Listening module of the examination involves listening, reading, hearing and writing skills. Learn to use them simultaneously.
Read the instructions carefully, don’t just glance at them. Listen to the instructions on the CD as well. A general clue is usually given.
Develop your organisational and prediction skills, and your concentration.
Concentrate on the question one at a time, but be prepared for the next question. Look ahead if you have time.
Remember that if you want a high score you should aim to get all questions correct. Don’t make any careless mistakes.
Don’t panic if the topic is too difficult or the speaker is too fast. Relax and tune in.
Don’t leave blanks, you might as well guess – and get lucky.
Answer the questions quickly and accurately. Leave a question if you can’t answer it. Go back later if you have time and guess if you have to. You have roughly one and a half minute for each question.
Don’t panic if you know very little about the theme. All the answers are in the passage and you don’t need any specialist knowledge.
As the passages are long, you don’t have to read them in detail. Skim and scan them to find relevant information.
The questions are usually paraphrases of the text so look for the meaning in the text not the exact words.
Remember you have no extra time to transfer your answers to the answer sheet,. You have to manage in 60 minutes.
Prepare for the reading part by using various authentic sources e.g. newspapers, magazines, journals. Don’t limit yourself to one type of text and read articles with an academic style where possible.
Careless mistakes cost many marks. Copy the answer correctly if it is in the passage.
Read the instructions very carefully. Make sure that you understand the tasks and do what you are asked to do.
Don’t spend more than 20 minutes on Task 1 as it is a shorter task. Leave about 40 minutes for the second task.
Work out how many lines 150 and 250 words are in your handwriting i.e. the number of words per line. Do not write less than asked as it will affect your score.
You have no time to write a draft, however make a brief plan and stick to that. Do not spend more than a couple of minutes for planning.
Make sure that you write in paragraphs including introduction and conclusion as appropriate.
Always check your work as you write. Look backwards as well as forwards. Be aware of the mistakes you usually make and look out for these.
Remember what you bring to the writing when you do the exam. Your mind is not a blank sheet!
Speak as much English as you can. Your ability to communicate effectively is also tested, not just your vocabulary and grammatical accuracy. Speak clearly. This does not mean slowly, but naturally and evenly.
Prepare yourself for the exam by knowing what is involved. It is not a test of knowledge and there is no single answer, but ensure that you give your opinion. Don’t worry if you feel it is not sophisticated enough.
You need to sound natural and not as if you have learnt answers by heart. Be spontaneous and relevant.
Concentrate generally on what you are saying rather than being accurate. You will then make fewer mistakes.
Do not be put off by the recording as it is to help you and not the Examiner!
Keep eye contact with the examiner, even if he/she looks away or makes notes. It does not mean that you are doing badly. It just means that the Examiner is doing his/her job.
Be positive. The exam is nearly over, so smile and breathe evenly. Remember that the adrenaline produced by your nervous feelings actually helps you to perform better.