Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Today you’ll meet a real IELTS invigilator, Bec, and learn the most useful information about test day.real IELTS invigilator bec

Bec has been an invigilator at a center in Portland for more than 3 years.

Test day can be intimidating if you don’t know what to expect. It’s a huge process!

What’s the difference between an invigilator and an examiner?

Well, the invigilators are whom you mostly deal with on test day. The only time you see an examiner is on the Speaking Exam.

Thus, invigilators cannot help you with questions, vocabulary, etc.

They are only there to organize things and make sure you don’t cheat.

Although some test centers start later, most centers start the exam at 9 a.m.

If you arrive at the center after 8:45 a.m., you won’t be allowed to take the exam.

Before you take the test, this is the process:

  • Doors open one hour before the exam. That’s when you should arrive.
  • Sign your name on the registration, check your information, show passport.
  • Coat check people take all your belongings, even stuff in your pocket. All you can have after that is your passport and a clear water bottle with no label.
  • Then your picture will be taken and a fingerprint.
  • Finally, you’ll be brought into the test room 15 minutes before the exam will begin.
  • You are assigned a desk– you cannot choose where you sit.


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The morning of the exam:

Also, nobody looks at your Writing question booklet after the exam, so that is where you can brainstorm.

Note! Your passport will be checked once during each of the three sections in the morning.

Bathroom rules:

  • You cannot use the bathroom during the Listening Exam.
  • You can go to the restroom in the first 50 minutes of the Reading and Writing Exams.
  • You cannot leave during the rest of the time, even when invigilators are organizing paperwork.

Bec notes that the biggest pet peeve of every invigilator is when students keep writing after being told to put down their pencil. Anything you wrote after time is up will be crossed out.

As for Speaking, you are usually allowed to schedule your Speaking test within a week of the test date. Contact your test center to find out your options.

Also, the way the students are given appointments in the afternoon for the Speaking Test is determined by the order in which your register.

So, the earlier you sign up and pay, the earlier your Speaking exam will be. Then you can be done and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Do you have any questions about the IELTS Exam?

Share in the comments section below!

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