IELTS Test Dates and Registration

If you’re reading this post, you’re probably ready to start your IELTS booking for an exam date. While you can find IELTS test dates on the official IELTS website, we’ll help you find and choose the IELTS test dates for you, and answer your frequently asked questions about IELTS registration. Read on to find out everything you need to know about IELTS test dates, and how to register for IELTS.

IELTS Test Dates: A Guide to Choosing Your Test Date

First, let’s look at IELTS test dates. Below, I’ll show you when the IELTS is a available, and give you some tips on how test-takers can choose the best possible IELTS dates.

When are the IELTS test dates?

There are really two different kinds of IELTS test dates: global IELTS test dates, and local IELTS test dates. Let’s look at the difference between these two sets of test dates.

1. Global IELTS Dates

The global IELTS test dates are the days of the year when it is possible to take an IELTS test. The official makers of the exam set aside these specific IELTS test dates each year. These are the only IELTS dates at test centres around the world. There are global IELTS dates three Saturdays a month and one Thursday a month.

Within this set of worldwide IELTS dates, there’s a difference between the IELTS dates for the Academic test, and the General Training version of the exam. Specifically, GT gets fewer IELTS dates per year

Global IELTS Test Dates for 2018

In the table below, you can see the worldwide IELTS test dates and availability of both the Academic and General Training versions of the exam.

Test DateModuleRegistration Link
May 5, 2018AcademicApply now
May 12, 2018Academic, General TrainingApply now
May 19, 2018AcademicApply now
May 24, 2018Academic, General TrainingApply now
June 2, 2018Academic, General TrainingApply now
June 7, 2018AcademicApply now
June 23, 2018AcademicApply now
June 30, 2018Academic, General TrainingApply now
July 7, 2018Academic, General TrainingApply now
July 19, 2018AcademicApply now
July 21, 2018AcademicApply now
July 28, 2018Academic, General TrainingApply now
August 2, 2018Academic, General TrainingApply now
August 11, 2018AcademicApply now
August 18, 2018Academic, General TrainingApply now
August 25, 2018AcademicApply now
September 8, 2018Academic, General TrainingApply now
September 13, 2018AcademicApply now
September 15, 2018AcademicApply now
September 29, 2018Academic, General TrainingApply now
October 11, 2018AcademicApply now
October 13, 2018Academic, General TrainingApply now
October 20, 2018AcademicApply now
October 27, 2018Academic, General TrainingApply now
November 1, 2018Academic, General TrainingApply now
November 3, 2018AcademicApply now
November 10, 2018Academic, General TrainingApply now
November 17, 2018AcademicApply now
December 1, 2018Academic, General TrainingApply now
December 8, 2018AcademicApply now
December 13, 2018AcademicApply now
December 15, 2018Academic, General TrainingApply now

2. Regional and Local IELTS Test Dates

The dates I’ve listed above are the only dates that the IELTS can be available. However, the exam may not be available locally on every single one of these posted IELTS dates.

Often, an individual test centre will only give the IELTS on a fraction of the global IELTS dates. To give just one local example, the IELTS testing facility in Tirana, Albania offers IELTS Academic just twice a month, along with twice monthly IELTS General Training testing.

How to Find Your Local IELTS Test Dates

To find available dates at your local IELTS centre, take the steps listed below and use them to guide your IELTS booking. (India has been used in the screenshots, but this works for any country.)

Step 1: Go to’s Find a Test Location page, and select “IELTS” as your exam.
finding IELTS dates, step 1 - Magoosh

Step 2: Select your country from the dropdown menu and click “Find a test location.”
finding ielts test dates, step 2 - Magoosh

Step 3: On the IELTS book web page for your country, select your city. Then select the location of your choice, and click “Book now.” From there, follow the booking instructions to find open test dates. (Booking instructions will vary, depending on which organisation manages your specific testing site.
finding ielts test dates, step 3 ---Magoosh

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When is the best date to take the IELTS?

As you saw in the table at the beginning of this post, you have many different options for IELTS test dates. How can test-takers know which IELTS dates are best for them? There are a few important factors to consider, outlined in the handy guide below.

Your Personal Schedule, Your IELTS Study Schedule, and IELTS Test Dates

One consideration is your own schedule. There are probably certain times of the year when you’re less busy than others.

If you’re a full time undergraduate student, then your summer or winter break might be a good time to schedule your IELTS examination. Specifically, it could be good to schedule your exam on a test date near the end of your break. That way you have all of the holiday period to prepare.

Similarly, if you have a job, you should use your holidays or your less busy season to study for and sit the IELTS.

In short, compare the flow of your work or study to the available IELTS test dates.

IELTS Test Dates and IELTS Application Deadlines

When you consider possible IELTS test dates, make sure you also think about application deadlines. You yourself can view your IELTS results online 13-15 days after you sit the test. However, it takes 1-2 additional weeks for schools and other agencies to actually receive your official IELTS score report. To be safe, you’ll want to take the exam at least a month before the deadline for submitting your scores.

When Considering IELTS Test Dates, Give Yourself Extra Time to Resit the IELTS

OK, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you will fail the IELTS. And you should certainly aim for success on the first try. But sometimes, at first IELTS, you just don’t do as well as you would have liked. To account for this, IELTS dates should be scheduled strategically.

How soon can you resit the IELTS if you’re not happy with your score? The good news is that it’s entirely up to you. The makers of the test allow you to resit the exam as often as you’d like.

So how much extra time should you choose to give yourself for a possible second attempt?

First, bear in mind that you need to register for IELTS about two weeks in advance. So even if you schedule your resit immediately after your first test, you’ll need to wait two weeks.

But really, you should wait a bit more than two weeks to resit the IELTS. As I mentioned before, it also takes two weeks just to get your score results. And no matter how badly you think you did, you should make sure you actually need that retake. You don’t want to waste money on resit fees if you don’t have to.

As a general rule, you should study at least four weeks for your second attempt. So it doesn’t hurt to start studying for an IELTS retake immediately after a test that “felt” bad. Then, in two weeks, if a retake is truly needed, book your test two weeks out. Then you can keep studying for another two weeks.

But what if you don’t realize you did badly until after you see your scores? In that case, you’ve spent two weeks not studying. Then suddenly, you realize you need a whole month to study for the IELTS exam and resit it.

In this situation, your test date should be six weeks after your first IELTS exam: two weeks to wait for your scores, plus an extra four weeks to study more. But that’s not all. You also want to give yourself a month to receive your scores and send official score reports.

Ultimately, this means that IELTS test dates at least 2.5 months—or 10 weeks—before any application deadlines. And if possible, IELTS test dates should also happen during a time of year that is less busy for the test-taker.

If you’re really trying to avoid a retake, you can also consider taking an IELTS diagnostic test before the real thing. Diagnostic tests can give you an idea of your baseline score, and help you identify where you might face challenges. You can try these free diagnostic tests for Listening, Speaking, Writing, and Reading.

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IELTS Registration: Frequently Asked Questions

You’ve got your IELTS goal in sight, and now you want to actually take the test. Good for you! But how does IELTS registration work? How do you actually register for IELTS?

Here at Magoosh, we get a lot of questions about proper IELTS registration. And we have answers to your frequently asked questions. Read on…

Where can you take the IELTS?

This is a big registration question. Where can you register for IELTS and take it?

The IELTS is available on every continent, and in over 140 countries. Is your country one of the many where you can register for IELTS? Look below to find out. I’ve listed all of the countries that currently have the IELTS, in alphabetical order.

AAfghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan
BBahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria
CCambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic
D, E, FDenmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France
G, HGeorgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary
IIndia, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy
J, KJamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyz Republic
LLaos, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg
MMacau, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar
N, ONamibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman
P, QPakistan, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar
RRomania, Russia, Rwanda
SSamoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland
TTahiti, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey
U, V, ZUganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Specific Locations of IELTS Test Centres

Of course, this list of countries doesn’t tell the whole story. The amount of test centres in each country varies a good deal. For example, Myanmar has just one IELTS test centre, in Rangoon; at the same time, Italy, a nation of comparable size, has over 60 IELTS testing facilities. Moreover, IELTS test centres are more common in some parts of a nation than others. Your city, province, or region may have several IELTS test sites, or just one or two, or none at all.

Most commonly, IELTS testing rooms are hosted in British Council buildings and complexes, or at language academies, or at universities. But IELTS test centres can really be found in a variety of places. To find the specific test location that’s nearest to you, go to the IELTS “Find a Test Centre” page.

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What identification do I need for my IELTS booking?

If you are outside of your home country, you’ll need a passport to register for IELTS. No exceptions; only that particular international travel ID will do if you want to register for IELTS in a country where you are neither a citizen nor a permanent resident.

Are you in your home country, or in a country where you are a naturalised citizen or permanent resident? In those cases, you can still use your passport to register for IELTS and take it. However, in any country where you’re a citizen or permanent resident, you can also use a nationally accepted ID card. The exact ID you need as a “local” varies from country to country. To see what local ID you can use, check with your chosen test centre through a dedicated IELTS website, such as

And speaking of local test centres and the IELTS website…

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How do I register for IELTS? Online, or at my local testing centre?

You can actually register for IELTS either way.

You can register for IELTS online through quite a few different websites actually. Three of the four main official IELTS websites have a page that allows you to register for the test. ( doesn’t help with registration and only provides IELTS prep materials.)

Many larger countries where the IELTS is offered also have their own pages just for registering for the exam. Take India’s page for IELTS registration, or the web page for IELTS exam registration in China, to give just two examples.

You can also print our the IELTS registration form, complete it, and mail it to the IELTS testing centre of your choice.

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How much does the IELTS cost?

IELTS fees vary a good deal around the world. They can even vary within a single country. For example, as I’ve mentioned in my post about the IELTS Exam fee in the USA, American IELTS fees range from $215 to $240 in cost.

Looking at the world as a whole, IELTS fees cost a minimum of around $150 USD. And the most expensive fees in the world are roughly $300 USD. Many other IELTS testing fees fall between those two extremes.

IELTS fees vary depend on what organisation is hosting the exam; fees also depend on the location of the testing centre.

Mexico’s IELTS fees provide a good example of this kind of variation. There, three organisations provide IELTS testing in various cities. International House charges 3,300 MXN to register for IELTS in Mexico City, and 3,700 MXN in all other cities. The British Council is more consistent in Mexico, with an IELTS fee of 3,230 MXN at all of its Mexican offices. The lowest prices for the IELTS in Mexico come from the Anglo Mexican Foundation (AMF). The AMF’s IELTS test centres charge a fee of just 2,655 MXN, equivalent to about $150 USD. Often these differences mean that three different prices for the IELTS are available in one city.

In countries where fewer companies administer the IELTS, there will be less variation in price. This is true even in large, heavily populated nations, such as India. In India, the IELTS is administered by just two organisations: the British Council and IELTS IDP. As a result, there are only two different prices to register for IELTS: 11,888 INR for the British Council IELTS and the IDP New Delhi IELTS, and 12,100 INR for the IELTS at all other locations.

Smaller countries frequently just have one IELTS fee. In Austria, for instance, the IELTS costs 225 EUR regardless of location. Similarly, the IELTS costs 980 GHS in Ghana, and is universally priced at 95 BHD in Bahrain.

One more important tip: The type of IELTS exam does not affect the IELTS fees. At any given test centre, you’ll find the same fees for both the IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training exams.

How to Find and Compare IELTS Fees in Your Country

If you are looking to take the IELTS, it’s a good idea to “shop around.” By this, I mean you should try to find the very best price for the exam.

There are a few different ways to do this on the various official IELTS websites. To compare IELTS fees in your country, region, or city, I recommend using; this official site seems to be the most “user friendly” for test-takers worldwide.

Below are the steps for comparing IELTS fees at testing centres near you. I’ve included screenshots for the steps. In the screenshots, I’ve used China as an example country. But this process should work for any country where the IELTS is available.

Step 1: Go to the Find a Test Location page on, and select “IELTS” as your test type.
Register for IELTS: finding your fee, step 1 - Magoosh

Step 2: Scroll down and select your country from the dropdown menu. Once you’ve selected your country, click “Find a test location.”
IELTS registration: finding your fee, step 2a - Magoosh
IELTS registration: finding your fee, step 2b - Magoosh
IELTS registration: find your fee, step 2c - Magoosh

Step 3: This will open the page for finding the different IELTS centres in your area. From the dropdown menu labelled “All cities or states,” select the local area where you want to take the IELTS. (For this example, I’ve selected Beijing.) Then click the name of the testing centre whose fees you want to see.
IELTS registration: finding your IELTS fee, step 3 - Magoosh

Step 4: The page for the test centre will open. Usually the price will appear right on the main screen of the link. Sometimes, however, you may need to register or follow a few more instructions to get the centre’s IELTS fees.
IELTS registration: finding your IELTS fee, step 4 - Magoosh

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Are there any age restrictions to registering for the IELTS?

The short answer is “no.” In theory, anyone of any age can take the IELTS. In practice, the IELTS does recommend certain age cutoffs for exam registration. For more info, see my article on the IELTS exam age limit.

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What should I do to prepare for test day?

So you’ve found a list of test dates, chosen your date by making an IELTS booking, registered for the exam, and paid your fees. Then, after a period of prep, you’re ready to take the exam itself.

When your big day arrives, what should you do? Here are some tips for success on IELTS test day.

Tip #1: Be well-rested.

This sounds simple, but it just might be the most important tip on this list. A lack of sleep is one of the biggest reasons that otherwise well-prepared students do badly on the IELTS.

So be sure to get a good night’s sleep the night before the exam. But don’t stop there. Try to minimize stress on the entire day before the exam. In fact, ideally, you should do little or no studying the day before the IELTS.

Tip #2: Be well-fed.

This is almost as important as being well-rested. You certainly don’t want your stomach to distract you during the exam. Eat a good, sensible meal before the test: something nutritious, but not “heavy.” (It takes energy for your body to digest really rich food. So a heavy meal can make you sleepy.)

Being well-fed is especially important on the IELTS, as there are no breaks between the test sections. So snacking mid-test simply isn’t an option.

Here is an example of what the test day schedule might look like:

7:45 a.m.–8:45 a.m.Show identification and take photos
9:00 a.m.Test begins
9:00 a.m.–9:40 a.m.Listening test
9:40 a.m.–10:45 a.m.Reading test
10:50 a.m.–11:50 a.m.Writing test

Tip #3: Double-check your speaking schedule.

The speaking test may take place in the afternoon on the same day, or the day after the test day. You can check this online the day before the test.

Tip #4: Do a “practice run” to the test centre.

Where is the building that you’ll take the IELTS in? And once you get to that building, what floor is the test centre on? Then, once you get the the correct floor, where is the actual testing room?

You should figure out the answers to all of these questions before test day. Take a practice trip to the IELTS test centre the week before you have to actually sit the exam.

If you do this, the correct way to get to the test centre will be fresh in your mind on test day. You’ll be able to arrive to the exam on time, without lateness or the stress that comes with getting lost. (The stress can be especially damaging. If you’re stressed out and distracted on test day, that can really affect your performance.)

What do I need to bring to the IELTS test?

You need to bring the same identification you used to register for the exam…and that’s about it. Or at least, that’s the only thing you’re absolutely required to bring to the IELTS test. And do make sure it’s the same ID. If you registered with one piece of ID and then show up with a different ID document, you will not be allowed to take the IELTS!

Now, for ease of check-in, it can also be helpful to bring the registration receipt you got when you first registered for the exam. If you registered for the IELTS online, you will have gotten an electronic receipt that you can print out and bring with you.

Beyond that, there’s really nothing you need to bring. Pencils, test books, and scratch paper will all be provided at the test center. And any personal items you do bring will need to be left outside the test center. You’ll be asked to check your wallet, cell phone, and anything else you have on you. You’ll get everything back at the end of the exam of course!

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The Takeaway

Today, I’ve walked you through all of the “technical” aspects of IELTS prep. You now know how to find IELTS test dates, choose your best test date, register for IELTS, pay for IELTS, and make it to the test centre.

But of course, studying for the IELTS is just as important. And Magoosh can help with that too. We have tons of study tips and practice materials right here on the blog, including free IELTS diagnostic tests for Listening, Speaking, Writing, and Reading. And for even more IELTS study help, consider getting the Magoosh IELTS Vocabulary App, or subscribing to Magoosh IELTS for video lessons and practice questions.

Most Popular Resources   * Free IELTS eBook  <>  * IELTS Lessons  <>  * IELTS Vocab Podcast  <>  * One-Week IELTS Study Schedule  <>   * Complete Guide to IELTS Vocab  <>

2 Responses to IELTS Test Dates and Registration

  1. Shub January 6, 2018 at 10:46 pm #


    Thank you for creating this blog!

    I wanted to know what happens if you do not appear for an IELTS exam that you have registered for? Is a TRF form generated?

    If an application needs the most recent scores and those are the ones I was absent for (but have prior eligible scores), will it be a hindrance?

    • David Recine
      David Recine January 11, 2018 at 6:51 am #

      If you miss your IELTS exam entirely, there will be no TRF. In that case you can just go with the score report you already have from the previous test that you were able to show up for. 🙂

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