May 28th, Philippines. I just passed IELTS! To everybody, I'm grateful for all advices, this forum helped me do wonders even to myself. I got 7.5 overall (8.5 / 8.0 / 7.0 / 7.0). I'm supposed to get it last year at the University of Westminster, but circumstances led me back home.
I've used Cambridge IELTS 3 2002 including audio CDs, and Ive watched CNN, BBC and Aus TV ever since. I admit the time period of my review was short-lived (2 weeks) but allow me to share some points which might help anybody in some ways. I try to cover everything about my preparation and experience for IELTS here in this article. I would also try to give some tips about all the components of IELTS exam. I hope you all will find it useful.
I think one need to practice a lot with the CDs (with the workbook) because they simulate a lot the real exam. You need a lot of focus because the recording was played only once, what helped me a lot were the advice of reading ahead the questions(taking note of what type of questions ex. asking for a direction, a place, time, a person) before a recording was played. I noticed that although some questions can be filled in (the blanks) right away as the recordings were played, one needs to understand what was stated in the monologue because what you need in the next questions can be answered by what you heard earlier in the monologue(whether the speaker agrees or disagrees with the second or third person. Basically you must realize hearing is different from listening.
It is supposed to be the hardest. I agree. I can say that taking Academic reading you also need focus, and skills in skimming and scanning.
When I scanned the questions following each paragraph before starting doing the reading,
I've even had taken note (encircling/underlining in each question) whether that particular group of questions is multiple choice, matching, asking for specific idea or item like names. So when I started reading the article, I'm filling the answer sheet directly as I'm reading the paragraphs. Since you're not given time to transfer answer to answer sheet.
One very good point to remember is that, you must be conscious of the time given (during my exam aside from a wristwatch in front of me, the exam hall has a big clock in front). You know, what had helped me a lot was when I realized there is still lots of time remaining 3-5 minutes every after paragraph; you can check again and review your answers. I think I felt that I am more than sure because there I realized the paragraph itself were a little bit tricky, almost half of my answers were changed and corrected in the process.
I lacked practice, but I saw to it to make first an outline. The topic which goes like this:
Some people believe that universities nowadays were not able to make undergraduates equipped with the needed skills when they eventually join the workforce. Others believe that education must be provided to students for the true purpose of education per se-art of education. In your opinion, what is the true function of University education?
From the outline I made earlier just after knowing what is asked - I was able to elaborate by composing sentences. In interpreting the table (which is the first task), from the outline I made earlier after knowing what is asked, I composed paragraphs regarding the given line graph [a survey from (x-axis)1875 to 2010 of % of working personnel-agriculture/marketing & manufacturing(y axis)]. I think what is important here is understanding what you're asked for and answer through your self composition. This would require your creativity. Lastly since a line in the answer sheet usually is composed of 8-12 words (based on my handwriting) I made sure that I did not lack the required no. of words, 150 for the first and 250 for the 2nd. I've exceeded them a little.
Since I've registered for the exam just 2 weeks before my preferred date, I'm examinee no. 90-100 out of I think two hundred examinees. Since total was halved into two and the 2nd half were scheduled the following Monday - a separate day, I felt lucky Im completing last part-listening on same day. But when I checked on the schedule, I was surprised it would be on a different venue and I was scheduled 8pm (first 3 parts were finished at lunchtime in a different venue) so I have to prepare myself few hours more and to travel. I failed to check, answer, and prepare even 2-3 sentences each on list of topics. It rained so hard that night that when I arrived at the speaking test site, I was immediately called in to enter the room.
The first two parts were alright. I was able to introduce myself well and answered some questions like please describe your hometown, when I said it's different unlike before, the interviewer asked how come, so I explained reasons why I described it that way. There was a question like do you still have dreams, what can you say about it- I replied I think they are expressions of your innermost desires and thoughts. I was asked what do you think is the most common and effective way of communications nowadays in your country, I replied - still one on one communication with people, I explained that through it, you can show facial expressions and body language. When he corrected me how about the use of sms or texting I just reasoned out, that personally I considered mobile texting as an impersonal way of communication.
Secondly, I was asked to prepare short talk on- have you got news recently, who informed you, when you received, what makes the news interesting. 1 minute was given; I was able to make an outline and was able to elaborate by telling sentences based on the outline. My problem came with the last part which was supposed to be an argument between me and the interviewer on a topic which was related to the 2nd part. Although I was still able to say some sentences, there were instances that I mumbled some words with some few seconds of gaps and stuttering in between but I prevented saying any "ahh" in between words. I was asked on how do i spend time with my family, what form of mass media resources does most Filipino get nowadays? my problem with the latter question is that I think I failed to answer the question, I explained that people do not mind choosing options and tend to just receive and get what is being provided in the media and look for other avenues.
Finally when the interviewer asked me again what form of mass media Filipinos commonly get, I was able to answer that radio communications/transmissions in contrast to television and other forms since majority of the population still thrives in coastal and countryside outreaches of the country.
My main problem in the last part was practice in everyday use of English, which I lacked obviously since Ive worked with local people for the last 5 years. It's seldom that I had the opportunity to speak the language.
But, still I'm grateful to pass IELTS in one take. Thanks again to everybody, especially to RxPG online. Truly this recent IELTS result for me would open more doors of opportunities. I hope I was able to share in any ways possible.
Originally posted at http://www.rxpgonline.com/postp124807.html