Over two million students take an IELTS exam every year at 1,000 testing centres in over 40 countries. Despite its popularity, it can still be a daunting and difficult process. In this blog post, we want to take you from beginning to end through the application process, so you know you’re doing the right things.
The right exam
The first thing you should think about is whether you are taking the right type of IELTS exam. There are several different IELTS exams you are able to take for example, there’s:
· IELTS General
· IELTS Academic
· IELTS Life Skills
· IELTS for UKVI Academic
· IELTS for UKVI General
If you haven’t got a European passport you will have to apply for the IELTS for UKVI test. This is approved by the UK Government to prove your English language ability and is essential in getting you a visa. The test itself is not different to the other types, but there are stricter exam conditions. Within the exam, you may be asked to give a voice recording or a fingerprint to prove your identity. There is only a limited number of test centres that provide this service around the world.
If you are a European passport holder, then you ARE NOT REQUIRED to take an IELTS test. We can assess your English language capability ourselves.
How to book a test
There are 3 general steps to arranging your IELTS test:
1. Visit the British Council Website and visit the online registration system for IELTS for UKVI Academic
2. Choose the place and date you wish to take your test
3. Follow the online instructions to pay and register for your test
What to expect on the day
After you arrive on the day, you will be organised by your surname and your photo ID will be checked. Fingerprints and photos may be taken if it’s an IELTS for UKVI test. There will be a room provided where you can leave your belongings but make sure you leave valuable items either at home or with someone you trust. You will not be allowed to take your mobile phones into the exam with you.
When you have been showed your seat, you must place your ID on the desk as the examiners may need to check it during the exam. Try to listen to the examiners carefully as they will explain important information relating to the exam, such as time, toilet procedures, etc. All of the questions have suggested time limits and it’s a good idea to follow them so you can complete your test comfortably.
There are generally four parts to the test: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The first three are general written tests, whilst the Speaking test is usually an oral test. The entire test should take no more than 4 hours, but it really depends on how fast the examiners move. You usually complete the Listening, Reading and Writing test in one go. However, there may be an opportunity to have a short break before the Speaking test.
Don’t forget you can always ask the examiner to repeat the question if you don’t understand the first time. Even if you’re not sure about the answer it’s worth having a considered guess. After you have finished the speaking test, you will be allowed to go home.
At the UFP, we ask all our students to get a minimum average of 5.5 (and no discipline under 5.0) before they are allowed to study with us. This ensures they will understand how to communicate in class with classmates and teachers. We give all of our students personal advice related to their circumstances, so please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you might have about this process.