Hello, I'm Dilara A. Before I moved to Finland, I was working as a biologist at a stem cell laboratory. After moving to Helsinki in 2017, I decided to continue my education and career at a European country. Like everyone else, I was really impressed by the quality of Finland's education system and I was dreaming of being a student again. Obviously, as required by most of the universities abroad, I had to prove my language proficiency and that's how I learnt about the IELTS test. 

My first IELTS experience

Unfortunately, my first IELTS attempt was not as successful as I expected. I guess the biggest reason was my being under-prepared for the test. I did not have many resources to refer, and like everyone else, I was mostly worried about ‘Writing' among ‘Listening', 'Reading’, 'Writing' and 'Speaking’ sections, so I concentrated my studies on writing. It was only on the test day when I realized that my biggest challenge was with the 'Listening' section. 

Another reason why my first IELTS didn't work out so well for me was because I had taken the test on paper based format. Obviously, the IELTS format that would bring success can vary from person to person. For example; if you feel that you are more comfortable and concentrated by writing with your pen, the IELTS test performed with pen and paper would be much more convenient for you. Let me elaborate more on this format; first of all, during the 'Listening' section, you listen to the audio recording of a text through the speakers in the test room and there are certain advantages and disadvantages of sitting in the front or back rows. I must say that I had difficulty concentrating in the audio due to my excitement. In the 'Reading' section, I lost some time continuously flipping the pages while searching for the answers of the questions and then locating the place where I had left off. In the 'Writing' section, it is possible to waste a lot of time if you tend to edit your own writing. As for my own experience, I cannot write quickly and I may make a lot of additions and removals on the text. Therefore, I wasn't able to complete the 'Writing' section on time, failing to achieve the score I desired.

But of course, I didn't give up!

Why did I choose computer-delivered IELTS?

In my second attempt, I decided to take the computer-delivered IELTS and reached my goal, through a systematic preparation schedule for 2,5-3 months. The computer-delivered IELTS really met my expectations and I didn't experience any problems during the test. Attendants used individual headphones during the 'Listening' section and that was a huge bonus. The headphones absolutely helped me to perceive the audio recording better. In the 'Reading' section, you're able to see the text and the questions on the same screen. Therefore, finding the answers was really much faster and easier. I think I felt myself most comfortable during the 'Writing' section in comparison to the paper-based test. I was able to express myself both quickly and effectively by using the keyboard and above all, I had no worries about time.

The location where I took the computer-delivered IELTS test was professionally prepared and the officials were very solution-oriented. I accessed my test result through the web site of British Council Turkey, within the specified period (5-7 days) and I was able to apply to the universities in Finland with the satisfaction of having received the score that I had aimed for.

In short; 

Working systematically; practising adequately; concentrating on remaining calm if you're the kind of person who gets excited easily, like I am; and choosing the most appropriate test format for yourself would be enough to reach your goals. 

I wish success to all who are preparing for the IELTS test.