How to Minimize IELTS Test Fees
The IELTS exam is one of the foremost English proficiency tests in
the world. The test has achieved universal acceptability and is even a
non-negotiable requirement in some institutions and countries when it
comes to applying to those countries for purposes of migration, higher
studies, professional or general work training. The exam is subjected
to the most stringent quality controls in respect to the test content,
the examiners and the overall service. The test format of IELTS is such
that it provides a holistic picture of the level of understanding that
the test-taker has of the English language. It does this by testing all
four language skills individually, the four skills being Reading,
Listening, Speaking and Writing. Taking the IELTS exam is not free.
Since they maintain such high standards, they charge a fee from
individuals who want to take the test.
The IELTS exam is not the property of any one country. It is owned by a number of organizations in conjunction with each other. These organizations are the British Council, IDP Australia and University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations. The results of the test are utilized by a great many countries while making decisions about migrations, by universities while making decisions about admission and by institutions to make decisions about granting professional or general work training. Thus, there are no fixedfees for taking the IELTS. The fee to take the exam is different in different countries and you can find out about the fees in your country by using IELTS Worldwide Search (http://www.ielts.org/test_centre_search/search_results.aspx) application developed by the owners of the test. This application also helps locate the nearest test center as well as find out the available test dates at that center. The fee forIELTS is the same whether you want to test under the Academic module or the General Training module. The fee for taking the exam in a select few countries is as follows:
- In USA, it is roughly USD 185.
- In United Kingdom, it is around GBP 125.
- In India, it is INR 8900.
- In China, it is RMB 1550.
There are a few additional services that are inherent in IELTS:
- Taking the exam grants you five free score reports that are sent to the organizations you select to receive your scores. If you require additional reports, there will be a minor administrative charge for the service. You will have to contact your test center to enquire of this charge.
- If you feel your test results are incorrect, there is a provision where you can apply for Enquiry on Results if you want them to be checked again. This has to be done within 6 weeks of the test date and for doing so, you are required to pay a small fee (contact your test center). If your results change, you will be refunded the full amount of this fee.
Cases in Which Fee is Refunded
You have the option of cancelling or postponing your registration but the fee will be refunded or forwarded only if this option is exercised at least five weeks prior to the test date. If it is done within five weeks to the test, the entire amount ofthe fees will be forfeited. Thus, postponing the date will require you to pay the whole amount of fees again. The only circumstance in which this rule is relaxed is if you have a valid medical reason for wanting to postpone or cancel the test.
Minimizing the Cost of the Test
The organizers of the test have not made provisions to introduce a Fee Assistance Program, thus there are no concessions on the fee and everyone has to pay the full amount. The only way to minimize your expenditure on the test is to be sure of the test date and prepare well so that you don't have to take the test multiple times. If you need to cancel or postpone your test date, make sure you do it at least five weeks prior to the test date so that your fee is refunded. If some medical circumstances prevent you from doing so, you must inform the test center to get a refund again. Being mindful of these simple measures will help in minimizing the total expenditure you incur on the test. Good luck!