Candidates aspiring to work or study abroad need to appear for language proficiency tests like IELTS. Depending on the purpose, one can sit for either the Academic test or the General Training test.
IELTS tests are conducted both online and offline. The computer-based online tests are conducted three times a day on all days of the week, while the paper-based tests are available on four dates each month. Candidates have to register for their IELTS exam in advance in order to get the preferred test slot and test centre.
There are no specific IELTS registration dates. But aspirants can register for their test as early as three months ahead. However, test dates and centres are subject to availability.
Students are required to choose their IELTS test dates after careful consideration and planning. This is because much of the success in IELTS will depend on the effective scheduling of test dates.
4 Tips to Remember When Choosing IELTS Exam Dates
Candidates planning to appear for IELTS should take the following points under consideration while booking a suitable test date:
- Test Registration
Students can register for IELTS either offline or online. Either way, one should register ahead of time to get a preferred test date in a centre that is convenient for candidates. Moreover, early registration of the IELTS test gives candidates the opportunity to get more choices of exam dates and testing hours.
Notably, online registration is not available in certain locations. In such situations, candidates have to register offline. Offline registration takes place either through an official test centre or by post. There are often fixed IELTS registration dates for those opting to register offline. Those opting to register via post need to consider the extra time that might be needed for offline fee submission.
Candidates expecting to appear for IELTS more than once should consider the time taken to know the score and how long till they can register again for the next test.
- Time for Preparation
IELTS, being a competitive test, requires a robust preparation strategy. One needs to have ample time in hand to suitably prepare for each of the sections of the test. IELTS comes with four sections: Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening. Each section has to be completed within a time frame. They have to prepare for each of the sections while focusing on time management skills.
Students can prepare for the test either by themselves or with the help of a professional coaching centre. Either way, it is crucial to determine the exact time one needs to prepare for the test.
The time required for IELTS preparation will vary on several factors such as English language ability, learning style, schedule, etc. One needs to consider all these factors to find out the time they would need to get ready for IELTS and then book a slot accordingly. Students registering for a test date without ample preparation time in hand might face difficulty in securing the desired score band.
- Application Deadline
One of the most important factors to keep in mind while selecting an IELTS test date is to understand the details of application deadlines. Every institution comes with a specific deadline for application submission. It can be either multiple deadlines or a single deadline, depending on the type of program.
Some institutions might have a rolling admission procedure, while others have a single deadline with application rounds. Moreover, one might require considerable time while choosing a suitable study program in a preferred institution.
Test-takers have to consider all the application deadline details while choosing the IELTS exam date.
- Time Required for Sending TRF
Students have to send the IELTS test report form or TRF to the preferred institutions before the application deadline. They need to find out how long the TRFs would need to reach the concerned admission authorities. Moreover, each study program might have its own schedule for receiving applications and score reports.
Candidates should schedule their IELTS examination and registration accordingly. One also needs to know that they might have to appear for the test more than once to secure the desired score band required for admission at preferred institutions.
After deciding on the suitable test dates, candidates should focus on registering for the test. Although there aren’t any fixed IELTS registration dates provided by the conducting bodies, it is best to book for the selected test dates at least 3 months beforehand. One can appear for the test multiple times. However, they have to register each time and pay the registration fee of Rs. 14,700 every time.
Test-takers should keep the following factors in mind while choosing IELTS test dates. This will give them the opportunity to devise a suitable strategy to realise their study abroad dreams.