December 19, 2016
Commonwealth Professional Fellow Irfan shares his experience
December 19, 2016


Can you give me a brief introduction about yourself ?

I did my graduation in English literature from The Hindu College, University of Delhi. I didn’t do it very well but was okay because I was busy debating around in competitions (laughs!). Towards end of my graduation Google came for campus placement; I went, who says no to Google! I didn’t like the work at all so I quit it after some time. Then, I applied for Young India Fellowship. From there, I realised that I wanted to work in higher education; then I did my masters in Higher education from Oxford University. I came back and did a research work on public universities. Now I am working in a tier-II university in Gurgaon, NCR.

Now let’s speak about IELTS examination and also about the IELTS Scholarship?

IELTS examination is a basic examination that one has to give before applying in abroad universities. There is also similar examination called TOEFL. IELTS examination tests one’s English proficiency. It is based on grading system on 10. You need to get a minimum of six to apply in for IELTS scholarship. IELTS scholarship is not given by IELTS organisation but by the prestigious British Council. IELTS examination can be taken from two centres: IBP centres and British Council centres. If you are qualifying from IBP centre you are not eligible for the IELTS scholarship. You have to take the examination from a British Council centre. In either case IELTS is the same and you have to take it from British Council centre only if you are applying for the IELTS scholarship. Some people choose this IBP centres over British Council centres because it may be near their homes.

What are the things they look for you in IELTS examination?

IELTS examination basically test candidates English language proficiency. IELTS is a very well set exam. It will be very difficult for you if English is not something normal for you. It basically tests four things:

  • English Speaking Skill: You will be required to speak in English fluently. They will test if you are good with that
  • English Writing skill: Also many essays.
  • English Listening skill: They will make you listen to a paragraph. After that you have to write the questions based on the paragraph. It sounds simple but you will only able to write if you understand what they speak.
  • English Reading Skill- there will be comprehension passages you will have to write the answers after reading them.
  • So it involves speaking, reading, writing, and listening.

Some do’s and don’ts?

Each of this is assess on grade points of ten. One has to pass in all the four steps to pass the examination.

Be very to the point.

Try to use examples to substantiate to point

Try to put up an international outlook. You should know India’s position in relations to the world.

Try to speak English constantly; practise more comprehension passages

Tell me about the IELTS scholarship? How is the selection process?

Those candidates who have taken IELTS examination will receive a notification in e-mail to apply for IELTS scholarship if you have given your exams through British Council centres. You need to have scored of 6 or above in IELTS examination to apply for the scholarship.

There are two simple processes involved in the selection of students:

  • The first step is you have to write an essay. They will give you a list of five topics each year. I was asked to write an essay of about 300 words o the topic how important is education for a successful career. You can write it at home and sent it via email. I got shortlisted.
  • Next step was that I had to make a presentation. My topic was liberal arts in higher education. I made a presentation and you have to present it before a panel. They will ask you questions based on the presentation. It happens in British Council centres. I was one among the 8 scholars selected from the country.
  • There will also be a general interview. They will ask you questions like why do you want to go? Which university are you going ? What is your future plan? etc.

So for the scholarship you don’t have to prepare much. Only tricky part is you have to know Enlgish well.

What does this scholarship cover? Is it applicable to universities in UK only?

As you know the tuition fee in universities abroad are quiet high. This scholarship covers a part of tuition fee. In my case I got an amount of 3 Lakh Rupees. One thing is thing to be noted is that they will pay it directly to the university in which you are studying. This scholarship is not only for universities in UK but all across the world. Along with this money one other amazing thing that is in the offer is that you will become a member of the prestigious British Council. You will get invitation for their events. Programmes, receptions etc. You will get invited for their events in India and abroad.

What do you think is the most unique feature of this scholarship?

The fact that it is given by the British Council is the most unique thing. Now, it is in my CV that I have been awarded a scholarship of British Council. This will help in future to get other scholarship because it is a big thing!

Also, you are in the guest list of British Council. You will get invited for their private functions and receptions, also workshops etc. It is also good networking opportunity because you will be meeting other scholars and other important people. It is thus a great opportunity!


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