Why Is The UKVI IELTS test More Expensive Than The Regular IELTS Test?

The UKVI IELTS exam is just one type of IELTS Exam that is currently offered in Singapore. Students who have registered for the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) IELTS exam are often curious as to why this exam is more expensive than a regular IELTS exam. Many candidates misguidedly assume that it has something to do with a higher level of difficulty. In this article we will take a look at the fee structure of the UKVI IELTS exam and why is it more costly than its other IELTS counterparts.

What is IELTS For UKVI?

The UKVI IELTS exam is only for those test takers who are applying for United Kingdom visas and immigration purposes. ‘IELTS for UKVI’ is a UK government-approved Secure English Language Test (SELT). This means that IELTS can be used to prove your English language abilities in support of UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) applications. The UKVI IELTS Exam is offered by both the British Council and IDP Education Australia.

The content, examiners, format, the level of difficulty, scoring, are exactly the same as the regular IELTS test. There are also different versions of the UKVI test such as the IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training tests. The UKVI IELTS exam is offered in both the paper-based and computer-delivered formats

Why Is The UKVI IELTS Fee More Than The Regular IELTS Exam Fee?

The UKVI tests are designed to meet certain administrative requirements that are specified by the UK Home Office. The test report forms are slightly different and show that the test was taken at an IELTS UK visa session.

There are also additional security measures which are implemented during IELTS for UKVI such as having surveillance cameras in the test centre examination halls, entrance corridor and speaking test room.

The UKVI IELTS test is slightly higher in price as compared to the normal IELTS test. The higher price has nothing to do with an increased level of difficulty or a better level of language proficiency. The increased cost has more to do with the administrative procedures required for this particular exam.

If you have taken IELTS for UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) then you will only be able to view your results 13 days after your test. Your Test report forms will also only be sent to your chosen institutions after two weeks of your test date.

How Can I Prepare For The UKVI IELTS Exam?

Since there is no difference in terms of content and difficulty between the UKVI IELTS and the regular IELTS exam, you can use exactly the same type of preparation materials to study for the exam. However, do be aware that there are some slight differences between the UKVI Academic and UKVI General Training test.

Key Differences between the IELTS Academic and General Training Test

The IELTS Writing and Reading tests are different in the Academic and General Training tests.

The subject matter, grading and syllabi of both academic and general are the same but there are some differences in the writing and reading section of both the tests.

The General Training Reading tests contain 3 sections with up to 2 texts, while the Academic test has 1   reading passage per section. The first Writing Task for the Academic Module is a Formal Report while the first Writing Task for the General Training Module is a letter, which can be formal, semi-formal or informal. The General Training Reading passages and writing task are usually much easier than the Academic passages.

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.