I felt depressed that I exerted a lot of effort and 2 months of my time for it and my scores … didn’t even increase.

I felt depressed that I exerted a lot of effort and 2 months of my time for it and my scores ... didn't even increase.

Hi Kim,
I was a nurse in the Philippines and just arrived here in Canada last year. I attempted academic IELTS 2x here in Canada since a language proficiency exam is needed for me to process my application in nursing here. However, I failed it both for getting R 6 , W 6 and I always have a problem in reading and writing modules even in my first attempt. Because of this, I felt depressed that I exerted a lot of effort and 2 months of my time for it and the my scores in those 2 modules didn’t even increase. This is why I decided to finally take my chance on Celban although I was initially skeptical and scared because of the limited number of takes an examinee is allowed and the interval in between retakes within 2 years. I am now so desperate to pass and be able to start my nursing application here.

I searched for a reliable and good review materials and this site came up so I browsed through the different testimonials of the people whom you have helped in the past. I got very interested and want to ask you what should I initially do to get my hands on your review materials? Should I first sign up at amazon or at the Celbanprep site? what should I first do and kindly please suggest the review materials that I need since this will be my first attempt in Celban. I saw the listening and reading bundles and I am also interested in purchasing those.


Dear J,

It is so wonderful to get your message. It has been a while since I got such a long, detailed, and beautiful message. It touched me deeply to know about your journey and the impact that my blog, Dear Kim, had on you. I appreciated that you took the time to share, “I searched for a reliable and good review materials and this site came up so I browsed through the different testimonials of the people whom you have helped in the past. I got very interested and want to ask you …”

The search for reliable review material for the CELBAN has never been easy. It was when Internationally Educated Nurses came up to me as a Career Developer that I first discovered that there were no materials available. That was when I first started preparing IENs forΒ  the CELBAN.

It floors me that ten years later, even though people who say they prepare people for the CELBAN have popped up everywhere, no one has created review material! There are three reasons for that:

  • the population of nurses wanting to come to Canada is too small for publishing companies that publish IELTS books to consider. It is not a financially sound decision.
  • the people who work for schools and organizations that work with IENs are limited in their scope, as determined by their budgets. They may be able to teach prep- classes or bridging courses; but, they do not have funds (or talent resources) to create these resources. And, they are usually limited to geography, so a company in Calgary, say, wouldn’t have a geographical scope that covers the nation, never mind the whole world.
  • the people who are tutors and contractors, who teach English as a Foreign Language need to focus on making money to pay the bills. Developing resources ( Research and Development or RnD) takes time. It takes an infusion of cash flow. Most people will not work, investing time and money, into creating resources. Others do not have the time/skills/capacities to engage in advanced graphic/web/instructional design.

I am different.

I am not most people.

I invested time and energy, and all the skills that I have in professional development, with expertise in Canadian communication skills (verbal and written), by build my skill set in graphic/web/instructional design.

I invested my time, energy and skills, because there was a sever nursing shortage. Our colleges and universities could not supply enough domestic nurse students to fill the needs. Nurses were “imported” to Canada by the hundreds; but, none of them were informed of the requirements of the provincial colleges of nursing, the amount of time it would take to become registered, and how much it would cost. It was a bizmal situation.

But, we needed nurses. There were no resources. And I had already met so many amazing people. I felt guided to create CELBANPrep, and the prayers of nurses over time, from the beginning of time, allowed me to continue with it.

At the time 5 English Proficiency exams were accepted. Now only two are: one is the CELBAN. That was when and how CELBANPrep became popular: and how I was blessed for all the work I had done, all the time and energy I had invested.

There is more to the story of what happened with the CELBAN and CELBANPrep over time, but I will stop there for now. Suffice it to say that, it touches me that in reading the testimonials, that you have discerned that CELBANPrep is reliable. I know that you will be even more sure after you purchase the CELBANPrep Complete Series (Listening and Reading) available through Amazon. This will then give you the confidence to invest in your future with CELBANPrep Writing and Speaking.

As for the answer to your question:

  • CELBANPrep Listening and Reading Complete are best accessed through Amazon first. (Here is the link to the international Amazon sites.)
  • Then, if you get both, get your Study Bundle membership at CELBANPrep.
  • (You will save $5 by getting both at the same time for there is an additional fee for the membership. This is because the Complete Series is a Print Replica e-book, and you need to have printable test and answer booklets to understand the format of the exam and I have to pay for web hosting fees etc.)
Please remember, the Complete Series is for you to become familiar with the format of the exam. It is not evaluative in any way.
I started developing a Listening course, and found the paper notes just last week; but I will not be converting it to a textbook until next winter.
Also, the resources for Writing and Speaking are Course Textbooks: that is why they are more expensive. Mind you, they are well worth the investment: so are you!
One question, before I sign off. You said that you exerted yourself for two months: What did you do? What did you study? What did you focus on?
  1. test taking strategies?
  2. time-management during the exam?
  3. learning editing skills for your own writing?
  4. grammar?
  5. punctuation?
Out of those 5 questions how many did you answer, “Yes” to?
If you answered, “No” to 4 or more questions, then that is what is wrong with your strategy.Β  If your strategy is not working, then change your strategy!Β  And, add these steps to your new strategy!

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