Janette Toral sharing her tourist experience in Australia.

Sunday 31 August 2008

IELTS as Permanent Resident Requirement in Australia

When applying for permanent resident status under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 119/857) or Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 121/856), depending where you are based, one of the requirements you'll encounter is to pass the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

However, if the medium of instruction in the conduct of your college education was English, you can also request a certification from your school to attest to it. If accepted, this may possibly waive the IELTS requirement.

An IELTS exam rates your speaking, reading, writing, and listening in English capability. If you are taking the exam, here are some personal tips that I'd like to share:

  • Take time to review.
    I think it is practical to join an IELTS review especially the "listening" part to get used to the British and Aussie tone of voice.

  • Take notes during the exam
    Especially the last listening task as taking notes, keywords, will help you not get confused in figuring out the answers.
  • Practice "writing" again
    If you have not been writing too much and using the computer most of the time, your hand may ache from doing the essay part. I experienced that on the 2nd task. If I'll get to do it again, I would have done the 2nd task first.

  • Grammar review
    No harm in doing it especially since the writing task needs to get done in a short span of time.
  • If you haven't been reading much, it is important to get yourself to do it.

  • During the exam, read the questions first before the reading task.

  • While reading, underline the important points so you can refer to them when answering the questions.
  • Get yourself interviewed. Talk about:
    • Yourself and what you do.
    • Family members.
    • The things you like.
    • Your point of view on issues affecting our lives

  • Elaborate your answers
    Be able to fully explain what you meant is important.

  • Be natural
    Talk to the interviewer like being interviewed for a job. Put your best foot forward and show your "pleasing personality".
Take the online sample review. Don't be surprised if some of them will really show up in the exam. ;-)

P.S. I took the exam last August 2008 in Manila. Result was released last September 2008 and got a total band score of 8.0. The highest band I got is 9.0 in speaking.

Tuesday 26 August 2008

Brian Gorrell and Emerging Aussie Blogs 2008

Aussie blogger Brian Gorrell made it in the list of 2008 Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs writing project final results last August 11.

I wrote to a good number of Aussie bloggers to join the writing project and am happy that some of them took the challenge. However, in the process, I realized that very few established bloggers are really able to take time and check out the new blogs that caught their attention. Time is a big factor in all of these.

As I also maintain Ratified Australia, I decided to publish this list of Emerging Aussie Blogs 2008 that are currently in the Top 100. Some of them were cited and pushed for by writing project participants. These are blogs created anytime from July 2007 to the present.
It will be interesting to see how these blogs shall evolve. I will note that next year when I post another update.

Monday 18 August 2008

Get a free copy: Blogging from Home

I'll be back in Findon next week with my first Australia-published book, Blogging from Home. This book was first released in Manila, Philippines last week.

To kick-off its introduction and release to the market, I'm giving a copy of the book to ten (10) Australia-based bloggers who'll make a blog post about it.

Just post a comment here with a link to your blog post.

My initial budget is only 10 copies but can adjust depending on the response. Cut-off date is on August 25, 2008. The selected blog posts will be posted on August 26, 2008.

Some notes I'd like to share:
Many thanks and I look forward to be blogging from home again next week.