Taking The IELTS Exam In The Philippines
For people who want to study, work or migrate to countries where English is spoken as a first language, taking the IELTS exam is almost always mandatory. The IELTS which stands for International English Language Testing System will test a person’s proficiency with the English language in four bands: speaking, reading, writing and listening.
The highest score that can be obtained is 9.0 while the lowest score is 0. There is no passing or failing grade, but most institutions requiring the IELTS exam will ask for a grade of higher than 5.5.
There are two versions of the IELTS exam: the academic version and the general training version.
The academic version is for people who want to pursue higher education in universities or other institutions or for professionals such as doctors and nurses who want to practice in a country that primarily speaks English.
The general training version is for people who want to undergo training or gain work experience, or for those who are planning to migrate.
Filipinos And The IELTS Exam
Filipino test takers consist mostly of nurses who want to work abroad. Countries like Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK generally require Filipino nurses to have IELTS scores of no less than 7 in all bands. For people who are applying for student visas, oftentimes, the required score is around the 5.5 to 7.0 range, depending on the course.
Applying For The Exam
In my opinion, the best and easiest way to apply for the IELTS exam in the Philippines is to go directly to an authorized registration agent. Agents can provide you with all the information you need to apply for the exam.
Be sure to bring (2) passport size colored pictures and a photocopy of a valid national ID (passport, PRC ID, SSS, GSIS, driver’s license or any other national ID such as a Voter’s ID and Postal ID).
The payment for the exam as of May 2011 is P8640, but you should bring more than that amount in case the agency asks for additional fees.
The Exam Experience
You have to arrive 2 hours early for the registration process. You only need to bring the ID you used to apply for the exam and some pencils (preferably Mongol No. 2) and erasers. However, you might want to bring some beverages and candies as well because the exam is at least 2 hours and 45 minutes long with no breaks.
The first part of the exam is the listening test which lasts for 30 minutes. For this test, you have to pay careful attention to the conversation played on the audio device. They will only play it once so there are no second chances. Try not to take too much time with each question or you will get left behind.
The second part of the exam is the reading test. You have one hour to complete this exam. My advice is to not read everything word for word because of the time constraint. When I took the test, I skimmed through the questions first before I went over the reading material. That way, I had an idea on what to look for.
The third part of the exam is the writing test. Here, you get to exhibit your writing skills on paper. There are 2 questions. For the first question, in my case, I was asked to compare and contrast 2 maps that displayed a before and after state of an area. The second question asked for my opinion on how a government could minimize junk food consumption.
The second question is worth more in points than the first question, so use your time wisely. You only have one hour for this test.
The fourth part of the exam is the speaking test where you will be interviewed by a native English speaker. This one on one interview will last for 15 minutes. My advice is to relax and put more effort into making sense rather than concentrating on how your accent sounds.
Since there will only be one interviewer (in my experience), each test taker will have a schedule on when his or her interview will occur.
The Exam Results
Typically, the results will be available 13 days after the examination date. You can check the results online by entering your candidate number, id number, date of birth and the date of the exam. If you are not satisfied with your score, you can file for a re-mark.
How do I apply for a re-mark?
To file for a re-mark, you must fill out the Enquiry on Results Application Form and send it to the address displayed on the form. The Enquiry on Results Application Form and the original IELTS Test Report Form, must be submitted within 6 weeks of completing the written tests.
You also need to pay an amount for the re-mark request. The amount is more or less two thirds the price of the IELTS exam. This amount will be refunded to you in case the re-mark is successful. The result of the re-mark request will arrive in 6 to 8 weeks after the IELTS governing body has received the form.
I am satisfied with my IELTS score. Now, what?
Your IELTS score will only be valid within 2 years after its release. It would be wise to use it within that time frame to avoid having all your efforts go to waste.