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

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  1. 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

    • Jomol mathew says:

      My results ielts resut .center Kuwait on 7th april,I cannot find the result on line.please help me .why any idea

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

  7. 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:((

  8. 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…..

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

  14. 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👍

  15. 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.

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

  17. I got my result announced which was withheld for so long . I gave my ielts test on 20 january 2018 . The result date for test was 2february but my results were withheld till 9 february and again got a text from british council that my results are withheld till 19 february but today i got my results announced . I scored 7 band overall . I am soo happy . Wish you luck whosoever are waiting for their results . I wish they will be released soon . . 😊👍

  18. Given IELTS on 20th Jan, same situation. BC said they will update me on 19th Feb. This is unacceptable. After paying 12k for a test and waiting 13 days I am entitled to at least a result. If my result is going through scrutiny then I should be notified few days before not at 11:57 via email when the result is going to be released at 12:00. This is so unprofessional of them.

    • Deepak Sharma says:

      I gave my IDP IELTS test on January 20,2018 in Chandigarh, India. The result was to come out on Feb 3, which they further stretched it to Feb 9; and to my chagrin, on Feb 9 they sent an email at 3:30pm saying that it would come out on February 16! This is really weird. What makes worse is their level of transparency – they are neither sharing the actual reason of “over-delay” nor reverting to social media posts (in fact, they are deleting those posts) and posting their sales-pitch or quoting guys like Henry Ford!!
      Seriously, It peeves to write it but IDP guys are a bunch of unprofessional amateurs who don’t really know “service” part of business.

      • Yup. This is getting annoying day by day. This is second time my result is getting scrutiny, actually many people from our center got the same email. They already conduct the test in very strict environment, I do not know what the scrutiny is all about.

        • Deepak Sharma says:

          Rishabh, you are right. And I suspect that they are just FAKE bodies sucking money from Indians just by becoming “Judge of English language”! I sent a tweet to @IDPGlobal but it has been over 48 hours and they are mum! It is all a scam and I doubt that provided our politicians/ministers’ credibility, such IELTS test takers might be having full back up from our dishonest ministers. These bodies are just corrupt. Now, I regret spending my INR 12,100 and wasting one full day. Today, I will escalate it to HRD ministry, let’s see what happens. Their support executives are foolish and NOT at all transparent. This is a BIG BIG SCAM.

  19. Parmvir Singh says:

    anyone here who gave the exam at ludhiana?

  20. Parmvir Singh says:

    i gave exam of academics under British council but i am facing the same problem. they are saying that they cant do nothing to provide me my result. you should wait patiently

  21. Woo hoo! I got my ielts result and I nailed it. Got 8.5 overall and gave the exam on 20th Jan.

  22. hi supriya ,what number you used to call up BC ,?
    I tried contacting them on Their Customer Support Number ,but never able to contact them
    please forward me the number ,you used to contact them

  23. I gave ielts test on 20 January 2018 . But my result has not been declared. I got an email from idp regarding update on 9 feb . But there is no further information provided.

  24. Dear Candidate
    This is for Jan20 results. Appeared for exam in Hyderabad.Results got delayed till Feb19 & they mentioned they will update further for any changes.

    What the helllllllllllll

    • My results also have followed the same scenario. feeling really pity on myself for choosing British Council. I could have written exam under IDP

      • well it is the same with IDP ! 🙂

        • It is same with me. Taken the test on 20-Jan in Chennai and got a information from British council today that will come back to me on Feb-19.

          • yeah same with me. what if we go and talk to people in british council is there any chance they will help us???

      • I request someone create a WA group for candidates facing problems with getting their IELTS results. Whether Academic or General, I urge we all get together and workout a plan to raise our concerns to respective authorities.

      • Dude, British Council is 100 times better than IDP. You are lucky you didn’t choose IDP.

    • My result of 6th january 2018 from British Council was withheld from last 3 weeks and now they said me email that your results are withheld permanently due to cheating issue what the hell is British Council is doing i even can’t digest this nonsense my complete future was depending on this result and now they did this plz advice me what can i do now as it was my 4th attempt

      • Hi Ahmed have you got your results back yet? Where is withheld?
        Mine withheld since 14/12/2017 almost 10 weeks.
        What do you do or any idea please?

    • Same scenario…wrote GT in Hyderabad on 20th jan via IDP…now delayed result..

  25. Result delayed till 19 Jan ,,given on 20 jan.. really not fair.
    Location yamunangar

  26. Just got an text message for the next update on 19th feb

  27. Dear Candidate,
    Your result for 20-Jan test is currently being analysed by the IELTS Test Partners. We should be able to provide you further information on your result by Monday, 19 Feb, 2018. We apologise for the inconvenience.
    British Council

    What the hell yaaar

  28. Hello guys,

    Any update so for in respect to awaiting results for IELTS general exam conducted on 20th jan please ?

  29. For those who took the exam on Jan 20th, please post if you got any update or results. Thanks!!

  30. Hi,

    I have taken my IELTS exam on Jan 20 in Bangalore. My result has been delayed and I have just received an update that states next update will be on 16 Feb and they are not assure of any definite Timeframe to announce the results. This is very saddening !!

  31. Aparajith says:

    I took the test from Chennai, India on 20th Jan 18…rec’d a mail saying my results are being withheld for quality investigative purposes till 9th Feb…as of now no updates yet!

  32. Aparajith says:

    I took the test from Chennai, India on 20th Jan 18…rec’d a mail saying my results are being withheld for quality investigative purposed till 9th Feb…as of now no updates yet!

  33. Divy Mohan says:

    I appeared for IELTS on 20th Jan in Gurgaon. I got an email stating update will be provided on 9th feb and results are on hold !! What the hell is this ? I haven’t received any communication yet and today is 9th Feb !!!!

  34. Charanjeet Singh says:

    I gave my exam on 20th Jan and was suppose to get the results on 02nd Feb but they withheld the results for further investigation and advised for an update on 09th Feb.
    I got an updated today 09th Feb that they will now update on 16th Feb.
    Did anyone get their results today or got the same email for update on16th Feb.
    Location Dawarka
    General Training


  35. Hi Liz,
    I took my test on 20th January in Hyderabad (India) Test location and I’ve gotten an email that my results will be updated on or before 9th Feb after it was with held.

    Still I have not received any response from them, it’s hard for me to find out what bad I’d done on my part.

    Could any one tell how much time it took hardly?

  36. Kiran Padmakaran says:

    Did anyone who gave exam on January 20 th get RESULT update on February 9 as they mentioned in an e-mail regarding delay in result ?lllll

  37. Hello, I also gave exam on 20th Jan at Noida location and still waiting for the result…

    • Same here .. im also waiting

    • Rishabh Sharma says:

      I also gave my test on 20 of Jan but today I received an email that further updates will be on 16 feb

    • Me too, I have not gotten any email after my result was holded

    • Charanjeet Singh says:

      Hi Amar,

      Did you get your results today?


    • I called up BC.. they are saying that the next update for results for 20th Jan will be by 4pm today.. does this mean results are further postponed?

    • Same here. I gave in pune and now they will give on 19 feb,2018. British Council sucks.

    • Rohan Shorey says:

      I gave my exam on 20th Jan, 2018. Still no signs of result. Got an SMS today from British Council stating that my result might be declared on 19th Feb, 2018. So let’s see.


      Rohan Shorey

    • Yeah, me too! I’ve given the test here in Chennai. It should have been released by Feb 2, but now received a text saying I’ll receive further update by 19th Feb. Really frustrated!

    • Hello all, I gave my test on Jan 20th in Hyderabad for IELTS General Training. My results were supposed to have come out on Feb 2nd, which were delayed until Feb 9th. And again today I received a mail stating the Investigation is still on and I will need to wait until Feb 19th. This wait is so frustrating. They are not even confirming whether the results will be definitely out by Feb 19th. I am guessing it could delayed even further. The British left but I feel we are still at the mercy of BC 🙂

  38. Dalia Mathew says:

    It’s really quite disconcerting that most results are being withheld. Wrote the exam on 6th January 2018 in Dubai and still awaiting results. Is there anyone else there waiting who wrote from Dubai on the 6th of Jan?

    • Sara Nasir says:

      My test was also conducted on 6th January, 2018 from Islamabad. Haven’t received TRF yet.

      • Waleed Ghayas says:

        I took my test on 6th jan in Islamabad, Pakistan. Results were due on 19 jan but got this particular email. BC is using delaying tactics like “Investigation” and “quality check” blah blah. I am in contact with BC since then. Recently they provided me with a date of 8 feb with additional but meaningless apologising. Well, tomorrow is 8 feb, i hope we get results instead of further information ( which happens to be the same in every mail i.e to wait…)
        What was in the last email that you received?

    • have you got results?? I appeared on
      th Jan and results is still waiting….its too frustrating. no communication from IDP side.

      • Dalia Mathew says:

        Not yet! Did you write it from Dubai?

      • I gave a call to British Council as I was loosing my patience and had not received any updates from them via email or sms. To my utter surprise they informed me that my results have been released!! They did not intimate this to me either by email or sms!! So annoyed at the fact that I have probably been waiting patiently when my results have already been released. And my results don’t show up online either. I have to go British Council and pick up my report. Will do that today or tomorrow. So my advise is for everyone waiting to call up British Council and check with them whether your results are released.

  39. Guys,
    My email states- Results are routinely analysed before they are issues. These procedures have flagged results from the test taken on 20 Jan 18 for further analysis and therefore your result will not be released on 2 Feb.
    Does this means that they found something with my test(two band difference between modules) or it’s only quality check?
    Can anyone help?

  40. My result is being delayed for quality check purpose.My exam centre was Kottayam.Anyone from Kottayam,please let me know.

  41. I sat to IELTS UKVI in Qatar 20th January 2018 I did not receive SMS, I couldn’t see my results online and on Saturday February the 3rd I went to BC and they said my result is withheld and I have to contact the examination section over the phone on Sunday, I did and they said we will send an email to explain why your result is withheld, 2 hours late I received the email (due to strict quality control procedures and we shall let you know if the investigation is complete ) that’s the case and I am waiting.

    • Glency Baby says:

      Hai Huss,
      For me i recieve a text message with my score.Am sure this result is not mine,very less score.I make a call to them and they inform me they send text result wrongly.I need to wait for next mail.They also dont know why they send result text message like this.

  42. Gave my test on 20th Jan in Bengaluru..
    Got a mail on 2nd Feb saying results are withheld for investigation and further update about the results will be given on or before 9th Feb. Anyone else with similar situation?

  43. Why would they not do it? Candidate’s harassment generates more business.

  44. Gave my test on 20th Jan in Bangalore.
    No results, no information. The BC numbers don’t work. It’s like a Black Hole. At least have proper information shared out as to when the results are going to come and why it’s being with held

    • I took the test on 20th in Bangalore and was informed via email regarding delay in result. They said, update on result will be provided on 9th. Didn’t you receive any intimation?

  45. I got my result by text message in Qatar and really it was a bad score.Afternoon again recieve a mail from BC that mentioning your result is with held for checking.I make a call to BC they inform me yes it was on hold.They dont know why send a text message.We need to wait until next mail.I seriously doubt these Ielts centers are doing some malpractice.And i dont know where to say all those issues.

    • Let us put some faith on process…may be it is held to prevent any illegal intervention… people get their score and frequent checks are inevitable for standardization

      Hope all get their expected scores soon

      Also any one got any update plz share here about 20/1/28 test

  46. Nothing more disappointing than receiving this sort of an email, instead of band scores on the results release date. I had to retake the test on 20th January as my previous band score for writing was just 0.5 below the required score. Just THAT! After retaking all the bands and waiting 13 days you receive a message saying that your results are withheld??? What if they take months to release my results? How am I going to meet the deadline? After all, what is the point of taking this 20th January test, if I have to wait for an unestimated time period for results? It is purely a waste of money. It is true that I had agreed with their terms and conditions with this regard. We all did. That’s solely because we had no option. Unless it is due to exam malpractices, in other cases such as quality checks, these authorities should consider refunding those candidates who had to go through this hassle, just to maintain the so called IELTS standards.
    Test taken in Sri Lanka

    • Waleed Ghayas says:

      Very well said Ayesha. I took test on 6th jan Pakistan through British Council but it turned out to be the biggest mistak. My result was due on 19 jan but instead i got this “particular” email. I am in contact with British Council since then and they are using delaying tactics like “Investigation” and “Quality Check” and blah blah. Even today i contacted the relative office and they gave me further date of 8 feb with additional but meaningless apologising. I was about to get rude but i controlled myself and decided to give them last chance. I am thinking of legal action otherwise. I will surely not recommend anyone to give IELTS through British Council and i hope you guys will do the same. Instead give IELTS through AEO, which is efficient and trustworthy. AEO is operating in Pakistan, i don’t know about other countries. I should’ve chose AEO but i made a terrible mistake.

    • I took my test on Jan 20th in Sri Lanka too. I got an email 2 hours before the results were due stating, “Notification of investigation… strict quality control.. blah blah blah…test scores for the 20 January have come under scrutiny and are being investigated”. The email had no contact number and no date when to expect the results. All it says is that we will provide an update as soon as the investigation is complete. When is that?? This is absurd!! You go through all this preparation to take the exam and then wait the specified 13 days to get the results.. all for what?? I called British Council and all they could say is that it’s out of their hands and only Cambridge in the UK knows. As for the timeline, it can take 1 week, 2 weeks or even a month to get an update. To quote them, “We don’t know”. So why do you handle the IELTS exam? British Council needs to take some responsibility for this matter! However, they were keen on telling me that I can retake the exam if I don’t want to wait that long. Seriously????? So basically you just want the money. They must think we pluck money off trees. These people are so unprofessional!! We need these results to go on with our education and employment. Just give us the results so that we can get on with our lives and retake it if needed in a timely manner. Why are you playing around with our livelihoods? I can’t wait months for these results. Something needs to be done about this. Test centers and the UK is abusing the fact that the IELTS is becoming the only universal English exam now and using it to make more money. I’m so frustrated!

      • My main concern with IELTS is that they do not give dates for when the results are likely to be released – I think this is the main problem that needs to be addressed. If students know the time frame, they can make an appropriate choice of what to do. IELTS really need to make their their time frame clear to students when relating to investigating and withholding results.

    • Same here, for last two times I scored well in any of the 3 modules but they managed to give 0.5 band less than required in one of the module and this time for 20th jan test they have withheld the result. Extremely annoying. Test centre was Navi Mumbai.

      • I also gave exam in Navi Mumbai on 20th jan, received mail today that results are further analysed, so there will be delay and next update about the results will be on 16 th feb.

        Please let us know if anyone of 20th jan takers have got results

      • Ruchi, read my reply to Sai Ram on this page.
        Switch to PTE if IELTS is not giving the desired results. Else you will keep losing money.

  47. hari balakrishnan says:

    same thing with me as well
    test centre:trichy ,tamilnadu

  48. Charles ojukwu says:

    mine is more frustrating.i did not receive any mail and i couldn’t see my result

  49. Same is case with me.
    Exam date:20 Jan,2018
    Test Center:Dwarka

  50. recieved the same mail today stating an updated will be given on 9th, which means it can be further delayed. wtf, all deadlines approaching for sept 18 intake and then you come across such things.

  51. Sachin Premnath says:

    I too gave my exam on the 20th Jan in Bangalore and i have got the same exact message from IELTS that my results are withheld due to quality checks and i would get an update back from them on 9th Feb

  52. Same for me.. I gave my exam on 20th Jan, Bangalore..

    • Same here….why can’t they investigate in last 13 days ….iam also become frustrate…its the matter of our hardwork

  53. Same message posted to me stating “Results delayed due to quality check” – Expected results on Feb 09th.

    Test taken on : Jan 20
    Location: Chennai
    Centre: IDP

  54. Charanjeet Singh says:

    Yes, even I have received the same email. It’s the same email that they send out to the applicants. I am shocked and devastated to lean about this email as I had given my exam lawfully.

    I gave my exam on 20th Jan 2018 and was due to receive the results today 02nd Feb.
    Test Location: Dawarka, Delhi

  55. I had given my test on 20th JAn 2018 , Pune,India . I was expecting the results today (2nd Feb) but have got the results withheld message instead. Is that the case with anyone else ?
    This is so disappointing!

  56. Jan 20 results withheld Location India Chrnnai

  57. Bharath Reddy says:

    Hi Liz,
    I hope you see this and advise me.
    I received an email today that the results are delayed due to ‘strict quality control procedures’, and they’ll get back to me with an update on 9th of Feb.
    Could you please explain this? And do we need to worry about this?
    Your help is much appreciated.

  58. I got my results today via SMS. Took IElTS on January 6th in Dubai.

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