Some tests are easier than others, especially for those that are either learning a new language or trying to grasp the specifics of their native language. Math is simple. It’s a universal language and you either understand it or you don’t. There are so many nuances to language, especially English, that you may understand more than 99 percent of it but find that last one percent tricky to master.
Thankfully, there are some ways in which you can develop your language skills and put these skills to use toward your English test. Some of these are quite detailed while others are doing simple daily activities that will help you in the long run. Let’s take a look at how to develop your language skills.
Keep a Journal
Whether you’re writing a few sentences or several pages, one of the best things you can do for your language skills is to write on a daily basis. If you can, try to keep your journal in a Word document. When you do this, Word can automatically detect any spelling or grammatical errors. Extensions like Grammarly can also help. Take notes of the suggestions that are being made, and use this new knowledge on your English test.
Though you likely won’t be able to find the exact test that you’re going to be taking online, you can at least take free English tests online with similar questions. This will give you an understanding of what to expect. Not only that, but you’ll be able to see the more common mistakes (in the form of wrong answers) that you may be accidentally doing in your writing or speaking. If you’re scoring high marks on the practice test, continue to study even if you think that you’ve mastered things because you never know what a test can throw at you.
Read the News
Perhaps the most common form of perfect English writing is the Associated Press (AP) style. Reading articles directly from the AP will allow you to become familiar with the type of English that you’ll be tested on. Most reputable news sources will use the AP style, as well, but try to stay away from opinion or editorial articles that tend to have more slang terms and use a looser form of AP style.
One of the best things you can do to enhance your English skills is to understand how words are pronounced. Make some flashcards that have some tougher common English words and try to sound them out to the best of your abilities. Words that are pronounced the same but have different meanings should also be studied. These are called heteronyms and include words like live, wind, tear, close, and dove.
A lot of major tests will have a prep guide available that goes into thorough detail about how to specifically train for that test. Along the way, you’ll learn the ins and outs of the English language to the point where you’re using it in everyday life rather than simply for the test. Even if there isn’t a specific prep guide for the test that you’re taking, picking one up for a similar English test will also be beneficial. Tutors can also be available depending on the test that will work with you one-on-one.
Set Aside Study Time
There are a lot of people that study for exams in the random free time that they get throughout the day but may find themselves unfocused because it can be a very short period of time. If you want to get the most out of your studying session, set aside a particular block of time for each day so that you can be laser-focused on studying. The amount of suggested study time depends on the exam itself. For instance, experts suggest that an exam for a class that’s taken once per week should be studied two to three hours per day.