Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Oh, the irony! But, yes, it's true. The student who have always excelled in the English subject in high school, who aced the TOEIC exam in college, the one who has been reading and writing all her life, is a bit wary in taking the English Tests of all Tests.

IELTS or International English Language Testing System is the leading English proficiency exam required by various English speaking countries. It consists of 4 parts which are Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. As of my understanding, I need to get a score of 7 in all the categories (even though, technically, there is no pass or fail in the said exam) to be qualified to enter the United Kingdom, where I plan to study and work.

My searches in the internet made me realize that I do need to work for this as much as I've worked in passing my NLE because unlike the multiple choice TOEIC, which was pretty easy btw, IELTS is composed of identifications, essays and even an interview session for the Speaking part of the test. Now, listening and writing almost come naturally for me, but I'm pretty sure I suck at formal writing. I like articles, adjectives and adverbs way too much that when I write, a sentence can go on and on in sarcastic circles without much point in it. Which is, sadly, a major no-no in the said exam.

And I'm worse at interviews. The last time I had an interview was upon admission to FEU Institute of Nursing 2 years ago. It is an experience I wanted to forget. I bet I either sounded too cocky or completely boring. The ancient C.I. who interviewed me barely cracked a smile. Thank Obama my battery exam results were exemplary so I was not that concerned about being dropped out of an institute that I haven't entered yet.

Multiple choice is my forte. I know that for a fact. I have this knack in feeling out the right answer even though I have no idea what the question is about. I think that's the reason how I got a line of 8 in the NLE without even memorizing the developmental tasks in Pedia or any drug of choice for a given disease. If I were to take the NCLEX, with ample time and guidance for review, I'm pretty confident I could very well pass the said exam. This special power (both a gift and a curse), however, will not help me in any way in acing the IELTS.

I spent the whole day searching Google for a great review center for the IELTS. I found a couple, Niner and Kaplan. Are they any good? I know that some or most of the examinees just self review at home either by instructional CDs or via the internet. I've read that there are also many resources available at the British Council for sale. Those are all great alternatives but I'm so sick of being at home all the time right now that I'm yearning for a classroom setup.

I miss commuting and having somewhere to go to, something to do. I know it's my fault that I'm still stuck now at home with nothing but internet and TV for company because I refused to lower my pride and work in a call center or even volunteer somewhere because I have nobody to go with me. But those 2 1/2 months since passing the board exam are now over, there's no use crying over spilled OJ. So now, I really want to find a review center I'm comfortable with, study, and get my life back on track.

By the end of this month, I must be enrolled somewhere and studying my favorite subject. I'm optimistic about the review sessions because I love the language and any information about it will probably be accepted by my neurons with open arms. I've always wanted to enroll in a creative writing class but haven't got the chance since our units and subjects in nursing college is pretty much set (unlike other universities e.g. UP where you can pick your own minors).

I know this is a far cry from that. It's just I'm so ready for something to do. Watch as my BuddyPoke avatar jump up and down from excitement and her anime face light up in a comic smile.


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