An English language test has become mandatory for all students going to UK for higher studies for courses longer than 6 months. All OOW / 2nd Mate students have to appear and clear this test before the college can issue them with a CAS number which is required for taking a visa appointment. All Chief Mates students (even if you have done your OOW / 2nd Mates from UK) also need to appear for the IELTS exam before they can be issued with a CAS number.
There are two different tests, IELTS and Pearson PTE. You may sit for either of them as proof your proficiency in English.
IELTS is the more popular one amongst the students as it is a paper & pencil test whilst the Pearson PTE is an online test. The advantage of Pearson PTE is that seats are more easily available and the results come in 4 working days whilst for IELTS, it takes about 15 calendar days. Hence, if you are running short of time, please sit for Pearson PTE, else sit for the IELTS test.
IELTS test is again of two kinds, IELTS General and IELTS Academic. IELTS General is easier in comparison to IELTS Academic. It is your choice, which test you want to sit for as both IELTS General and IELTS Academic scores are acceptable to the college and British High Commission.
You may book seats online for IELTS or may visit IDP / British Council offices for booking a seat. Please visit their website for more details:
IELTS exams are jointly conducted by British Council and IDP Australia. Hence, it does not make a difference if you have booked your exam through British Council or IDP Australia.
IELTS study material is available at the British Council center's in India. You may also buy IELTS study guides from bookstores like Crosswords, etc. Most educational book shops do keep IELTS study guides. It is not compulsory to take tuition classes for IELTS although you may see many paper advertisements regarding IELTS coaching.
IELTS exams has 4 sections namely Reading, Writing, Listening and Spoken. You will need to score atleast 4 or above (out of 9) in each section to be able to apply for the visa. As of now, a score of 4 is acceptable. However, if the British High Commission increases the acceptable score to 5.5 out of 9, the new scores would become applicable. Hence, it is advisable that you should try to score 5.5 or above to be on the safer side. If your score is less than 4 in any of the sections, you will have to resit for the IELTS test.
Once, you have received the hard copy of your IELTS result by post, please scan and email the same to me / college. Only after receiving the IELTS result will Warsash Maritime Academy be able to release the CAS (conformation of acceptance of studies) number which will be required to apply for an appointment for a UK student visa.
If you happen to stay in a remote area where courier services are not good, please give some alternate address for delivery of your IELTS result. It has happened in the past that the IELTS results have been sent by normal post (not courier) because good couriers did not have delivery in remote areas resulting in a delay in receiving your IELTS result.
Seats for IELTS have to be booked about 2 weeks in advance (as otherwise seats get filled up and may not be available) and the results take about 2 weeks to come after the exams. Hence, a total of 1 months time is required from booking the course till the time results reach you. The IELTS scores are valid for a period of 2 years. Taking the time factor for IELTS and visa procedure into consideration, if you are going for the 2nd Mates or Chief Mates course in UK, you should have atleast 3 months time in hand before the course starting date. Please plan your sign off accordingly to avoid undue problems and stress because of the time factor involved in sitting for the IELTS exam, getting the CAS number from college, taking a visa appointment and the visa processing period.
The procedure for booking a Pearson test (if you do not have much time in hand) is given below. It is slightly long and complicated and you also need to have a credit card (or use that of your friend / relative) because you are not allowed to pay cash and booking can only be done online.
The advantage that Pearson PTE has over IELTS presently is that seat availability is much easier for Pearson PTE and results for Pearson PTE come in 3 - 5 days whilst for IELTS it is almost 15 days. The level of difficulty and the fee structure is almost the same for both of these exams.
The procedure for booking a Pearson PTE test is given below:
Go to the section 1) “NARROW BY CATEGORY” and click on “ACADEMIC / ADMISSIONS”. Now go to section 2) “SELECT YOUR TESTING PROGRAM” and click on “PTE ACADEMIC”.
A new web page will open. Now put in your “USERNAME” and “PASSWORD” to sign in.
You will be asked to CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD to A NEW PASSWORD. Please remember the new password that you have set and proceed.
Now you will have to keep two security questions and remember the answer you saved so that you can recover your password incase you forgot your password. Please answer the two security questions and proceed.
A new web page opens up. Click on the link “SCHEDULE EXAMS” on the left hand side column.
Now in QUESTION 1, click on the square box which refers to “PTE-A”. Now click on the link “NEXT” at the bottom of the page.
A new web page will open up. Click on “SEARCH” in QUESTION 1.
Put a “TICK MARK” in QUESTION 2 against your PREFERRED TEST CENTER. Click under the “INFORMATION” link ad you will get the ADDRESS AND CONTACT NUMBER OF YOUR TEST CENTER.
Now click on the link “NEXT” at the bottom of the web page.
A new web page will open up. This page gives the different dates on which exams are held. Click on the date on which you wish to give the exam. AFTER CONFIRMING THE DATE AND TIME, CLICK ON THE LINK “SELECT APPOINTMENT”. Now, click on the link “NEXT” at the bottom of the page.
A new web page will open up with the heading “Schedule Exams: Review Appointment Details”. Click on YES confirming that you have read their ID policies. Now choose the language that you speak at home from the scroll bar for e.g. HINDI OR MARATHI, ETC. Now, in the code or reference number they asked, please enter RSB-MB-IN. Now click on the link “NEXT” at the bottom of this page.
A new page will open up with details of your name, email address, appointment date, time and your contact details. Please confirm that the same are all right. Now click on the link “NEXT” at the bottom of the page.
A new web page will open up. Now please go ahead and make the payment for the course. Please note that debit cards are not acceptable. You will have to use a “CREDIT CARD” for making the payment. If you do not have a credit card of your own, you can use that of your friend or relative with their permission. Once you have made the payment online, you will receive an email within 24 hours confirming your seat for the exam.
On the date of the exam, please ensure that you CARRY YOUR PASSPORT as that is required as a proof of identity. The results of the test will come out in about 5 working days but many students have got their results in 3 working days also.