☺ I also took IELTS a lot of times … I have no luck in passing it. Now, I wanted to try CELBAN …

Hello Kim,

Thank you.  I am okay and Winnipeg is a nice place to live in.  People here are friendly and very helpful.  I moved here last March of 2011 from the Philippines. I have taken the CLB in 2011 and my scores were: listening=6, speaking=7, reading=7, writing=6.  Then, I also took IELTS a lot of times and it seems like I have no luck in passing it.  Almost everyone at work would tell me that my English is great but I don’t know why I cannot surpass that exam.  My grades in IELTS were:

  • in JULY 2011 (listening:7.5, reading=5, writing=6.5, speaking=8);
  • in MAY 2012 (Listening=7, reading=7.5, writing=7, speaking=7);
  • in AUG 2012 (listening=7, reading=7, writing=7, speaking=7.5);
  • in DEC 2012 (listening=6.5, reading=7.5, writing=7, speaking=7).

I know that they have been saying that IELTS does not have a pass or fail grade but my scores were not enough for me to get registered in nursing or at least apply for refresher course.  I get frustrated when I get my results.  I understand why the standard is very high but I just feel hopeless when I go back and see how much effort I put into these.  Now, I wanted to try CELBAN for the first time and see how I will be able to do it.  Looking forward to finally reach my goals with your help, Kim.  Thanks again.

Have a good day,



Thank you for your e-mail! Your experience shows several things:
  1. retaking exams over and over is not a productive strategy in obtaining higher scores,
  2. retaking exams can result in a decreased score.
The first thing you need to understand is that in order to pass an English exam you need to learn the language.
The second thing you need to understand is your strengths and weaknesses. From your scores on the IELTS your strengths are in writing and speaking, and your weaknesses are in reading and listening. Taking CELBANPrep courses for Writing and Speaking will help you to prepare for the exam and become familiar with the format so that you are confident and do well on the exam. However, the limitation is the required score of a 10 for listening. This is where you really need to focus your attention. It takes time to improve your listening skills: time, practice and attention.
As for the IELTS or CELBAN question, in reading your e-mail I thought you might like to read the following tag on my blog: CELBAN or IELTS. In particular please read::

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