Nurse Confessions: My IELTS UKVI Experience

Sunday, October 29, 2017

I know this is overdue. But hey, I just want to share why I can't keep up with blogging since mid last year. As you noticed, my productivity in reviewing and doing posts reduced. I always say that I have something need to focus on that is really important aside from the toxic days (of course!) in the hospital-setting. And, that is because of my IELTS journey to UK.

DISCLAMER: I am not already in U.K. I didn't reach all the 7 scores needed for nurses in U.K. I am pursuing another journey right now which I will also tell you later. This is just a random story to tell on my overall experience in taking UKVI IELTS.

I am a registered nurse here in the Philippines.  In the past 2 years, nurses going to U.K rapidly increased.  The sad truth is most nurses from the Philippines are taking every opportunity to land a decent paying job abroad. Because where to here in the Philippines? That will be saved on another blog post. If there was what the others called ''American Dream'', mine was different it was ''European Dream''. It is not about the money for me, because if that was the case, they are other countries that has a high paying rate for nurses than in U.K or any other parts of Europe. It is my dream to be able to visit European countries more than any other countries. That's it!


The brightest path that I am seeing at that time is to go to U.K. I knew fellow nurses who have already succeded this path. So, I have enrolled myself with the IELTS review center  for me to be able to get a run down of what exam I'll be getting. The review center was great. They have brilliant teachers that helped me a lot to improved my skills and grammar. By the way, my review center was Niners.

It was really hard for me because I have to work in Laguna and then, attend classes in Manila. Literally, my energy was consumed together with my brain cells. Lol! Since I do work and study at the same time, I cannot attend every lectures. I just picked the ones that I think relevant for what I need. That is of course, the major lessons and some minor ones. 

I have no agency or employer that will sponsor me. At all cost, I did my review and exam. It was a major decision since I have to shell out a good amount of money to invest on what I expect the future ahead of me. No guarantee.

It will be my personal decision to pick my exam date. Yes, no pressure. But I am spending/investing so much of my time, at the end, I have to decide. It took me 8 months of juggling back and forth from Laguna to Manila 2 to 3x a week before I finally decide to take my examination. I cannot spend more time than that. Money, time, energy are wasted. Some people took the exam after the other, some take it only in the span of 3 to 4 months after reviewing, some take self-reviews, we will not know. It is a personal thing. For me, that is too much (I know!) but still not enough time (since I attend 2-3x a week).


For UKVI IELTS, I think you could only register online using credit card as a mode of payment. I am not sure if you can personally go to British Council or IDP office and pay cash to register. 

You can choose between British Council (BC) or IDP where you want to register for the IELTS exam. There are little differences between the two they said, but the overall  the concept was the same. There are also two options in taking the exam: the most common is Written (pen and paper) and the recent addition (mid 2016) Computer-based. The same examination but only the method was changed.

I registered with British Council in a computer-based method.


Luckily, my examination in WRITTEN and ORAL were all scheduled in the same day. So, it was a jump-packed, nerve wracking day for me. Written exam in the morning and oral exam in the afternoon.

Since, both of my examination was in the same day. I have to wear a business attire so I will be presentable for the sake of my oral examination. It was a little uncomfortable. Yes! and added to my stress. Really!


It is not actually literally written because I registered with computer-based exam. If you will be taking computer-based, make sure you research a little about it. So, it will not be very new to you what you have to do in the actual test. It is easier. Take it from me. I choose computer-based because it will be easier for me in the writing part. I am so keen with keeping my paper with less erasures and I know in computer-based, I can edit my writing easily. It will feel like I am just blogging. Ha! That is why I think I failed the writing part. On the listening part, we are given individual headphones which is great. I thought I perfected the listening part.


The nerve-wracking part. Whew! The truth is I only have less than 5 coaching in speaking during my entire review. I intended not to have many since even in mock coaching I am not confident. So, I was really nervous. But seriously, I may look awkward at first, but I am actually confident with presenting myself to people. My nervousness was tone down as we were speaking. My examiner was a Filipina. You can totally tell that she is very smart and intimidating. I took my first deep breath and started talking. It feels like the time wasn't enough with my stories to tell. It was very relieving. I leave the room with a smile.


It took 13 days for me to view my results online and on the 14th day, I got the hard copy on my mail. I got the result December 23, a day before the Christmas eve. I thought it will be an early Christmas gift for me.

My score was:
Listening: 8.0
Reading: 7.5
Writing: 6.5
Speaking: 7.0


I tried the rechecking process. I don't want to retake the exam anymore because I knew I did my best in there and thought that I will still get the same score with more cost. So, I tried the rechecking process which is almost half the price of the actual exam. Hoping that the 0.5 score I needed will be granted. It took me 2 months after I heard from them that ''there was no change with my result''.


I am 0.5 away from my ''European dream'' at that time. I was sad but no too sad. I prayed to the Lord that whatever results I will get with the exam, it is because I was destined to be in that position. I knew I did my best in the exam and no regrets at all. 

I am in the same page with many nurses who are 0.5 away from our dreams. But of course, we will still dream. For me, the battle is not over yet. If you keep focusing in what you want to be, it will happen eventually. In God's perfect timing.  

A post shared by Mary Rose Namqui (@princessmikee09) on
                                                      Let's talk again on my next blog.
Yes, YOU lovely gorgeous.

Love yourself because you are beautiful.

Hugs and Kisses,

Princess Mikee, RN

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