The United Kingdom has always been a popular destination for Filipinos who want to work abroad, from engineers to those in the healthcare sector and more. In recent years, there has been a surge in the number of Filipinos applying for work visas in the UK, and as a result, the competition has become tougher.
Also Read: How to Apply and Work as a Butcher in the UK
One of the requirements for obtaining a UK work visa is to take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) UKVI exam, which measures the applicant’s proficiency in the English language. This article aims to provide useful tips and advice to help Filipinos ace the IELTS UKVI exam and improve their chances of getting their dream job in the UK.
Disclaimer: The information posted here is based on the personal experiences shared by the OFW in the video below. Please let this post serve as a guide only. If you have specific questions, you may ask the OFW by commenting on their video on their accounts.
A Filipino’s Guide to Acing the IELTS UKVI
The information from this video comes from the YouTube channel Kwentong Butcher UK. In this video, the vlogger talks about IELTS UKVI tips and advice. He was inspired to make this video because of the numerous queries he had from his colleagues regarding the matter. Click below to learn more:
If you are planning to take the IELTS, there are some tips that can help you improve your performance.
- Don’t be afraid to take the IELTS
- Take a mock test
- Watch movies that are in English
- Practice speaking English
- Read English articles online
- Be natural
- Prepare for the exam
Tip 1: Don’t be Afraid to take the IELTS
For many people, taking the IELTS can be a challenging task, especially if it is the UKVI version. However, achieving a low band score in each category is very achievable. It is important to note that only the General Training version of the test should be taken, rather than the Academic IELTS.
However, preparation is key to succeeding in the exam. Before taking the IELTS UKVI, it is crucial to invest time and effort in studying and practicing the test format. By doing so, test-takers can identify their strengths and weaknesses, and develop strategies to overcome any challenges. Remember, the more prepared you are, the more confident you will feel on test day, and the higher your chances of achieving the desired band score.
Difference from IELTS UKVI and IELTS
So what’s the difference between IELTS UKVI and IELTS? Well, the level of difficulty between the IELTS and IELTS UKVI is the same. The only difference is that IELTS UKVI is video recorded, similar to being on a reality TV show like Big Brother. When taking the test, there will be a camera present in the exam room to record the test-taker’s performance. This added element of scrutiny can be intimidating, but with proper preparation and practice, test-takers can overcome any nerves or anxiety and perform to the best of their abilities.
Tip 2: Take a Mock Test
The second piece of advice is to take a mock test, which can easily be found on Google and YouTube by searching for “IELTS UKVI General mock test” or “IELTS UKVI mock exam”. This is highly recommended as it can be very helpful in preparing for the actual IELTS exam. In fact, some of the questions and situations in the mock test can appear in the actual exam, or at least be similar, which means that taking mock tests can help test-takers feel more comfortable and confident on test day.
Here are some facts about taking an IELTS mock exam:
- It allows test-takers to familiarize themselves with the test instructions and format.
- The actual IELTS exam is quite long, lasting from 8 am to 12 noon.
- At the end of each mock test, answers are provided.
One of the advantages of taking mock exams is that it allows test-takers to familiarize themselves with the test instructions and format. It is not enough to simply know or understand English, as the IELTS exam also requires test-takers to have a good understanding of how to answer questions using various techniques, such as dragging or typing answers, and inputting numbers.
It is also important to note that the actual IELTS exam is quite long, and can last from 8 am to 12 noon (excluding the speaking test, which takes place in the afternoon). Taking mock tests can help test-takers prepare for this long testing period, as they will be able to gauge their ability to maintain focus and concentration over an extended period of time.
At the end of each mock test, answers are provided, which allows test-takers to check their answers and see where they need to improve. This can help them identify their strengths and weaknesses and adjust their study plan accordingly, ultimately improving their chances of achieving the desired band score.
Watch movies that are in English
The third piece of advice is to watch movies that are in English, with a particular focus on British accents. Examples of such movies include Game of Thrones and Harry Potter, among others. The reason for this is that the organization that administers the IELTS exam is Cambridge, which is based in the UK. As a result, the listening section of the IELTS exam often features British accents.
By watching movies with British accents, test-takers can become more familiar with the British English language and accent, which can help them better understand the listening section of the exam. This familiarity can also help test-takers feel more comfortable and confident when interacting with native speakers of British English in real-life situations.
Practice speaking English
The fourth tip is to practice speaking English by engaging in conversations with others, whether it be with workmates, family members, neighbors, or even with yourself. By practicing speaking in English regularly, test-takers can improve their fluency and confidence in the language, which can be invaluable when it comes time to take the speaking section of the IELTS exam.
In addition to speaking with others, test-takers can also practice speaking on their own by recording themselves and listening to the playback to identify areas for improvement. They can also try speaking in front of a mirror to practice their pronunciation and body language.
Read English articles online
The fifth tip is to read articles online, focusing on meaningful texts rather than lengthy articles. One good resource is to follow the Facebook page of BBC news, where you can find news articles and other topics that may appear in the reading section of the IELTS exam, such as history.
By regularly reading articles online, test-takers can improve their reading comprehension skills, expand their vocabulary, and gain familiarity with various types of texts that may appear on the IELTS exam. It is important to read articles that are appropriate for your current level of proficiency, rather than attempting to read articles that are too difficult, as this can be frustrating and counterproductive.
The sixth tip is to be natural and not focus on copying a British accent. It is important to speak naturally and confidently, without trying to imitate a particular accent or pronunciation.
Here are some tips:
- As the test date approaches, take care of yourself physically and mentally.
- Get enough sleep the night before the exam
- Eat a nutritious breakfast
- Avoid overthinking the test or becoming overly anxious
- Eat a meal before leaving home to ensure that you have enough energy to sustain you throughout the test
- Arrive at the exam center on time, and be prepared with all the necessary materials.
Prepare for the exam
It is important to bring the necessary materials to the exam center to avoid any issues or delays. These materials include:
- Passport – which will be used for identification purposes and may be scanned or photographed.
- Extra form of identification, such as a driver’s license or government ID, in case you need to leave your passport with the exam center security.
- In some cases, you may also need to bring proof of vaccination
All About IELTS
The IELTS has four main parts, namely:
The following are some tips that the vlogger shared when it comes to each part.
- Read the questions first in the listening exam.
- Wait for the actual conversation to start in the computer-based exam, and use the waiting time to read all the questions.
- Look for specific information in the conversation such as time, location, name, or telephone number.
- Take note of any spelling given in the conversation as it could be the correct answer.
- Be aware that the IELTS exam tries to confuse you with similar but incorrect answers.
- If the answer is changed at the end of the conversation, the new answer is likely to be correct.
- In the listening exam, 90 to 99 percent of the time, the answer is in the conversation.
- Be ready and focused before playing the audio as you cannot pause, rewind or replay once you start listening.
- Focus on preparing for the reading section of the IELTS exam as many test takers struggle with this section and it requires a high score to achieve a band score of 4.0.
- Read the questions first before reading the passage to save time and know what information you are looking for.
- Be aware of confusing bits in the reading section, such as questions that are phrased differently than what is in the article.
- Comprehend the article or passage thoroughly as the answers are often hidden within the text.
- In the general IELTS exam, you need a higher score in reading (15-18 points) compared to academic (11-12 points).
- Start writing task 2 before task 1 as it carries more weightage (60%) in the writing test.
- Don’t waste time on task 1 and risk not finishing task 2 as it could affect your score significantly.
- Task 1 involves writing letters such as to a landlord or manager, while task 2 requires you to explain a topic and give your opinion.
- Answer the bullet points given in the task and focus on addressing them.
- You can use fictional names and introductions such as “Hello, I am the tenant from room…” in your writing.
- Use simple words that are less commonly used, but avoid using super deep vocabulary. The focus is on how you compose the letter and address the bullet points.
- Be yourself and don’t be afraid of the interviewer.
- Maintain eye contact and smile, even if wearing a mask.
- Part 1: Introduce yourself and answer personal questions. Be prepared for follow-up questions.
- Keep your answers short but informative.
- Part 2: Two-way conversation.
- Part 3: Read a card with a topic and highlighted points. Take short notes and be prepared for follow-up questions.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you don’t understand the question.
- IELTS examiners are not trying to make your life hard. They are assessing your English proficiency and will adjust the difficulty accordingly.
When speaking during an interview, it is important to be yourself and not fear the interviewer, as they are not your enemy but your friend. The speaking section of the interview consists of three parts, each lasting 15 to 20 minutes. Eye contact is crucial during the interview, and even if it is a video call, one should maintain eye contact and show confidence by smiling, even if wearing a mask.
In the first part, you introduce yourself and provide information about your personal life, such as your name, job, and hometown. From there, new questions may arise based on the information provided, such as what is special about your hometown or a memorable experience you have had there. It is normal for the interviewer to interrupt you while you are still answering a question.
It is important to make your responses short but informative, without being too brief. The second part involves a two-way conversation, while in the third part, the interviewer provides a card with a topic and bulleted or highlighted points to answer within 1-2 minutes. It is essential to take notes with short keywords to prompt responses to topics like climate change. In case of follow-up questions, be prepared to answer spontaneously.
One should not fear the examiner, as they will only listen and not judge your opinion as right or wrong. It is essential to understand the question before answering and asking for clarification if needed, as this is better than trying to answer without understanding. The IELTS examiners gauge your level of English proficiency and will not make your life harder if you only have basic English skills. However, if they sense you are good at English, they will increase the level of difficulty to challenge you.
Taking the IELTS UKVI exam is a crucial step for Filipinos who aspire to work or study in the UK. With the right preparation and mindset, it is possible to achieve a high score and increase your chances of achieving your goals. Remember to practice regularly, familiarize yourself with the test format, and keep a positive attitude throughout the process. By following the tips and advice outlined in this article, you can set yourself up for success and take the first step towards a promising future in the UK.