is required.

When will I receive my results?

Results can be viewed online at the IELTS website thirteen days after the test date. Results are not given over the phone or by email.

Your Test Report Form (TRF) can be collected directly from the IELTS office on the Monday after the results are made available online. However, if you would like your TRF posted to you, please advise the IELTS office.

Additional copies can be mailed to DCBP (Department of Citizenship and Border Protection), University admission offices and/or other authorised institutions (migration agents and lawyers are not authorised to receive TRFs).

How soon can I take the test again?

There is no limit on sitting the test. However, we highly recommend you do additional study before taking the test again.

What if I think my result is wrong?

If you are unhappy with your results, you can apply for a re-mark by a senior examiner. This is called an Enquiry on Results (EOR) and the fee is $176.00.

If you are successful with your appeal, the EOR fee will be refunded. The appeal process can take anywhere between 3 days - 3 weeks. You must return your original Test Report Form as part of the appeal. An EOR must be lodged within six weeks of the test date.

When is the IELTS Test Centre reception open?

Reception is open at the following times:

  • Monday and Thursday: 10am - 3.30pm
  • Wednesday: 10am - 5.30pm

When are the test dates in Darwin and Alice Springs?

Contact us

Office of VET Business Improvement

Course enquiries:

View all VET contacts and locations

Administration enquiries:

Building Red 4, Casuarina campus

  • (08) 8946 6233