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  1. As I wrote the Pearson PTE earlier this week and I managed to get 90 for all four sections I thought that I would give some advice for each question type. SPEAKING Read aloud: practice, practice, practice. Don't let the other people in the room distract you. Talk slowly and don't rush. This way you should be able to limit your mistakes. Repeat sentence: Concentrate when they are saying the sentence. Maybe even close your eyes. As soon as the sentence is over you have about a second before the recording starts to be prepared. Even if you forget a few works try and complete the sentence as much as you can. Describe image: This is easier than I thought. Get used to using descriptive words so that you don't have to think of them on the spot. I followed a pattern for graphs/charts e.g 'the line graph/pie chart/bar graph depicts the population trend for the UK in the year 2001'. How you speak and sound is way more important than the actual information on the picture. I also read that if you give a conclusion or an opinion on the picture you get more points. I didn't do this and I got full marks! Re-tell lecture: I made notes, lots of notes. You are provided with an erasable marker and booklet. Try and take notes of the key points. You only need to say 4 or 5 sentences. There is a small amount of time between the end of the recording and the beginning of your speaking where you can quickly try and organise your notes. Answer short questions: this is more general knowledge than english but if you don't know an answer at least guess what you think it may be. WRITING Summarise written text: I struggled with this one at first. I always tried to fit in too much information. As it is a summary and you only have 50-70 words to use it is important that you write about the MAIN point. Read through it once or twice and ask yourself what the main point is. Write Essay: As I had written IELTS twice before I knew the general layout required. You only have 20 minutes for each of these so you don't have too much time to plan. Make sure that you write between 200-300 words. This might seem obvious but I was finished with my one question in the exam and I realised that I had only written 170 words. Luckily there is an on-screen word counter. The basic format of the essay should be like this: Paragraph 1: Introduction Sentence 1: Paraphrase the question and statement. Sentence 2: State your opinion (I agree/disagree etc.) Sentence 3: Explain your essay (I will first argue that....., then I will discuss ......) Paragraphs 2/3: First point/Second point S1: State the point. S2: Explain the point a bit further. S3: Give an example Paragraph 4: Conclusion S1: Start with 'In conclusion', 'To conclude' etc. and briefly touch on the 2 main points and your opinion. READING Multiple choice/single answer: This is always the first reading question on the practice tests but it was last on my exam. A lot of time can be wasted here as there are 2 of these types on questions and they are only one mark each. My tip would be to write letters on your piece of paper e.g. A,B,C,D. Then through a process of elimination you can normally cross off 2 of the answers. Sometimes the remaining 2 answers might both seem right but one will be more right than the other. Multiple choice/multiple answers: There is definitely more than 1 answer. The amount of correct answers will be different from question to question. Some answers will be obvious. Note that there is negative marking here so an incorrectly selected answer will count against you. In spite of this I would still select all the answers that I felt were correct. Use a similar method to what I described above and write letters down and cross them off or circle them to assist in choosing your answers. Re-order paragraphs: This was another one that I struggled with at first. In the gold practice tests and the exam you are able to move the paragraphs around. This makes reading the flow of the passage much easier than in the practice tests in the book where you have to imagine the order of the paragraphs. If you are struggling with this then maybe print out the pages from the practice tests, cut out the different paragraphs and then try to reorganise them. Fill in the blanks: This is the one where there are words missing in a passage of writing and you need to drag and drop words suppled to you. Try and fill in the words that you are sure about first. As there are limited words available this will reduce the number of words that you need to choose from for the more difficult answers. Read up on collocations and idioms. Try and guess the words in your head before reading the choices. Fill in the blanks: This is the one where there is a separate dropdown list for each missing word. My advice would be the same as above. Try answers it in your head before revealing the choices. LISTENING Summarise spoken text: This is similar to re-tell lecture in the speaking section although you type your summary rather than speak it. You have some more time for this one so you aren't under immediate pressure when the recording stops. Take lots of notes. Write down key words or phrases. If the speaker is going too quickly you need to decide on the fly whether a sentence is important or not. Multiple choice/multiple answer: Make lots of notes and be sure to choose more than 1 answer. What you listen to is shorter than the 'summarise spoken text' type of question but often the only difference between some answers is the use of a key word. Some answers will be completely wrong. Again write down letters and cross them off or circle them to help you decide on your answers. In my exam I only selected 2 for each but there could be more than that. Fill in the blanks: There is time to quickly scan the passage before it starts playing. What I do is count the amount of blank spaces and write down the numbers e.g 1,2,3 etc. Then I look and see if any of the blanks are close together. If they are I know that I will need to be quick with the first of the two words. Write the words down as you hear them, either in full or shorthand, and type them into the computer once the recording has stopped. Multiple choice/single answer: Same advice was with multiple choice/multiple answer. Make notes etc. Select missing word: Listening closely to what is being said as it may help with the context of the topic. Use the timer bar to anticipate the end of the sentence. The answer is normally quite obvious. Highlight incorrect word: I read the passage in my head at the same speed as the recording so that any differences in words are picked up immediately. There seem to be around 5/6 incorrect words per passage. Write from dictation: This is fairly easy. Make sure your spelling and punctuation are correct. The sentences I had were rather short.
  2. Happy New Year to all. I would like to ask for advice. Im really not sure what to do anymore. I received an invite on 3/01/17 but a friend said I made a mistake on my EOI when i recorded all my work experience as yes on the question, " Is this employment related to the nominated occupation". The ACS had assessed me for equiv 5.5years meaning they shaved 2.5yrs of work experience. So i ticked yes for all 8years since i thought they are asking if it's only related to what i am applying for (developer). So my friend said what is deemed relevant is what the ACS considered to be relevant on their letter, that is, in my case the 5.5years and not all 8years. Please advice, if I go ahead with the visa lodging, will I be refused?or I should wait for the invitation to lapse then correct it. Note: If i had only ticked yes to the 5.5 yrs considered by ACS, i would still be good at 65 points but i was invited with 70 points I would appreciate your advice. Thank you in advance.
  3. AngelaA

    Partner Skills

    Hi. I'm trying to calculate my points for the highly skilled Visa (189). I would like to know how the skills assessment works for my husbands qual. In order to get the partner points it states "Your spouse or de facto partner must also be an applicant for this visa and meet age, English and skill criteria.For you to be eligible for the award of these points your partner must be an applicant for the same visa subclass and must not be an Australian permanent resident or an Australian citizen. Additionally, you will need to provide evidence that when you were invited to apply for this visa that they: were under 45 years old had competent English had nominated a skilled occupation that is on the same skilled occupation list as your nominated skilled occupation had a suitable skills assessment from the relevant assessing authority for their nominated skilled occupation, and the assessment wasn’t for a Subclass 485 visa. My husband meets these requirements, but he has not worked in the field he will be applying for the skills assessment for many years. He is a qualified secondary school teacher, but hasn't taught for 10years. Will he still get a positive skill assessment for the Visa purposes or will this disqualify him? We won't have enough points without his extra 10 partner points. Can anyone shed any light?
  4. Hunts

    Our Australian Escapade

    After reading other people’s journals over the last few years I guess the time has come to write my own journal entry as we are less than 2 months away from moving to Melbourne on 189 visas. My family and I currently live in Dubai. My wife and I have lived here for almost 11 years and both of our kids were born here. Over the years we have become so accustomed to living without fear of crime. People leave their handbags in their trolleys in supermarkets, leave their cars running when they pop into a shop to keep the AC running etc. When we hear a noise at night it the last thing we think of is someone breaking in. This carefree lifestyle is exactly what we want our children to experience growing up. We had always toyed with the idea of moving to another country and in October 2016 I got hold of an agent and started looking at our options. I am a quantity surveyor, however I studied a different degree at university so my case wasn’t very clean-cut. This is the reason that we ended up using an agent for the entire visa process. The 2 best options that the agent recommended were a 190 visa for Queensland as a construction estimator and a 189 visa as a quantity surveyor. While we were busy collecting all of the initial documents I received the bad news that Queensland had taken construction estimator off their 190 skills list. This meant that the only chance we had of getting a visa was the 189 which meant that a positive skills assessment was crucial. I did the IELTS Academic in November 2016 (still don’t know why I didn’t do the General) and my score wasn’t enough for 20 points (9/9/8/7), however it was enough to submit a skills assessment. Our agent sent our documentation off to AIQS for the skills assessment in December 2016. She warned me that it could take a few months to get a reply due to the time of year. She also warned me that AIQS are notoriously quite strict and getting a positive skills assessment for a degree that wasn’t for QS might be tough. Literally less than a week later I received an email to say that I had received a positive skills assessment. My wife was already in Cape Town with our daughter on holiday and I called her to tell her the news. She burst into tears and that was the moment that I always look back on when I knew that she was as committed to the move as I was. Up until then she was always interested but I was not entirely convinced. That phone call changed everything. I joined her in CT for Christmas and only got around to attempting IELTS again in February 2017 (General this time). The marks came back and I was short again (9/9/9/7.5). I paid for a remark which was unsuccessful so I turned my attention to Pearson PTE and did the test in March 2017. Luckily in Dubai the centre is open six days a week with two tests per day so I could do the test immediately. I ended up getting straight 90s and suddenly we had enough points to lodge the expression of interest. The EOI was submitted in the middle of March 2017 and by the end of March we had received an invite. Our agent recommended that we submit the final application ‘decision ready’ meaning that every single document that is required is submitted with the application. We did our medical and by the end of April 2017 the final application had been lodged for a 189 visa (quantity surveyor) with 65 points (60 was the minimum back then). I signed up to Myimmitracker and visited the site multiple times a day. Visas had started drying up and everyone was talking about waiting until July when the new quota came into play. Halfway through June 2017 we received an email from our agent stating that the case officer was requesting a correct police clearance for my wife. The police officer who did the certificate in SA had written the date on the day it was issued as my wife’s birth date! The courier service missed it, the agent missed it and so did we. This was incredibly frustrating as we would have been granted the visas. We managed to get a new police clearance within 24 hours and it was loaded onto the system. The wait continued. We had booked flights to Australia to activate our visas (big mistake, I know) and when they hadn’t come through a few days before we were due to leave we ended up changing our flights to Hong Kong. There aren’t many last minute holiday options with a South African passport! At least my daughter got to experience Disney Land and Ocean Park. We also went to Macau for a few days. On 1 September 2017 (I will always remember the day) we were in the desert having a breakfast braai with some friends around one of the man-made lakes. I had left my phone in the car. I went to check it and one stage and I had emails, missed calls etc. I opened the first email and it was from our agent. CONGRATULATIONS. YOUR 189 VISA HAS BEEN APPROVED. We were so excited but also relieved. Four months of daily checking of Myimmitracker, reading forums etc. and all of that was behind us in an instant. We had been keeping a bottle of champagne in anticipation of the visa grant and we eventually opened it that night. We had no intention of moving to Australia immediately as we were (and still are) extremely happy with our lives in Dubai. We had up to early April to enter the country and we booked our flights for March 2018. We ended up going to Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. We arrived in Melbourne on a Friday morning in late March 2018. Quite strange setting foot on Australian soil for the first time as permanent residents. The jet lag was terrible and it took a few days to recover. We went to the aquarium, watched the Hawks beat Collingwood at the G, went up the Eureka tower etc. We really loved the place but we were only there for a few days and flew to Sydney on Tuesday morning. We did the big bus, went to Manly for lunch, saw the opera house, went to the zoo and the wildlife park near Darling Harbour, went to the Newport for dinner (we were staying in the Northern Beaches). Sydney was incredible and definitely has the most to offer for a tourist. We flew to Perth on the Friday to stay with my wife’s cousin who had moved to Perth about 20 years ago with her family. It was Easter weekend so the family were all free to show us around. Kings Park was stunning. We spent the full week there doing site seeing and spending time with the family. We absolutely loved the holiday and when we got back to Dubai we knew that once my son was born (my wife was pregnant on the trip) we would have to start the entire visa process again but luckily just a 101 visa. My son was born at the end of June 2018 and we immediately began the process of applying his Australian visa. The official website at the time said that the visa could take up to 11 months. We submitted the visa application in the middle of September 2018 and within a month the visa had been granted. We have until September 2019 to activate the visa. Fast-forward to today and we are busy finalizing the move. I have managed to get an internal transfer with my company to the Melbourne office which I am very grateful for. I start at the beginning of August so we are looking at going over towards the end of July so that I have a week to settle before starting work. We still need to sell our cars as well as furniture that we aren’t taking, ship the remaining furniture, finalise the dog relocation and close out all of our admin in Dubai. We are moving to Melbourne as we have quite a few friends who live there and my wife’s sister and her family moved to Geelong a few months ago. It’s about 8 weeks until we make the move and we cannot wait. The only problem is that we haven’t had a winter in about 6 years and Melbourne will be freezing!
  5. My wife, daughter and I received our 189 visa grants last year on 1 September which we activated in March. We are currently living in Dubai and plan on moving to Australia in the second half of next year. Last week Wednesday my wife gave birth to a little boy in Dubai so he is entitled to a South African passport which we will apply for as soon as we receive his UAE birth certificate. My question is how should I go about applying for his 101 visa? We could start the process as soon as we receive his SA passport. The official website says that these visas are taking up to 11 months to issue (75% of applicants) and 14 months (90% of applicants). If we apply and the visa is issued within a few months we might have to activate the visa before we intend moving there which would mean another holiday and the cost of more flights. If the visa takes too long we might be ready to move and he won't have a visa. The alternative (according to my agent who helped with our 189 visas) is to not apply for the visa until we have moved to Australia. We would need to apply for a visitor's visa and request that it is void of an 8503 (no further stay condition) and once we are onshore we can apply for the child visa. The benefit of applying for a child visa onshore is that the baby will be issued with a bridging visa whilst holding a visitor’s visa and this will allow the baby to remain in Australia until such time the visa is decided. Has anyone recently been though this and which route did you decide on? If we apply for the child visa once we are living in Australia will the time that my son spends in the country on the visit visa count towards his citizenship or will the four years only start once his child visa is granted?
  6. Hey everyone! My name is Uli and I'm from Cape Town. I have recently decided to move back to Australia permanently, if possible. When I first moved to Australia, I lived in Melbourne, specifically Brunswick. Loved the city, but I was on a Working Holiday Visa and needed to do the mandated 88 days of rural work. I moved to King Island and worked at the King Island Dairy cheese factory. Fantastic cheese and awesome little island! Seems like there were more cows than the estimated 1000 people on the island. I ended up liking the island even more than the city, so I staying there for just about 7 months before travelling Asia. Since then, I've lived in London (didn't like it) and in Vietnam where I worked as an English teacher. I quite enjoy teaching, so I've decided to dedicate myself to that career. I am back in SA now and have applied to get my PGCE done through UNISA next year. This should have been done already but they completely screwed me last year due to the strikes. Anyway, I've got a few question and would love to get some advice from you! Does Australia recognise a PGCE from UNISA? I have searched the forum but the threads only speak about degrees. I currently have a B.Psych degree and can work as a counselor in South Africa. Counselling is on the Skilled Occupation list, so this is another option I have when applying, assuming that I would be recognised as a counselor in Australia too. Does anyone have experience with this? Which option is best or could I apply more than once using the two different routes? I also hold a German passport. Would it be easier applying with that passport or is there no difference? The Australian government seems to like Germans more as Germans are able to go over on the Working Holiday Visa. As for points, I only have 65 at present (I turn 28 tomorrow, superior English, degree). That's assuming I would get a score of or higher than 8 in the IELTS test. I am fairly confident that I'll manage a score of 8 or above as I have taught some IELTS classes. Is the test really that difficult?? I am unsure if they will see my years travelling and working as experience, so I just assumed I'd get a 0 for experience outside of Australia. I also assumed that the time spent working on my Working Holiday Visa doesn't count for anything. Are 65 points enough to be successfully invited to immigrate to Australia? I understand that this depends on the job. After doing some research, I have found that teachers are in high demands. They were, supposedly, the third highest on the list of needed professionals. I am not sure how high up the ladder counselling is. I am quite confused about the whole VATESSESS process? I understand this a skills assessment, but what exactly do you do? Sorry for the long post! Picture taken on King Island
  7. Hi Everyone! This is my first post on this site - I'm Tam. My husband and I have just TODAY received our invite to apply for our 189 visa. We are absolutely thrilled at the news. We don't have an agent and are doing it all ourselves. We obviously want to have the visa processed as soon as possible... We think we have everything nailed down, but I was wondering if anyone could share their experience in applying for the visa with regards to the required documentation. Was there anything unexpected that your case officer came back with? We have only just applied for our unabridged marriage certificate and my husbands unabridged birth certificate...holding thumbs this comes quickly! Thanks for the help.
  8. Good morning, I have a silly question, which I assume has been answered before. I've submitted an EOI for the 189, if I submit a new EOI for the 190 visa, will my 189 application be affected in any way i.e. date of effect moved to today? I just want to double and triple check as I've been on the waiting list a while and I don't want to start anew again. Thanks.
  9. Hi Guys, Great forum, helps calm the nerves to see it's a long but certainly not lonely journey. I lodged my 189 VISA on 17 May 2018 but have not received any feedback yet. Anybody else in the same boat, and is it too early to get worried?
  10. Could someone kindly assist me with understanding whether I am entitled to claim 7 or 8 years relevant skilled employment for 189 EOI. I received a Engineers Australia skilled employment outcome letter and was awarded skilled experience outside of Australia for the period March 2010 to February 2017. To me this is 8 years of experience. I'd like to know whether I'm interpreting the letter correctly. Any assistance will be appreciated...
  11. Hi all, So, i see that at the moment 189 visas are up there for the 70 pointers. Help me understand something please my wonderful peeps? I am not qualified yet, but will be a qualified special needs teacher by end of the year, with 60 points. Special needs teachers are not a high demand skill/pro rata skill (like IT, accountants, engineers) who DEF need 70 points. They allocate approx 1000 spots for SN teachers each year and so far only 6 have been invited. What i'm trying to understand is...when your EOI is submitted, are you competing against EVERYONE for your 189 invite or in my case , would i just be competing against other special needs teachers? For example, if i am the only special needs teacher in the pool at 60 points not competing with any other special needs teachers in the world - would i get an invite? or are there other factors i'm fighting against? SHED SOME LIGHT xxx
  12. Hi All I am in possesion of a 189 visa, Im not the main member. My work may potentially want to send me there for a short business trip. We have not activated our visa's yet. Would I be able to do this? Travel there and then back, even though Im not the main member to activate? Would this affect us in any way or our activation date, etc? Thank you
  13. Darran

    We are rolling...

    Hello everyone! I'd like to start by saying what an amazing forum this is! I wish I had found it earlier... would have saved me R3200 on booking an unnecessary IELTS test for myself! My wife and I made the big decision to emigrate about 1 month ago. We had been tossing the idea around for the past two years, but the kicker came after attending a dinner party with close friends. One of the conversation topics for the evening (discussed as nonchalantly as the latest Springbok Test Match) was: "What is your strategy for getting all your children into one room when they attack you"! You see, we are farmers in the Natal Midlands (a.k.a "The coal face") with two young girls, and this and similar topics of discussion are not only common place at social gatherings, but very much a necessity! We decided there and then that we would look to move to a country where these conversations were not only foreign, but completely unnecessary! We have family in WA so the country of destination decision ended up being pretty simple. We will be applying for a 189 Visa, with my wife as primary applicant (Secondary School Teacher). I could have applied for state sponsorship as a Dairy Farmer, but we felt the process would be simpler/quicker with my wife as primary applicant. We have booked IELTS, applied to Maties for all required paperwork for my wife's skills assessment, sent off our PCC applications, applied for Unabridged certificates (birth, marriage etc.) and will hopefully be putting in our EOI at some stage in September (if all paperwork arrives by then). We are banking on having 65 points... I put together our budget for the move and nearly choked on the final figure...but then again can you put a price on the future of your children...?
  14. Good morning, I'm struggling to determine who should be the primary applicant on our visa application. We're applying for the 189 points tested visa. Background: I hold a bachelors in Electrical & Electronic engineering and my wife a bachelors in Chemical engineering. I cocked up my English test, so i'm 5 points short without claiming points for partner skills. My wife on the other hand did fantastic and has 60 points without claiming points for partner skills. Do we only complete a skills assessment for my wife and apply through her? Or do we complete a skills assessment for both of us and apply through me? Would she require the skills assessment to find work in any case? I'm hesitant to change her to the primary applicant as we have set up our immiaccount with me as the primary. Not sure of it's difficult to change? Also, does she stand a better chance than me in securing the visa? Not sure which occupation is more sought after. Thank you !
  15. Hello For those who have submitted, or submitting in December. We've finally submitted our 189 visa and uploaded all the documents today. Good luck and keep in touch NAME VISA APPLICATION DATE CO CONTACT VISA GRANTED MvR89 1/12/2016 tbc tbc
  16. Hi guys Wanting to start the visa application process but a little confused around the 189 or 190 visa. I can get 65 points on a 189 visa under the general accountant classification - I know this is never going to be enough to secure an invitation so not worth pursuing this route. If I apply on a 190 visa I can get up to 75 points (+5 for the 190 and +5 as my wife is a financial adviser on the short-term skills list). Does anyone know the order in which they do the invitations on skill select? Ie. is it 189 until full (at a given points level), then 190 (at the same level). Or is it the other way round - ie. 190 with state sponsorship will be selected before the 189 visas? All very confusing... Thanks in advance Ed
  17. Hi all. We submitted our EOI yesterday evening. Our main applicant is my wife. My preamble: I had lumbar deconstruction surgery May 2015 after a severely ruptured disc. No disc replacement, no fusion. I pretty much function fine, but we are worried what impact this may have on our application. At the time the Neuro said there exists the possibility that I may need a fusion later (I was 40 at the time). My question: Has anyone had a similar operation prior to Visa app, and how did it affect the process? I have made an appointment with the Neuro in 2 weeks time for check-up and a report to submit with the Visa app. Thanks in advance!
  18. Hi All We want to start our application for the 189 skilled VISA, but we also want to have a second child. What are the cost and time implications if: 1. We fall pregnant after the application is submitted (not granted) 2. We fall pregnant after the VISA has been granted and have baby in SA (not moved yet) I know that giving birth in Australia solves a lot of problems, however I would appreciate more clarity on what happens if the child is born in SA during the process. Thank you in advance! Leroy
  19. Hi Can anyone help me with this question: I am an professional Electrical Engineer with a B-Tech degree. On the points test, do I get the following points; At least a bachelor degree from an Australian educational institution or other degree of a recognised standard - 10 Points or do I get this: An award or qualification recognised by the assessing authority in the assessment of the skilled occupation - 5 Points Thanks Dewald
  20. Good morning, I have a bit of a debacle with choosing my nominated occupation. I spoke to an immigration agent, but couldn't get a definitive answer before my hour ran out. I have a bachelor's in Electronic and Electrical engineering from Stellenbosch. It seems that Engineers Australia view both electrical and electronic engineering as independent streams. I specialized in telecommunications, would that make me an electronics engineer? Second question - I have a master's degree in industrial engineering and I currently work as a management consultant. The immigration agent advised me to keep anything off my application that would muddy the water i.e. my master's and experience. Do i just leave the past three years off my CV when submitting it for my skills assessment or how do I go about it? Thank you for your assistance. Regards,
  21. Hi All. Just a few questions: We have been granted our 189 visa. We have booked for Dec to go over to LSD. We are flying SAA to Perth. Do we need to arrange anything regarding visas? Or are those automatically built into our passports now. Do we need to do anything on arrival regarding activation of visas. If anyone can provide more info. Thank you!
  22. I did my ACS July 2016, they gave me 4 years experience from March 2012. So will I now have 5 years experience or do I need to do another ACS assessment?
  23. We lodged yesterday! Anybody else lodged in August?
  24. I was busy organising the health examination for my family and I came across a list of 14 questions relating to your medical history. My query specifically relates to question 14 that says: 14. Are you taking any prescribed pills or medication (excluding oral contraceptives, over-the counter medication and natural supplements)? If yes, please list these. Must you list any sort of medication that you are on or do you only list things that are chronic or serious in nature? I recently had a bad chest and sinuses and my doctor prescribed a nasal spray and dry inhaler but only for a limited time. Do I need to mention this? If the prescription had finished a few weeks ago I would not be lying if I said that I was not on any prescription medication. I don't want to mess things up as we are so far into the visa process so any advice would be appreciated.
  25. I have written the IELTS exam twice and my scores were as follows: 1st time (academic) S 9 / L 9 / R 8 / W 7 2nd time (general) S 9 / L 9 / R 9 / W 7.5 As I require all 8s to get 20 points I paid for a remark a few days ago. My question is simply how long did it take to get the results back (website says 6-8 weeks) and did your score change?
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