What our students say

Focus: Success stories!

Shqipe Maloku is a doctor from Kosovo. She says ...

I have taken the IELTS exam four times, but I’ve now achieved the score of 7.5 I need in order to take the PLAB exam for doctors, thanks to this course! I got 7.0 in speaking and writing, 7.5 in reading, and 9.0 in listening. I started this course last year, when my results were 6.5 and I was struggling to make the improvements I needed. The writing was particularly difficult for me because in my education back home, we didn’t do this type of writing, and didn’t have the right kind of critical thinking. It’s the one skill where you really need a teacher to help you train for this particular test. I’ve now learnt how to organise an essay, answer exactly what the task requires, and really learn from my grammar mistakes. I also picked up some very useful tips for how to follow the listening tasks, and I then managed to score very highly in that part of the exam. I really recommend the course to others, as it’s been so helpful.

Happy Barua is a doctor from Bangladesh. She says ...

I’m a doctor, so I have to take the PLAB exam before I can practise here, and I need to achieve 7.5 overall in IELTS first. I have taken the exam four times, and was successful on the final attempt. I struggled most with writing and reading. When I started the course, I had only ever scored 5.5 on reading and 6.0 on writing, but I have now managed to achieve 7.5, so I’ve gone up two bands! I’ve sorted out a lot of my grammatical mistakes and I use a much wider range of structures and vocabulary. I also have much better techniques now, which helps when I’m under time pressure in the exam. I’ve taken eight courses here over one year, which has helped me to maximise my grade across the four skills. Studying here has also really helped me to stay motivated. It takes such a long time to achieve what I want to become a doctor, but the course has inspired me to keep working towards this goal.

 

Focus: A different approach to studying for IELTS

Alireza Samadi is a dentist from Iran. He says ...

I’ve been studying here for about seven months. I studied IELTS courses at two other colleges last year, but I’ve only managed to achieve 6.0 so far. I need 7.0 overall, in order to pass the Overseas Registration Exam and practise as a dentist here in the UK, so I was recommended this course. When I came here, I found that it’s completely different from other courses. Other colleges only tell you basic information about IELTS – things like skimming and scanning a text – but you need to know so many more things about how to answer the questions without reading everything in the passage. Also, in the writing, I used to write down everything I know about the topic, but I’ve learnt how to organise my writing and make use of certain phrases that are really helpful to show the examiner what I know. I have been so happy with these classes. They’ve helped me completely change my approach to the exam.

Ping Lun is a nurse from China. She says ...

I’ve taken the IELTS exam a few times in the past two years, and I’m still scoring around 6.5, but I need a score of 7.0 to be a registered nurse. I’ve never taken classes before, but I’ve studied here for one session, and I find the atmosphere and the environment really helpful, because I’m pushed to study. When I go home, I feel I want to write and do homework. I’m improving the most in reading, because we practise all types of IELTS reading tasks. When I was studying before, I didn’t think about the types of task. I was just doing random practice by myself, without really knowing what I was doing. The course has been very good for me because it’s changed my whole approach to studying.

 

Focus: All skills

Shah Javid is a doctor from Pakistan. He says ...

I need a high IELTS score for my registration as a doctor, as I want to obtain Membership from the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS). Following some private classes back home, I’ve taken the test before and got 7.0 overall three times, but I need 7.5. I’ve been coming to classes here for about ten months, and I have improved on all four modules since starting. Reading was my major issue before, but the tutor has taught us lots of tips and techniques for dealing with the passages. We think about the different types of questions, knowing where to focus our attention in the passage, which bits to read more quickly, and so on. So we are developing good time management skills so that we can answer forty questions in one hour. In listening, I’ve learnt how to manage the questions, and not to panic when I miss one out. We also have a good chance to speak here, so I’m improving a lot in that area. There is a good atmosphere in the class, it’s very friendly, and the tutor is excellent with a good way of teaching.

Sana Rahama is a doctor from Sudan. She says ...

I heard about the classes and heard that the level of teaching is high and that the materials were excellent, so I wanted to join. I had already taken the IELTS exam before a few times, but my level has improved a lot since I started the class, especially in reading and writing. The tutor corrects our writing, and goes through every single mistake, which is really useful for me. We practise all of the modules and we’ve gained valuable skills owing to the useful tips that we learn from our tutors. They give us a lot of support, and they’ve also been able to provide us with a reference when we need them, for example for the GMC. Everybody is very happy in the class and we have all benefited so much.

 

Focus: Speaking one-to-one tutorials

Hind Swareldahab is a pharmacist from Sudan. She says ...

I’ve been taking IELTS classes here for two years, because I need 7.0 overall for my work as a pharmacist, with no skill lower than 7.0. I can practise most skills at home and I have some good materials, but my problem is really speaking, because I don’t practise enough with other people. So I decided to book some one-to-one speaking tutorials to help me improve in this area. In the tutorials, we’ve done some mock speaking exams, practising all the different tasks from the exam. The tutor corrects me, and gives me alternative ways to say things. I have studied a lot of grammar before, but I find it hard to use when I’m speaking, especially when I have to keep talking for two minutes in the exam. The tutor gives me tips to help me connect my ideas together and how to use my one minute preparation time before I start to speak. I think these tutorials provide a good addition to regular classes, because everyone is different and has individual needs. I’m very happy here and I’ve already seen a lot of people passing the exam, which encourages me.

 

Focus: online writing feedback

Qais Al-Oqaily is a doctor from Iraq. He says ...

The last time I really studied English was in 1997, and then I attended all my classes in English at Medical College but I no longer learnt about grammar and so on. So I maintained my fluency throughout my training, but at the expense of accuracy. I had already taken IELTS classes before, but just before I booked the exam I wanted to be certain about my writing. The last time I took the test, I got 8.5 in speaking and 8.5 in listening, but only 6.5 in writing. So I thought the online writing feedback course would be of great help for me.

This service is designed to provide the student with eight pieces of writing – four for Task 1 and four for Task 2. It should take about four weeks, completing two tasks per week, but I was under time pressure to take the exam so they were happy for me to do the course more intensively. I was sent the questions by email. I then wrote my answers by hand and scanned them and sent them back. This was good because it helped me to practise writing the tasks under proper exam conditions. The tutor then sent me back very organised comments. Firstly, there was a printed page with an overall score and an overall comment, mentioning the good things and the bad things. He then commented on every single detail, by putting marks on the script and then providing a list of comments underneath. Afterwards, I phoned the tutor to ask about the things I wasn’t clear about, and then I arranged an additional one-to-one tutorial to discuss the things I needed further clarification on. He responded very quickly to my queries, and provided me with additional help beyond what had been promised.

The course gave me confidence and helped me to write my answers more rapidly. Having used this service, I got 7.5 in writing in my final exam. I really recommend this course for people who are just below the score they need, probably boosted by a one-to-one tutorial to discuss some of the issues in more detail. I would also recommend it for people who are quite far off their score, but want to know where their weaknesses lie, so that they know what they need to improve on.