IELTS Test Dates

I’ve been receiving many emails with questions about the test dates and it became clear to me that many people are confused about this matter. Here is what’s going on with IELTS dates:

Every month there are 2 dates for the General Training test and 4 dates for the Academic test. The exams are held on Thursdays and Saturdays only and the dates are already set for the rest of 2008 and 2009.

Now, you should also know that test centre in your country may “skip” some of those dates and not hold the exam – it depends on how many students have signed up and it’s up to the IELTS centre to decide whether they will hold the exam or not.

Here are the official IELTS test dates for the rest of 2008:

October 2008:
General Training test: 11th, 25th
Academic test: 4th, 11th, 23rd, 25th

November 2008:
General Training test: 8th, 20th
Academic test: 8th, 15th, 20th, 29th

December 2008:
General Training test: 6th, 13th
Academic test: 4th, 6th, 13th, 20th

IELTS preparation tips from Nguyen Van Thoai, Band 6.5

“I am so glad that I won the competition in August, which I have never thought of. Here are my tips for the IELTS preparation:

Practice is the key.

I didn’t have any special tactics for the test. However, I practiced a lot before the test day.

As a student of informatics, I spend most of my time working in front of the computer, reading e-books, over 20 pages every day (these are all in English, certainly). I avoid using Vietnamese (my first language) while working as it interrupts my thoughts.

The best way to learn new words, in my opinion, is to learn in context. Previously, I read Vietnam News Daily but I switched to online newspapers for convenience. I suggest you use an aggregator (eg: Google Reader) and subscribe to CNN or BBC, which has a fine style and provide us with a wide range of vocabulary.

Being able to think in English would be helpful, especially after reaching the lower-intermediate level (I gained this skill since elementary level). This skill might take a while to learn yet it’s a rewarding experience to have. In the beginning, you can temporary say goodbye to your first language by mute reading books that suits you level without a dictionary, just leave the unknown words to look up later.

As soon as you finish the elementary level, forget the bilingual dictionary and switch to a monolingual (English-English) one. A good dictionary is irreplaceable but it is still better to study new words in context. If you are unable to guess the meaning of a word, go on with the WordNet before opening your Oxford dictionary.

WordNet is a large lexical database of English in which nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs are grouped into sets of cognitive synonyms, each expressing a distinct concept. It can be downloaded free of charge from

The writing skill, on the other hand, is my weak point as of now. I would like to get back to it some other day, perhaps when I reach 7 in it.

Gook luck to IELTS Blog and I hope that my tips would be of help to the readers.”



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