I wrote a post about how to be qualified as a nurse in the UK and one of the requirements is for you to pass your IELTS exam.

The IELTS exam that’s required is academic (average of 7 and nothing below 7 for each test). I took my IELTS twice because I originally wanted to apply for Australia. I was told that it’s fine if it’s not UKVI but unfortunately have to sit one again because the UK visa needs IELTS-UKVI. It was a relief though that I passed both on the first try.

There are numerous IELTS review centers in the Philippines, and I’m sure you can find one near you but I can’t really help you on that because I took the self-review route. I figured, the internet has a lot of resources to peruse so I’ll use it to my advantage. Below are my tips according to experience.

  1. Set a target date– Before I started reviewing, I booked my test first so I’ll have that sense of urgency rather than just reviewing for the sake of, well, reviewing. When you have a target goal in mind, you are more inclined to work harder especially when it’s nearing the final day.
  2. Assess yourself – Do a self-assessment and know which among the tests (reading, listening, writing and speaking) need more focus. Since I personally know that my writing is not good, I focused on it and practiced at least 2 questions/articles everyday ’til exam day.
  3. Use the internet– After your self-assessment, search the internet. I looked for writing exercises online and after doing one, I compared my work to the “ideal” sample answers. The British Council website  has free support materials that you can use. You can start from there.
  4. Ask help from family and friends– I’m pretty confident with my speaking but as I’m nearing my test date, I realized that I tend to fumble especially with topics that I’m not really familiar with. I also found it awkward to practice by myself as if I’m having a monologue so I asked my friends and family to ask me the questions and evaluate my answers.
  5. Preparation is key– Prior to my exam, I was so nervous I didn’t sleep well. I also wasn’t able to eat my breakfast on the day. It wasn’t the best feeling being jittery, sleepy and hungry all at the same time. So, have a good night’s sleep and eat your breakfast! Also, slow steady breaths help you feel more relaxed so do that during!

Results:

Best of luck on your exam! If you have questions, I’ll try my best to answer them.

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