001 How to Prepare for a Test

This can be used for many different testing systems, but we apply the different templates (formats) specifically to IELTS and TOEFL.

001 How to prepare for a test

01 topic and task

02 organizational skills and orientation

03 vocabulary

04 grammar

05 speed

01 topic and task (task requirement)

If you do not understand the topic or the task requirement, this may have a significant impact on your score. An example of this is the Listening section of IELTS. Different passages require different responses. If the instructions requires 1 to 3 words, but you write 4 words, it is wrong.

02 organizational skills and orientation

An example of this is part 2 of the speaking test. When the examiner gives you the topic card, if you are familiar with it, you will know how to organize your response quickly and confidently.

Most students complain about how much they do not like part 2 of speaking. After they meet with Rick, they become more comfortable with it and their scores go up.

As we mention in different passages of this blog, Students Blog, most students (especially Chinese students) tend to score 0.5 band lower than their ability. Students get lower scores because they try to use skills that do not work for them. An example of a mistake is taking notes during part 2 of speaking.

Some Youtube videos encourage note taking during part 2 of IELTS speaking. When these students come to us, we offer different skills. When they practice the different skills, in the words of the students, “My score magically went up when I stopped taking notes.”

Remember, tests are written to confuse you and make you nervous, but there the list of ways tests can do this is short. An example is if the test is multiple choice, such as A, B, C, D, and there are 40 questions, students often get nervous if they do not know the answers to the first 2 or 3 questions. If you spend too much time answering the first 2 or 3 questions instead of moving on and returning later to these questions, you may not have enough time to finish the test.

Remind yourself during any part of a test, “Relax, take only 30 seconds to a minute, and move on if you don’t know.” Your unconscious mind is moving faster (much faster) than your conscious mind. When you begin to understand this, it is amazing how quickly you will begin to move through the test once you let go of your fears.

Included in this section is learning to take notes and learning many new words.

03 vocabulary

Test preparation of a foreign language, such as IELTS and TOEFL for non-native speakers, requires learning many new words. As you learn more words, all 4 sections of the test becomes easier.

Included in this section is learning to take notes and learning many new words.

04 grammar

Once you have improved your vocabulary, your grammar naturally improves.

05 speed

These tests are timed. Students who do well on these tests, have learned 01 to 04 above first. As they become oriented to the tasks and learn the skills, their speed naturally gets faster and their scores go up.

You are actually smarter than you think you are. This is true even if people have told you that you are slow. Many students experience boredom when they study because their study methods are not effective for them. When you learn new methods and you begin to feel the speed at which you can learn and practice taking the test, the test becomes an adventure.

An example of the test becoming an adventure is IELTS listening and reading sections. Most of our students jump from a 6.5 band to a 7.5 band in these sections once they learn how to study and practice.

The end

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