Is it better to take IELTS Exam in the morning or afternoon?

After you’ve finished preparing for your IELTS exam, the next thing on your mind will be about selecting a date and time slot for appearing for the examination. For attaining your required score, it is important to choose a slot comfortable for you. There are two-time windows available in India, the morning and afternoon sessions. 

The decision to take the examination in the morning or afternoon depends entirely on the candidate’s circumstances and comfort. Some candidates prefer the morning slot because they believe their brain works best at that time of day, while others prefer a rejuvenating afternoon session following a good morning nap.

There are various aspects to consider while deciding whether to take the exam in the morning or afternoon.

The Morning Time Slot 

The morning session usually starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 12 p.m. A candidate is expected to arrive at 8 a.m. and will be admitted to the exam venue by 8:30 a.m. The following half-hour is spent inspecting the equipment and ensuring that all candidates are seated and comfortable before the exam begins.

Morning sessions are ideal because several research suggests that your cognitive powers are at their peak in the morning. After a good night’s sleep, you will feel more energised and capable of performing better. It is frequently observed that candidates can brainstorm ideas faster in the morning due to the vigour of the morning, which aids them in better attention and even faster writing.

When should you NOT reserve a morning slot?

There are a few aspects you should keep in mind before you select the morning slot:

  1. If your centre is relatively far away and you would have to travel a considerable distance to get there, choosing the morning slot is not ideal. If your journey is halted due to an unforeseen circumstance, you may miss your exam. Furthermore, you may have to get up early for the journey, which may cause weariness.
  2. If you haven’t been out of bed in a long time. Because the IELTS exam is not just written by students, but also by working professionals who may have a work schedule that does not need them to wake up early in the morning. Such candidates should attend the afternoon session so that their daily routine and sleep schedule are not disrupted. This is significant since feeling sleepy or weary during an exam can impair your performance and thus your final band score.

The Afternoon Time Slot

The afternoon session begins at about 1 p.m. and ends around 4 p.m. Candidates are expected to report by 11: 30 a.m. for identification document verification and to ensure the appropriate operation of the headphones for the listening session, as well as other amenities in the exam hall. You will be allowed into the exam hall only 30 minutes before the exam and after all other candidates from the morning session have left the building.

The afternoon classes are ideal for working professionals and students who believe their brains function best at that time of day. It is an unspoken rule that students retain more knowledge that they read two or three hours before an exam than they did two or three days before. Last-minute learning tends to stick in one’s short-term memory, and it is simple to erase that information from one’s mind. If a candidate chooses the afternoon session, he or she will have ample time to obtain a full night’s sleep and then extra time to perform any last-minute revision without hustling.

When you should NOT attend the afternoon session?

  1. If you work or have a regular class in the morning, do not take the exam in the afternoon because you will be sleepy and weary, which will damage your performance. Always ensure that you are well-rested before taking the examination.
  2. If you are a person who takes a regular afternoon nap do not take the afternoon session as you will definitely feel the need to sleep and cramp your performance due to it. If you are a morning person, refrain from choosing the afternoon session.

It is always better to avoid trying any new routines on the day of the exam. If you are used to it, it is ideal to consume a caffeinated drink to assist you to maintain your energy levels throughout the exam. Eat properly and don’t overeat, especially if you choose the afternoon session, which will make you sleepy and weak.

The Speaking Slot 

You can also choose your speaking slot with the IDP. Typically, you will be offered a morning or an afternoon time slot. The speaking exam normally starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 7 p.m. So you may get any time slot between now and then. You will be able to select your speaking slot after you book the date for the listening, reading and writing test and get a confirmation on the slot and also the venue up to three days before your speaking exam date. 

As with the LRW sessions, it is critical to select a speaking slot that you are comfortable with. It will benefit you if you are a morning person because you will be able to perform well during the day. If you feel evening time is best for you as you will have ample amount of time for last-minute preparations in the morning. 

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What matters most is that you prepare thoroughly and are familiar with the exam pattern and schedule, especially the timing for each module so that you can finish your work at the stipulated time. If you are confident and work hard following a proper timetable for your process, the slot you choose will have just a minor impact on your band scores. But remember not to try any new routines or tasks on the day of the exam or last minute changes to your mode of learning, as may affect your performance. 

Shruthi Raveendran

I am Shruthi Raveendran, a TEFL-certified IELTS/PTE and ESL tutor who has 8+ years of experience working in the education industry. I am a passionate writer, logophile and film enthusiast

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