Dr. Anshul Mishra “I think therefore I am”. I’m on my journey.
Your search for finding a means to end your exam blues has brought you to this article, or maybe you are a curious internet bypassed who found this worth your click. Either way, allow me to introduce the trick to master any language exam, But first; let’s talk about why you want to clear the exam.
I have been teaching online for a long time and have passed many language exams like IELTS, TOEFL, Pearson PTE, Goethe-Zertifikat B1, TestDaF, TEF, and many others. All the tests I have cleared required a high level of proficiency to pass, but what matters most is the reason you want to appear. If you want to immigrate or to study in a foreign country, these tests will surely provide you with the required credentials but if you wish to work in that country, trust me these tests won’t help as businesses require a greater depth of understanding and spoken practice of the language.
All languages have a similar testing structure like the CEFR i.e. Common European Framework of Reference for Languages such as level A1 where the candidate is tested for simple structures like alphabets, counting, beginner’s grammar, and small conversation. Then the A2 level where the candidate displays the use of common expressions with a basic introduction. The next level B1 and B2 are intermediate levels where the candidate can understand complex and abstract thoughts and has to describe everyday experiences with fluency and spontaneity. The last level C1 and C2 are where a candidate can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read and proficiently reconstruct in a coherent presentation.
Now coming to acing the test. To get the desired result, the first step is Pedal. Pedal means active learning, or to put in plain terms learning by doing. In this phase, equal time is to be allotted to the four skills (reading, listening, writing, and speaking) and all the basics lessons are to be executed and incorporated into the daily tasks, for example, grammar and sentences learned do not make a conversation. You need to have a person as a shadow to practice those sentences and channel them into a productive conversation. In this phase, you learn, but understand the pattern of exams and prepare accordingly.
The next stage is a preview. In this stage, the candidate must understand the difference between broad and specific learning. In the previous phase, the learning was very broad spectrum as you learnt everything taught by your mentor, but in this phase, the learning has to be centric to exam preparation. Besides practicing specific learning, the candidate must understand the concept of the language. It is also the stage where the candidate must make flashcards for exam topics to have a better grasp of the topics. To explain, the simple conversations that were done in the previous phase have alternative arguments and discussions that can be assessed by understanding the underlying concept of language.
The last step is to Present. In this step, language learning is halted, and the energy is diverted to presenting oneself before the problem. An example to put it into perspective is the Speaking test. When you are asked a question in the speaking test, answer it based on your previous learning and present it optimally to achieve the parameters set in the question. This step is the most important as many candidates, despite excellent lessons cannot give preponderance to it and do not get the desired results.
I will sum all the stages by using the examples of IELTS and Goethe-Zertifikat B1, as they are ideally the best-designed tests to evaluate language proficiency.
In the IELTS speaking exam, there are three broad sections.
- CUE Card
- Follow up
In the first part the introduction is like what is taught in the level A1 English classes, but what matters is the way the candidate presents it orally. The CUE Card has three/four pointers to fulfill and based on your previous learning, the pointers are to be incorporated into the description of the experience. The answer in the CUE Card lays the foundation for follow-up.
In Goethe-Zertifikat B1 Schrieben prüfung (writing exam) there are 3 Aufgabe (tasks) all tasks center on describing an experience as an email or essay. The candidate has 60 minutes and based on the questions can optimally present the topics by making use of previously learnt grammar and sentence structures.
In any language exam presentation of learnt knowledge matters, these exams assess the way you present your learning and not what you have learnt. When it’s exam time, stress levels rise and it’s easy to be anxious and feel you’ve forgotten everything! Lightly review any content you’re still struggling with on the night before the exam. Prepare for the exam day and arrange everything you’ll need for the test and know where the test is and how to get there. Skip the all-nighter and get a good night’s sleep, also don’t forget to set an alarm (or two or three). On the day of the exam, stay positive and calm. That’s easier said than done. One trick that I imply with my students is to picture the time when you will pass the exam and have your certificate in hand. That moment’s bliss will help you calm yourself. Last, relax it is an exam and a piece of paper can never dictate your future. You are more powerful than you think, channelize your inner self and you will achieve what your heart desires!! Best of Luck!!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Dr ANSHUL MISHRA