The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world's most popular English language proficiency test for higher education and global migration; British council mentioned that over 2.5 million tests taken last year. If you are planning on to studying for a bachelor or postgraduate degree at a college or university, you are required to meet the English language level set by the institution. Unless additional requirements are posed, you will generally be able to apply to UK educational institutions with an IELTS result.
Before you do the IELTS test, it is necessary to do the preparation course. Pre-sessional courses last for between 3 and 20 weeks and focus on improving your academic English. All courses cover areas such as academic writing, note-taking and presentation skills. They are specifically designed for students who need to meet the IELTS language requirement of their conditional offer. A 5-week pre-sessional course is also a common choice for students who have already met the language conditions of their offer but would like to familiarise themselves with academic English and the study skills essential to the UK university life ahead of their course.
If you want to give the free IELTS test a go, please click here.
UKVI only has a certain number of approved English language test centres that meet the Home Office requirements, as outlined in this table. UKVI have recently reported a number of cases of falsification and cheating, therefore all applicants must take their IELTS tests at an officially approved test centre.
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IELTS test day advice
• The week before your test
Check the start time and location of your IELTS test the week before, and make sure you know how to get there on time.
• Your IELTS test day
You need to arrive in good time for your IELTS test. You may not be allowed to take the test if you are late. Switch off your mobile phone and any other electronic devices and you will be asked to place these with other personal belongings outside the test room. There are no breaks between each part of the test. Make sure you are prepared and have something to eat and drink beforehand. Except for a drink in a transparent bottleYou will not be allowed to take food into the test room.
• Your identity and photographs
The IELTS test location staff will check your identity upon arrival. Make sure you have the right ID as the failure to prove your identity will mean you are not be allowed to take the test. You may also need two recent identical passport-sized photographs so be sure bring them with you.
Check the details that you were given when you booked the test to make sure you take the right ID and photographs with you.
• Test Day Photography
Some test locations will now also take a photograph of you on the test day – this photograph taken by the test centre will appear on your Test Report Form to provide increased identity security. Your test centre will let you know if it is going to do this.
• During the IELTS test
You will only be allowed to have a pen or pencil, an eraser and your ID on your desk.
If you need to go to the bathroom during the test, put your hand up to attract the attention of the invigilator without disturbing other candidates. Same if you have any questions during the test, raise your hand to seek assistance.
When you take the Listening test, check that you can hear the test properly. Raise your hand straightaway and let the invigilator know if you cannot hear the recording.
Please remember that you will have 10 minutes after the Listening section to fill in your answer sheet. You will not have 10 minutes after the Reading section, so please make sure that you write your answers on your Reading answer sheet as you complete each section.
• At the end of the test
Stay in your seat until the invigilator gives you permission to leave the room. If you think that there have been any issues that may have affected your performance, tell the invigilator straightaway. If you want to make a complaint about your test day, you need to do this within one week of the test date.
Your invigilator will have a Test Day Incident Form for you to fill in should you want to raise an issue or make a complaint.
If you have asked for special arrangements as a request out of a disability or other conditions, adjustments will be made for you on the test day.
Test day tips
• Understand the task
Follow instructions carefully during the test. Remember that the Writing part of the test have specific word count requirements.
• Allow enough time for each question
Some questions have suggested time limits for you to follow so beware of the time during the test so that you can complete all the questions as every test room will have a clock on the wall.
• Stay calm enough to do your best
Do no panic - whenever you feel stressed, simply take deep breaths and focus on the questions. Do not rush your answers.
Info about your IELTS
If you already booked your IELTS Test, you can also read “must and must not do” and some information after you take your IELTS Test here.
If you have any further questions or want to know a bit more about UKEC could help, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org, or speak to your UKEC education consultant directly.
We wish you good luck for your IELTS test and hope to see you soon in the UK!!