ESCAPE FROM NAIJA by MR S : IELTS experience

escape by becoingyeva.com Yewande Oyebo

This was sent in by Mr S!!! One of my best blog friends, who never comments on the blog major side eye..

Ya’ll should guess what its about in the comment section before you read…

Also read, like and comment when you are done.. Please show Mr S some love so that he too can start his blog..


As a kid I have always wondered why shoes and clothes I get as gifts from Uncles, Aunties, Cousins bought abroad looked different from what my Mum will buy for me in the market here in Naija. I finally discovered that the regulatory bodies allow all sorts of substandard products into the country. The funniest thing is that.. most of the time, you spend less money buying quality stuffs abroad  than you spend in Naija… to buy  knockoff and substandard products.  I used to look forward to when my uncles and aunties came visiting from the abroad because I knew then that “New baffs don land.”

The inscribed branded t-shirts were my favorite then.

feeling like a cool kid

Currently, I work and Live in Lagos Nigeria. My dream has always been to leave work and get home in less than 30mins or an hour .I looked forward to a day I will not to be stuck in Lagos traffic for hours.  Let me describe the hustle I go through In Lagos:

Imagine getting home after a long day at work only to find out that you don’t have fuel for the generator, the heat is crazy, you have office work you brought home, your Laptop needs to be charged, your phone battery is blinking red. Imagine getting to the filling station and the attendant smiles at you and says Bros!! we don close oh!!! “.No Fexxx”  You then look for a Plan B is most probably to look for anywhere to buy fuel that night even if it’s black market. While doing this, you remember you need to fix dinner. By the time you get fuel, you are too tired to cook. You manage to make noodles and finish the office work you brought home. By the time you close the Laptop and rest for what seems like 5 mins, it is already 5.15am the next day. This cycle continues.. sometime into the weekend if you are unlucky enough to work over the weekend.

It was time to leave LAGOS!!!!!! I was done, and I decided to find an escape route.

exit … leave this place.

Writing IELTS was one of the steps to perfect my escape plan, I needed to write and Ace this exam.  So I sought advice from friends who had written it, passed and relocated. I was advised to study hard and study well.

Initially Studying was very difficult after a long day at work but I made a plan and I found a rhythm.  So I decided I was going to wake up 4.00am everyday, read for 60- 90 minutes, and then use the remaining 30 minutes to make breakfast before leaving for work ( I don’t like skipping breakfast) Leaving home on an empty stomach is not my thing. I just won’t be able to focus at work.. . I know I am a foodie.. lol.

STRESS

The first week of studying was very stressful… I found reading materials online and they were just not cutting it.. It had also been a long time since I read for any exam. I was failing the practice tests online and I had paid sixty eighty thousand of my hard earned Nigerian Naira to the British council for the IELTS exam. I was super terrified!! Money must not waste. In my language “Owo O gbodo wo igbo” translated to “money must not enter bush”.

I changed my studying scheme and decided to watch IELTS study videos instead of reading and it worked better for me. Thanks to the different accents I heard from videos I watched, I didn’t know when I started imitating some of my online tutors till the day a friend called my attention to the way I pronounced a particular word. I smiled and told him I am glad he noticed, that it means I have been studying hard..

I paid for the exam in February and I started studying in April for an exam I was supposed to write in May which just put unnecessary pressure on me.

For the reading section, I did a lot of practice online but I always got below average for reading. Despite this, I didnt give up. I did a lot of practice for reading. Reading almost made me feel like a serious “olodo” . I reminded myself that I had a distinction in English in secondary school (WAEC) which made me believe that I could do better..  I concentrated more and forgot about my English grade in WAEC and I started performing better in the reading practice.

For the writing section, I just watched videos and imagined what I was going to write when I got to the exam venue. Biko!! Time is expensive in Lagos to start writing answers for an exam that will take few hours. So I watched few videos for writing. What helped me was I wrote more than 100 essays for a special English class my Mum made me go for when I was in Secondary school. She wanted me to know Phonetics as she studied English for her first degree. I am sure those were the classes that saved me. I also has a very good Ghanaian Teacher in Secondary School. I lost count of the number of letters and essay’s he made us write. He is of blessed memory now, he passed years ago. Thanks to these teachers, the writing section was a breeze and I didn’t have to practice soo much.

For speaking I didnt practice as much because I had limited time and the thought of speaking to myself to practice was weird. I practiced a few times but to be honest with you, it was not fun. I didn’t want to do it in a public place and people will move far from me and ask  “ Se Bobo yi wa Alright Sha” translated “Is this guy okay” Eventually I got my highest score in speaking. The woman that asked me questions scared me a little with her looks, but I was just showing her my not so white teeth and trying to use the fake British accent I learnt from my videos. I watched BBC so much in the time before the exam…  When she asked her question. She told me to explain a job change I had recently. I wanted to jump up with excitement. Did she know I just resigned from my former workplace a few months ago. I am sure she didn’t. That was how I gave her the real story, how it wasn’t easy fitting in the new workplace initially. I am very sure she enjoyed my gist because her smile was different when I was leaving the room. Who knows if she was smiling at my fake British accent. lol.

listening section
listening section

For the listening section: , I was just praying they should not give me a fake headset when I saw those wireless headsets they shared. I was just telling God that the headset must not stop working mid-way into the Listening exam. Listening was the first exam we had and 5 minutes before we started, that was when I started feeling I needed to pee. I had gone to the toilet to pee 30 minutes earlier but I don’t know where the sudden urge to pee came from again without drinking water. I summoned up the courage to stand up, that is how the supervisor looked at me and said if I go, I may not be allowed in again. I remembered the 68 thousand Naira and quietly went back to my seat. I had to hold the pee till later after the writing exams. I know I will meet Bros Supervisor one day oh and I pray the tables arent turned oh!! Lol.

Before I forget I was shocked at the number of people I saw at my venue that day and the age of some of the candidates in my venue. A particular woman looked older than 50 if not close to 60. I saw different people I know.

The one that moved me was a Medical Doctor I know has a very good job. He wrote the exam at my Venue. Bros wan Leave Naija too…. He also wanted to leave Nigeria.

The one that moved me was a Medical Doctor I know has a very good job. He wrote the exam at my Venue. Bros wan Leave Naija too…. He also wanted to leave Nigeria. Click To Tweet

 

Below is the breakdown of  my results which could have been better if I practiced more.

Reading – 6.5

Speaking -7.0

Listening 7.5

Writing 7.0

Overall Band Score 7.0

The requirement from the University was an overall band score of 6.0 so technically I passed lol. Though this score might not qualify me for a scholarship but with the tight schedule in Lagos and few hours to study. “Owo o wo igbo” which just means“Money didn’t enter bush.

My advice to anyone taking IELTS. Use Youtube more and practice, practice, practice. Some folks learn faster reading than watching videos. but Please practice as much as you can.

Below are useful links for practice

http://ieltsliz.com/ielts-speaking-practice-test-video/

https://www.ieltsbuddy.com/free-ielts-download.html

https://magoosh.com/ielts/best-ielts-videos-youtube/


Quite a Long read but I actually did enjoy it. Did you?

I laughed a lot when I got it.. but I also did learnt a lot.

His post also inspired me to write a part 2 of my GMAT post and another post scheduled for next week about standardized testing and exam tips.

Are you thinking about writing the IELTS exam for graduate school, immigration or emigration purposes?

Please share your experience in the comment section below.

 

You may also like

3 Comments

  1. Lol!
    This was a funny read.

    Why was he moved by a doctor who had a good job that wants to leave? Of course that cracked me up cos I’m a doctor, I work in a teaching hospital atm and up to 20 that I know personally have written ielts and are on one movement train or the other.

    I’ve been meaning to write a post on my ielts experience too, maybe I should.

    I agree with the writer practise makes all the difference. I didn’t practise speaking and writing though…small over confidence was worrying me. I felt is it not English again, how hard can speaking /writing be.

Let me Know what you think!!!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.