Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

One way to be prepared to get your 7 or higher on IELTS is to make sure you know the facts about your testing center beforehand.

When you have the information you need about what’s going to happen on test day, you are able to focus on building the skills that you need.

Check out today’s article for information on the testing centers for IELTS.

1. When they give IELTS exams

IELTS exams are offered three Saturdays a month and one Thursday a month.

However, not all test centers will administer all of these exam dates, due to not having enough candidates sign up or other staffing/scheduling issues.

Go to to find the test center near you and look at their test dates.

Pay attention as well to which exam(s) they are offering.

The Academic Exam is offered on every test date, but the General Exam is not.

In addition, some test centers are so busy that they are booked up for the next two months, or more.

Try to schedule your exam at least 3 months in advance to secure the date that you desire.

2. Your options for Speaking exams

In general, the whole IELTS exam (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking) is completed in one day.

This means, though, that after a grueling three hour exam session in the morning, you have to wait around and fill up to 6 hours before your designated Speaking interview time.

Some centers are now offering Speaking exams during the week before or the week following the exam, so this might be a better option for some candidates, especially those who live far from the test center.

3. The area around the test center

As mentioned above, it is common for candidates to have to kill time in or around the test center before their Speaking exam.

Look at a map online of your test center.

Find a cafe or restaurant for lunch, a coffee shop for energy boosting if needed (and with wifi so you can also let your brain relax and watch a video), and make sure to locate a park or other pedestrian area so you can have a walk and get those positive endorphins flowing prior to your interview with the examiner.

4. What the acoustics are like

Not all test centers are created equal.

Some are in buildings which feature rooms with quite poor acoustics, and it may make the Listening Exam more of a challenge.

Try to find students who have taken the test there before and ask them how the Listening Exam was.

If the acoustics are poor and echoey, you may want to ready yourself by doing some listening practice in a similar environment, such as school gymnasium.

5. Rules for what you can/cannot bring with you

IELTS test centers are very strict about what you are allowed to bring into the examination room- usually no more than a pen/pencil, water bottle with no label and your passport.

Make sure to familiarize yourself with your local test center’s rules and requirements.


How are special requirements made?

Additionally, let the test center know if you have any special requirements.

In this video, Jessica explains what “special requirements” are on the IELTS Exam, and how you can arrange for these if needed.

If you are vision-impared, hearing-impaired, or differently-abled in any way, IELTS will help you take the Exam.

Remember, though, you must organize this with the test center administrator 6 weeks before your test!


Watch the video now!

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