Academic IELTS - Reflecting on my Experience

By Albert Soewongsono

Hi language learners, I am Albert Christian Soewongsono from Kupang, Indonesia. Earlier this year, I received LPDP scholarship from the Indonesian Government to continue my master’s degree abroad. Getting the scholarship was one of the most life-changing experiences in my life, but it didn’t mean that things went smoothly. For overseas students that want to continue their study in an English-speaking country, one thing that they need to have is a sufficient English proficiency score, and for universities in Australia or Europe, they often require students to provide them with IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores. The required score of IELTS differs from each university and study program. In my case, since I am hoping to pursue my masters at The Australian National University studying Mathematical Sciences, the university ask to provide the IELTS score with minimum overall of 6.5, and each band is not lower than 6. To see my 15 tips for IELTS preparation click here.

Albert with his classmates from the IELTS Preparation Class by LPDP

Albert with his classmates from the IELTS Preparation Class by LPDP

In this article, I want to share my experience undertaking of IELTS and achieving good scores to enter my dreamed university. For some people with no background knowledge about the test like myself previously, it can lead to some difficulties in the beginning, and even people who know about IELTS have difficulties. Some people will need to take more than one IELTS test to meet the university requirement. Being a grantee for a scholarship meant I had a significant benefit, I was equipped with a three-month IELTS preparation class at UIN Sunan Kalijaga, an Islamic university located in Yogyakarta, and gained a bunch of knowledge about IELTS and ways to tackle it from mentors at the university. At the end of the training, all the participants were given a free official IELTS test, and at the time, my friends and I took the test provided by the British Council, one of the institutions that have an authority to conduct the official IELTS test.

Albert's online IELTS results

Albert's online IELTS results

The test itself was held from 19 August until 21 August, consisting of four parts which were Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing. After waiting for two weeks, the test results were announced online on September 2nd, and it was a decisive moment in my life to see the results. I was so relieved and grateful once I saw that my overall score was 7.5 with details of each test section: 9.0 for Listening, 7.5 for Reading, 7.0 for Writing, and 6.5 for Speaking. To be honest, the results were a bit higher than I expected since I'd never dreamed of getting such high scores, especially in Listening section. I think this could only have happened because of hard-work, leaning the processes I needed to take, and keeping highly motivated.

For Help with IELTS speaking check out these free worksheets

Check out this video of Albert practising his IELTS speaking on UniBRIDGE Project