CT4 THE DISILLUSIONED DREAMER – ♥ I already took the IELTS twice… I admit I almost gave up … [on] my writing skills

Updated this week


Hello Kim,

As you may have known me, I’m K,  from Philippines….I have been following your blog for quite some time now. … I’d like to let you know a bit of myself. I’m a BSN, and currently a registered nurse. I worked in a tertiary hospital here for only 14 months. Since then,  I stopped practicing my profession because I’m actually looking for a greener pasture. Otherwise, I wouldn’t flourish knowing that wages here are very, very low and can’t compensate for your wants, needs, and assistance to your very own loved ones. Based on this, maybe you will have an idea that I’m a man with big dreams, and eagerly relentless on pursuing them. =)

I believe in the saying that, “success starts with IELTS.” However unfortunately, I already took the IELTS twice (April and July this year), but never found the luck especially in my Writing. Taking the exam twice in a row, I always got 6.0 bandscore in my Writing while the rest of the components L, R and S were okay. My writing sucks, isn’t it? I usually practiced my writing part before like 2x a week. But I admit I almost gave up knowing that I’ve had the same mistakes and no matter how hard I tried to improve my writing skills, I fairly didn’t have the chance of getting 7 especially during my practices. In my mind I believe that writing skill takes a talent, which I obviously don’t have. I’d like to think that I didn’t get a score of 7 because of the technicality of the IELTS writing topics and the topics themselves are difficult to be explained explicitly, to the point that I ran out of ideas, or no ideas to be input at all 😦

However, sooner, I will be reviewing and sitting for the CELBAN may be early next year if everything goes well. Right now, I have this ambivalent feeling, again. To be honest, I really don’t have any ideas right now what CELBAN is all about except its meaning, Canadian English Language Benchmark Assessment for Nurses. I have with me again this feeling of fear, completely mixed emotions because I don’t know how difficult the CELBAN exam is, or if I can make it with just one take. Although a lot of IENs from the agency where I have applied as student visa for Canada took and passed the exam with just one sit, still I’ve lessened down my expectations to make it….How do I improve IELTS or CELBAN writing? Ielts writing topics are getting more difficult than the ones established few years ago.

How is my above writing Ms Kim?…

Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks a lot!


Dear K, 

K, it is emails like this that motivate me to take the time to reply. One reason is because you took the time to write, but the other reason is because you revealed so much about yourself. What I know, simply from reading what you wrote, is that:

  • you have a good work ethic.
  • You have tenacity.
  • You have perseverance.
  • And you have made a decision. 

Filed under “CELBANPrep Keepsakes” I told about Canadian Olympian Eli Pasquali. (It starts with one decision. Choose well!) Eli ended, “Make a decision. Make a commitment, and with passion it will come.”

Back when I started working with Internationally Educated Health Professionals, IEHPs, I had a saying that I still use now and then. It is, “If what you are doing is not getting you where you want to go, change what you are doing.”

That is exactly what you have done in:

a) considering the CELBAN and

b) contacting me about CELBAN online courses, classes and material.

You have made your decision. You have the commitment. With passion, it will come because you are changing what you are doing. You can Achieve Your Dreams!

About writing you wrote:

  • In my mind I believe that writing skill takes a talent, which I obviously don’t have. 
  • I usually practiced my writing part before like 2x a week.
  • I ran out of ideas, or no ideas to be input at all.
  • But I admit I almost gave up knowing that I’ve had the same mistakes and no matter how hard I tried to improve my writing skills.
  • How do I improve IELTS or CELBAN writing?

Let me address one at a time.

You know, K. If you say you don’t have a talent for writing, I believe you. Actually, you believe it too. 

Woah! Did you feel that? What just happened to you when you read that? Did your heart fall? Mine did, simply because I wrote that. Wow! Such power in thinking. Such power in negative thinking! 

That was the point I was getting at, but I did not expect an immediate physiological response. Whew! So glad I don’t actually believe that. I would be pretty unsuccessful, if your base assumption were true, that “writing skill takes a talent.” No one would be using CELBANPrep. No one would be attempting the CELBAN or the IELTS or any kind of writing! We would all give up!

Ok. I agree writing is a talent. Very few people can do what I do, transcend the sanitizing capacity of the internet by writing in a way that encourages and inspires. That is something I have been developing for a long time, ever since I moved from Montreal to Edmonton and started writing letters to my grandmother with the intent of bringing my experiences to life on the page. It was her encouragement that made me strive to do even better, each and every time I wrote to her. I was only 12 when I moved. I am a little older than that now! ;o

But they are not requiring or expecting that kind of skill and talent on the CELBAN. Otherwise I wouldn’t have created CELBANPrep University and be offering Secrets to Success and the 90 Day Challenge! But I am not, because:

The CELBANPrep method improves writing skills! The CELBANPrep method improves speaking skills! And now that I have completed the Grammar Series, with its focus on common errors made by IENs, people will be able to proceed more quickly from CELBANPrep Writing Level One to CELBANPrep Writing Level Two. 

So how do you improve your score on IELTS or CELBAN Writing?

Before I answer that question, I need you to understand something about me. Unlike other English as a Foreign Language Teachers:This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is cpu-ct4-articles.png

  • I am a Life Skills Coach: I focus on the Secrets to Success: Mastering Your Psychology and Optimizing Your Environment.
  • I have a Master in Education – Adult Education. I can teach anything: as long as it is to adults.
  • I have over 10 years of experience in Career Development. I love the concept of Flow!
  • My expertise – with Canadians – is professional communication: verbal and written, created and interpreted.

What that means is that my goal for you isn’t simply passing an English exam. It is about fostering within you the skills that you need to succeed: whether those skills are mental, emotional, physical or spiritual! What I did above, for you, was strengthen your self-concept by challenging your belief system that writing is a talent you do not have. So, please recognize, that what I have created has so much more embedded within everything I do than you can possibly see or imagine. So, back to your question.

Improving your score in writing – on the CELBAN, the IELTS, the CELPIP – all starts with the following:

  1. Knowing your weaknesses.
  2. Knowing how to turn your weaknesses into strengths.
  3. Finding a quality trainer who can guide you in that process by:
    1. Reviewing your work.
    2. Providing feedback on your weaknesses. (Doing so strategically, one-three weaknesses at a time per writing piece, so you do not get overwhelmed.)
    3. Giving you time to integrate the feedback.
    4. Receiving the revised work. Reviewing your work. Providing encouragement and feedback. Then, once you have corrected those errors…
    5. Identifying the next one-to three weaknesses.

That is the CELBANPrep Method embedded in our CELBAN online courses, classes and material.

That is what makes CELBANPrep University different.

It isn’t about you writing one assignment on your own and being done with it.

It is about you writing one assignment, and working with a qualified coach or tutor who is willing to review your work, provide feedback, and revise that one piece of work several times until it is near perfect.

It doesn’t matter what you write about. When you write about something you know you can focus on the writing instead of the content!

It doesn’t matter how long you can write! In fact, the Writing Task is timed. So, it is better for you to write a shorter piece, and have time to edit it than it is to write a longer piece with lots of mistakes!

So, then, The CELBAN or IELTS Grammar Series has been created to assist you and your tutor or coach with that process. It is a specially designed process, known nowhere else in the world, that reveals the secrets of how to identify your mistakes and how to correct them! (You can do this alone, but it is better to have someone review your work!)

I have created 4 modules (available at www.grammar.celbanprep.info).

  1. Nouns & Articles,
  2. Verbs & Verbals,
  3. Agreement Errors (Volume 1 and 2 are prerequisites) and
  4. Advanced Punctuation.

And, because grammar is grammar no matter where you write it or speak it: these resources will assist you in increasing your score for the CELBAN, the IELTS, and the CELPIP! In fact, by using these resources, you will be saving both time and money because you will be studying for all 3 exams at once!

Who else is doing that?

Who else is saving you time and money by creating resources where you can study for the CELBAN, the IELTS and the CELPIP all at once?

That is why it is called, “CELBAN or IELTS!”

And, did you get that?

When you use the CELBAN or IELTS Grammar Series you have the capacity to increase your score in both writing and speaking!

So, K, start with the Grammar Series, then move on to CELBANPrep Writing Level One. (www.writing.celbanprep.info)

The reason why there are two levels for writing is that after teaching CELBANPrep for five years, I realized that what I was teaching in lessons 1-4 was transferable. I realized that the skills I was teaching about managing your time on the exam – and learning the secret about how to increase your score by learning how to correct your own mistakes – I realized these skills were transferable to the IELTS, the CELPIP, the TOEFL, and even writing your mom back home!

So, I separated CELBANPrep Writing into two levels. Each level helps you develop skills for one of the CELBAN Writing Tasks: Task 1 and Task 2. 

  • CELBANPrep Writing Level One teaches you the secret of increasing your score in writing (and also speaking).
  • CELBANPrep Writing Level Two applies these skills in a medical context -> specifically for the CELBAN and the rest of your career!

A lot of people ask me if CELBANPrep can still be used because one of the Writing Tasks has changed.

I shake my head when I get that question.

  • Has the format of the test changed that you are limited in time when you do the writing task?
  • Have they changed the assessment of your grammar? Punctuation? Style? Fluency?

No? Then CELBANPrep is still applicable!

And, in fact, NOW, with the new CELBAN writing format: CELBANPrep Level One is even more valuable because it prepares you for both CELBAN Writing tasks.


  • Is your goal to be a licensed health professional in Canada?
  • Will you be writing medical reports of all kind?
  • Will you be required to take other courses – at a university level – at a Canadian campus?

Then is your goal short term – the exam- or long term: your career?

If your goal is long term, if your goal is a career, then does it not make sense to invest the time and energy on advancing your professional communication skills – both verbal and written – NOW?

Is writing 2x per week enough?

Again, that all depends. What are you doing when you are writing?

  • Are you timing yourself?
  • Are you identifying your weaknesses?
  • Are you learning how to turn them into strengths?
  • Have you hired a quality trainer that applies the method as described above?

The thing is, bbecause you have a six in IELTS, I can guarantee that if you are willing to work hard, follow instructions while integrating feedback on your mistakes, and write more than 2x per week, (preferably 30 minutes per day) that you will pass CELBAN Writing! 

How can I guarantee it? Because I have witnessed it happen time and time again for hundreds of IENs living across Canada from around the world!

I cannot make the same guarantee with the IELTS, because the format is different, there is an increased level of difficulty because the topic may not be one you are familiar with. And yet, even with that said, because of the transferable test taking strategies in the CELBANPrep methodology, I am confident that your score will increase on the writing component of the IELTS. 

Just so you know. When it comes to your comment, “To be honest, I really don’t have any ideas right now what CELBAN is all about except its meaning, Canadian English Language Benchmark Assessment for Nurses,” read the section on the Unsuspecting Newcomer!

You wrote, ” I have with me again this feeling of fear, completely mixed emotions because I don’t know how difficult the CELBAN exam is, or if I can make it with just one take. Although a lot of IENs from the agency where I have applied as student visa for Canada took and passed the exam with just one sit, still I’ve lessened down my expectations to make it.”

Many IENs are getting overconfident about being able to pass the CELBAN without preparation hearing stories from those who can make it on the first attempt. That is one of the reasons I wrote, the CELBAN Trap! While it is true that some people, who have certain predictive factors, can pass the CELBAN exam on the first attempt, a majority of people have limiting predictive factors which put them at risk of falling into the CELBAN Trap.

You are wise to apply critical thinking when you hear these stories. Your critical thinking, coupled with following my blog and now contacting me, will allow you to avoid falling into the trap.  

You have done exactly that. With CELBANPrep you will do exactly that. Why? Because, as you know, CELBANPrep is not just about learning English or passing an exam. It is about so much more! It is about kindling that passion, that determination, that perseverance which is required not only for you to pass the CELBAN (or IELTS) but every other exam, challenge and obstacle you will face on your journey to becoming a nurse in Canada.

And you can not put a price on that!  

That is the CELBANPrep Method! That is the CELBANPrep way! That is what makes CELBANPrep University is different from any other option!  

And that is why (with a 6 in IELTS) I can guarantee, K, that if you are willing to work hard, follow instructions, and write 30 minutes per day integrating the feedback that you get, you will pass CELBAN Writing. 

So K, as I come to the conclusion of this message, I smile to myself. Hope  is infused in this message. Shrug. I guess that imparting hope is such a part of my nature that it is in everything that I do. 🙂

Sincerely, Kim

Learn the Secret to Success. Explore CELBANPrep University. 

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