NoteFull's Student of the Month for August 2015 back to top
[Irina is pictured above with her son and the family dog]
NoteFull is proud to present Irina Isakova, a fantastic student from Russia. Here is her success story . . .
Struggling to become a pharmacist
Because Irina studied to become a pharmacist in Russia, she had to take the TOEFL in order to meet the rigid requirements for the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Committee's (FPGEC) Certification Program. However, the year 2011 was a busy time for her. This was the year she began her TOEFL studies and also the year when she became a mom!
On Irina's first test, which she took in May 2012, she earned the following scores: R17, L22, S23, and W16. Irina was on a strict deadline and knew that no matter what, she'd have to pass the TOEFL by September 2015. If not, everything she completed prior to the TOEFL would be erased and she'd have to start the application process all over again, from the beginning.
Throughtout the processed she experienced a number of challenges:
1. Lack of confidence: For Irina, this intitially felt "close to impossible for me to overcome."
2. Frustration: "I was getting an average score of 23-24 on Speaking and 20-22 on Writing for 3 years. I could not get my 26 in Speaking and 24 in Writing."
3. Time: Being a mom, she had to try find time and balance everything: "It was a battle between studying and raising my child."
Many struggling TOEFL students can relate to the stress of this experience; it's intense!
Finding the key to her improvement and success:
In her studies she explored a variety of resources, but she states, "I was very disappointed with numerous live TOEFL preparation classes that I attended. Most of the texbooks were so outdated, and were useless, and the classes were quite expensive."
After searching for solutions online, she encountered some of NoteFull's videos on YouTube. She states that, "[they] caught my eye. I was amazed with straight clear explanations, latest information, and structure." So, Irina registered for several TOEFL programs (click below to check them out):
12-step Speaking + Tutoring + Review
12-step Writing + Tutoring + Review
And for general, academic English, she worked on ESL Power, read various articles, and listened to university lectures online.
Improving her scores also depended on the following:
1. "I had a strict study routine. I tried to study every morning from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. I had my days off, too." Her goal was, "20-30" hours per week.
2. "I tried to practice all parts of the TOEFL every week, otherwise it was so easy to forget without reviewing."
3. "I also took weekly tutoring with NoteFull." Her study schedule ensured that Irina "fill the gaps in [her] education and knowledge."
Regard her tutoring sessions, she says: "Tutoring helped me tremendously. I scheduled my tutoring in advance and carefully prepared for each tutoring session, so it kept my study extremely organized. I was guided how to study and encouraged to not give up. After each tutoring I was motivated to move forward."
It was not easy for Irina, but with a combination of these programs, study habits, and resources, she was finally able to make the necessary progress. With her deadline fast-approaching, Irina finally passed!
She earned the following amazing scores:
R25, L25, S26, W24, total 100!
Now that she's finished, she says: "While struggling with this test for years, I thought it would be the last exam in my life. However, after passing TOEFL I feel that everything is possible. I'm looking forward to new challenges."
Irina's final words to you:
"Just accept TOEFL as a chance to expand your knowledge. Getting the right score is possible. It is not necessary to be perfect on the test to get a perfect score. Do not give up!"
How to Become the Next Student of the Month back to top
If you think that you have what it takes to become NoteFull's next Student of the Month, please send us an email with your story of success to SuccessStories@NoteFull.com.
We look forward to receiving your success story. Whether you're working with an ESL or TOEFL system or through our Free TOEFL Course, we have seen your commitment to greatness and look forward to rewarding you for your hard work next month!
As Student of the Month, you will be interviewed by NoteFull and profiled on this page.
This is a great opportunity for you to inspire others with your story or just brag about your success. And just as you're reading this now, know that your story will continue to inspire others towards success for years to come.
Also, every Student of the Month receives a coveted NoteFull t-shirt! Wear it with pride when you get it because you deserve it.