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…

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, (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 with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Prioritize your English in your New Year’s Resolutions

The arrival of a brand New Year is always a good time to think about new projects, changes and novelties in your life.

It’s also the right moment to decide what are going to be the English learning goals that you want to reach by the end of the year.

prioritize your english in your new year's resolutions


What Are The New Year’s Resolutions?

As you maybe already know New Year’s resolutions are promises that you make to yourself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad on the first day of the year. What about to prioritize your English in your 2014 resolutions?

You can use this “special” moment to stop and think about your English improvement:

  • How did you do during the past year in order to learn English?
  • What are you going to do this New Year to improve your English?

Think deeply about these 2 questions and then you have to:

  1. Put in the ground a very big milestone in the first day of the year to know:
    • What are the goals you want to achieve by the end of 2014?
    • What strategies are you going to follow in order to reach your goals by the end of the year?
  2. In the last day of the year you are also going to stick another big milestone because  it’s when you are going to check and evaluate your work during the year to evaluate if you really reached your goals!

As a summary…
prioritize your english in your new year's resolutions_2


How To Write Down Your Enlgish New Year’s Resolutions

If you want to succed when choosing your resolutions you have to avoid resolutions that are too general or abstract like for example:
I’m going to do a lot of work to improve my English.

You have to write down specific and clear goals that you can easily visualize like:
I’m going to improve my reading skill by reading a book per month (12 books total).
I’m also going to work my writing skill by writing an entry in my personal diary everyday (365 entries total).

Be aware that you have to commit to work hard during the year in order to reach your resolutions.
It’s very easy to give up or to postpone your work because the end of a new year always seems to be so far…


My Personal New Year’s Resolutions For 2014

I have been thinking deeply about what are going to be my New Year’s Resolutions In order to improve my English.
After analyzing this past year I think that I’m going to have to clear goals that I want to reach by the end of the year.

Apart from writing down my two 2014 resolutions I also commit to work as much as possible to reach them or at the least to almost reach them by the end of the year.

Then…Let’s write down my 2014 English resolutions…

My first New Year’s Resolution…

I want to focus on improving my English speaking level that I have neglected for too much time.
I specially want to improve my pronunciation and my accent that nowadays really suck.

In order to reach my goal:
– I’ll speak with my English speaking friends at least for half an hour per day.
– I’ll also look for materials that can help me to improve my speaking skill.


My second New Year’s Resolution…

I’m aware that my second resolution is pretty ambitious and difficult…
I’m going to prepare for the Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) during 2014.
I’ll take my exam during the first weeks of 2015.

In order to reach my goal:
– I’m going to plan a specific strategy to work the different sections of the exam.
– I’ll have to work on a very regular basis in order to reach the skill levels expected on the exam.

I know beforehand that this exam is difficult because you need to have a very good level of English.
…Nevertheless, I will try!



And Remember…

prioritize your english in your new year's resolutions_

– Share with us your English New Year’s Resolutions.
– Write down your resolutions in the comments below in order to commit to them.
– I’m the first one to write down my resolutions.
Now it’s your turn!!! Go ahead!!!

Copyright © Learn English Like Me and, (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 with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.