BALTIC COUNCIL - Special Needs

Special Needs

IELTS aims to assess the English language communication skills of all test takers fairly and objectively.

Our test centre can make arrangements to accommodate special circumstances or requirements to enable test takers to attend a test centre, and to understand questions and tasks and give their answers.

If you have a disability or another condition which might require special arrangements, please contact us three months in advance of your test date to find out how you can apply for special arrangements.

Each case is considered individually, so they will need a medical certificate from you to put arrangements in place. In this case your application must be supported by medical evidence, which should meet the following criteria:
- The medical evidence should be legible and either in English or in Latvian.

- The medical evidence should be an original document on headed paper and bearing the name, relevant qualification(s) and signature of a recognised practitioner.The medical evidence must be in the form of a report prepared in a period no more than two years before the test date.

- The medical evidence should give a clear statement of the candidate’s disability.

- The medical evidence should make it clear how the disability justifies Special Arrangements.  

Additional criteria apply in the case of applications for Special Arrangements for candidates with specific learning difficulties (e.g. dyslexia):

Visual difficulties

A range of options is available, including enlarged print, and brailed question papers.

Answers may be recorded in a variety of ways, e.g. via an amanuensis, or using a Braille machine or word-processor, and extra time may be allowed for completion of Reading and Writing Modules. A special needs version of the Listening Module is also available.

Hearing difficulties

If you have partial hearing loss and can hear with the help of headphones or special amplification equipment you may ask for permission to use this equipment when taking listening modules. A lip-reading version of the Listening Module is available. In the case of severe hearing difficulties, you can apply for exemption from the Speaking and/or Listening Modules.

Learning difficulties (eg: dyslexia)

You can apply for up to 30 minutes extra time to complete the Reading and Writing Modules, and can also apply to write your answers using a typewriter or word-processor, if you normally write this way.


If you are genuinely ill on the day of or during the test you should let the test supervisor know. Special consideration may be given to test takers who report their illness on the day.