Do you intend to apply to a foreign university for another degree or to relocate to another country? If so, you are probably familiar with the International English Language Testing System, also known as IELTS. To apply for admission or to file an immigration application in most countries around the world, one needs to pass an English proficiency test. In most cases, it is a mandatory step. Sadly, due to a lack of information about IELTS in Pakistan, a significant number of students and immigration applicants have difficulty registering and preparing for the test, as well as understanding the entire process.
Almost all foreign employers, higher education institutions, and immigration authorities recognize (and require) IELTS as a language aptitude test. Recently, several private universities in Pakistan have begun requiring students to pass the IELTS test before applying for admission.
There are four components to the test: listening, reading, writing, and speaking.
You can take the IELTS in Pakistan by following these steps.
WHICH ORGANIZATION IS BEST FOR IELTS?
Pakistan currently has two organizations that provide this testing service:
- The British Council
- Education Office of Australia
As its name implies, the British Council offers international educational services. AEO is the official IELTS center for IDP: IELTS in Pakistan. An international education organization based in Melbourne is IDP Education.
IDP and British Council are both official test partners of IELTS.
These two organizations offer the same tests, contrary to popular belief. Testing modules, grading, and scoring are all the same. Even their costs are similar.
In Pakistan, the only major difference between British Council and AEO is the number of IELTS testing centers.
In 14 cities across Pakistan, the British Council offers up to four IELTS test dates per month. Several cities are included on the list, including Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Quetta, Multan, Abbottabad, Peshawar, Hyderabad, Quetta, Multan, Gujrat, Bahawalpur, Mirpur, Sargodha, Faisalabad, and Sialkot.
Currently, AEO conducts testing only in three cities: Lahore, Islamabad, and Karachi.
TEST TYPES FOR IELTS IN PAKISTAN
The IELTS test can be divided into two types.
- IELTS (Academic)
- IELTS (General Training)
In general, educational institutions require IELTS Academic. Generally, employers and immigration authorities require the IELTS General Training test. There is no difference in the cost or format of either of these tests.
Before you register with the British Council or AEO to take IELTS in Pakistan, make sure you know which test you should book. It is not possible to interchange these tests. Furthermore, if you plan to study in the United Kingdom or move there, you might have to take the IELTS UKVI Academic or General Training test. For immigration to the UK, IELTS Life Skills has two levels.
WHAT IS THE BEST METHOD?
You can choose between two exam modes once you decide whether you need to take IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training:
- Paper-based IELTS test
- Computer-delivered IELTS test
In the paper-based exam, candidates must use a pencil to write their answers to the listening, reading, and writing modules. Conversely, candidates must enter their answers on a computer instead of on paper for the computer-based exam.
The marking for both of these tests is identical.
In either case, the timing for reading and writing will remain the same, regardless of whether you use paper or a computer. As the speaking test involves a face-to-face conversation with an examiner, your mode of examination does not matter.
There is one difference between paper-based and computer-based IELTS, and that is that paper-based IELTS allows candidates 10 minutes to transfer their answers. Since you type all your answers on screen and don’t need to transfer them anywhere after the test, candidates are only given two minutes to check their work.
If you work on the computer daily, computer-delivered IELTS may be the best option for you. However, if you prefer to write things down on paper, then opt for the paper-based test.
Pakistan introduced computer-delivered IELTS earlier this year. In addition, computer-based IELTS results are delivered within 5 to 7 working days, while paper-based IELTS results may take up to 15 days.
HOW TO ENROLL IN IELTS IN PAKISTAN
Here’s how you can book IELTS exams in Pakistan with both AEO and British Council Pakistan.
BRITISH COUNCIL (ILETS) PAKISTAN
The British Council provides a step-by-step guide on how to apply for IELTS in Pakistan.
Check out the official website of the British Council Pakistan
From the drop-down menu under the ‘Take an Exam’ tab, choose ‘Take IELTS with the British Council
Choose ‘Book your test at an official IELTS test center’ from the available options
Click on the ‘Book Now link present in front of your desired test type once the webpage opens up. You will see a list of tests and their modes and cities.
Select a date and fill in the required information
A new account must be created to complete the registration process.
The documents needed for IELTS Registration with British Council Pakistan
- Valid CNIC or passport scan
- Parents or guardians must provide written permission for children under 18 to take the test
How to pay for your test
IELTS registration fees for British Council Pakistan can be paid as follows:
- Using a credit card or debit card. You must submit a ‘Credit Card Authorization Form’ along with the necessary documents if you are using someone else’s card to make the payment. Bring your card to the test if you are using your card.
- By bank draft
- Standard Chartered Bank branches accept cash
- British Council does not accept checks.
Once you have made the payment and selected a seat, you will receive an email confirmation. You will receive the details of your test, including the timing and venue, at least three days before it takes place. Furthermore, all four of your tests may be conducted on the same day or your speaking test may be scheduled for another day within a week.
When you complete your booking, you’ll receive a reference number that can be used to access the Test Taker Portal. In addition, the British Council will provide you with a code to access their online preparation materials.
AEO also has a fairly simple IELTS registration process. Check it out!
- Please visit the official AEO Pakistan website
- From the ‘IELTS’ tab, choose the ‘Book My Test’ option.
- Please download the linked IELTS Application and fill it out accordingly if you wish to register manually. Upon completion of the form, send it to AEO via courier, along with a bank draft/pay order and a copy of your CNIC/passport. The candidates can also submit their documents in person at their nearest AEO Pakistan center.
- By clicking on the ‘Online test date booking portal’, candidates can select their city and module.
- Choose a date and click on ‘Registration’
- Choose your preferred time slot
- By clicking continue, you will be asked to fill out an online form with your personal information.
Documents needed for IELTS Registration with AEO Pakistan
Photocopy of CNIC or passport, whichever was used when filling out the form
Reference for online test bookings.
AEO requires these documents within five days of booking.
FORMAT OF IELTS IN PAKISTAN
IELTS consists of four parts.
Here’s a brief explanation of each part of the exam format.
The listening test consists of 40 questions and lasts 30 minutes. During the first part of an IELTS exam, candidates receive a question paper and a pair of headphones.
You cannot pause or stop a recording once it begins. The only thing you need to do is listen carefully to the recording and answer the questions on the sheet. You will always hear the questions in the same order as the information on the recording, but if you miss one, don’t dwell on it or you may miss the answer to the next question.
The candidates have 10 minutes to transfer their responses to the answer sheet at the end of the paper-based IELTS exam. Those appearing for computer-delivered tests, however, will only have two minutes to review their work.
In both Academic and General Training modules, the IELTS listening test is the same.
One hour is allotted for the reading component, which consists of 40 questions.
Candidates for Academic Training and General Training may take different tests.
A certified examiner conducts the IELTS speaking test at the testing center. It might or might not take place on the same day as the other components.
A speaking test lasts between 11 and 15 minutes. Examiners grade you on fluency, pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar in three parts.
The test is taken by all candidates.
The writing exam for Academic and General Training candidates differs slightly, which makes this component the most challenging. The task lasts for an hour and is divided into two parts.
For Task 1 of the IELTS Academic test, candidates must write a short report using a chart, graph, map, or table. For IELTS General Training, the essay can be formal or informal.
Applicants for Task 2 must write a 250-word formal essay.
To prepare for IELTS in Pakistan, use the course materials provided by your chosen testing organization. Several online IELTS preparation portals offer free mock tests. You should familiarize yourself with the format of the IELTS test if you intend to take it in Pakistan.
A preparation center for IELTS may also be a good option, depending on your language skills. Pakistan has many language institutes that prepare students for IELTS.
You can also improve your vocabulary by reading a newspaper every day. A conversation in English can also help you develop the confidence you need.
RESULTS AND SCORING FOR IELTS
IELTS scores candidates on a scale of 9 bands. Band 1 represents a non-user and band 9 represents an expert user.
Depending on the university and subject chosen, the IELTS score required for studies may vary. Most foreign universities require at least a 6-band score on the IELTS Academic test. To be eligible for employment, immigration authorities and employers may also require a certain score.
If you are planning to apply for a scholarship abroad or seeking a job opportunity, your education credentials might need to be verified by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan.