The IELTS tests assess your level of English and certify it in the form of a score. This score is required for academic, work, or migration purposes in certain English-speaking countries since the IELTS tests are some of the world’s most widely accepted tests. More than 3 million people take the IELTS test every year in hundreds of test locations, including in San Francisco!

In this article, we’ll be discussing what to expect from the IELTS test how to register, and where to take the tests in and near San Francisco. Finally, we’ll give you our top tips on how best to prepare for the IELTS online.

Get all the information you need at a glance about how to prepare for and take the IELTS in the City by the Bay and how to meet your English proficiency goals.

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About the IELTS tests

If you intend to move abroad for your studies, for an international promotion at work, or if you just want to prove your English ability to boost your résumé, the IELTS test is one of the most popular ways to certify your English proficiency. As you might guess from its name, the International English Language Testing System is recognized all over the world, and as such, is administered all over the world at the same time.

The IELTS focuses on assessing your abilities in the four fundamental language skill areas: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.

About the IELTS tests

Start the registration process

The IELTS tests are produced and distributed by the British Council, which is the authorizing body that accredits various testing sites all over the world, including those in San Francisco. You’ll need to start the registration process by opening an account on the British Council website. You may also book by mail, but we think that the easiest way to reserve a seat to take the IELTS test is online (you cannot register directly with the testing center). But act fast – demand may change depending on the date and availability is limited!

Once you open an account with the British Council, choose which month and testing center work best for you. Then, you’ll need to choose which version of the IELTS test you need: the Academic or General Training version. This will depend on the reason for which you need an IELTS score, so check with your requesting organization.

What will be the bill?

You need to pay the test fee to finalize your registration for a test session. The test fee varies depending on the location from $225 to $310. If you’re not happy with your scores, you are welcome to re-register and take the test as many times as you need. Of course, this entails a considerable investment of time and money, so it is advised to prepare properly for the test beforehand to get a great score the first time!

The IELTS testing centers in San Francisco

There are two testing centers in San Francisco currently, plus one in the greater Bay Area. Testing dates for both versions usually occur weekly on Saturday. The IELTS is highly standardized, which means all tests are the same no matter where you choose to take them.

Center name ContactInformation
ILSC San Francisco Address: 1 Embarcadero Center, Lobby Level, San Francisco CA 94111
Tel: +1 415 677 9961
Email: [email protected]
Located between the Embarcadero and the Financial District, the ILSC Test Center building is easy to get to via BART or Muni.
ELS Language Centers San FranciscoAddress: 300 Montgomery St. #200, San Francisco CA 94105
Tel: +1 415 796 5347
Email: [email protected]

Just around the corner from the first location is the San Francisco branch of the ELS network. This location features high-tech computer labs to take the IELTS in optimal conditions.
California State University, East Bay-HaywardAddress: 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd, Hayward CA 94542
Tel: +1 510 885 7434
Email: [email protected]
Across the bay in Hayward, you’ll find the Cal State University campus, which houses the IELTS testing location for the East Bay area. This site is most easily accessible by car, off Highway 238 and Interstate 580.

We made a list of numerous cities for you to pick in the US where you could also take the test such as HoustonNYCBostonAtlantaDenverSeattleCharlotte, San DiegoDallasIndianapolisPittsburgPheonix and in Arizona.

Preparing for the IELTS test

After you register, the time left until the test date is best spent preparing to get a top score. Since the IELTS tests are standardized, they follow a formal, predictable format, which some uninitiated test-takers find to be overwhelming. Even those who think they speak English “perfectly” already may trip up when it comes to the timing and pressure of the four sections of the IELTS test.

You may want to buy preparation materials in print or digitally or on apps. These should include questions from past tests, which you can practice on your own time. This is a great way to get the advice and tips you’ll need to improve your grammar and vocabulary at your own pace.

However, it is surely more convenient and affordable to prepare for your IELTS test with GlobalExam, a fully online platform offering flexible, completely personalized study programs for the IELTS test. Revise where and whenever you want, even on the go from your phone! There are dozens of simulated exercises, tips to follow and traps to watch out for specific to the IELTS format, and even a personalized statistics feature to monitor your progress as you work toward your target score.

Sign for a free trial with GlobalExam and get a full-length mock IELTS test so you can experience the pressure and timing of the real thing before you attempt the IELTS test. Let GlobalExam help you on your international adventure starting in San Francisco!

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