My English exam preparation – March

This is the third 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 March and what I’m going to do in April…

 
My English exam preparation-March

 

My English Exam Preparation In March

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

1. Speaking skill…
I finished looking for and gathering the basics rules I have to work in order to improve my English speaking level.
This is a brief summary of the 10 basic rules or “Ingredients“ I have to master if I want to improve your English speaking skill.

  1. Pronounce the different sounds that produce the 5 vowels and 21 consonants.
  2. Stress the right syllable in words.
  3. Stress the right words in sentences.
  4. Use the different intonation patterns correctly.
  5. Cut long sentences into smaller “thought groups” when you speak.
  6. Use connected speech.
  7. Use reduced speech.
  8. Use the SCHWA sound.
  9. Use contractions.
  10. Never drop word endings and pronounce them correctly

You can find more information on my post… How to speak perfect English.

Once I know everything I have to work in order to improve my speaking, it’s time to start to work more specifically on every “ingredient”.

2. Learning Phrasal verbs…
After starting to work on phrasal verbs, I think that memorizing endless lists of phrasal verbs is not the best option.
Instead of, I’m using a strategy that’s going to help me to internalize and use naturally phrasal verbs.
I write a sentence with a new phrasal verb every day. I also write another sentence with all the phrasal verbs I learned during the previous days.
You can find more information on my post…The most effective strategy to learn phrasal verbs.

3. Learning Idioms…
I only could gather some of the basic idioms with samples. At first, I’m going to start reading them and lately I’m going to look for a way to internalize them like I’m currently doing with phrasal verbs.

4. Gathering specific information about the exam…
I didn’t have enough time to look for more specific information about the exam. I’m going to leave this task for the next months.
I didn’t fulfill this task but as I’m working hard every day I don’t see it as a failure.

5. Informal work…
I’m keep doing a lot of informal English work every day. I try to add as much informal work as possible in my daily live.

All this informal work is helping me to improve my English level even without noticing it.

 

What I’m Going To Do In April

1. Speaking skill…
I’m going to work very specifically on every one of the 10 basic ingredients of the English speaking skill.

2. Shadowing technique…
I’m going to work every day on the Shadowing technique with the more suitable material for my current level.

I’m going to try to do it daily even if it’s only for 5 minutes. The most important is to work it every day no matter for how many time.

2. Recording my voice while speaking in English…
I’m also going to start recording myself while using the shadowing technique. To record my voice is something that I had avoided unconsciously for a long time because I don’t like to hear myself talking in English because of my bad English level. Let see how it works…

3. Keep learning Phrasal verbs and Idioms…
I’ll keep learning Phrasal verbs. I’m currently doing it for 30 days in a row. I’ll tell you about how it works for me at day 30.
I’m also going to start reading Idioms to see how I can learn them.

That’s all for March. More about my improvement in the next post of the series…

 

And Remember…

my English exam preparation march_

– 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.

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 – 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.