Golden Ogbonna’s IELTS Experience

 

(This post was originally published on 3rd April 2017. It was added to my blog by taking permission from the writer. Thank you, Dr. Golden Ogbonna, for allowing me to add your post to this blog)

 

I am not one for writing testimonies but what the heck, let me just do it, it may inspire some of you future plabbers. My name is Golden (yes that is my first name ), I’m a British Citizen studying in Russia (Lived in London for 21 years and Russia for almost 6 years). I did the IELTS EXAM 7 weeks ago in London and my results were L=8, R=6.5, W=6.5, S=9. Me being British and a native speaker, I went to exam thinking I was a complete badass and I am going to kill this silly IELTS exam and eat it for breakfast and it would be a mere walk in park hence I didn’t really take the exam as seriously as I should have and my results were… as you can see not up to GMC’s standard. Humbled by my results, I buckled down and put 8 hours a day for 3 weeks into my writing and reading!! I took the exam in Moscow 2 weeks ago and here are my results…. (Shown in the picture below). Moral of the story… even if you think you know English and it’s your first language, take the IELTS exam seriously!! Going a bit off topic, drgoldeni is my Instagram, I want to be an ophthalmologist! Keep your “eye” on the goal people, yes we may not be Oxford and Cambridge graduates but that doesn’t mean we can’t make an impact in the medical world!! Stay focused and believe in your dreams. And yeah most importantly, pass your damn IELTS EXAM 🙂 If you have any questions about how to improve your IELTS please contact me on my facebook (https://www.facebook.com/golden.c.ogbonna) or watsapp (+79788047972) I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have 🙂

  Attempt 1 (in London – 11/02/2017) Attempt 2 (in Moscow – 18/03/2017)
Listening 8 8.5
Reading 6.5 7
Writing 6.5 7
Speaking 9 8.5
Average 7.5 8
Pass or Fail FAIL 😦 PASS 🙂

 

Attempt 1 as you can see, was a failure and I felt quite embarrassed (a British citizen failing IELTS… never in a million years I thought to myself!! lol). The thought of going back to my university and explaining to my friends (Russian friends and international friends) who saw me as an English wiz king mostly due to my British accent that I had failed the exam felt excruciating painful but I did and I brushed it off after a goodnights sleep and booked the exam for Moscow (my second attempt) the very next day!! Now I am going to talk about what I did for each section to improve my band scores in my second attempt.

 

Listening:

Practice makes perfect>>> (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-j7RHzQtWKqppZ9aLczCZg/videos) this is the website I used for the majority of my preparation, however, I also used a couple of audios files from the Cambridge IELTS book 10 and 11. I would advise you to use these audio files from these books and print out the corresponding listening questions. Get used to listening to audios in a large room with a large speaker playing at the front! This is how it is going to be in the exam.

Failed exam (attempt 1):

In my first exam I wasn’t aware that that I would be listening to the audio in a room with large speakers… I was under the impression I would have headphones in the exam to listen to the audio so I was in an unfamiliar environment during the exam (without my beloved headphones) and I missed a couple of the answers because of that hence, I only got band 8!

Passed exam (attempt 2):

I didn’t repeat the same mistake in my second attempt and I practiced using large speakers in my bedroom to listen to audio files and my band score was higher as you can see 🙂 8.5.

I did one listening paper every day for 3 weeks 1 hour before I went to bed.

 

Reading:

Failed exam (attempt 1):

Hate to admit it, but I struggled with reading and I have struggled with reading ever since I was a child. Before the exam I was only getting 24-27 marks during my mock papers. During my exam, I had too many heading matching questions and they literally killed me in the exam. I was seriously unprepared for this sort of question and in passage 3, there was 9 heading matching questions… my jaw dropped in the exam and I was sweating furiously like a pig, struggling to find the answers – which happened to be mostly wrong I believe… which consumed a lot of my precious time!! Also I did each question one by one in order, e.g. I would do question 1, then q2, then q3 and so on… BIG MISTAKE!

Passed exam (attempt 2):

I practiced heading matching with various sources over the internet (under time conditions of course J)along with T, F, NG questions until I became a professor in getting these questions right. When I did full length Cambridge practice papers (40 questions – 1 hour) I found heading matching a breeze and I wouldn’t do the questions in order, I would do passage 1 for example but just find the answers to which ever I could find first and come back to the others later. This helped enormously!! I aimed to finish passage 1 in 15 minutes, passage 2 in 20 minutes and passage 3 in 25 minutes. In the exam, I finished the paper with 3 minutes to spare – talk about cutting it close. 🙂

I did 1 reading practice paper a day for 3 weeks in the afternoons after my university classes.

 

Writing:

Failed exam (attempt 1):

I had not even practiced or written a task 1 before the exam (I did task 2 only once)!! I was too confident, too bad ass, so full of myself, so pompous that my A’s in English and English Literature from 10 years ago in my GCSE’s and A level’swould carry me easily through this part of the exam… I WAS WRONG!!!! During the exam I don’t remember even doing an intro, overall or even putting paragraphs even for task 1. It was just one big block of text (20 lines with no paragraphs – can you imagine… lol). My task 2 was better but I was not aware that intro, body 1, body 2 and conclusion were all necessary. I managed to scrape through with a 6.5 but looking back at it now, I should have got a 5.5 for the pure nonsense thatI wrote!

Passed exam (attempt 2):

Most of my preparation time for IELTS went into writing! I read IELTS made easy for task 1 pdf version and it made everything crystal clear! I can see why I didn’t pass my task 1 in my first attempt… it’s because I didn’t have that book!! I must stress again, make sure you read that book, eat it, digest it, absorb it, and make sure you get that book in your bloodstream/blood brain barrier, by active transport if you must!! Simple diffusion just won’t work, period!! Also this YouTube site helped me too >> (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XATlmM286wg) which explained how task 1 should be written.

Moving on to task 2, I read novels and sample band 8/9 essays. I painfully analysed and deconstructed these to see how they were written. Topic sentence, this is because, for example, consequently… etc. I didn’t have a professional to mark my essays but I would recommend that if you are struggling with your writing, you should get a professional or someone you know who is extremely good at marking essays and giving constructive feedback! This is absolutely vital and the biggest advice I can give you in terms of improving your writing. You can’t mark your own work! During the exam, aim to finish your task 1 and task 2 before 52 minutes and spend at least 8 minutes checking your work for grammar mistakes, spellings, etcit could mean the difference between a sloppy 6.5 and that wonderful band 7 that you (and the GMC 🙂) requires.

I did 1 writing paper every day for 3 weeks at 8am before I went for my morning classes.

 

Speaking:

I didn’t do any practice whatsoever for attempt 1 or attempt 2 for my speaking. I just walked in the exam room, shook the ladies hand, sat down and said some mumble jumble for 15 minutes in my mother tongue and took a band 9straight out the door when I was done. Now that ladies and gentleman, is what you call a badass. 🙂

 

I hope you have enjoyed my story. 🙂

If you have any questions regarding the IELTS I’d be happy to help you, please contact me on my facebook – my name is Golden Walter Ogbonna Chinedu (picture of me with the English flag) or my watsapp(+79788047972), my Instagram >>>drgoldeni

Last note: I am a British citizen (6th year medical student in Russia) and I struggled with this IELTS exam, meaning anybody can struggle with this exam, there are plenty of non-natives who have scored way better than I did, and so can you!! Just believe in your-self and put the work in and I am sure you can pass this IELTS EXAM. I wish you all the best in your IELTS journey and feel free to send me a message. If it motivates then great, update me your on IELTS progress and drop me a message!!

Mr Golden Ogbonna. 🙂

 

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