How Victoriya achieved an 8 in IELTS

Our student, Victoriya, who came from Russia, shares how the IELTS Preparation course with British Council Singapore has helped her to be well-prepared for her IELTS test.

Tell us about yourself. Why did you choose to come and study in British Council Singapore?

I needed to take an IELTS test and I knew that the British Council offered a preparation course for IELTS. They have a good reputation, multi-cultural environment, highly qualified teachers and professional approach, which made me decide to study with them.

We heard that you came from Russia. Why did you choose to come to Singapore?

I have been living in Asia for the past few years. I used to live in Sri Lanka before coming to Singapore. My husband and I made a decision to move to Singapore as he was offered a job here but we also knew that there would be plenty of work opportunities for me and that I would have a chance to continue my studies in one of the universities in Singapore.

Why did you decide to take up the IELTS Preparation Academic course? What did you want to achieve from it? 

I decided to apply for a PhD program and one of the requirements was to have a high score in an English proficiency exam. It may seem that anyone who can speak fluent English would do well in the test but in reality, this is not true. I wanted to know what the specific requirements for getting a high score were, how to best address the tasks and what was expected from a candidate. I wanted to feel prepared for the challenges I might be presented with on the test day and feel confident about facing them.

What were the challenges that you faced while going through the course? How did you overcome it?

The course was interesting and I always looked forward to my next class. The only challenge was probably finding the time to do the homework as it involved writing. However the more I practised, the less time it took me to finish the tasks.

Do you feel that you made improvements over time? Do you think that the course has allowed you to achieve what you wanted?

I certainly feel that my English speaking and writing skills have improved and now I can make good structured arguments on variety of topics. I'm satisfied with my own progress over the three-months duration of the course.

Have you sat for your IELTS test? How did you fare and how do you feel about it? 

I took my IELTS test shortly after the completion of the course and I achieved what I aimed for. I was aiming to get a band 8 although this was higher than the University application requirement. I managed to get it! I feel rather pleased.

Aside from the knowledge you’ve gained studying in British Council, do you feel that you’ve gained anything else? Share with us.

I think I have become more confident in using English. I have learnt a great deal about customs and traditions in different countries from my multi-national classmates. My teacher often made reference to the British culture and shared entertaining facts during lessons, which made them more fun.

Any advice for people who wants to study English or are currently learning English?

I remember how shy I was to speak when I first started learning English and how afraid I was to make a mistake. However, the key is to just let it go and start speaking, reading, writing even if it does not seem easy at first. It is easier said than done but the truth is that there is no other way to become good at something unless you practise. Knowledge comes when you practise consistently. I do believe that having a strong foundation is very important and must not be skipped even though it may be a long process. 

Would you recommend your friends to study with us in the British Council? Why?

I will be glad to recommend the British Council to my friends and anyone else who wishes to improve their English! This is the place where you can be sure your learning needs are catered for, the atmosphere is comfortable and friendly and it is also a great opportunity to meet people from multicultural environment.

I see that you enjoyed yourself at the Russian Baking Class and Networking event. Tell me three things that you enjoyed about this event.

I find it fun to get to know and meet new people during the event. It’s very interesting to be networking with people in a chilled and laid back atmosphere. I also enjoyed the fact that I have made some contacts and found out about Unique Singapore City Guide (Russian) and the Russian Club (Singapore).