Can I retake IELTS writing part only?

The writing part of the IELTS exam is quite challenging for many students. Some have retaken the test and to their surprise, they still can’t achieve the desired result in all four parts of the exam. I’ve been asked numerous times whether it’s possible to retake just one part of the exam, for example writing or reading.

As a general rule, there is no provision for retaking the IELTS test of a single module of IELTS.  If a single section’s score on the IELTS exam is low, a test-taker will have to retake all four sections of the IELTS exam.


If you have scored 7.5 in reading, listening and speaking but just 5.5 in your writing then you will have to retake the whole exam to score an overall higher band. IELTS doesn’t allow single module taking at this stage. If the difference between each module is significant you might want to consider devoting some time for further learning as taking the IELTS soon after your first attempt might not mean you will score a higher band.


Is it possible to only retake the Reading module in IELTS exam if other modules are higher than 7.5?

In general, retaking a single module of IELTS exam, like reading, is currently impossible. In order to improve reading part of the IELTS exam, a test-taker will have to resit the whole exam. IELTS does not allow registering for one module only at this stage. 

If your reading score is significantly lower than the other modules you might want to look into tips and strategies on how to cleverly and methodically approach this problematic task. Remember that reading for pleasure and reading for IELTS are two totally different concepts. And the latter requires from you certain skills to successfully complete each IELTS Reading task in a timely manner. 

Can you retake IELTS immediately? How soon can I retake IELTS exam? 

You can resit the IELTS exam immediately after your initial attempt. Some test-takers book two exams at the same time, especially during busy periods when the exam dates and booking availability are limited. You should only resit the IELTS exam when you feel you’re ready, bear in mind that you won’t be able to score a higher band in IELTS without a significant effort to improve your English in general and for the exam purposes.


Why do you keep scoring 6.0 and 6.5 in your IELTS?

When you reach a certain level of English, that is B2 upper-intermediate, which is equivalent to band 6.0 or 6.5 in IELTS, you feel capable of communicating and understanding English with a certain degree of confidence and fluency. You decide to book an exam because you believe you’re good enough to score 7.0. By this point, you have stopped trying and working on improving your skills better. By then you just keep practising with sample exams, doing one test after another, not even realising that you still need to learn more vocabulary and grammar. Taking an exam at this stage is like playing a lottery, do you really want to risk spending more money and face the exam disappointment.

It doesn’t work like that. You won’t get a 6.5 or a 7.0 by luck. Only continuous effort to improve your English skills and exam strategies will help you score a higher band in IELTS. There are no shortcuts, you need to devote enough time to become a confident, native-like speaker of English. After all, you didn’t get to your present level of fluency in your own language just by accident, did you? It takes time, sometimes lots of it, and it takes real work – with the humility to accept that you still have much to learn.


Why is my IELTS score lower on the second IELTS test? 

You might notice a difference in the score on your IELTS because:

  1. it wasn’t your day (you were stressed, overwhelmed and couldn’t think straight)
  2. your current English level is not high enough
  3. the task was a bit more difficult


There are many factors that may contribute to a difference in scores on two different IELTS exams. Usually, the difference is half a point, which would mean that you still need to work on your English skills (improve your English with a teacher or self-study). Although half a point on IELTS doesn’t seem a lot, in CEFR terms it can mean 50-100 additional study hours. Before booking a third attempt, spend some time learning English, not necessarily practising with IELTS sample tests, you need to improve your English in general.

If the difference between the same part of the exam in the first and second attempt differ significantly, you will need to invest more time in preparation and study. Find a fellow test-taker, or an IELTS teacher, talk to them about your learning goals and together try to achieve them. Find out how long it takes to prepare for IELTS here.


What’s IELTS exam retake fee? 

If you failed to get the right score in IELTS exam, you will need to resit the exam. Depending on the country and currency, the IELTS exams fees are as follow:

Type of test


IELTS Academic and General Training From £170-£195 depending on location
IELTS for UK Visas and Immigration (Academic and General Training) £195
IELTS Life Skills (A1, A2 and B1) £150
IELTS for Transportation for London (TFL) £200


How soon can I retake IELTS exam?

You can retake the IELTS exam as soon as you wish to. There is no waiting period before booking or taking the IELTS exam again and there are also no limits on how often students may take the exam within a given period of time. That said, before you book your next IELTS exam you might want to consider a few points:

  1. Why didn’t you get the desired score in the first place?
  2. What is the difference between the score you got and the desired score?
  3. Why do you need to take the exam now?
  4. When do you need to receive the score?

The first two questions refer mainly to your current level of English and whether you are actually ready to score a high band in IELTS. Your IELTS score is unlikely to increase unless you have made a significant effort to improve your English. You can find out how many hours you need to study to get your desired IELTS band here.

The latter two questions are closely related to the deadlines you might have when presenting the IELTS results. Some students need the IELTS result with their university application. If you feel you might not be able to get the IELTS score on time, talk to your university, maybe they will be able to suggest a Pre-sessional or a pathway English course that will help you secure a place at your desired university.



Is it possible to only retake the writing module in IELTS if other modules are higher than 7.5?

In general, IELTS does not allow to retake the IELTS writing part only.  If the writing part score on the IELTS exam is low, e.g.5.5, whereas the other modules are high, e.g. 7.5, a test-taker will have to retake all four sections (reading, listening, speaking and writing) of the IELTS exam.


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