The IELTS Indicator Test: What it is and why it might be right for you

IELTS Indicator

The IELTS Indicator

During these uncertain times, it seems as if we are being forced to put our goals and futures on pause.  English exams have been affected in the same way as so many other activities, and the health risks of having large groups of people gathered in an enclosed environment will be present for the foreseeable future. 

But what if I were to tell you that, despite all this, you can still take an IELTS test? And what if I were to say that you can take this test without posing any risk to yourself or anyone else?

Well, the good news is that this is what I am saying and this is all possible because of the IELTS Indicator test.  Read on to find out more.

What is the IELTS Indicator test?

The IELTS Indicator Test is a brand new official online test created by IELTS providers and marked by IELTS examiners.  It can be completed from the comfort of your own home, and it has been made specially available for a limited period due to the current COVID-19 virus.

What is the difference between the IELTS Indicator test and the IELTS?

There are many more similarities than differences between these two exams.  The IELTS Indicator test follows the same format as the IELTS test; it also includes the same content and follows the same structure and timings.  Just as with the original IELTS test, there are separate sections on listening, reading, writing and speaking

The difference between the tests is that the IELTS Indicator test is specially designed to be done at home.  This means that you will be able to complete the exam on your home computer

The speaking section of the IELTS Indicator test is also different to the IELTS as it involves a video call between the candidate and the examiner.  This will be conducted on the online video conferencing platform: Zoom

Another difference is the fact that the IELTS Indicator test is currently only available as an Academic test and there is no General Training option.

Who can do the test?

The test is available in a large number of countries (see appendices for complete list).  To do the test, you must be a resident in one of these countries, and you must be 16 years old or over (16-17 year olds must be accompanied by a guardian during the test).

Why should you consider doing the test?

The IELTS Indicator test is a reliable way of assessing your English level in the four skills (listening, reading, writing and speaking).  The results are recognised by many institutions worldwide (see below for more details).  As the IELTS Indicator test is designed to replicate the IELTS test as closely as possible, doing the exam will provide an authentic IELTS exam experience

Signing up to do this test will also increase your motivation to study as the test will give you a concrete goal to aim for.  It may be many months before IELTS test centres open up again and, when they do, if you have not kept your English skills fresh, you may find that it is a long time before you are able to realise your ambitions of living, studying and working abroad.

How much does the exam cost?

The exam costs $149 no matter where in the world you take it, which is a cheaper price than most countries offer the IELTS test for. You will also save money in any commuting costs you would have had traveling to the exam.

Why not save even more money for your IELTS preparation by taking our popular IELTS Premium course, now only $249 with over $200 of FREE bonuses included. This course is fully online, perfectly complimenting the IELTS Indicator test in that you can study and succeed in IELTS from the comfort of your own home. 

Want to find out more? Head on over to our Swoosh English IELTS Packages to find out more about how we can help you.

Who recognises the test?

The test is officially recognised in 12 countries including the UK, the US, Australia, Canada and Ireland (see appendix for full list).  It is accepted as an official certification of English level by many further education institutions within those countries, including universities such as: University College London and St Mary’s University (check this website for a full list of institutions which accept the IELTS Indicator test: 

As the test offers an indicative score, you should contact that institution directly for clarification if you are unsure whether the institution you are applying for accepts the test. We will share more on this ever-changing situation.

What do you need to do for the test?

As the test is completely online, you must have a reliable internet connection.  You also need a laptop or desktop computer as it is not possible to do the test on a Smartphone.  A quiet, comfortable space at home is also necessary as it is important that you are not going to be interrupted during the test.  In addition to this, you will need reliable speakers or headphones in order to do the listening test, and you will need a microphone and a web camera for the speaking test.

How can you prepare for the test?

The most effective way to prepare for the test involves doing online IELTS exercises under the supervision of a qualified IELTS teacher.  At Swoosh English we make it possible to do these exercises in the form of listening, reading, writing and speaking tests, after which you will be able to receive feedback on your performance and suggestions for improvement. 

This is valuable as it will prepare you for the online format of the IELTS Indicator test and, as a result, help develop your skills, awareness and confidence by the time you are ready to do the test itself.  

When and how will you get your results?

You will receive your results within 7 days of having completed all 4 sections of the test.  Your results will look just the same as the IELTS test results with a band score given for each of the 4 skills and an overall band score given for your aggregate result. 

The only difference between the IELTS results and the IELTS Indicator results is that, for the IELTS Indicator test, you will receive an indicative score.  This demonstrates that the score is an indication of the score you would have got had you sat the test in an IELTS test centre.

How do you book the test?

Go to and follow the instructions to book your test.

So, hopefully, this article has answered your most pressing questions about the IELTS Indicator test. In the meantime, we hope that you are all continuing your plans to pass the IELTS test with the band score you need.

Swoosh English offers all you need to ace your IELTS exam, including video courses with expert, ex-IELTS examiner teachers, mock examinations, video courses, live classes, writing corrections and more. 

To help you pass sooner and cheaper, we are currently offering a limited-time promotion on our popular IELTS Premium Package, saving you over $200!

Want to find out more? Check out our IELTS Packages – Online Preparation Courses to hit the ground running with your IELTS preparation!


1. Full list of countries in which the IELTS Indicator test is available: Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, SAR of China, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zimbabwe

2. Countries which accept the IELTS Indicator test: The UK, The US, Australia, Canada, Belgium, China, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Malaysia, New Zealand

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