Is The IELTS English Test Available In Singapore?

The  International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam is taken to gauge a candidate’s proficiency in all four English language skills, namely Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. It has been designed for anyone who intends to study or emigrate to an English-speaking country. The IELTS English test is widely available in Singapore at various centres across the city-state.

It is important to note that there are different versions of the test available, depending on the reasons you need to take the exam. Students can take either the Academic or General Training IELTS Tests. The Academic test is usually for those students who wish to study in an English speaking country, while the General Training IELTS test is for those candidates who wish live in an English speaking country mainly for work purposes.

A further distinction is that test-takers can decide on whether they wish to take the paper-based or computer-delivered IELTS exam.

Why Do Native English Speakers Have To Take The IELTS Test?

In actual fact, native English speakers often have to take the IELTS test, when entering into countries where IELTS is a fixed visa requirement, such as Canada, the United Kingdom (the UK) or New Zealand.

In other cases, certain organizations or Universities may require proof of a candidate’s ability to cope with the level of language that will be used regularly for either academic courses or professional purposes. In such instances, native English speakers are often required to prove their level of language proficiency by taking the IELTS exam.

The main reason that Singaporeans have to take the IELTS English test is that although English is the main official language in Singapore, there are three other official languages as well, namely Mandarin, Malay and Tamil. This diversity has resulted in the birth of Singlish, which is a loose mix of multiple languages including English and Chinese, and is usually spoken with a thick accent. Despite the fact, that most Singaporeans are quite proficient at English, their use of Singlish often creates the impression that they are not.

Where Can I Take An IELTS Test In Singapore?

The IELTS Test is jointly hosted by the British Council and IDP Education Australia. Both organizations have numerous test centres located throughout the country that offer the IELTS Exam.

The services and types of IELTS Tests offered are exactly the same and irrelevant of whether you book with IDP or the British Council. This includes identical levels of test difficulty and marking methods.

You can easily book your test either in person, at one of these organization’s official test centres or by visiting their website(s). The IELTS Exam is held on 48 fixed test dates and you have the ability to choose a test date and location that best suits you. Once you have completed the registration process, you will be emailed a booking payment update.

Important Factors To Consider When Choosing A Test Center Location

Not all test centers are created equal. There are some little-known facts that can change your IELTS Exam day experience.

  • IELTS exams are usually offered on Saturdays and Thursdays, but the actual dates vary depending on the test centre. You should also check the dates that different centres allow the speaking test to be taken.
  • Another important variable to consider is whether or not your chosen test location offers both the paper-based and the computer-delivered IELTS tests. Not all centres are equipped to offer the computer-based test.
  • If you have booked your speaking test on the same day as the rest of the components, then it might be useful to choose a test location where you can easily find a good spot to have lunch or just relax before you take your speaking test. This can be a good way to compose your thoughts before the speaking test.
  • The quality of the listening test recordings is one part of the IELTS Exam that can vary considerably at different test centres. Some locations just have better acoustics than others, while others may offer the use of headphones instead of speakers.

In any case, these are all factors which can all have a big impact on your test day experience and you should confirm that your test centre has your preferred requirements. Although these decisions do depend greatly on your personal preferences, it can be of great assistance to get advice from an IELTS lecturer or trainer who has plenty of experience with the IELTS Exam in Singapore.

Jonathan has been teaching students to prepare for the IELTS and PTE Exams for more than 10+ years. He's taught English to students in various countries in the world including Singapore, China, Australia, Canada and Colombia.