In our previous post, we recommended that students or people applying for immigration take the IELTS if they want to easily meet their immigration requirements. Here are the remaining test dates for 2014. If you're applying to universities, be sure to register for the Academic Module. The General Module is for immigration.
If you intend to attend university or immigrate to an English speaking country, you probably need to take an exam that proves you speak English as a second language. Although many people opt for the TOEFL, the IELTS may be a better fit for you. In general:
No matter what test you are preparing for or what guide you are using, if you do the things on this list, you are guaranteed to increase your verbal score.
1. Read more. People that read more read faster and understand more of what they read than the average person. Speed and accuracy are incredibly important on the verbal section of standardized tests, like the SAT and GMAT, and are the keys to scoring higher. Reading also improves your ability to recognize proper grammar, which is key for non-native English speakers.
2. Read widely. The reading passages on the SAT, GMAT, TOEFL, MCAT, GED, and GRE come different books, magazines, stories, reviews…you get the point: passages can be pulled from anywhere. Just because you like reading Harry Potter books doesn’t mean you won’t get a passage from National Geographic magazine. The more diverse materials you read, the less likely you are to be clueless on the verbal section.
3. Make reading easy. Too busy to go buy a book? You can read classic books FREE online or on your smartphone from Project Gutenbook. Don’t have time to read a whole book? Subscribe to email newsletters that come to your inbox. Check out the New York Times, Business Week, or the International Herald Tribune.
4. Use process of elimination. This is the single best test taking strategy for increasing your verbal score. Eliminate the answers you know are wrong and compare the remaining answers to figure out the right one. Even if you have to guess, your chances of selecting the correct answer improve significantly. You can learn more about process of elimination in one of my previous posts.
5. Look for best of the worst. Once you have eliminated two or three answers choices that you know are incorrect, it’s time to compare the remaining answers. Don’t put them back into the question. Instead, look at the differences between to two (or three) choices. Which one is a better answer to the question? Maybe it’s not how you would have answered, but it’s the best of the bad choices.
Need help getting your verbal together? Call APPLY ME at 04 311 6830 to get help from our native English speakers! We can prepare you for the TOEFL, IELTS, GMAT, GRE, or SAT. Don't wait until it's too late to see significant improvement in your verbal score.
Please note that we no longer offer GED preparation.
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A student recently sent us this list and we think it's a great review of what NOT to do. No matter what test you're studying for or which schools you're applying to, avoiding these mistakes can really improve your writing.
HOW TO WRITE GOOD ENGLISH
by Sally Bulford
(reprinted without permission from somewhere)
1. Avoid alliteration. Always.
2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
3. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They're old hat.)
4. Employ the vernacular.
5. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
6. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
7. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
8. Contractions aren't necessary.
9. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
10. One should never generalize.
11. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."
12. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
13. Don't be redundant; don't use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous.
14. Be more or less specific.
15. Understatement is always best.
16. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
17. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
18. The passive voice is to be avoided.
19. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
20. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
21. Who needs rhetorical questions?
22. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
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