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Why choose Basil Paterson?

Basil Paterson is the largest open exams centre in Scotland, offering IELTS exams in Edinburgh and Aberdeen. All major rail/bus stations are just a 15- minute walk away from our central Edinburgh venue.

The IELTS exam:

  • Demonstrates your English ability for higher education, work, and emigration purposes.
  • Has dates available every 2-3 weeks in Edinburgh and six times per year in Aberdeen.

IMPORTANT: There are different types of IELTS exam:

  • IELTS for UK Visa & immigration purposes (UKVI): Academic and General Training
  • Regular IELTS: Academic and General Training

Please ask your organisation (university/immigration office) which IELTS exam you need to do

The International English Language Testing System, or IELTS, is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment. IELTS conforms to the highest international standards of language assessment. It covers the four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking.

IELTS is the most widely recognised English language qualification in the world. The test is particularly useful for those looking to demonstrate their English language ability for higher education, emigration, and employment (both in the UK and overseas). As the largest open examination centre in Scotland, Basil Paterson is the perfect place to take this important test of communicative English ability. We also offer a dedicated IELTS Preparation course all year round.



You must apply online for the correct exam so check with your university or embassy which IELTS exam is needed for your application.

You can take the regular Basil Paterson IELTS exam if you are an EU student applying for an undergraduate or postgraduate course at a British university. You can also take the regular Basil Paterson IELTS exam for emigration out of the UK. (e.g. Australia, Canada etc.) These exams can be taken in Edinburgh or Aberdeen.

This costs £160. You can check current availability and apply at:

You need to take the UKVI IELTS exam if you are applying for UK Citizenship.You need to take the IELTS Life Skills exam if you are applying for a Settlement visa. These two exams are run by the British Council directly but use Basil Paterson as a venue. Please note that payment and ID documents submission for these exams must be made through the British Council, not Basil Paterson.

Both the UKVI IELTS and IELTS Life Skills exams can be applied for online:

Basil Paterson accepts no responsibility for booking the correct exam. You MUST contact your embassy or university for guidance on which exam you are required to take.


After your application, you will need to pay the exam fee of £160. This payment can be made by using the Paypal button below, by credit/debit card by telephoning Basil Paterson on 0131 225 3802 or in person at the college.  Basil Paterson is located at 66 Queen Street, Edinburgh EH2 4NA.

Full Name
Exam Date
Reference Number
Payment Amount


Submit copies of your ID documents to Basil Paterson along with your IELTS exam reference number.  These items can be uploaded when you register on the IELTS website, sent by post, emailed or handed in at the centre.

IELTS only accepts 3 forms of ID:

  • Valid passport
  • ID card issued by an EU country
  • UK Biometric Residence Permit

Driving licences are not accepted.

You have two days from applying to complete your registration with payment and by submitting a copy of your ID document.

Registrations made within one week of the exam date must be completed on the day of application.

Our historic central Edinburgh premises are accessed by stairs from street level. If you require any form of special assistance to access our building in Edinburgh (e.g. a wheelchair ramp), please contact us at least one week before your exam for this to be arranged.

IELTS offers free online resources to help prepare for your exam. 10 hours of free IELTS practice materials are available on the link below. After you complete your online registration you can access a further 20 hours of free practice materials.

2018 IELTS Examinations at Basil Paterson

06 January 07 April* 07 July 13 October
13 January 14 April 21 July 20 October
20 January 21 April 28 July 27 October*
03 February 05 May 11 August 03 November
10 February* 12 May 18 August* 10 November
24 February 19 May 25 August 17 November
03 March 02 June* 08 September 01 December*
10 March 23 June 15 September 08 December
24 March 30 June 29 September

Academic only
Academic and General Training
*Aberdeen & Edinburgh

2018 IELTS Exam fee £160

Accepted as evidence of English proficiency by over 9,000 institutions.

Organisations in over 140 countries rely on IELTS to select the right people. These include all universities and the vast majority of education providers in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, over 3,000 institutions in the US as well as most universities in Canada. Some universities in non-English speaking countries where English is the language of instruction also require an IELTS score. :


Cancellations must be made no later than three weeks before the test date. To cancel your test date, please request a Transfer/Refund Form by e-mailing Please note that refunds of fees paid online incur a £10 administrative fee.

Change of Test Date

A change of test date request must be received no later than two weeks before the exam. There is a £35 administrative charge and candidates can only transfer once. To change your test date, please request a Transfer/Refund Form by e-mailing

Illness on the Test Day

Candidates who are absent on test day due to illness are eligible for a full refund or a transfer. Candidates must contact the centre, supply medical evidence and complete the relevant form within seven days of the test.


IELTS results are released 13 days after the test date. Test Report Forms are posted to an address specified by the candidate, or can be collected from Basil Paterson College. Results are also available to preview online after release for 40 days after the test date at this link:

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