It is a great honour to be a recipient of the prestigious IELTS Prize. Being aware of how competitive it is, I am beyond grateful to the British Council for this life-changing opportunity that has brought me closer to my goal of gaining a global education which will result in me becoming an analyst for social impact. Winning the IELTS Prize is a solid affirmation of my communication skills; which I will use at the Paris School of Business where I am going to specialise in innovation, strategy, and data analytics.

When I first learned about the IELTS Prize through social media, I was amazed by the support the British Council offered to those aspiring to pursue higher education abroad. More than financial support, it was the organisation’s encouragement of individual ambition. Personally, the entire process of applying for the IELTS Prize paved the way towards the realisation of my academic aspiration to obtain a master’s degree. It has fuelled my drive to contribute meaningfully to the Philippine society.

The British Council’s long-standing reputation of excellence in creating opportunities through English language proficiency is unparalleled. Even among my family and circle of friends, the British Council is the recommended IELTS testing centre because of the professional service and resources offered. Choosing the British Council has proven to be one of the best decisions I have made. From the convenient online test registration to the well-organised exam. The staff were always accommodating to my enquiries whilst the post-exam support service was particularly outstanding.     

I had no second thoughts on which English proficiency exam I would take. As a matter of fact, I had already decided to take the IELTS even prior to choosing which graduate school I wanted to apply to; because the IELTS is recognised by many educational institutions worldwide. Compared to others, it is also very life-oriented, and I am certain that it will get me ready for real-life situations and conversations with its four practical components – listening, reading, writing, and speaking.      

As a piece of advice to other IELTS exam takers, pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses. Doing this during my preparations helped highlight which areas I needed to work on more. Despite being preoccupied with work at the time, I made sure to allow several hours each day to study and practice – be it through consulting the Road to IELTS course provided by the British Council, listening to English podcasts, or even conversing with my colleagues. As it is a combination of spoken and written skills, familiarity with the test structure and practice of time management will also help you ace the exam. Ultimately, stay focused, aim high, and let your confidence shine through!