Need to pass an exam? Seven strategies for success!

1. Register
It might seem obvious to some, confusing to others, but simply the bureaucratic process of signing up for an exam can be an unexpected challenge to many. Students taking exams for the pure pleasure of it (way to go!) have the luxury of taking their time. However, a majority of candidates take exams for professional or academic reasons. I cannot tell you how many students I met who seemed shocked to discover that they didn’t get the official results of the Cambridge exams on that very day. So, dear friend, please plan ahead! Check out the basics, like when your local test centers give the exams, when the scores will be sent to you, and what the registration deadlines are.

2. Take a diagnostic test
Taking a practice test helps you identify your strengths and weaknesses. This is a great idea if you want to create an efficient study plan.

3. Get feedback
While many books offer the answer keys for the reading and grammar section of an exam, it can be difficult for students to assess their own speaking and writing skills. A trained and experienced examinator can provide feedback on your performance and help you create an intelligent and effective study plan.

4. Map out a study plan and be consistent
Once you have figured out what skills you excel at and what skills you need to improve, make a study plan and stick to it. It’s a good rule of thumb to study less often but more frequently then to try to condense everything into one intense day per week. For study ideas, you might enjoy this article:

5. Get help
It can be hard to study alone—perhaps you find it boring and monotonous, or perhaps you question whether you are really making progress, or just making the same mistakes over and over again! For some people, it helps to get a study buddy. Others prefer to get guidance from a professional teacher, particularly to improve speaking and writing skills. No matter what situation you’re in, don’t be afraid to ask for support!

6. Test taking strategies
Some people have great English skills but struggle to take tests in general. If that sounds like you, consider developing your test taking strategies. In other words, knowing how to approach each section of the exam to maximize your chance of getting correct answers.

7. Test day success
Ok, let’s say you listened to me and took my advice. Bravo! Now you might be wondering, ‘Is there any way to maximize my success on test day?’ Yes. Listen up: Get sleep. Exercise. Eat well. These are just a few things that can make a difference on your overall performance, all other things being equal. For more, check out this link:
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