The story of the lucky pen

  • By Lidia

Pharmacist Z, a French native, decided to come to IELTS Medical to further develop her English skills in order to get the 7.0 scores required for GPhC registration. Having previously taken the IELTS exam once, she opted for 5 weeks tailored training in speaking and writing.

Shortly afterwards Dr B, an anesthetist, came to IELTS Medical with the goal of reaching an overall score of 7.5 in Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking to ultimately register with GMC. With her first language being Portuguese, she chose intensive training in speaking and writing over a four week period.

Dr B and Pharmacist Z had the opportunity to meet each other during our weekly classes. Throughout this time both had the opportunity to support each other and, as a result, acquire English language skills faster.

This meant that Dr B and Pharmacist Z practiced for their speaking and writing exams whilst discussing selected topics aimed to prepare them for the 9.0. The outcome of their class interactions was highly positive as Dr B and Pharmacist Z decided to spend more time together outside classes to further prepare for the exams, holding each other accountable and sharing different learning techniques.

The first to take the IELTS was Pharmacist Z, who chose to write the exam with a pen that she could erase – something she preferred to the pencil that most test centres provide. On the day she took the exam, to wish success to her new close friend, Pharmacist Z gave Dr. B the pen as a gift.  Whilst we’re drawing no conclusions about how lucky the pen was, we are delighted to report that Dr. B also achieved the 8.0 score.

At IELTS Medical, we strongly promote an open and friendly atmosphere, championing networking among our medics.

Get lucky with us… call 0203 637 6722.



How to increase your reading speed

  • By Lidia

A significant number of our medics come to us for help in tackling the IELTS Reading exam. The IELTS Reading Exam consists of three questions to be answered in one hour. It compromises 3 reading passages which medics are expected to read in no more than 20 minutes each. Subsequently, to ensure adequate understanding, learners are required to answer a variety of questions (True/ False / Not Given; Multiple Choice; Statement Completion, etc) based on text(s). It is therefore essential for our medics to develop specific reading skills which enable them to complete the reading parts of the exam and ultimately reach the 9.0.

Here are a few tips on improving reading speed and help you fly through the IELTS Academic Reading exam. There are generally two main methods: one is based on reading a greater quantity of similar texts and one focuses on reading techniques.

Greater quantity

Regularly reading new material not only helps one develop their vocabulary but also enables them to read text faster. Last week, we discussed how I learnt English by reading one book a week. Reading for high scores in the IELTS exam, however, requires identifying the main ideas of a text and absorbing the information with an appropriate level of detail. That said, one should direct their focus on working out the meaning of unknown words from a given context.

Reading techniques

Scientific research conducted by the world’s most prestigious institutions suggests another way to improve reading speed can be achieved by fixating on a word for a shorter time. Such phenomena occurs by minimising silent speech (also known as subvocalization), the process by which one acknowledges the sound of the word as it is being read.  Further practice on this can be found on various apps / websites such as this one.

IELTS Medical offers Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Reading Classes to medical professionals. Join our classes to receive tailored support from our dedicated tutors and develop your reading speed.

Speed up your reading with us… Call 0203 637 6722.


How I read one book a week to learn English

  • By Lidia

How reading one book a week helped me learn English

Having acquired English as a second language myself, I would like to share one habit that significantly improved my English learning experience: reading one new book a week. I started with relatively easy reads and then progressed to more complex books.

I believe that learning a language is like learning to walk: you start from the ground, take a few falls, get up and carry on until you walk with confidence. Put simply, it is a process that takes time and dedication.

Reading is one of the most effective ways of broadening vocabulary, as it exposes the reader to a variety of words used in a specific context. Furthermore, reading varied material results in familiarity with different writing styles whilst gathering different information.

Working to understand roughly 80% of the words of a text has been proven to lead to steady language acquisition. This is because we learn language when we understand most, but not all, of what we are exposed to. Seeing unknown words in a context you understand will help you to develop the skills needed for working out the meaning of these words from the words around it.

Regular reading is, therefore, essential for the development of vocabulary and reading skills.

Apart from having a better understanding of the language and ability to communicate, setting the goal of reading one book a week helped me to become more disciplined. During this time, I also discovered the joy of learning new things and made it an integral part of my life.

Sustained effort pays off and we can show you how to take it one step at a time… Call 0203 637 6722.


UK sees a significant decline in EU nurses post Brexit

  • By Lidia

Recent figures from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) indicate a 96% drop in nurses from European Union registering to practice in UK. This follows the EU referendum in June last year. The Guardian reports that last July 1,304 EU nurses came to work in the UK and this fell to just 46 last April. Such a decrease could be attributed to the uncertainty about EU nurses’ eligibility to remain in the UK. The NMC’s English language controls and requirements for an overall score of 7.0 in Academic IELTS, also add to this decline.

Brexit negotiations are now underway, and the news that priority is being given to the rights of EU citizens within the UK, is applauded.  The NHS is facing a severe nursing shortage and rising demand from an ageing population. Although one cannot predict the impact of Brexit on overseas workers, addressing the problem is high on the agenda. Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, stated: “EU nationals make a hugely important contribution to the delivery of health and care services and we continue to urge the government to guarantee the rights of EU nationals as soon as possible.”

On the subject of English language controls, the challenge is that nurses must achieve an overall score of 7.0 in the academic version of IELTS. This includes a 7.0 score in IELTS Listening; Reading; Speaking and Writing. As discussed in one of our previous posts, to become a registered nurse it is firstly necessary to pass the Academic IELTS examinations and this requires guided weekly – if not – daily practice.

IELTS Medical offers tailored, dedicated training to nurses in preparation for the IELTS exam. Ensuring our healthcare professionals achieve the 7.0 and beyond, is what we do.

Are you a nurse struggling with IELTS? Get ready with us… Call 0203 637 6722.


Model essay: To what extent…

  • From Simon

In the past, shopping was a routine domestic task.  Many people nowadays regard it as a hobby.

To what extent do you think this is a positive trend?

More and more, people consider shopping to be a leisure pursuit, rather than a necessary, functional activity, similar to housework.  The idea of visiting a town centre or shopping centre was considered unusual in the past.  Today, these visits would be seen as quite normal.  Here, I will discuss this idea and the extent to which I think this to be a positive development for our society.

First of all, town centres have been stripped of the heart by out-of-town shopping centres.  They offer entertainment, shopping and food, all undercover and accessible by public transport.  They also become hubs for people from different places to get together.  I appreciate that for many teenagers, this is one of the few free time activities available to them.

Furthermore, modern society’s drive towards consumerism has led shopping to become a pastime.  Shops selling all manner of superfluous items such as glass vases containing decorative sand, candles scented like Christmas and cushions printed with the New York skyline adorn the houses of many.  If buying things like this gives you pleasure, so be it.

However, this sense of satisfaction is known to be short-lived.  This will only lead to further purchases, the possibility of mounting debt and a house filled with clutter.  Further, these goods serve no functional purpose.  In addition, they are often produced cheaply in Asia, in factories with dubious policies regarding employee welfare, causing unseen damage, by Western consumers at any rate, to the environment.

To sum up, the idea of visiting of shopping centre as form of pleasurable activity fills me with terror.  There is little joy to be gained from walking around homogenous shopping centres, looking and cheaply-produced tat.  Purchasing things for the sake of it also harms the environment and although unseen, the price will be paid by the global community sooner or later.

Word count: 306.

To what extent do you think you could write a similar essay under timed conditions? Get ready with us – call 02036376722.


Arabic-speaking doctor refused to give up on IELTS for GMC Registration


In order for the GMC to accept an IELTS Academic test certificate it must show a score of at least 7.0 in each IELTS testing area (Listening; Reading; Speaking and Writing) and an overall score of 7.5. This must be done within the same test.

Dr. M

Dr. M came to IELTS Medical after his fifth attempt at the IELTS exam. Despite demonstrating a strong grasp of the English language, repeatedly scoring a 6.5 in his IELTS Writing was keeping him from GMC registration. With his first language being Arabic, Dr. M needed to conquer the hurdle that there are no similarities between Arabic and English writing systems. Furthermore, Arabic spelling is virtually phonetic, whilst subtle nuances in the English language means that some common words are neither spelled nor pronounced phonetically. With GMC deadlines looming and a demanding Clinical Fellow job, he reached out to IELTS Medical for guidance.


Dr. M had 3 weeks to raise his overall score in order to complete his GMC registration. He had two IELTS exams booked, the first of which being in just five days. Here at IELTS Medical, our dedicated team consists of English Language and IELTS experts, a practicing British Council IELTS examiner and IELTS administrators. Furthermore, our experience with medical professionals means that we’re able to hone in on our medics’ weaknesses and provide tailored tuition to help them reach the scores they need. In Dr. M’s case, practicing one:one with our examiner allowed him to spot the mistakes he was making; mistakes that are typical to native Arabic speakers. Following our advice, Dr. M wrote consistently, emailed his work to us on a weekly basis and incorporated our expert feedback.

Dr. M’s results

Despite sitting six full IELTS exams without achieving the combination required by the GMC, Dr. M refused to give up. Proving the power of perseverance, his will to practice as a doctor in a London hospital, renowned for its clinical and research excellence, meant that his success was inevitable. Above is a photograph of Dr. M’s recent IELTS certificate, that he has asked us to share to inspire his fellow medics.

Let us help you on your journey to IELTS success… Call 0203 637 6722.