Test Strategies


Before the test:

  • Get comfortable with the test format by practicing with examples and familiarizing yourself with how to effectively complete both tasks within the allotted time.
  • For Task 1, ensure you understand the visual material fully and practice summarizing and identifying key information succinctly.
  • For Task 1, focus on conveying ideas concisely and practice linking sentences and ideas with appropriate transitional words like “whereas” and “although.”
  • Use a stopwatch to time yourself when practicing for Task 2.

When preparing for Task 2, brainstorm ideas and plan your essay, considering a variety of topics and structuring your answer with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

  • Regular reading in English, particularly of current affairs, will help you become more fluent and expand your vocabulary.
  • Make lists of new words and phrases relevant to the topics you read about, noting how they are used and what they collocate with.

During the test:

  • Answer on a separate answer sheet provided, but you may make notes on the question paper if you wish. Only what’s written on the answer sheet will be graded.

After the test:

  • Reflect on your test performance but avoid dwelling on any mistakes, focusing instead on what you can improve for future assessments.

Additional Tips:

  • Write legibly, whether in cursive or print, and ensure that any corrections are clear and understandable.
  • Organize your writing into paragraphs and use indentation or spacing to mark the beginning of each new paragraph.
  • Aim for clarity and precision in your responses, sticking to the word count requirements: 150 words for Task 1 and 250 for Task 2.
  • Do not waste time counting words during the test. Instead, get a sense of the word count during your practice sessions.
  • The tasks are not timed individually, but it’s recommended to allocate 20 minutes for Task 1 and 40 minutes for Task 2, with the exam room clock as your time guide.
  • Post-exam, rather than fixating on errors, use the experience to identify areas for improvement.
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