This typically happens when we’re caught up somewhere in a university/college degree. Be it some foreign exchange program or post-graduate education, the system requires students to appear for accredited aptitude tests. But, how do we ace these tests? Here’s how to get a good score in IELTS, TOEFL or SAT.
Do you start feeling anxious when you think about your tests?
You and everyone else.
Yes, the good news here is that everyone else taking the exam is probably feeling exactly the same way. You can make a great difference in your score by maximizing your potential before and during the actual exam.
Maximizing your potential means that you’ll be totally prepared and ready to do your absolute best work.
Sounds pretty great, right?
Here’s how you can make this happen!
TOEFL | How To Get A Good Score In IELTS, TOEFL Or SAT
- Don’t take the test too soon. If you can afford to postpone the test for a few more months, you will gain more time to prepare. Do not sign up until you feel 99% ready. This means you will probably score higher.
- Make a study plan and stick to it. See how many practice tests and resources you can get access to and make a plan. You should regularly take practice tests. Try to take one every week or every two weeks.
If you don’t have access to as many practice tests as you’d like, you can create your own.
- Pretend you are taking the exam. Save seven practice tests for the week before the exam. Wake up every day like you would on the day of the actual exam and pretend it’s the real thing. Take a full test every day, in exam conditions, and try to imagine you are at the exam. No dictionary, no phone, no help. Time yourself and stop when the time has ended.
- Have a teacher or friend help with speaking and writing. You’ll probably be able to do reading and listening practice by yourself, but you are going to need someone to read your writing samples and listen to your speaking.
Playing With Variety | TOEFL
Don’t forget that this is a language test, so you cannot just use the same words from the task directions. You must show that you know a variety of English words.
Try to prove you have a wide range of vocabulary by using lots of synonyms. For example:
“My first point is__________. One of the arguments for this is __________. To illustrate this idea, let me __________.”
“Another point that I’d like to make is__________and here’s why: __________. In other words, __________.”
“Last but not least, __________. It is for this reason that I think__________. For instance, __________”
Time | Focus | Getting A Good Percentage Of Correct Answers
Time is not the enemy…if you know how to use it. Keep one eye on the title and directions on your computer screen, but focus on the questions. Don’t waste time on minor issues, like one specific word you don’t know or can’t remember.
Just think about how many correct answers you can get in 5 minutes. You can go more quickly through easier questions, gaining you more points.
Don’t forget that this is a test of how much English you know. All languages are, in the end, about words (vocabulary) and how you connect those words (grammar).
Learn a few new words and expressions every day. Make your own sentences with them. If you just try to memorize them without using them in context, your memorization won’t work. You have to practice new words so they become a part of your active vocabulary.
Tip: Don’t forget to practice making notes! You can do this while relaxing with an article in your favorite magazine or a documentary.
SAT | How To Get A Good Score
Whether you are looking for a higher SAT score to increase your college opportunities or qualify for more scholarships, we’re here to help.
If you’re getting ready to take the SAT for the first time, check out this post for some great tips. If you’ve already taken the SAT once and want to increase your score, here are some specific steps you can take to improve:
- Decide on a Target Score Range.
Before taking the SAT again, take some time to think about what your SAT score will help you accomplish. Maybe earning a certain score will help you stand out to your dream college or maybe you need to improve by 50 points to meet the application requirements for a scholarship.
- Set up a proper practicing schedule
Here’s the good news: You don’t need to pay for a private tutor or an SAT prep class to improve your SAT scores. Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy is the most official and comprehensive SAT study resource available—and it’s completely free.
Fact: Students who spent 20 hours on Official SAT Practice saw an average gain of 115 points from the PSAT/NMSQT to the SAT.
- Practice, practice, practice!
Determine a nice schedule for yourself. Once you’ve been practicing for a couple weeks on Official SAT Practice, take a full-length practice test. It’ll probably be easiest to do on a weekend since you’ll need a little over three hours to complete the test.
If things don’t work out in the first try, you can always opt for a retake!
IELTS | How To Get A Good Score In IELTS, TOEFL Or SAT
Let’s skip the introductions for this one; we already know what this test is, and what it entails.
HOW TO ACE THE TEST
Understand the Test Format:
- Both the IELTS test types have the four sections namely Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking, but they differ in the Reading and Writing Section.
- The Listening, Reading and Writing Tests must be taken on the same day, while the Speaking test can be attempted seven days before or after the three tests.
a) LISTENING TEST (40 minutes):
- There is a total of 40 questions split into four sections of increasing competence beginning with a monolog or dialogue that acquaints the candidate with the speakers and their environment.
- Each section can be heard only once with the questions provided towards the end of it.
b) READING TEST (60 minutes):
- It contains 40 questions split into 3 sections.
- The Academic Test comprises 3 long texts in the three sections with questions provided towards the end of each text.
- The General Test comprises 5 short texts in the three sections with questions provided towards the end of each text.
c) WRITING TEST (60 minutes):
- It comprises two tasks of 150 and 250 words respectively.
- In the Academic Test, Task 1 requires description of the given figure whereas Task 2 requires a report to the presented argument.
- In the General Test, Task 1 requires writing a letter describing the scene at hand or requesting information whereas Task 2 requires writing an essay regarding a viewpoint or an argument.
d) SPEAKING TEST (11-14 minutes):
- It is a face to face oral exam divided into three sections.
- The first section is an interview where the candidate may be asked to introduce himself along with questions ranging from his hobbies to general topics.
- The second section provides the candidate with a topic and 1-minute preparation time to speak about it.
- The third section involves a conversation between the candidate and the examiner relating to the topic in the second section.
TIPS FOR EACH SECTION:
I. READING SECTION:
- Improving your vocabulary is a good place to start. Focus on complex words, break them to fit into your understanding and commit them to memory.
- Reading the newspaper and books increases the speed of reading which is essential to crack this section.
- Preparative materials, online forums, flashcards and practice questions give an idea of what type of questions to expect and help improving reading skills.
- Vocabulary not only plays a role in improving reading skills but also the writing skills.
- The more you write, the more errors will be discovered, and your writing skills and grammatical competency can be perfected.
III. LISTENING SECTION:
- A good listener is a successful person. Listening skills can be improved through various online sample questions available.
For people with trouble in understanding the English accent, a large number of movies can be watched to improve listening skills.
- Communication is the most important prerequisite to qualify for any education.
- Communication can be improved by speaking to a lot of people. This will help in expanding the vocabulary and speaking fluency by picking their brains.
- Practice speaking in English is the only way to ace this section.
THE FINAL TOUCH:
- The only way to improve your English skills is through Practice and dedication.
- Many Practice tests are available online for a continuous and strenuous workout which helps in shaping your English to the desired effect.
- Official IELTS Practice Material Volume I and II come with elaborate explanations on every section with abundant sample questions and practice tests in the CDs accompanying the books.
Hard work never fails, with the above points in mind, acing the IELTS should be easy.
Well, there you have it guys! This was all about how to get a good score in IELTS, TOEFL or SAT. If you have any questions, feel free to drop a comment in the section provided below.
Cheers, and good luck!