After taking the ALC IELTS course – one student’s IELTS experience

Taking the IELTS was an experience of mixed emotions.

There I was, 8 AM –but awake since 4AM– and at UWI, in the Center for Language Learning (CLL), starving, and drowsy, nervous but happy all at the same time. I was panicking and sweating, with a bunch of people I had never met. All of us were observing each other trying to guess each other’s level of English by sight, it was ridiculous.

Obviously all of us were dying of anxiety and once in a while a person would come out, from around acorner saying somebody´s name and each time we looked up in surprise for the next to go to the guillotine. After a few minutes, maybe half an hour, this person would come out, and we, so full of hope looked at his face, searching for a warning or a hint. One after another entered the test and finally it was my turn, I even forgot my name.

I will only say that in my test I laughed with my examiner and we had a pleasant conversation. Although my nerves were eating away at me and actually this was the reason for her laughter.

The next day we had the other tests, Writing, Reading and Listening. Friends, I have never had such an intense time as those 5 hours, since I arrived to Trinidad. Sepulchral silence and the cold temperatures would not let us write.


  • Eat Breakfast like a champion
  • Take a heavy coat or sweater
  • Become antisocial, do not want to hear the mistakes of others
  • Follow the rules

Within the next few weeks I got my result, I got a 7.  Even more of what I needed!

–Zai, 2014-2015 student, needed IELTS for entry to Grad School