IELTS – An Uphill Climb


I recently received a message from a colleague  asking if I could help him apply to Ireland with his IELTS score lower than the NMBI’s requirements. He told me that he can communicate well in English but doesn’t figure out why he cannot achieve the required scores to be eligible for Ireland. I really felt bad, because I know that he is beyond qualified as a nurse but as we know, the IELTS is a prerequisite to acquire an Irish license.

This is a challenge that even the Irish employers at this point face. There are loads of openings in the healthcare facilities and they prefer to employ Filipino nurses because of the acknowledged passion towards our job. But then, many are competent however only few can attain the required IELTS score.

Before I came to Ireland, I too struggled to pass the IELTS. I tried three times and I constantly get upset with my writing. But then, it may be a cliché but the quote “never give up” is noteworthy. Indeed, if you really want something, you must not lose faith. Toil and pray hard for it.  I used to get 6.0 in writing but today here I am, writing my blog as a freelance writer in Ireland. It continually takes training and persistence to succeed.

As a person who has taken the IELTS for several times, here are my tips for you fellows:

  1. Take time to read examples of writing works. There are quite a lot of writing models from the internet which you can read. Take note on how they approach the question, how they get started with the paragraph as well as how they express their position on the topic. When you get the idea on how to answer the question, you can easily format your writing. I recognized that there is a pattern on how both the writing tasks are answered.
  2. The reading is the least thought-provoking among the four tasks. You ought to be keen on eyeing for the key words. This technique is called skimming or spread reading. You should practice and get this skill. If it is your first time to take the IELTS, I recommend that you go for a review center where they can teach you the methods on how to answer the reading part.
  3. The listening is the easiest for me. I constantly get 8.0 or 8.5 in listening. Though some may find this difficult. You should work out your mind to center on what you are listening to. Otherwise, when you get to slip on one portion of the listening test, it is likely that you will not be able to catch up because the recording plays uninterruptedly. Of course, it cannot be repeated. So my advice is do practice the listening part as much as you could. This will develop your listening skills as you get used to the pronunciation and the speed of the conversations in the recording.
  4. Many candidates find the speaking the toughest one. My advice is that carry on talking and don’t make a long pause, because it is when you pause that you be likely to look at your examiner and become more apprehensive. Remember there is no incorrect answer in the speaking task because they base your score on your command of the English language, not on the content of your response. Do not be afraid to give your views. Speaking also takes lots of run-through therefore try to speak English as much as possible to develop your vocabulary.

Again, I have taken three exams before I finally hit the requisite scores to apply for Ireland. And please don’t forget to pray before your exam. I do trust that God will give you something if it’s truly intended for you, like how He channeled me to be in Ireland.

So guys, good luck to you on your IELTS examination. Remember, be assertive and tell yourself that if others did it, you can do it as well.


One thought on “IELTS – An Uphill Climb

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s