IELTS: Special Arrangements (Part 1)

IELTS, the world’s most popular English language test for higher education and global migration, makes every effort to see to it that the language ability of all test takers is assessed fairly and objectively. To this end, special arrangements can be made for test takers with accessibility requirements.

If you are someone who has special requirements, such as visual difficulties, hearing difficulties, speaking difficulties, learning difficulties, medical conditions, or infant feeding, British Council test centres will be willing to help you in different ways. In this series of blog posts, you will get to read about some of these special arrangements.

Visual difficulties

Test takers with visual difficulties can request for enlarged print question papers that make use of Arial 18-point bold font in place of the Arial 11-point font used in regular question papers. Blind individuals who are able to read Braille can opt for Braille question papers. Depending on the severity of visual difficulty, extra time can be allotted to a test taker at the discretion of the test centre depending on their specific needs.

You can request for the assistance of a scribe or reader during the test if you are unable to read or write. If so, your test centre will also have to request for a modified CD for the Listening section from Cambridge Assessment English so that there is enough time available for the scribe/reader to work.

Hearing Difficulties

Those who are hard of hearing may be able to put in a request with their IELTS test centre for a modified Listening CD that includes additional pauses and plays the listening extracts twice. Remember, separate invigilation will be required if you opt for this arrangement.

A hearing-impaired version of the Listening section is also available for those who you can lip-read in English, or for those who find processing recorded sound challenging but are able to access human voices. Instead of playing a recording, a trained member of the venue staff will read a script to you out loud so that you are able to access the test content through hearing, lip-reading, or a combination of both.

If you wish to know how IELTS can support individuals with speaking and learning difficulties, do read the next part in this series.

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