17 November 2010


Note: This is in the series of blog posts I wrote about my preparation to move to New Zealand. The original date stamps will give you an idea of how time-consuming migration takes. At the end of each post, I will add in new details. The 'New Zealand' tag will bring up all related posts.

[Originally written on 29/3/2010]

I took my IELTS Academic paper on the 20th of March 2010 at Cititel Hotel, Penang. I will be able to get my results this Friday.

We were arranged similarly, with fewer candidates and better carpeting (from Jack Hynes/Flickr)
A huge thanks to Ivan for sharing his e-notes and practice papers with me. They were extremely helpful! I think I aced the Listening and Reading tests. A few tricky questions as always but I think I won't get more than 3 wrong answers.

Writing was a little tricky. When I reviewed my Question 1 answer in the last 10 minutes, I realized I interpreted the charts wrongly. The base conclusion should still be the same, but I assumed that Chart 2 is a progression from Chart 1, when in fact they are representing different data at the same time period. I hope I don't get penalized too much for that.

Speaking was the worst module for me. It was the only thing that I couldn't practice the format properly. And coincidentally, the examiner was Rovena Capel, my old teacher from high school. I worked with her on the school debating team and school magazine. I'm not sure if this helped me (she knows I have a decent command of English) or hurt me (she expects a stronger command of English from me), but I will find out soon enough.

It didn't help that the topic of my Speaking interview was about childhood memories. Ugh! I have a bad memory and it's hard for me to dredge up the past. I would have preferred forward-thinking topics like global warming, the death penalty, or delinquency. As a result, I stuttered quite often and didn't perform up to my best. I literally saw my Band 9 result vanish in front of my lips.

Waitaminute.... Band 9? Ya that was my idealistic target. I wanted to prove to myself that the excellent student in college still existed!!! But after the Speaking test, I'm revising my expectations down to a Band 8, which is still pretty damn excellent!

I shall update once I get my Test Report Form.

[End of original post]

[Originally posted 2/4/10]
I scored the following IELTS scores:

Listening 8.5
Reading 9
Writing 8.5
Speaking 7.5

Overall Band 8.5


As a funny anecdote, I lost my candidate slip with my candidate number on it so I spent an hour guessing the combination on their results website. I knew it was something simple with a few 1's and perhaps an 8 or 5. In the end I gave up and called up British Council to get my number back. If I knew they were so willing to give out the number, I would have called them up earlier. But it's definitely a privacy concern.

[End of original post]


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