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How to Study for ESL Exams

Tips for ESL Test Preparation

Tests for English as a Second Language (ESL) are given in countries where English is the main language. The most popular tests are the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC), and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

ESL exams are recognized globally, so doing well in this test can be used as a key to many possibilities. To help you perform well in the exam we have put together some tips for ESL test preparation.

These tips can be helpful in making you mentally and psychologically prepared for the ESL exam. Though these guidelines are very general, incorporating them into your study habit or study plan will surely make you even more prepared.

• Set a goal for yourself. If you need this exam for a job, it would be best to know the grade requirement of your employer. If you need it for admission to a college or university, do the same thing. Different employers and colleges require different grades. It is always helpful to know what you should be shooting up for.

• Know and understand the different parts of the test. Familiarize yourself with the parts of the exam. By knowing the different parts, you can allot your time equally among practicing for the different parts.

• Create a study plan. After familiarizing yourself with the different exam components and how you will be graded, draft a study plan that will incorporate this as well as your weaknesses. Allot more time for the parts that you seem to be lacking in.

• Widen your vocabulary. Create your own dictionary with words that are used in business, travel, and commerce. Do not only limit your dictionary to writing the words. Use them in a sentence. Doing this will not only familiarize you with the word but also with the context and meaning of the word.

• Listen to your instincts. When you start studying and you are presented with numerous practice tests and answers, it would be helpful to listen to your instincts since there are many trick questions especially in questions asking you to pick the best answer.

• Read aloud regularly. Reading aloud will help you improve your comprehension of the English language. For this task, read a wide variety of materials. You can read newspapers, books, magazines, brochures and even pamphlets. This will expose you to a wider vocabulary.

• Expose yourself to media. Watch the news, sitcoms, TV shows or listen to the radio. Hearing other people speak the language will help you get accustomed to its tone. Read advertisements, announcements and billboards. You need as much practice as you can.

• Teach your language to an English speaker. Teach your native tongue to someone who has spoken English their whole life. Doing this will force you to converse with them in English. You will eventually learn new words, sentences and expressions.

• Begin writing in your journal using English. Write down your daily experiences and feelings. By doing this you practice your writing skills and help you improve the way you express yourself in the English language.

• Never cram. Try to spread you studying over a long period of time. Doing this will help you mind remember more details with ease. When you cram, you force your mind to process and remember huge amounts of information for a very short period of time. The result is, by the time you are taking a test, there may be some pertinent information you won’t be able to recall.

• Research and acquire study guides. There are various study guides available in bookstores and on the internet. Here are some study guides we recommend – IELTS   TOEFL   TOEIC

• Find a study partner or study group. Interacting with others studying for the exam will give you more experience in using the language. You might even discover some words you have not encountered before. A study group can be an efficient means of studying. It can save you time and energy.

• Be aware of how fast you speak. For other people to comprehend what you are saying, you must avoid speaking too fast. You need to be understood, so be sure to pace yourself when you are speaking.

• Practice pausing in between sentences. Pausing in between your sentences will help the listener get the tone of what you are saying. Your ideas will be clearer and more transparent.

• Finally, practice, practice, practice. Remember, practice makes perfect. This is the only way you will get accustomed to English.

ESL exams requires a lot of practice and studying. These tips are aimed at helping you save time and work efficiently. Remember, that the only way you will be able to speak and write English fluently is by practicing and studying. It is important that you exhaust all means necessary for you to get the feel of the language.


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