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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. You can also visit for more information.

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. Please be aware that you MUST bring the same ID you used to register online on the IELTS exam day.

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.

The Information for Candidates booklet also contains useful advice on the format of the IELTS test, guidance on how to prepare and more.

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

2019 IELTS Examinations at Basil Paterson

05 January 06 April* 06 July 12 October
12 January 13 April 20 July 19 October
19 January 27 April 27 July 26 October*
02 February 04 May 10 August 02 November
09 February* 11 May 17 August* 16 November
23 February 18 May 24 August 23 November
02 March 01 June* 07 September 30 November
09 March 22 June 14 September 07 December*
23 March 29 June 28 September

Academic only
Academic and General Training
*Aberdeen & Edinburgh

2019 IELTS Exam fee TBC

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. :

Terms and Conditions – Cancellations and Refunds:


Cancellations must be requested either:

  1. Within 14 days of the test being booked or
  2. More than 5 weeks before the test date

Please note that cancellations cannot be made within 24 hours of the test date.

Transfers and cancellations requested for medical reasons are exempt from these deadlines if medical evidence is provided within 5 working days of the test date.

To cancel your test date, please request a IELTS Refund+Transfer Form by e-mailing

Change of Test Date

Transfers must be requested either:

  1. Within 14 days of the test being booked or
  2. More than 5 weeks before the test date. This will incur a fee of £35.

Please note that transfers cannot be made within 24 hours of the test date.

Transfers and cancellations requested for medical reasons are exempt from these deadlines if medical evidence is provided within 5 working days of the test date.

To change your test date, please request a IELTS Refund+Transfer 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.


How are results calculated: The Test Report Form provides your Overall Band Score and band scores for each of the four components: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.

The Overall Band Score is the average of the four component scores, rounded to the nearest whole or half band. The component scores are weighted equally.

IELTS results are released 13 days after the test date. Test Report Forms are posted to an address specified by the candidate on this day, or can be collected from Basil Paterson College. Results are posted by Royal Mail First Class, which takes 2-3 working days to arrive to UK addresses, and up to 2 weeks to arrive overseas. Results are also available to preview online at midnight after release for 40 days after the test date at this link:

To apply for an Enquiry On Results (EOR), please contact the centre to request the appropriate form and return the completed form to us along with your TRF (your paper certificate).

Please note that there is a £70 fee for an EOR. This fee will be refunded if your score changes. Once we have received your form and your certificate, we will tell you how to pay.

The EOR process can take up to 2-4 weeks, and an EOR application must be received no more than 6 weeks after the test date.

Minor Candidates

Candidates under 18 require a signed consent form to be allowed entry to the test. This can be requested from the centre.

Candidates with Special Needs

Candidates requiring special arrangements should contact the test centre at least three months before the test day to enable modified materials to be put in place. Please note that the test centre only requires six weeks’ notice for administrative arrangements; to find out what these arrangements are, please contact our test centre directly.


How examiners are tested: IELTS Writing and Speaking assessments are carried out by trained and certificated examiners, all of whom are qualified and experienced English language specialists. The examiners work to clearly defined criteria and are subject to extensive and detailed quality control procedures.

Examiners are monitored by examiner trainers up to four times a year and at least once every two years. New examiners (and those who have not recently worked as IELTS examiners) are monitored at least three times in their first year. All examiners receive written feedback on their ratings and also on the delivery of the Speaking test. They may be required to take corrective action if any issues are raised about their performance.

Standardisation is completed at the centre and takes place as close as possible to the 2-yearly re-certification of the examiner. After the standardisation session, the examiners then complete a new certification set to demonstrate they can apply the assessment criteria accurately.

On Test Day

Candidates must bring the ID they used to register. The only other items allowed in the test room are: pens, pencils, erasers, sharpeners and a cold drink in a transparent bottle with no labels. A locked room is provided for all other candidate belongings.

You can download a flowchart of the test-day journey here. The Candidate Information Booklet, linked to above, has lots of information on the test format and helpful tips.

Doors will open for the test at 08:45. The Listening, Reading and Writing tests will take place until 13:00 and Speaking tests will take place between 13:30 and 18:00.

There is no parking available for the duration of the test near our Edinburgh premises. The closest car park is NCP Castle Terrace. There are numerous cafes and shops nearby for the purchase of refreshments.
Candidates for tests in Aberdeen will receive information regarding the venue of the test in a confirmation email on the Monday previous to the test, and may contact the centre for further information beforehand.

To make a complaint regarding an IELTS matter, please contact the centre. Complaints must be received before results are released. For further information regarding the British Council’s Global Complaint Procedure, please refer to their website:

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