03/05/2012


Exams

Are you planning to study in the UK or another English-speaking country? If the answer is ‘yes’ then your chosen university will usually ask you to prove your level of English. Find out more about a new way we can help you to do this: our PTE Academic course.

The PTE Academic exam is recognised by universities around the world as well as government organisations and the UK Border Agency (UKBA) for Tier 4 and Tier 2 visas.

One of the most convenient things about it is that you can get your results in five working days so you don’t have to wait long. Also, because the results are online you can easily email them to the universities you want to apply to.

The exam is all done on a computer, but don’t worry. You don’t need to be a computer whizz to do it!

It is divided into three sections – Speaking & Writing; Reading; Listening. Within each section there are lots of different skills that are tested. These are the types of things that you will really need to do at university. So, it’s not only a good measure of what you are able to do, but also useful for you after the exam.

It’s important to get really familiar with the different types of tasks and to use strategies to help you get the best possible mark. Our two-week preparation course will help you with this and make sure you are fully prepared.

In the meantime, here are a few handy hints

Speaking – get used to using what we call “Fillers”. This means using language to fill the silence whilst you think. For example, if I didn’t know what to say to a question I might start with “Ah, that’s an interesting question…” or “To be honest, I’ve never really considered that before, but…” This helps your fluency and also shows the examiner that you are comfortable communicating in English. In terms of the PTE Academic exam it is vital to use “fillers” because in the Speaking part if you are silent for 3 seconds your microphone stops and that is the end of that part of your test.  Keep talking!

Writing – you and the examiner can easily see your word-count on the screen so it’s very important you get timed practice and know how much you need to write. The time you have includes planning, writing and editing. Don’t freak out about having a time limit. Use your time wisely to make sure you write your best piece of work. Proper planning results in better scores.

Listening – you only get to hear the audio recording once so make sure you focus. If you miss something make an educated guess and move on. Don’t waste time worrying about what you missed. Focus on picking up points wherever you can.

Reading – There are many different reading tasks. A really crucial skill you’ll need at uni is to be able to read a text and then summarise the main points. This is something that you’ll get very good at when you prepare for the PTE Academic exam.

If you’re taking the PTE Academic exam soon – good luck! And if you’re interested in taking it in the future then why not come and join our preparation course?

By Claudia

Glossary

a computer whizz/whiz  (n) - someone who is very skilled in using computers

a strategy (n) – a plan of action

in the meantime – between now and then

a handy hint (n)  - a useful tip or a piece of advice to help you

vital (adj.)very very important, necessary

to freak out (phr. verb) – to panic

an educated guess (n) –a guess that is likely to be correct based on your knowledge

to pick up something (phr. verb)- get/collect something

crucial (adj.) – very important

uni (n) - university


Catégories: Course Specific Talk, Exams

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