Are you going to write an English proficiency test? If so, then, read this.

When you enrol to write a standardized exam, you usually have a pretty compelling reason to do so: immigration, education or professional advancement. And in those cases, my friends, almost simply won’t do.

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The tips I will share with you come not only from my professional experience as a teacher, but especially as a test-taker myself. Here is what I have learnt:

Tip #1: DO NOT TAKE THE TEST FOR GRANTED

Just because you are confident in your level of English, it doesn’t mean you should not prepare for the test. Each exam, be it CELPIP, IELTS, TOEFL, CPE or CAE, demands that you approach it strategically.

Tip #2: LEARN THE EXAM

“Learn the exam” means to get to know it. How long is it? What parts does it have? What am I required to do in each of them? How do they mark mistakes? Do I have time for second guesses? How many times do they play the listening? If you are writing IELTS, for example, you will hear the audio only once. If you are writing a Cambridge exam, however, you will hear it twice.

Tip #3: IDENTIFY YOUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES

If you have great listening and terrible reading, although you might want to focus on what you do best, it might be a great idea to work harder on what you don’t do well. All these tests will assess you in all different skills. If you drop the ball in one, it will impact all the others.

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Tip #4: BE RESTED AND HYDRATE

A test is a test. A test that lasts for at least a couple of hours is harder. And a test that can determine your future is even more important. A good night of sleep will keep you alert during test times. And it has been proven that dehydration can lead to fatigue, poor concentration and even anxiety – which you definitely won’t be needing any more of!!!

Tip #5: TRUST YOUR GUT

In all my years as a teacher, there has always been one constant; I’ve always told my students to ‘listen to their hearts’ ad nauseam. You can ask any of them, all traumatized by my daily mantra. The thing is… it is true. If you are not sure about your answer, it might be worth it to go with the one that feels most natural to you.

Click here to learn more about how Vertices can help you tackle a proficiency exam in courses designed specially for you.