Following the recent cluster outbreak of Covid-19 cases in Beijing, the British Council has been in contact with the National Education Exams Authority (NEEA) to understand the implications this recent outbreak will have on restarting IELTS operations in Mainland China.

Before this incident, we were informed that the successful sitting of the Gaokao (the Chinese university entrance exam) was an important milestone that would allow for other national tests to recommence. Despite this recent outbreak, we understand there are no plans to suspend the Gaokao and it will take place in mid-July as planned; however, we expect that health and safety requirements may be further enhanced. We see this as a positive indication that IELTS will be allowed to resume in the summer, although a date has yet to be agreed, and is conditional on this outbreak being contained.

Our discussions with NEEA remain productive, and we are both committed to restarting IELTS testing as soon as possible. We will send a further update to the UK sector, and organisations that accept IELTS scores, as soon as we have more information.

For further information, please contact us here

With best wishes from IELTS