Whether you are preparing for a Cambridge ESOL, Trinity GESE, or IELTS examination, there is always a way to increase your chances of getting the result you want.

At TLG, we offer a range of English Language exam preparation courses that can give you the guidance you need to pass.

Here are four common questions students often ask their teachers when they are preparing for an English language examination.

Should I look at exam strategies?

Yes, it is very important to know what to expect on the day of the examination. Different exams have different formats, so you should look at how to answer the questions beforehand to save you time. That said, looking at strategies is not enough by itself – you should also look at improving your general English.

When can I do the exam?

The best answer to that is: whenever you feel ready. Generally, it takes about 12 weeks of continuous study to move from one level to the next, but that is not the same for every student. For example, if your current level of English is B1 and you would like to do the First Certificate in English (which is a B2 level examination) you should start preparing at least three months in advance.

Should I practice with past exam papers?

Absolutely. Using past examination papers is a good way to prepare for the real thing. First, you should practice without any time limits to understand the exercises. Then you should do timed practice to learn how to manage your time during the examination. This will also help you to understand which skills you are already good at and which ones you will need more practice with.

What can I do on the day of the exam?

Examinations are stressful - there is no doubt about that – and stress has been shown to affect your performance in a negative way. You should minimise your stress by sleeping well the night before and having a healthy breakfast in the morning. You should also avoid last-minute revision: not only will it not make a difference, but it can also make you more anxious.

 

This post was written by Dimitris Kottis, an ESL teacher at TLG Birmingham.