To have other people believe in your dreams is not to be taken for granted. I am both humbled and grateful to the British Council Foundation Indonesia for believing in me. I was not expecting to get shortlisted, let alone to win a prize because there were so many applicants whom I believe also did well. Nonetheless, by winning the IELTS Prize I feel even more motivated and focused on turning my goal into reality. I have always been interested in studying Clinical and Public Health Nutrition, and I hope I can influence people to make better nutrition choices and also help them to be aware of how nutrition affects our long-term health and its role in maximizing the physical and mental growth of children. I cannot wait to come home after my studies with knowledge that will benefit the development of my country.

I heard about IELTS Prize through an email sent by the British Council in December. It was very interesting because the British Council is providing a full scholarship to the winner. So, I thought I would give it a try by submitting my IELTS Test Report Form and my personal statement. The most exciting part about this process is how much the examiners wanted to get to know me in person and understand my goals. They asked personal questions about what I would enjoy doing in the UK other than studying, and how I could present myself as an ambassador. This showed that the British Council was not only concerned with my studies and any future contribution to my country, but also my personal growth, and how I could use this opportunity to inspire people to study abroad and see the world.

The test experience with the British Council went smoothly. To begin with, the British Council provides many test dates and accessible venues all over Jakarta and elsewhere in Indonesia. As the test was quite challenging, being able to do it near home eliminated any unnecessary stress like travel issues. The registration was easy, everything was online, and it took less than 10 minutes to complete. The test was also well-coordinated and took place on time. The audio was very clear with no technical issues and we were provided with more than enough stationery during the exam. The British Council made sure that we did not need to worry about anything else other than the test.

IELTS evaluates the 4 basic language skills very thoroughly. These basic skills are very much needed not only in academic life but also in daily life. It is no wonder that many universities acknowledge IELTS as their language qualification upon admission. The listening and speaking components introduce many different English accents, therefore helping us get used to communicating with people from different places. The academic reading component was also very educational, providing articles we might be given as a university student. It introduced us to how complex the reading material might be when pursuing a masters degree. It also enhanced our skimming and scanning skills that would be very useful during our study. The writing component evaluated our ability to work on assignments and to think fast and elaborate ideas for a final degree thesis.  

The key to succeeding in the IELTS test is to practice as much as possible. Become familiar with the IELTS questions and understand what IELTS requires. Work on as many practices exams as possible – the more you practice, the more you are familiarised with the IELTS test, and therefore you can wisely manage your time as you work through the exam. Know your weaknesses and practice daily.