If you’re moving abroad, planning on studying or working abroad you know that taking an English exam is a must to ensure you’re able to thrive in a predominantly English speaking environment. But even if you’re just considering making a move to any English speaking countries like England, Canada, Australia or the USA passing an exam can open a multitude of doors in these countries including career advancement and acceptance into leading universities. Preparing for these tests, which can include the IELTS, is simple if you follow the guidelines and methods outlined in this post.

More On The IELTS Exam

The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is an exam that tests your command of the English language to determine if you’re able to reside, study or work in a country. The results from this exam are accepted in 140 countries all over the world and can help you get into illustrious learning institutions or help you land your dream job.

Other Competitive English Exams

The British council and other recognised bodies conduct placement tests, entrance exams and other tests and exams to ensure non-natives can communicate effectively and efficiently in English while abroad. These tests can also help people gain visa’s, work permits or studying opportunities. Besides the IELTS there are a wide range of other competitive English exams. These include the PET (Preliminary English Test), the CAE (Certificate in Advanced English or Cambridge English: Advanced), TOEIC (Test Of English International Communication) and the CPE (Cambridge English: Proficiency).

How To Prepare For Your English Exam

Taking an exam is a nerve-wracking and often difficult process, especially if you’re not sure about where to start. If you follow these guidelines, methods and tips you’ll be that much closer to passing your exams and reaching your dream.

1. Take An English Test

Believe it or not the first step to succeeding in your English exam is to take an English test. An English test acts as a great preparative tool that should help you gauge your level of proficiency of the English language. This test can also prepare you for study. It will highlight areas of weakness that you’ll need to improve and then you can create your studying schedule according to the results revealed in this test. It’s also an informal test, hence the results won’t have any negative effect on your final exam results. The English test you can take on our website is a great way to get started.

2. Read Frequently

Another method to prepare you for competitive exams is to make reading a habit. You should find both fiction and non-fiction books to read and then read them for an hour or more each day. They should be books that have been edited well, and are from reputable or well known authors, so you know you’re reading a good book that will assist you in improving your grammar and spelling. While you’re reading you should be focusing on the spelling, punctuation and sentence style. Making notes if you bump into unfamiliar words.

3. Record The Rules Of English And Play Them Back

We’re living in a digital age, so chances are you’ll have access to a smart phone where you can record and make voice notes of all the rules you’ve learnt about English grammar, spelling and punctuation. Take this rule for example, “I before E except after C” this rule which many children learn in the early years of primary school would possibly be new to a non-native speaker but will certainly come in handy. There are a host of other rules that can help you use the correct conjunctions, prepositions, diminutives, adjectives and adverbs etc. There are even rules to help you with spelling. When you learn a new rule record it and then while you’re on the bus, train, walking or even in your car you can listen to the recording to ensure you’ve memorised the rules.

4. Purchase An Oxford Dictionary

It doesn’t have to be an Oxford dictionary, but as you prepare for your exams having access to a quality dictionary is essential. The dictionary can help you with spelling and using the correct words in the sentences, since you’ll be able to understand what the words mean.

5. Read An English Newspaper

The journalists, photographers and editors put together some relevant articles on a daily basis in many countries. But if you’re not living in a country with a dominant English presence finding a good quality newspaper may be difficult, but this shouldn’t stop you from reading. You can subscribe to some British newspapers online like the Guardian or the Independent. Finding great British newspapers or other periodicals ensures that you’re reading work that has been properly edited and researched. There are also a wide range of British newspapers available for digital subscription and some even available for free.

6. Write Frequently

From the day you’re made aware that you’ll need to take an exam to test your English you should set a rule for yourself that you’ll only write in English. Writing in English gives you an opportunity to put into practice the grammar rules, spelling rules and any other rules you’ve learnt. Writing in English can also help ease the pressure of writing in an unfamiliar language when it’s time for you to take the exam.

7. Talk To English Speakers

You want as much of your daily interaction before an exam to be with English speakers. Aim to spend 30 minutes a day talking to native speakers. It doesn’t have to be 30 consecutive minutes you can break it up into smaller, short bursts of conversation. If you’re in a country where English isn’t spoken frequently and as a result don’t have access to English speakers try subscribing to a factual or news based YouTube channel and just listening to how these news anchors and journalists speak. How they create sentences and how they sound. You can spend 15 minutes watching these videos and another 15 minutes talking English aloud.

8. Get Professional Help

Ideally you would want a professional like a tutor or English teacher to prepare you for your competitive English exams. These teachers have worked with many learners in the past and can help you as well. They’ll be able to answer your questions, give you feedback on your progress and give you advice on how to improve. There are also lessons or classes you can attend to improve your English. In these classes you’ll be given study material, grammatical rules and methods to help develop your English.

9. Attend A Homestay

Where would you find this professional though? On a homestay. We provide people with a wide range of courses that cater to many specific needs. These include courses that will help you prepare for an English exam, and can be done over a few weeks or months or even courses designed to help you quickly improve your skills.
A homestay also gives you access to English speakers and tutors and teachers who have helped learners in your predicament before. The types of courses you can attend include…..

  • Exam English
    Starting at 15 hours of high quality lessons a week the exam English course is especially designed to help students preparing to take different competitive English exams including the popular IELTS as well as the PET, CAE, CPE and TOEIC.
  • General English Course
    This language course (starting at 10 hours per week) will help you improve your English as well. Stay for 1 to 3 weeks and get access to a teacher where you can learn at your own pace. Lessons focus on speaking, listening, reading and writing and should help you with real life situations. No matter your level of English this course can quickly  improve your English skills.
  • Preparatory Aviation English
    This course is conducted to assist learners achieve an ICAO level 4 or higher. All course work has been tailored to those who wish to enter the aviation industry.
  • Fast Track English Course
    One of our intensive English courses, this intensive course is aimed at helping you improve your English in a short space of time.

10. Take Another Test

Remember the test you were advised to take at the beginning of this how to guide? Well, before you enter an examination room it’s time to test yourself again to see if you’ve made noticeable improvements and to see if you’re capable of passing your competitive exam. The last thing you want is for all your hard work and commitment to go to waste. When taking the test check to see if your results have improved at all, and if you still have weak areas that need to be addressed, before you head to the exam, work on these areas.

Preparing for competitive exams isn’t a difficult or even isolated venture, especially if you decide to take a language homestay. On a homestay you’ll have ample social activities as well as access to a language school that will improve your language skills. All courses are designed to help learners of all levels, improve and excel. But now it’s your time to improve your English language skills and make the best of the opportunities available to you if you pass an English exam.  

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