Enquiry on Results - when to apply
There are many factors which can influence the performance of a candidate on the day of his/her IELTS test, which is why it’s difficult to predict exactly what band scores will be awarded.
These factors include:
• How the candidate is feeling – many people suffer from nerves on the day of the test and this can often affect their performance, particularly in the speaking test. Or sometimes candidates can be over-confident which results in complacency, which means they don’t try as hard as they need to.
• How the candidate has prepared – even good students can lack the right exam preparation, especially in the hours preceding the test. They might not get enough sleep or have enough to eat/drink, which can affect their concentration levels during the exam. Or maybe they don’t allow enough time to get to the test centre in time, which means they arrive in a stressed state and need time to calm down and relax.
• How well the exam is managed – there are times when things don’t always go to plan and external factors can affect a candidate’s performance: technical faults, outside disturbances, late candidates, poor ventilation/lighting/sound etc. If a candidate believes there performance has been affected by any such factors, it must be reported directly after the exam has finished.
So, my first piece of advice is to BE HONEST and ask yourself:
1. Was I well prepared for the test?
2. Did I feel calm and composed on the day of the test?
3. Were there any unfortunate circumstances on the day of the test?
If you are sure that none of the above factors influenced your test scores, then it might be worth asking for a review of your results, BUT you need to BE REALISTIC about what scores you were expecting to get.
These are the questions you need to ask yourself:
- Are you familiar with the criteria needed to get a band 6 or band 7, particularly in the writing (task 1 and task 2) or speaking tests?
- Do you know how many correct answers you need out of 40 to get a band 7 or band 8 in the reading or listening tests?
- Did you do a series of practice tests prior to the real exam and did you get them checked by an experienced IELTS teacher who is able to give accurate band score predications?
- Were you consistently getting the band score(s) that you expected in the weeks before your real exam?
- In the case of writing, had you practiced a variety of different task types (task 1) and a variety of different essay topics (task 2)?
- Were you clear about the differences between the reading and writing tests for General IELTS and Academic IELTS?
- In the case of speaking, had you practiced answering questions on a variety of topics and were you aware of the different skills needed for each part of the test?
If you can confidently answer yes to all of the above questions and you are still not satisfied that you were awarded the correct score(s), then you should definitely consider asking for a review of your results.
But before you do, here are some final points to consider:
• If there is a 2-band difference between any of your scores (eg 6.5 in writing and 8.5 in listening) then your test papers should have been automatically doubled checked at the test centre)
• You need to apply for an ‘enquiry on results’ within 6 weeks of your test date.
• You can ask for an enquiry on individual test papers or all of your test papers
• The process can take up to 4 weeks
• You must pay an ‘enquiry fee’ but this will be fully refunded ONLY if your score(s) is changed.
More information on how to submit an enquiry can be found here:
IDP test centres - https://idpielts.me/results/request-a-re-mark/
British Council test centres: https://takeielts.britishcouncil.org/find-out-about-results/questions-about-your-ielts-results