I took IELTS early this year to comply with one of the Immigration requirement for migrating abroad. It was a very straight forward process, though, waiting for the exam makes it dreadful. So how do you take the IELTS test in Dubai?
Before you start, check the test centers available in your area. Click here to find a test location. Remember that there are two categories of IELTS exams, one is the General Training, and one is Academic. Make sure you select the correct type of exam.
There are a lot of centres in Dubai including University of Wollongong, IDP Education – DISC, , American College of Dubai, Dubai Men’s College and British Council. I compared the rates and ended up booking my exam in British Council. They were very prompt when replying to my emails and they were very accommodating.
Step 1: Registering Personal Details
I started by registering my details with the British Council online registration portal. In this website, I was given an option to select the Test Date and Location. I chose Dubai World Trade Centre, DWTC, Dubai and chose an exam date that falls on a Saturday.
- For registering your details, you must have your passport or Emirates ID with you.
- Make sure you have a scanner since you have to upload the copies of these documents.
- On the date of the exam, you must have the original document that you have registered online. This is very important. Otherwise they will not let you in the Test Venue.
Step 2: Payment of Fees
For online payment I used my credit card. I paid an amount of 1,050.00 AED (including 5% VAT). After paying, I was provided with a reference number and passwords to log to British Council system.
- For payment options, you can use either Visa or MasterCard, or you can visit the British Council office and pay in cash.
Step 3: Review for the Exam
After making the payment , I was given a login and password to Road to IELTS – this is the online reviewer provided by the British Council. It includes mock tests and video tips, but with limited access. I opt for the paid version and paid around 183.00 AED. It was really helpful especially for me who’s taking the exam for the first time. I was clueless where to begin with and the Road to IELTS was a really useful guide. It covers speaking, writing listening, & reading with over 300 online activities. I find the practice tests relevant to the real exam.
Another option is to watch Youtube videos, and I am telling you there are thousands of tips and reviewers available out there. My personal favorite is E2language, it has helped me a lot especially in improving Speaking skills and Reading comprehension.
Step 4: Speaking Test
For some reason, my speaking test was scheduled on a different day from Writing, Listening and Speaking test. It was also held in a different venue – not in Trade Centre where I originally planned to go, instead it was held in British Council Tariq Bin Ziyad Street, behind Dubai TV, (Oud Metha is the nearest Metro Station to the location).
I attended the speaking test on a Thursday afternoon and the Speaking, Reading and Writing test on Saturday. I was early for the speaking test and waited for almost one and half hour for my turn. When I got to the venue, they took my original ID and took my photo and bio metrics for registration and confirmation. After awhile, they called my name and I sat outside the room where the exam is being held. When it was my turn the examiner called me in. She started right away. No small talks or anything. In this exam, I think I started strong but eventually my nerves got into me when situational questions came. All in all it was okay. Waiting for the results was terrible. Imagine having to wait for 13 days for the result. It was appalling, really. .
- You will receive SMS and Email updates from British Council a week before your exam,make sure to check your registered Email and SMS number from time to time.
- Be there 30 minutes before your scheduled time. Do not be late, they are very strict with tardiness.
- Dress Appropriately
- Minimize talking to other applicants (haha got reprimanded for this)
Step 5: Reading, Writing and Speaking Test
The Reading, Writing and Speaking Tests were held in Trade Centre, it was such a big venue and a large number of applicants came, more than a thousand I think.
The registration time started at 7:30AM and the exam started after 9:00AM. Luckily, I was prepared for the exam. It was harder than I thought it will be, but I finished the exam with flying colors….and so I thought.
- Make sure you follow all the rules to avoid invalidating your exam.
- Check if your earphones are working fine.
- Go to the washroom before the exam starts.
- Focus and try to answer everything.
Step 6: Result
You will be provided a link to check your test result.You can check it after 13 days. Enter your details and you should be able to view your scores. In my case, I received an SMS with the specified scores for each type of test.
The next day, I went to the British Council (where I took my speaking test) to obtain the printed original result. Thank God I got the scores I needed for immigration purpose.