What are the IELTS test dates for 2016?

January 4, 2016 by Michelle Monette

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We hope you had a successful start to the year, a time where we all make and, hopefully stick to, our resolutions. Our resolutions were wide-ranging including adding new test locations across Canada, increasing the number of free IELTS seminars, and starting our blog – so far so good!

If it is on YOUR “to do” list to complete your IELTS test this year, then you have just arrived at the best one-stop-shop to prepare you for your big day.

With 48 fixed test dates available for testing at IDP’s network of test locations throughout Canada and around the world you can easily plan ahead to find the test date and location that will work best for you while considering the following important information:

  • The Academic tests are scheduled four times per month and the General Training test dates are scheduled twice per month.
  • Each month, three test dates are on a Saturday and one date is on a Thursday.
  • Moreover, every three months, one of the two General Training tests within the month will fall on Thursday.

2016 IELTS Test Dates:

IELTS 2016 Test Dates Schedule

We encourage you to remember to always check and ensure you are registering for the appropriate test based on your needs.

As a co-owner of the IELTS, we regularly get questions about the IELTS and we wanted to take this opportunity to share some answers with you.

Q: In Canada, is the General Training test more popular than the Academic Test?

A: The answer is yes and no: In Canada the General and Academic test are almost equally popular. That said, it’s also fact that the General Training tests are conducted less frequently making it seem like the General tests are more popular for IELTS test takers in Canada. Our advice to you is to book ahead so that you can find and schedule a date so you don’t miss your opportunity.

Q: Can the IELTS test locations across Canada only test on the 48 fixed test dates?

A: This is true and it is done in fairness to all test takers for a number of reasons including:

  • so that all candidates share a common test experience, whether they are Saint John, New Brunswick, in Fort St. John, British Columbia, or anywhere between across the country and even across the globe.
  • in order to maintain the integrity and security of the IELTS test, which is why the test is so well-regarded worldwide by more than 10,000 Recognizing Organizations,
  • which means the test results you achieve are highly trusted by governments and educational institutions throughout the country.

Q: What if the centre nearest me does not have a test on the date I prefer?

A: IDP understands there is a need for testing across Canada and so we bring IELTS to you by conveniently providing testing at differing locations on the eligible dates. To reach more people, not all locations provide testing on all 48 dates, but rather offer some test dates at more locations.

We suggest that when booking your test; consider expanding your search radius to see if there are additional test locations near your number-one choice location.

With all our IELTS test locations to choose from, we believe you can find a combination that will work well for you.

IELTS Test Dates Feature Image

Steps for a successful IELTS Experience:

Step 1: Determine the right test for you (Academic or General Training). Remember to do your research so you are sure the complete the version of the IELTS test that meets your needs.

  • The General Training test is usually for people who will use their English in everyday social or working situations. This test is a requirement for immigration to many English-speaking nations, including Canada.
  • The Academic test is directed to people who will find themselves in an Academic setting, like an undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate program at an English-speaking educational institution.
  • Both tests are made up of the same four sections (listening, reading, writing, speaking) but the reading and writing sections have different types of questions for General and Academic tests.

Step 2: find the right date and location for you. IDP IELTS Test Centre across Canada have already set their test dates allowing you to plan ahead and reduce stress around meeting deadlines.

Be strategic about selecting the best date for you. It is a bit of a balancing act: sure you want time to prepare, but you also don’t want to leave the test to the last minute as the tests tend to be in high demand during different times of the year so you don’t want to risk not getting the test date you want.

REMEMBER IT TAKES 13 CALENDAR DAYS TO RECEIVE YOUR RESULTS. Consider this important detail when selecting your date.

Some dates can be busier than others, especially as academic application deadlines approach or government programs announce changes and you don’t want to:

  • miss your deadline by booking too late and finding that time and location full or,
  • miss your deadline by booking too late for your results to be returned in time for an important deadline.

Step 3: Register. Now you need to take the next big step: actually registering for a test. Some centres accept walk-ins while others require you register ahead of time. Be sure to check to see which type you are dealing with.

Step 4: Prepare: It really is worth your while to register for one of those free IELTS seminars we talked about earlier if you live in a city where they are offered. In addition, there are a number of free and flexible ways to improve your English and also show up relaxed and prepared in the weeks and months and even the hours leading up to your test.

  • Simply reading and speaking English will have an impact on your confidence and comfort level. Watch movies, read popular books, use English with friends and family.
  • Scope out the test location. If you can’t physically go there, google the site so you know exactly where you are going and ca see if there are amenities close by. Bring snacks and water so you are refreshed.
  • Finally, winter in Canada can bring lots of tricky driving conditions, so check the weather forecast and if it looks bad, maybe stay in a hotel the evening before so that you don’t risk showing up late on test day.


Michelle Monette lives on the East Coast of Canada and works full time protecting the ocean as a Marine Oil Spill Response Trainer. Her other passions include writing, volunteer tutoring with the YMCA's settlement services, and staying active during the snowy winters, the rainy springs and foggy summers in her home city.

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