So what does a Kuwaiti and a Colombian have in common (other than the makings of a really lame joke)? A few weeks ago I found out: the IELTS.
Turns out, two friends of mine had been freaking out over the same test — Ahmed, a 21-year-old Business student at Florida International University and Stephanie, a 20-year-old med student in the Universidad del Rosario in Bogotá. Both felt the pressure of the IELTS coming on. Ahmed, who had taken it when he first came to the States and said the experience had been nerve wrecking, recently told me he was even more nervous this time around. But I didn’t understand why — he had already passed once, after all. “Well, with my time with the language now, I should know more…”
I found this incredibly interesting. Added to Ahmed’s anxiety wasn’t the fear of what to expect – he knew the structure of the exam from beginning to end. It was the pressure to prove to himself, his family and the university, that his English (the reason he came here to begin with), had in fact improved.
Then there is Stephanie, who as a med student in Colombia is required to prove she has a basic proficiency in English (as if the whole saving lives thing wasn’t enough!) But, if you really think about it, it makes sense. The results of Stephanie’s IELTS score are important because it will be that proof she needs to show her future international colleagues, that language isn’t a barrier for her life saving skills.
So what do my two friends have in common? The fact that they both rely heavily on the benefits the IELTS has to offer. So if you find yourself considering if the test (and the inevitable anxiety that comes with taking any test) is worth it, just take a moment to think about all the doors that could open for you if you just give it a go! Happy thinking (and studying!)