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…
It All Started With A New Year’s Resolution
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, Speaking, Writing) + “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:
- To improve my grammar, punctuation and spelling knowledge.
- 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…
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