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British Council IELTS testing at Park Rotana, Abu Dhabi Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The British Council has resumed IELTS testing in Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah as demand for the English language test remains strong.

This gradual resumption of operations due to Covid-19, follows on from their reopening in Sharjah last month — and in Dubai in June.

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With clearer guidelines around travel policies and new international visa regulations, the organisation has seen a steady rise in interest from students and professionals with aspirations to study and work abroad.

Deep Adhikari, Director — Exams, The British Council Gulf South, said: “To ensure the safety of our candidates and adhere to local authority guidelines, we have had to reopen our testing centres gradually, but this does not seem to have affected the demand for IELTS testing.

“Incentives such as the new post study work visa regulations in the UK, Canada and Australia mean that International Higher Education institutions remain an attractive option for our students, with many intent on studying abroad.

“The UK for example, which is our most popular destination, has introduced a number of new measures. This includes their new graduate route which will allow international students to stay for up to two years after graduation; and this should appeal to highly skilled graduates looking to start a career there.”

Health and safety protocols

Students taking the test with the British Council in the UAE will have to follow a number of health and safety protocols and will not be able to attend the test if they are under a quarantine, self-quarantine, stay-at-home or medical surveillance order, as specified by the local authorities. They will also not be able to attend if they have a high temperature, persistent cough, difficulty breathing or other flu-like symptoms.

Precautionary measures in place include temperature screening at the test venue, ensuring staff and test takers always stay two metres apart, and the use of face masks, which must be worn by both staff and candidates.

For candidates not ready to take their IELTS test, the British Council is also offering several free resources. These include the IELTS Counselling service, where students are assigned a free personal counsellor throughout the learning journey. This provides students with a tailored study plan, a wealth of British Council study resources and feedback through regular calls and check-ins.

Online preparation courses

Registered test takers can also avail of the Road to IELTS — British Council’s online preparation courses — which provides resources including advice and tutorials, 100 interactive activities and two practice tests for each of the four skills — Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.

For those looking to complete their IELTS test online, they can also try out the free online computer-delivered IELTS familiarisation test head of the real examination.

Candidates can also sign up to British Council’s new free digital library in the UAE, which provides world-class online study resources for IELTS test takers and English learners — as well as popular eBooks and audiobooks, and award-winning movies and documentaries.