4 Tips on how to prepare for your English language test

/ / Immigration Advice, Immigration to Australia, Our latest posts

If there is one part of the immigration process that’s underestimated by many, it’s the English language test. “But I can speak English, it won’t be a problem”.

Sure, but can you speak it to the level Australia requires? Can you demonstrate your reading, listening and writing skills well? And when was the last time you were subjected to the nail-biting anxiety of having to complete an exam in a certain time?

The score of your English language test could determine whether or not you can submit a visa application. Won’t you want to be as prepared as can be?

Tip 1: Understand the test format

The most common English language tests are the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and the PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English Academic).

Both of these tests consist of four parts:

  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking

In turn, each part consists of a set of questions and tasks. Familiarising yourself with all the parts, questions and tasks will prepare you for what’s coming on test day. Going in blind is setting yourself up for failure!

Let’s give you the Listening component of the IELTS as an example:

You’ll listen to four recordings. Each recording is done in a different accent and only played once.

After listening to the recordings, you’ll have to answer questions based on what you’ve heard. This part of the test is broken down into four parts with 10 questions each. The formats of the questions include:

  • Multiple choice.
  • Matching.
  • Sentence completion.
  • Plan/map/diagram labelling.
  • Form/note/table/flow-chart/summary completion.

Can you already see why it’s important to prepare for your English test?

Tip 2: Practice with sample tests

Completing sample test materials will help to prepare you for the test in a big way! You’ll be able to:

  • Familiarise yourself with the test format.
  • Experience the types of tasks you’ll be asked to do.
  • Test yourself under timed conditions.
  • Review your answers and compare them with model answers.

This is like the tests that came before the big end-of-year exams at school. Do you think you would’ve done half as good in the exam if you didn’t write the tests beforehand?

Both IELTS and Pearson have sample tests available on their websites, and you download it here and here.

Tip 3: Consider working with an English language teacher

If you’d prefer someone to guide you, instead of preparing on your own, working with an English language teacher is the way to go.

Usually teachers offer tutor sessions over Skype and – big plus – it’s one-on-one. The teacher will introduce you to the test format, take you through sample tests, give feedback, and focus on your developmental areas.

Clients of Intergate can access our list of recommended English language teachers. If you haven’t asked for it yet, do so today.

Tip 4: Know what to expect on test day

Think back to your finals at school. Remember how you had to be seated at a certain time? Remember that you had to have at least two pens?

The English language test environment is similar. You’ll have to bring stipulated items with in order to be able to write your test. And you’ll have to be on time!

Your English language teacher, if you work with one, will be able to prep you on all the requirements. If you’re a client of ours, you can also speak to our advisors to find out what to expect on test day.

In summary…

This is not ‘just’ an English test.

This test forms part of Australia’s eligibility criteria for anyone who wants to live and work Down Under. Scoring well is crucial to increasing your overall points score and thus your chances of immigrating.

If you don’t prepare for your English test, you’re doing yourself a great disservice. You might also end up having to pay for another test – and we’re sure you wouldn’t want to do that.

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