Retake only 1 section of the IELTS exam

Hello everyone,

My name is John Grant and I’m an instructor at AGOS Japan.

I have some new information that is important for any students that are going to take IELTS in the near future or thinking of a switch from TOEFL to IELTS.

I really think this will be a game-changer as far as exam preparation goes!

IELTS is piloting a program that will allow test-takers to retake just one skill of the IELTS test instead of the entire test.

Let me try to explain what that means and the significance of it.

At the moment, if a candidate does not get the score that they need in, let’s say speaking, but they are happy with the rest of the scores, (say Reading, Listening, and Writing), they have to re-take the entire test.

This may result in lower scores in those other sections.

For example, if a candidate’s results after their first test look like this:

Listening: Band 7

Reading: Band 8

Writing: Band 6.5

Speaking: Band 6

And this would result in an overall score of 7.

(The four bands 7 + 8 + 6.5 + 6 = 27.5, and this number is divided by 4, and this is 6.875. This number for the overall score is rounded up, which is an overall band of 7).

That seems like a great score!  But if the student needs a 7.5, they’ll have to retake the test.  They just want to improve their speaking score a bit to get a 7.5 as the scores will be rounded up.  If they can just get a 7 in speaking, they’ll get their 7.5 overall, and have a chance to get into their dream school!

So the candidate works very hard on their speaking for months and months, and they improve their speaking and take the test again.  The results look like this:

Listening: Band 6

Reading: Band 7

Writing: Band 6

Speaking: Band 7

This would result in an overall score of 6.5.

They spent so much time working on their speaking that they overlooked reviewing their other sections.  They didn’t improve their overall score and it actually went down!

However, in this new system, the candidate can choose to only take the Speaking section, so that their other band scores are safe.

At the moment, this is only available in Australian test centres – but rumor has it that it will be rolled out in other centres soon.  We really hope it will come to Japan, but if you are doing your test in Australia, you may be able to take advantage of this now!

For more information, please check our AGOS news blog and my updates or check here:

Good luck on your exams!

Best wishes,