In June 2016, Dutch nurse Sanne van Eendenburg started to work in an UK hospital via TMI. In order to register with the NMC, she also had to take the IELTS exam in May and successfully passed it. In her article for our TMI blog she gives advice on how to prepare for the exam.
I first started with practicing with the training materials of the IELTS. This gives a fair representation of how the real test will look like and it gives you an insight on what points you can improve on.
Further you can find out about how they measure the IELTS on their website.
What I mean with this is that they explain more about how each area is assessed. For example, how many mistakes you can have for reading and listening. Also what they find important with speaking and writing and where they pay specific attention to.
Another advice I could give other nurses is to read English books (for example Harry Potter) or watch TV without subtitles, this to get used to reading and listening.
For the Academic version of the IELTS I can highly recommend to read articles, for me it was not long ago that I did my thesis research, where I had to use English articles for.
With practicing for reading, I did not only practice for comprehension, but I deliberately looked at the words for spelling and word usage.
The final thing I did is two days before the IELTS exam I only talked in English to practice and feel comfortable before the exam.
The final points are I think very personal but I've learned the most from those. The exercises provide an insight into the types of tests and your current level, but in terms of language skills, I have not learned extra and would recommend all the above.