26 Dec How to Study For A Language Test
Learning a new language is always beneficial and adds a great deal of confidence to your personality, personally and professionally. It is observed that knowing more than two languages dramatically widens your prospects and opens new doors of opportunities on all fronts. Thanks to technology, there has been a prominent increase in the learning of new languages by people around the globe. Once you reach a reasonable proficiency level you should consider getting tested and certified in the language. This enables you to add credibility as well as strength to your professional profile and showcase your language skills for the world to see.
There are over 6500 languages in the world. That’s A LOT of languages! How many can one practically learn in a lifetime? Well, that’s a topic for another post. For now, let’s discuss the best ways to study for a language test and how to get a great score.
No matter which language you are learning, keep in mind that to get certified requires dedication and hard work. There are no shortcuts and consistent practice is required to gain a strong command over the language. But having said that, the following tips are to serve as a guideline to stay on track, improve practice times and help you study for a language test to get great results!
Time Allocation For Each Section
Almost all language tests are based on four skills; reading, listening, speaking and writing. For the best results, you must allocate fair time for each skill set. Sometimes, we get lost in focusing on our strengths and really trying to ‘wing-it’ when it comes to our weaknesses. Allow appropriate time to each section (after a basic assessment) so that you level up your game in all areas.
Practical Implementation of Language Concepts
Knowledge is useless until and unless applied and implemented in daily life. Try to get in as much real-world practice as possible. Watching videos on YouTube cannot supplement active participation in real-world conversations. You can also find a Skype practice partner if the language you are learning is not commonly spoken in your region.
Constant Review of Vocabulary
Having an impressive vocabulary for a language can and will strengthen your practice. Try to keep flashcards or mobile notes of new words you learn and consistently review them to create recall until it becomes second nature. The spaced repetition technique can also be helpful to consolidate the words in your memory bank.
Systematic and Regular Reading
Cultivating a daily reading habit will help any language learner to enhance all areas of language learning including listening, speaking as well as writing skills. Surround yourself with reading material in your target languages such as newspapers, magazines, online articles, and even children’s books.
Experiment with Language Exchange
Meetup is a great place to find language exchange events in your city. Participating in such events can help you connect with native speakers and provides you with the opportunity to ask questions about the language, clear doubts and learn something new about the culture.
Make the Dictionary Your Best Friend
While learning any language you will come across many new words on a daily basis. It is helpful to record them with their translation and a few practice sentences. Language examiners take notice of test takers that have a wide range of vocabulary and can use them appropriately in sentences. Websites like WordReference can support you in this area.
No matter which language test you are preparing for, there are mock tests available for almost all kinds of certifications. Appearing in mock examinations and self-evaluating until you are satisfied with your results can remarkably boost confidence levels before actually getting certified. The best prep for the exam is after-all the exam itself, imagine how confident you’ll feel if you’ve already appeared in a similar test several times?
When studying for language tests, it is essential that you minimize distractions. Since most of the preparations are done online, using the web or apps on your phone, it is easy to get lost and distracted by several online notifications. Social media, online games, and shopping sites and emails are the ones to watch out for. You can consider installing an extension on your browser such as StayFocusd to help you restrict your time on time-wasting websites.
Take Frequent Breaks
Trying to learn a lot of things in one go can be exhausting. For productive learning try to break the preparation into short sessions of 20-30 minutes for better retention of knowledge. Take regular breaks and give your brain some time to absorb all the new information before giving it another dose of it.
Destress Yourself from Exam Fear
Exam anxiety is natural but you need to learn to deal with it. Remember that confidence comes from competence. If you’ve practiced well and developed a competency, then you need not fear. Avoid caffeinated drinks or heavy meals during exams days and try to get a good night’s sleep before the test day. Contrary to popular belief, it may be a good idea to not study immediately before the exam as it increases stress levels and might even disrupt the previous memorization.
Each language test is different and you must be fully prepared beforehand for the kind of exam that you are appearing for, including its various sections and testing styles. It is natural to feel some anxiety but test-takers can dramatically improve their scores if they follow the above guidelines on how to study for a language test. Deep breathing is also a great way to calm your nerves and relax your mind before and during the test.
Try to take as many mock tests as you can and hopefully, getting a high score will feel like a walk in the park with your friend on a sunny day. All the best!