Why are My IELTS Results Withheld or Delayed?

Learn why your IELTS results are withheld and what you can do about it. 

Why your IELTS results are withheld

When you apply for your IELTS test and fill in the application form, you will find the terms and conditions attached to the form. You should read these terms and conditions very carefully because you will find three points which explain that your results may be withheld or cancelled.

IELTS Terms and Conditions: Withholding Results

The following points can be found on your IELTS application form 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. To assist any investigation, you may be required to provide writing and speaking samples. In exceptional circumstances you may be required to re-take one or more IELTS components.

The above point explains that you may not get your results after 13 days because IELTS want to check them more carefully. There are two main reasons given: 1) they want to check your test again 2) they are doing quality control checks on how the test is managed.

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

This means that if there are any problems with your test, your results might be cancelled  and you might need to take your test again or part of your test again. An “irregularity” means that something occurred relating to your test or how it was managed which was not usual or acceptable.

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

This point shows that if any information you give has been altered, your result might be cancelled. So, be careful about providing the right information and only use reputable agents.

You now see that IELTS have the right to withhold or cancel your results for certain reasons, usually for analysing and quality checking.
When you sign your application form, you also agree that you accept a possible delay in results. Your signature is agreeing to the terms and conditions above.

IELTS will email you if your results are withheld or cancelled. If you don’t get this email, check your spam folder or contact your test center.

What can you do about it?

If your results have been delayed, you just need to wait and be patient.

Your results will arrive but there is no fixed time limit. Some students receive their results within just one week or a couple of weeks. However, for others, it might be longer – a month or even 3 months.

Can you take your test again? Sure you can. See below for advice:

Taking your Test Again

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

When you take more than one test, you can choose which results to use. You can choose to use the highest results. So, it won’t matter that you end up with two sets of results – just choose the best one to use for your future.

Booking your Test in Advance

When you decide the date for your IELTS test make sure you have a few months before your actual deadline because your results might not arrive after 13 days.

Give yourself lots of time to prepare for IELTS and to get your results!!

IELTS Test Information

Learn more about your IELTS test. Learn conditions, rules and tips: IELTS Test Information Page

Main IELTS Pages

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  1. Hey!
    I appeared for an exam on 2nd June and result had to be declared on 15th June. My result is withheld for further investigation and i have to fill a consent form attached in the mail and need to send back within 14 days. Can any one pls explain what we need to write in the instruction given as ” please provide information in support of your scores. Your answer is not limited to 1 page “. What exactly are they looking for and what all are we supposed to write in it?
    Pls reply

  2. Hi
    I wrote the IELTS General British Council on 2nd June 2018 in Jeddah Saudi Arabia. Till date i did not receive my results. Is any one received the results who wrote the test on same date and loctaion

  3. Minesh patel says:

    Hello mem
    What is meaning of this mail…

    Dear Minesh Umeshkumar Patel,

    Notification of Investigation of IELTS Test Result

    Reason: Result withheld for investigation into suspected breach of test day rule

    Our test day staff have reported that you may have breached the IELTS test day rules on 24-May-18 at Baroda.

    As a result, your test scores for the 24-May-18 have come under scrutiny and are being investigated. Your results are being withheld while this investigation is being conducted. Please note that all investigations are conducted without prejudice.

    The declaration on the IELTS application form that you agreed to includes the following statement: ‘I understand that my results may not be issued 13 days after the test if any of the IELTS Test Partners deem it necessary to review any matter associated with my test’.

    We understand how important it is for you to have your result as soon as possible and we are making every effort to expedite the process.

    We will give you an update on the status of this investigation on or before 27th June, 2018

    Should you have any questions, please write to IndiaIELTSResultsInformation@britishcouncil.org

    Thank you for your patience

    Yours sincerely
    IELTS Investigations Team

  4. Hi Guys,
    I have written my exam on 12/5/18 and supposed to receive my result on 25/5/2018. But I have neither received my result nor the withheld mail. Pls advice, approx within how many days you guys have received ‘withheld mail’?

    • You should call them on their customer care number.it must be a case of withheld..I gave my test on 14th april and I still waiting for my result…they ask for handwritten statement which I gave on 2 may..but still they investigating my result..

      • gurjant singh says:

        Can you got your result aur not manbeer nd I gave exam on 12may2018. But still investigation anybudy now when I got result today is 11june

    • Tell us what happened to you? because my a certificate was blocked by the same date.

    • Tell us what happened to you because ny certificate was blocked by the same date .
      Will the certificate be blocked? Or They will adopt me?

    • satinder says:

      i also written my exam in 12.05.2018, but the result is withheld, idp says just wait and they dont said any reason. i dont know whats they justify in a long time. i donot know what i do now.

    • Foram patel says:

      My husband got the mail that the result is in investigation . he gave the exam on the 12/5/2018. Still they are saying the same .

    • Hello guys!!! I have got my results on that following week. It was my bad of giving my date of birth incorrectly during the test registration. I have realised it only after speaking with the service team. Wishing you all to get the result soon without any issues.

    • Divya Sharma says:

      When you got your result I give exam 12may2018 my result is investigation when I got my result nd I send written statement to idp you have contact num plz give me

    • What you date of relying your result nd you send notification to idp team plz tell me m divya plz give me your number is discussion with you for a exam nd how many days you got result

    • Divya Sharma says:

      Which service team you speak with them plz give me your number is want discuss with you 12may2018 I gave exam but my result is investigation Plz hlp me

      • GAGANDEEP SINGH says:

        Contact withe me. I have suffered from this all. I got my withheld result after 4 months. +919463894000

        • Hi Gagandeep!
          Was your result held for further investigation or due to some other reason?
          Because I appeared for an exam on 2nd June and my result has been withheld for further investigation purpose.

      • Hello Divya!! I have not written the exam in india. Pls call any ielts customer care number in the country you have written the exam.

  5. Hi Liz my exam was 21st April .but my result is delayed please tell me what to do .


    I appeared for IELTS exam on 20th January, 2018 and my result is still withheld. Nothing is disappointing than waiting for result. Anyone knows the maximum timeframe of withheld result ?


    i have given test on 21st april. my result which supposed to release on 5th may was withheld for investigation into suspected breach of test day rule. Now i got email that my result is permanently withheld since i have written after the end of test component.
    i want to know about the effect of this withheld result.
    they have informed me that following action are taken:-
    Test score permanently withheld
    Recognising organisations will be able to view this outcome online
    A report has been made to the IELTS test partners.

    please let me know whether i can give again exam.
    Is i am not banned. they have not stated it in their email.

    • Himanshu says:

      Hello harminder singh ji same case happened to me have u got any update regarding this please contact me my whatsapp +918800801809

  8. Sweety Gupta says:

    My husband too gave ielts test held on 24 th March 2018 but he has not received his marks yet.Nor got any information regarding its marks or cancellation .

  9. Dear All,

    I gave my IELTS exam on 21st April 2018 and I got a notification today that my results have been withheld and I will get an update on the same before 22nd June 2018.

    This was a second attempt which was rescheduled by Britich Council since I had faced issues in my previous attempt and had written a formal complaint about it. They had acknowledged my problem and offered me a free re take which I had expected.

    Any suggestions on how long I should wait before I take a call on next steps.

    • Which country and city was it?
      we faced same problem.. but haven’t received any email from BC or IDP…
      one email came from centre that some candidates will get results next week..
      not sure what happened..

    • Me too, appeared on 21st april 2018, idp trivandrum (India). During the examination the hall was perfect and I never experienced any inconvenience in any manner.However I was expecting to get a result on 3rd May. Until 5th May I waited, after which i contacted idp team. I came to know from them that my results are under investigation. And today 12th of May I received a mail from team idp saying my results got cancelled. This is really disgusting. I have never done any kind of malpractice. I struggled a lot to prepare and appear for this exam and the fruit I received is hard to believe. What step should I take next, to know the possible reason for my cancellation of results?

      • HARMINDER SINGH says:

        Same thing happened to me. yesterday i got email that my result is hold permanently since i have written after end of test component.

  10. Anyone else ? Who face the same problem of 13th april test conducted by idp ….
    I want to know what kind investigation they are doing ???

    • Dilpreet Singh says:


      • Who conduct ur test idp kr bc ?? Mine was conducted by idp

        • Dilpreet Singh says:

          IDP. Are you a punjabi?

          • Yes from amritsar…I did really hardwork for this but get nothing …they send me only one mail and told me that my result is under investigation…I dont have any idea when they release my result..

            • Dilpreet Singh says:

              Same here bro

              • By the way m not bro 😂..I think I have to go to their office..may be I find anything relevant..I read lot of blogs and I think it’s a case regarding band difference in particular modules or cross checking..(but m also afraid because I don’t expect long or permanent withheld which also happened in some cases coz honestly I did lot of hardwork..😑I dont want to appear in the exam for the third time ..because all the invigilators will probably same 😂😂

  11. Tony Gill says:

    I gave the IELTS academic paper on the 16th and 17th of December, 2017 in Hong Kong. Its soon going to be 4 months since I gave the paper and still have not received my results. My test scores were also withheld but its been too long. I really dont know when my results will be out or are they even going to ever tell me. I called several times and they cant provide me with useful information

  12. Hello Liz,

    I would like to ask about my pending result. I have taken my IELTS test on 24th March and my result is supposedly available on 6th April, but I haven’t got my result until today and I don’t get any emails or notifications from my test centre or IELTS. I’ve asked my test centre about it and they said they didn’t know about the reason as well and told me to email the verification team. Do you have any advice for me? Thank you.

    • I also have taken the test on 24th March 2018 and until now no results has been communicated to me. Where did you took the test?

  13. This policy is too long like you’ve cheated or been scammed after months of study. This policy is rubbish. We are entitled to a result! They don’t consider our deadline and more concerned on their profits and on administering future exams! It’s really frustrating. Am I gonna take the exam again? Hell no! At first, I didn’t believe that the IELTS exam is money-making and that opinion is from those who didn’t prepared well. But after the delay for almost a month and still waiting in vain, I think now that IELTS is purely business without considering their candidate’s deadline. If there should be any quality control, why don’t they have a time limit for this? A week should be enough! We paid, we were pushed to our limits during the exam, then what? nor result?? Not even an email for an update and I need to keep ringing them, asking if there is an update. This is an area that they must address. They don’t even consider their test-takers! It”s just unfair because we paid for their service. Took IELTS in BC. Still, no results till now.

    • niroshan says:

      100% agreed with you bro.
      day time robbers with license,and all the culprits are depend on our money

    • Hi evo, are we suppose to submit the form which is got attached with that mail… Did u get ur results…

    • Mohammed says:

      Hi Guys,

      I wrote IELTS on 24th March. I am facing similar issue and they do not give a timeline. They keep talking like robots and I tried my best through email, phone and chat, they still give a robotic response that my results are withheld and are under scrutiny. I am frustrated like everyone else here and now I am thinking of taking some serious step against them because we spend our effort, time and money to take up the test which is bluntly ignored by IELTS officials. Let’s get together and take some serious steps against them if they do not release our result by EOM.

      • What we have to do ?? It’s been a month and I still don’t get my result …even the number on their (idp) site isn’t working …its not really kind of way to deal with candidates….

  14. niroshan says:

    Hi liz,
    I did the exam on 10/2/2018.resutls were withheld and received an mail about an update on the 7/3/2018.
    Today 8/3/2018,I received another mail from IDP ,in which they stated, they will give another update by 15/3/2018.
    About this we agreed to wait for results factor, At the point of registration, do people have time to read and understand and compelled to do so?
    Same time none of the staff clarified that your results are going through quality testing/investigation. They basically said, results will come on 13th day which repeated as soon as I finished the exam too.
    Please advice do we get refunded our fee or could we get the help via human rights.

  15. Shoaib ansari says:

    I gave my test on 20th jan and since than received two mail that it has been withheld due to quality control procedure
    No matter what atleast I deserve a definite timeline
    Again and again mailing to respective concerned but all in vain

  16. Hi Liz. Do you know what is the estimate waiting time for withhold exam today is 10 weeks waiting whithhold?

  17. Hi Liz
    I’ve got “Notification of Investigation of IELTS test Result” for Feb 10th exam???
    what do they exactly do in the investigation???? If I cheated they would got me at exam !!! so Are they gonna check my exam or check the Camera??
    I’m confused coz I had to send to immigiration depart for my immigration:((

  18. I wrote exam on 20th Jan, however result is still awaited, next update is on 09th March.

    • Satvir Singh says:

      Dear Amar.

      Which place you had your exam. I wrote my exam in Dubai on 20-Jan-18 and still waiting for the result. I have got an email that update will be provided asap but no specific date mentioned.

      Did you got any email for next update by 9th Marck

    • Disha kalia says:

      Same thing happened with me…did u get any update??

      • I wrote an exam on Jan 20th in Delhi( Gurgaon) but till now i didnt get the result.My next update date is 30th march.this is the fourth time changed the update…..

        • …..you are lucky to get an email and been told the update time …… I took the exam on 13/1/2018 and now 25/3/2018 I still received nothing, just an email to tell your result was withheld and needed me a scanned handwriting statement ….. no next update date…. gosh, I just requested to change a pencil and the new pencil was given by a staff not pull out from my bag…… How come they can withhold my result for such long time without any further notice….. I am still a student who working hard for saving money to take this frustrated exam…..

  19. I also took mine on 20th Jan and until today 21-feb I am still waiting, any update please message me. From dubai.

  20. Glency Baby says:

    JAN 20-2018 QATAR
    Result still waiting any update any one????

    • As per their recent email, it will take some more time. We need to wait…

      • Hi All,

        I have created on whatsapp group for people with pending IELTS results for 20th Jan 2018. Ping me at +91-9899558884 and I will add you to that group for updates.

        Ankit Khurana.

  21. I took my test Jan 20th in Sri Lanka. I received my results on Feb15th. I did not get any email updates, no notifications at all. Only looked online by chance since people posted their results were coming through. I don’t know why they cant just say that there is a delay releasing the results instead of this whole “your results have come under scrutiny and are being investigated”. As if like you have cheated!! BC and IELTS need to be more professional without causing unnecessary stress and wasting our valuable time. My advice to all is to do another English exam that is acceptable other than IELTS. If not, then do it 6-9 months in advance and wish you the best of luck!!

    Overall band score: 8.5

  22. Changing your postal address while filling the form might be the reason why my ielts result is withheld. Is it so? Any idea guys! I changed my postal address for some reasons in third attempt but earlier, I was using some other address for ielts report card to deliver.
    Do you think changing address in the form would be the issue. I am waiting for tomorrow. I gave exam on 20th Jan.

  23. Gave my test on 20th January in Bengaluru. Finally got my results today after a long time. Overall band score 8.

  24. Finally got my result..of 20th jan. IDP Overall bands 7….
    Listening 7
    Speaking 7
    Writing 6.5
    Reading 6.5.
    Don’t worry guys you will get fruitful results soon….All the best👍

  25. Swaminathan says:

    I got my results today! I took my test on Jan 20th in Chennai. Results were withheld due to some scrutiny, and according to the last update from BC they informed me that I should receive further update by Feb 19th. However to my goodness, I received the results today.

  26. I got my Results today ,i gave my ielts on 20th January in Banglore
    overall 7.5

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