7 basic questions to choose the right English exam

I share with you the most important questions to think about deeply before deciding to take an exam.

If you think twice about these key points beforehand, you are going to…

  • Choose the right English exam for you.
  • Face your future exam with the best chances to succeed.

Let’s check the basic question to choose the right English exam for you…

 

7 basic questions to choose the right English exam

 

1. Do You Really Need To Take An Exam?

It can seem a stupid question but you need to know if you really need to take an exam.
If you want to learn English just because you like it you maybe don’t need an English certificate.
In the other hand if you really need an English certificate (to apply for a job, a university…) then check the next questions to choose the English exam that fulfills your needs.

 

2. What Specific Exam Do You Need To Take?

Every English exam has some specific characteristics. You need to apply for the right exam, the one that fulfills your needs and expectations.

Be aware that…

  1. Some exams evaluate General English while others can be BusinessAcademic or Medical oriented among others specific fields.
  2. There is also exams that measure all your skills levels, while some other exams are very specific and only measure some of your skills.
    An exam can measure your communication skills, Listening and Speaking skills, but in the other hand leaving aside your Writing and Reading skills.

There is not a perfect or best exam. There is a variety of exams and you have to choose the one that opens the doors you need to be open for a new job, a university, an organization…

 

3. Do You Know That Some Exams Have Score Expiration?

You have to know that the score of some exams only last for some years while others exams have a non expiration score.
This fact is very important because you need to foresee in order to be able to use your exam score while it’s valid.
Don’t take an exam which the score expires in a year when you are going to need it to apply for a university in two years. 🙁

 

4. Do You Have Enough Time To Prepare For An Exam?

You have to be realistic while thinking if you have enough time to study for an exam. If you are short of time to study you maybe have to give up on the idea of taking an exam or just postpone it for later.

 

5. Are You Aware Of Your Current English Level?

This question is basic because before choosing what exam you want to take you need to really now your current level for every English skill.
You are going to lose your time if you apply for an easy exam when you could apply more difficult and more valuable one.
You are also going to lose your time if you apply for an exam too difficult for you because you are heading to failure.
I recommend you to Check the four basic skills before starting to learn and improve your English.

 

6. What Level Do You Have To Reach In Order To Pass The Exam?

Once you know what exam you want to take, you have to be aware of the level they are going to ask you in order to pass your exam!

As an example…

If you apply for the Cambridge English: First Certificate, you have to just prove that you can use everyday written and spoken English for work or study purposes.

But in the other hand, if you apply for the Cambridge English: Proficiency Certificate, you have to prove that you have achieved an extremely high level in English, near native level.

You have to always keep in mind what level they are going to require you in order to pass your exam.

 

7. How Much Time Do You Need To Be Ready To Pass The Exam?

Once you Know…

  1. How much available time do you have to prepare for your exam?
  2. What is your current English level for every skill?
  3. What level do you have to reach in order to pass the exam?

You can work out how much time (weeks, months…) you need to reach the expected level.
Then you can also schedule the date when you are going to take your exam. Doing this you have at your side the main ingredients to succeed!!!

 

And Remember…

7 basic questions to choose the right English exam_
– Are you going to take an exam?
– How are going to prepare for your exam?
…All your comments are very welcome!!!

Copyright © Learn English Like Me and learnenglishlikeme.com, (2012-2016).
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author is strictly prohibited.
Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Learn English Like Me and learnenglishlikeme.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

My English exam preparation – February

This is the second post of a series where I’m sharing with you how I’m preparing, month after month, for an English exam (CAE).

Let’s see in detail what I did during February and what I’m going to do during March…

 
My English exam preparation-February

 

My English Exam Preparation In February

How did I work my English during the second month of the year?

1. Speaking skill…
I feel that I’m really doing a step ahead. I’m starting to understand how English speaking works. My speaking level is still quite the same but now I feel that I really understand the basic rules of speaking English. My personal decision was to concentrate on the American Accent.

I’m now aware and understand how works:

  • Syllable stress in words
  • Word stress in sentences
  • Intonation (Fall and Rising intonations)
  • Contractions
  • Liaisons / Linking
  • Though groups
  • Consonants sounds
  • Vowels sounds (These are pretty difficult)

As I already told you it’s easy to understand and to fell this concepts but it’s not that easy to apply them to my own speaking.

2. Writing skill…
I’m still working my writing skill. Now I’m just checking basic writing rules. Once I’ll have the basics I’ll start to prepare for specific work that will be asked in the exam.

3. Informal work…
As I already told you in my January report I keep doing informal work. I keep reading the news in English and I listen to English materials whenever doing my household chores… I have introduced English passive learning in my daily life. I maybe don’t have time to sit on my cough and comfortably read or listen to English stuff but I can read and listen to English materials while doing my daily tasks.

 

Achievements And Failures While Improving My English

1. Tenacity…
I’m keep working my English seven days a week, no matter what.
I’m happy about this fact because is not an easy task to work my English everyday even if it’s only for 30 minutes, depending on my free time.

2. Studying general English instead of focusing in the exam…
I’m currently learning general English instead of focusing on working for the exam. I think it’s not a bad strategy because I do need to improve my English level. Although in future months I’ll have to concentrate and focus in my training for the exam. I’ll do specific tasks as the ones I’ll find in the exam.

3. Improve all English skills…
I have to always keep in mind that I have to work all skills and share the few time I have between my ListeningReadingSpeaking and Writing skills. Now that I’m concentrating on my speaking I don’t have to forget the others skills because time flies and I have to make the most of the little free time I have. It’s easy to fall into the trap of working a skill you enjoy and just forget the other ones.

4. Being very critical about the materials I use…
I have to be very selective with the materials I work with. If something works for me I keep working with it until I fell I’m done. Whenever I feel that a material is not helping me anymore I leave it as soon as possible.

5. Being demanding about how I’m working my English…
I also have to be very self critical. I have to always check if what I’m currently working is helping me, if it doesn’t work for me I have to give up and go for another strategy. I have to be very demanding on how I’m working and the results I get. I have to change my strategy as much as needed to always be on the right path.
I recommend you to check my post about…The key to your learning English success

 

What I’m Going To Do In March

1. Speaking skill…
I want to keep working for another month this skill because I feel that I’m starting to achieve the basics of English speaking. I want to secure the basic pillars of my English speaking skill. I’ll also try a technique called “Shadowing” in order to improve my accent. I’ll share with you my opinion in my next report.

2. Writing skill…
I’m going to work for another month the basics rules of English writing. Afterwards I’ll start to work specific things like the ones I’ll find in the exam.

3. Starting to learn Phrasal verbs and Idioms…
I will start to learn from 3 to 5 Phrasal verbs and Idioms every day. I will try to memorize them and write sentences using them in order to increase my vocabulary and English knowledge. In the CAE Exam there is a paper (part) about the Use of English where you need to show a good knowledge of phrasal verbs and idioms. Furthermore, In the others parts of the exam I’ll have to show a good English level and Phrasal verbs and Idioms are an important part of the English language.

4. Gathering specific information about the exam…
In January I gathered some very basic information about the CAE exam. During March I’ll make a deeper research about the exam characteristics.

 

That’s all for February. More about my improvement in the next post…

 

And Remember…

My English exam preparation-February_

– If you are currently preparing for an exam…
– If you want to take an exam in the future…
… All your comments are very welcome!!!

Go To: My English exam preparation report in… January, February, March

Copyright © Learn English Like Me and learnenglishlikeme.com, (2012-2016).
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author is strictly prohibited.
Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Learn English Like Me and learnenglishlikeme.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

My English exam preparation – January

This is the first post of a series where I’m going to share with you how I’m preparing for an English exam.

Every month I’m going to publish an extended summary about:

  • What I’m currently doing.
  • How I work every English skill in detail.
  • Which strategy works and which doesn’t work for me.
  • The difficulties I find along the way.
  • …among many other things…

 
My English exam preparation-January

 

It All Started With A New Year’s Resolution

As you may already know, one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to pass an English exam because I want to be able to work abroad in the future…
learnenglishlikeme_resolution_2_small

I think that the Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is the exam that fits best my expectations.
The CAE exam requires an advanced English level that I don’t currently have but I’ll work during 2014 in order to reach it.

 

My Main Problem… No Free Time Available

Like almost everybody, I don’t have too much free time because of:

  • A full-time job.
  • Family duties.
  • Running this blog.

What I do is to work my English for between 30 to 90 minutes a day.
It’s actually very little time but I do it EVERYDAY, 7 days a week.
It doesn’t matter if I’m tired or if it’s a weekend day. I work seven days a week no matter what.
I usually work my English at nights before going to sleep.

 

My English Exam Preparation In January

How did I work my English during the first month of the year?

1. Gathering information about the exam…
Before taking an exam it’s basic to know all its characteristics and what they expect of you if you want to succeed.
I started gathering some very basic information about the CAE exam:

  • It’s an exam for advanced English learners.
  • The score of the exam has no expiration.
  • The exam evaluates General English.
  • It evaluates 4 skills (Listening, Reading, SpeakingWriting) + “Use of English”.

I’ll look for more specific information of every part of the exam later.

2. Speaking skill…
Through different English pronunciation materials I’m working the English American accent (pronunciation, accent, stress, liaisons…).
While it’s relatively easy to imitate the American accent, it’s very hard to incorporate all these new things when I speak.

3. English grammar…
I reviewed the English tenses.
I don’t recommend learning English through grammar books. Nevertheless it’s very useful to review some English grammar from time to time.
Just check very specific doubts that you have. For example: The differences between the Simple Past and Present Perfect tenses.

4. Informal work…
It’s when I work my English while doing my daily activities:

  • I read the News in English. I do it every day for 10 or 15 minutes while eating.
  • I listen to English materials whenever I’m doing house chores or driving my car.
    I’m currently listening a show that I like very much: Comedy Central Presents

 

What I’m Going To Do In February

1. Speaking skill…
I’ll keep working the American accent.
The most difficult part is to incorporate in my speaking the correct pronunciation and correct stress in words and sentences without having to think about it. I want to concentrate on all these during February.

2. Writing skill…
I’m also going to start working my writing skill. 
My objectives are:

  1. To improve my grammar, punctuation and spelling knowledge.
  2. To know how to develop an idea. How to construct a good argumentation around a given topic…

 

That’s all for January. More about my improvement in the next post…

 

And Remember…

My English exam preparation-January_
 
– If you are currently preparing for an exam…
– If you want to take an exam in the future…
… All your comments are very welcome!!!

 
Go To: My English exam preparation report in… January, February, March

Copyright © Learn English Like Me and learnenglishlikeme.com, (2012-2016).
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author is strictly prohibited.
Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Learn English Like Me and learnenglishlikeme.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.