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Test Preparation

Test Preparation

Do you need to prepare for a major English language test like the IELTS or TOEFL and major aptitude and admission tests like SAT or GRE or GMAT? Here’s the information you need, along with links to practice pages and the official sites with registration and test information.

The IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE-Academic are the main international English language tests. English-speaking countries, universities, and employers use them to measure the English skills of applicants who are not native English speakers. All are accepted in the main English-speaking countries, and all have testing centers in countries around the world. They all test the four language skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening), but they test them in different ways. There are major differences between them, so it is important to learn which is best for your purposes. (Some universities prefer or even require, a specific test. Find out before you register!)

Similarly, the college admission and aptitude tests also vary depending upon universities and colleges and basically the US universities require them more often. SAT and ACT are the major tests taken by students seeking admissions to undergraduate programs and GRE and GMAT are taken by those who are seeking admissions to Graduate and Doctoral Programs.

Preparing for English Language Tests

  1. Decide which English language test is best for you.
  2. Register early to get a place at the testing center closest to you. Be sure to take a test several months before you must have the results. You need leave plenty of time for the test agency to send the results of your test to the universities, employers, or other agencies before their deadlines.
  3.  Make a study schedule and follow it. Use the information and practice tests provided. Pay special attention to any weaknesses the practice tests show you. Find a study partner if possible, both for correction and for motivation. Celebrate your improvement, and keep studying!
  4.  Practice all your English skills: read a variety of materials, practice conversations, listen to lectures online, take notes, and write about them.
  5.  Before the day of your test, make sure you can find the test location and that you have all the identification and other papers you need for the exam. Take a snack, a sweater or jacket (test rooms may be cold), and anything else you might need.
  6. On the day of your test, leave plenty of time to get there, find the room, confirm your identity, and get settled. Relax– you’ve been preparing for this for a long time.