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You've finished your IELTS, and you've waited patiently for 13 days, and then on day 13, you receive an email saying your results are being withheld. You're wondering, how could this happen? The first thing we recommend is contacting the test centre. We suggest that you email or phone them.  Keep in mind when you apply for the IELTS and complete the application form, you'll find the terms and conditions attached to the form. These terms and conditions contain three very important points which advise that your results may be withheld or cancelled.

Points in the terms and conditions

The following points are found under the terms and conditions:

Your result may not be issued 13 days after the test if the IELTS Test Partners decide that it is necessary to review any matter associated with your test or the administration of your test. You may be required to provide writing and speaking samples to assist in any investigation. In exceptional circumstances, you may be required to retake one or more IELTS components.

This means that you may not receive your results after 13 days because IELTS needs to check the results more thoroughly. The two most common reasons are: 1) IELTS needs to check your test again or 2) IELTS is doing quality control checks on how the test was managed.

Your result may be cancelled after it has been issued if any irregularity is identified. You may be required to retake one or more IELTS components.

This means if it's determined that there are any problems with your test, your results may be cancelled, and you may need to take your test or parts of your test again. The term "irregularity" means something happened regarding your test or how it was managed which was not acceptable or usual.

If any of the data on the Test Report Form provided by you or your agent to Recognizing Organizations has been altered in any way, your original test result may be cancelled.

This means that if it's determined that any of the information given was altered, your result may be cancelled. Please be very careful when providing your information and only use reputable agents.

IELTS maintains the right to withhold or cancel your results for analysis or quality checks.

When you sign your application form, you agree to accept possible delays in your results. Your signature on the form confirms that you agree to the terms and conditions.

IELTS will email you if your results are withheld or cancelled. If you do not receive an email and cannot access your results, please check your spam or contact the centre where you took your test.

What to do

What can you do if your results are delayed?

If your results are delayed, you need to be patient and wait.

There is no fixed time limit. Some students will receive their results within a week or two, but others may have to wait a month or even up to 3 months.

Retaking your test

Can you take your test again?

Yes, you can.

Retaking Your Test

If you don't want to or can't wait, you can take your test again.

If you take more than one test, you can choose which result to use. It won't matter if you end up with two sets of results. You can pick the highest results.

Planning when to take your test

When deciding what date you want to take your IELTS, ensure that you have a few months before your deadline because unforeseen delays can occur.