Hi, I'm Volkan Kar. I'm a Logistics and Planning Engineer at a private company. I would like to share my IELTS story with you, as it allowed me to open some important doors in both my educational and professional life. I'll try to explain the role the IELTS had in my student life and career, my preparation process for the test, and overall exam experience. I'll also share some tips that may be useful for IELTS preparation.
I received a scholarship to study Industrial Engineering at Kadir Has University. I wanted to pursue a Master's degree before embarking on my professional career. I received my MSc. in Engineering and Management (Supply Chain & Logistics) from the University of Exeter, one of U.K.'s top universities.
Why did I choose the IELTS?
I had to submit an English proficiency exam along with my Master's application. While researching the IELTS, everyone told me it was the right choice. They were correct. I was able to focus better on the different parts of the test, as the Listening, Reading, and Writing portions take place on the same day while the Speaking portion is administered on a separate one. Moreover, academic sentence structure patterns that I'm familiar with from English course books and paper/pencil test formats were going to offer me an exam atmosphere resembling to those that I sat during my undergraduate education. The reputation and reliability of the British Council also played an important role in my decision.
How did I prepare for the IELTS?
I started preparing for the IELTS by attending an IELTS preparatory course taught by an Irish lecturer. I also studied past tests by the Cambridge University Press, something that was recommended to me. I listened to stories spoken in different accents to prepare for the Listening part of the exam. I was able to comprehend different accents more easily after five to six months.
The Listening exercises were really helpful, although the Listening portion of the IELTS was the most difficult for me. Writing was another section I had difficulty with in the exam, since it requires an academic-style essay and a well-constructed writing plan.
How has the IELTS helped me?
After getting the required score in the IELTS, I enrolled in the Engineering and Management Master's program at the University of Exeter. I received my professional training in a great atmosphere and made friends from many different countries. I think that was the best part of my experience! Speaking the same language with people from different countries and being in the same mindset presented an unprecedented opportunity for an engineer equipped with a Master's degree like myself. I still see some of the friends I made while I was there.
My recommendations for IELTS candidates
I have a couple of recommendations for those who are planning to take the IELTS sometime soon. First, there is nothing to worry about. You need to find the correct answer by carefully reading the questions. You need to grasp the main idea of the sentence, even if it contains some words you don't know. For the Writing task, use simple words to express what you want and build your sentences by asking yourself one question: why? These sentences will then form a paragraph. You'll definitely see that a good writing plan is really useful.
Listening to dialogues in different accents over and over will be really helpful for the Listening portion of the exam. This will also help you in the Speaking test. Finally, my most important piece of advice is that you should immerse yourself in English until the date of the exam. Your success in the IELTS will help you to learn English to the fullest without you even recognizing it.