Winning the IELTS Prize will significantly change my life, especially the way I look at my capabilities in learning the English language. This experience is a validation that I can be proficient in English. Through the IELTS Prize, I will be accomplishing much of what I thought of as impossible. Studying abroad is not easy if one is struggling with the English language. Also, pursuing higher studies abroad is expensive. Considering the cost associated with studying abroad, the financial support provided by the IELTS Prize is vital to me.

Taking the IELTS and receiving the IELTS Prize has enabled me to pursue my dream of acquiring a graduate degree in educational leadership abroad. My main motivation is to expand my contribution to Philippine education through educational leadership. I feel privileged that I am given a chance to learn at a prominent university abroad and subsequently share my knowledge in the field. But besides knowledge, what makes this opportunity different is that it gives me hope and inspiration to do something for my own country.

After passing the IELTS exam, I received an invitation to apply for the scholarship. As I went through the application, I discovered that the British Council IELTS is not just about helping non-English speakers gain confidence or providing opportunities for them; the British Council also promotes inclusivity in the world through arts and education. I am personally drawn to this advocacy, and this reinforces my sense of purpose as an educator.

What impressed me the most about the selection process was the outstanding professionalism. I felt that the goal of IELTS Prize was not limited to finding ‘genius’ applicants, but rather listening to the story of each applicant and enabling an ordinary person to afford higher education abroad when it might, otherwise not have been possible.

I am truly filled with gratitude that I chose to take IELTS with the British Council. The learning experience included individual coaching with teachers who assist students with real practice on the questions and the essays before the actual test. I think this is important – to focus on the real structure of the test and ensure that students become familiar with how to take the test. I am genuinely grateful to the British Council for its contribution in making it possible for students who would have otherwise thought a graduate degree abroad was not an option.

Anyone can ace the IELTS test. The key is thorough preparation, constant practice, and lots of courage. Confidence is built when one is able to see his or her weaknesses and improve upon those.

Overcoming fear is not easy. Somehow, seeing a timer ticking the seconds away can make people nervous if they’re not used to it. So, try to find a friend and practise speaking continuously for a certain period of time using a timer. Also, practice writing out a complete essay within a set period of time. Most importantly, get plenty of rest and eat well before the test. During the exam, take deep breaths and enjoy the moment.