Today let me give you a brief discussion about IELTS here in the Philippines. I was fortunate enough to successfully meet all required scores at my first take last Feb 22, 2014 held at Crowne Plaza Hotel, Ortigas Avenue Center, Quezon City, Manila, Philippines. Please note that all tips written are solely based on my personal experience. This is just a quick guide of “must-knows” in taking IELTS examination.
1. What does IELTS stand for?
International English Language Testing System
2. What’s the purpose of taking IELTS examination?
It is designed to assess the language ability of candidates who need to study or work where English is the language of communication.
IELTS is recognized by universities and employers in many countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. It is also recognized by professional bodies, immigration authorities and other government agencies.
3. What’s the type and content of IELTS exam?
The two types include: General exam and Academic exam. It is necessary to know which type of exam is required by the institution you are applying for in other country. Academic type of exam is usually taken by professionals that would like to have an opportunity to work abroad.
4. Where to register and when to take the examination?
Please refer to this LINK for test dates and online registration.
What you need to register if enrolled in a review center?
1. You have to fill the application form and send it to the test center. If enrolled in an IELTS review center, they can assist you regarding any inquiries while filing the form.
2. Provide any of the following valid identifications: a valid passport, PRC professional ID, SSS ID, GSIS ID, or the Multipurpose Unified National ID. Have these IDs photocopied.
3. Prepare at least two pieces of 2x2 passport-sized colored pictures. Take note that you must not wear any form of eyewear once your photograph is taken.
4. Finally, a fee of Php 8, 900 upon registration.
What you need to register personally for the British Council?
1. Provide a valid ID like your passport. You need to bring the same ID you used upon registering on the test day.
2. Keep a soft copy of your recent photo.
3. If you have taken the IELTS before, provide a copy of this too.
4. Payment can be done through credit card or by cash. It costs Php 8, 986.
5. Provide a soft copy of the ID you will be using on your registration.
No need to stress yourself, just search for nearby IELTS review centers in your city. I’m pretty sure numerous centers offer registration processing. In my case, 3A Review center located at Volet’s Dasma, Cavite assisted me on processing of my registration and I paid a total of Php 14,500.00 including review sessions.
5. What to review?
Review your LISTENING, READING, WRITING and SPEAKING communication skills.
Also know the techniques how to answer the questions correctly and appropriately.
Search online for previous IELTS tests and sample questionnaires. Here’s one:
6. What to wear and bring?
In my case, I had my speaking test a day before my listening, reading and writing test. For the speaking test, try to wear appropriate clothes. Hence, smart decent casual attire is suggested. No plunging neckline, no overdone makeup and no sandos please! The whole speaking test was just less than an hour. I was sort-of-chill that time hehe. It was just a typical one-on-one discussion which is not different on me then. But, if you’re not into this type of interview thing-y, please do practice a lot. Try to be calm, spontaneous and sensible. Smile and be natural. My councilor as far as my memory serves me right is named Ms. Ara Escalana. I had it done at the IELTS British Council in Ortigas. Just bring your valid identification that you submitted on the registration. Be punctual.
Oh, someone just called me up informing me my schedules including the date, time and venue prior. Then on the second day of my IELTS exam, I took the listening, reading and writing exam respectively. Had a tough time on writing test! Wear something comfortable and decent. Jeans are okay, just not short please! Bring with you atleast two sharpened mongol pencils, eraser and a jacket. I swear the room temperature might affect you while taking the exam. It’s either it’s too brain freezing or you might be sleepy while taking the test! Do not forget to bring your valid identification card. And please be advised that test takers are not allowed to go in and out of the room while test is ongoing. All rules and policies will be stated before so do not worry. Just listen and follow instructions well. No need to bring so many things!
7. What are the nice-to-know, tips and recos?
a.) Be prepared. Be ready by knowing what you are taking, what the purpose of your examination is and how to deal with the questions by reviewing.
b.) Know your weakness and try to overcome it by focusing on that area.
c.) Bring jacket on the examination date.
d.) You can borrow pencils if you have no sharpener on the test, just raise your hand quietly while examination is ongoing and someone will assist you.
e.) What you hear on listening test is not 100% the answer to the question. Know the correct grammar, tense and etc. first.
f.) Do not be tensed. Try to stay calm and relax your mind hours before the test. Do not be pressured and stressed!
g.) Read forums and threads to get more tips!