IELTS is one of the most popular tests of English proficiency examination for higher education and global migrations. It can be used for work and study in the U.K, Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. For the purpose of this discussion, IELTS will be classified into two.

  • IELTS for UKVI
  • And IELTS not for UKVI

The latter is most applicable to graduate degrees such as masters or a PHD. The IELTS for UKVI is written by candidates that seek employment in the U.K and there are fewer centres available for it than the the equivalent non UKVI IELTS.

The non UKVI IELTS is further classified into two

  • General
  • Academic


This is the test to choose if you intend to get admitted into an undergraduate or a graduate school. It helps the institution to asses if you can cope in an academic or professional setting where the course materials and instructions are in English.


If you intend to work or seek employment in an English-speaking country or study at a below degree level for example high school, training programme or plan to migrate, then this is the test you should take. It assesses your ability to survive in an English themed social gatherings and workplace


The IELTS is made up of four sections:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Listening

The maximum band score for each section is 9. The reading, writing and listening sections are usually taken together on a Saturday but speaking will be taken some days before or on the same day.

Computer vs paper based test


The  test was traditionally  paper based but the computer based test was introduced in 2016 in 20 countries but the centres have multiplied since 2016 with plans to create more centres worldwide. There is little or no difference between the two formats in terms of structure and concept but with the computer test, your results are released faster, a week compared with two weeks for the paper format. In addition, you are more flexible with your scheduling time with the computer based test.

To register for your test, you need an international passport. In fact to go on this graduate school admission journey, you need an international passport. Start your application here  https://www.ielts.org/book-a-test/find-a-test-location

What you need:

  • A means of identification in JPEG, PNG or GIF
  • Commencing your application
  • Select your test centre, click on find a test location

Select a location and click on book now

Find a test date, chose a town (again) and module. Note the instruction on the right side.

Check test availability choose a suitable time slot for you and click on apply.

Read and acknowledge the terms and conditions.

Fill in the candidate details.

Read through the summary sheet then check your email for instructions on how to pay