Limited centers make IELTS exams difficult for Vietnamese students | Rare Techy


Nguyen Van Hung quickly went online to check if any test venues in Hai Duong province had reopened after finding out that the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exams had surprised all candidates after they were postponed.

To his dismay, there was none.

A week after announcing that the exams would be postponed indefinitely, the IDP and the British Council were given permission to resume the exams on November 17 and 18 respectively.

However, the two institutions authorized to conduct IELTS tests in the country have not announced any venue for the tests in Hai Duong.

Hung’s closest option to sit the exam, therefore, is Hanoi, about 80 kilometers from his home.

“It’s a bit annoying to have to travel two hours to Hanoi for the test. I just want to finish it so I can focus on preparing for my university entrance exam next year,” the high school senior said. Travel to the capital city by car.

As the exam is held in the morning, you have to go to Hanoi the day before and stay at the hotel. Accompanied father by increasing travel and accommodation expenses.

“Even though it’s heavy, I don’t have a choice,” the 18-year-old said.

Since the mid-1990s, thousands of people in Vietnam, primarily students and professionals who want to study and work abroad, as well as English teachers who want to establish their careers, take the IELTS test every year.

In addition, Vietnamese universities have started using IELTS scores as admission criteria in recent years.

Hung is one of many IELTS test-takers facing challenges as the IDP and British Council have had to cut the number of approved test sites.

IDP exams used to be organized in 40 different regions across Vietnam. Now, from November 17, they can only offer it at four centers in three regions: Hanoi, Da Nang and HCMC.

Likewise, on November 18, the Ministry of Education and Training authorized the British Council to organize the IELTS test in just ten testing centers in five regions: Hanoi, HCMC, Hai Phong, Vinh and Hue.

The British Council’s website earlier stated that candidates can register for the exam at 20 locations across Vietnam.

Tran Minh finds himself sharing Tu Hung’s plight. Since the Can Tho City High School senior wants to study abroad next fall, she wants to take the exam now to complete the admissions process on time.

“I’m really worried that I won’t get the test results on time and I won’t be able to complete my application before the admission deadline,” said the 18-year-old, who was supposed to go to HCMC from the Mekong Delta.

I am worried that I will get tired after a 4-hour journey and it might affect my performance,” she added.

Many of those who were late for the exam due to the unexpected postponement are now struggling to reschedule as the exam venues have been reduced.

Hung said he had rented a hotel room in Hanoi for VND 500,000 ($20.13) a night for himself and his father.

“Even if I get car sick, I have to take the test,” he said. “I hope it doesn’t affect my test performance.”


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