Tips and Tricks for English Language Test Prep

There are many English language tests designed to assess ones capability of studying in English at the university level or for employment purpose. Most of the students take English language tests such as IELTS, TOEFL etc. to apply for specific study programs. The English language tests give an edge to the foreign students who aspire to study abroad and also to non-native English speakers. Moreover English language test scores are also one of the prerequisite for admissions at different level of higher education courses.

If you have decided to take the English test it is a wise idea to plan early for the standardized test. Be it for any course - secondary, undergraduate or graduate entrance test, the entire tests require attention. You need to be prepared thoroughly in order to get admission to the school/college of your choice more importantly; you should know structure of the test and other nitty-gritty.

In addition to early planning by parents and students, it is also advised that students take up self-study and study hard. We at have made a list of tips/tricks that you can follow so as to clear the exam with flying colors.

Section-wise Preparation Tips for the English Tests

There are usually four sections to standardized English language tests. Education institutes/universities use the test to evaluate a student's ability to read, write, listen and speak in the English language. Here are some simple tips:

Reading : In this section, you read a passage and then asked to answer multiple-choice questions about the passage.The main idea behind this section is :
  • Reading to learn
  • Reading to find information
  • Basic comprehension
  • Do a lot of reading
  • Develop the habit of taking notes.
  • Develop vocabulary.
  • Highlight the important points of the comprehension.
  • Analyze the idea behind the comprehension. This will give you an idea of the answers for the questions to follow.
Listening: In this section, you listen to a conversation between two people, and also to a lecture, and then answer multiple-choice questions about each segment. The idea behind the test is to assess the candidates ability in the following:
  •  Listen to basic comprehension.
  •  Understanding the comprehension
  • To connect and combine ideas presented from multiple sources.
  • Try listening more and more from various sources, this will give you a knack for various accents.
  • Try finding the main idea behind the comprehension
  • Build vocabulary
  • Develop the habit of taking notes.This will also give you idea about the type of questions you will have to answer when appearing for the test.
Speaking : In this verbal skills portion, you will listen to brief lectures/passages and also answer the questions.


  • Try speaking more and more in English.
  • Develop Fluency.
  • Think in English, it will save your time from translating your mother tongue to English.
  • Devote time in building vocabulary.
  • Use idioms.
  • Concentrate on improving your pronunciation.
  • Make a list of topics and try speaking on these topics.
Writing : Writing section measures your ability to write in standard academic English. There are two tasks in Writing section - Integrated Writing task and Independent Writing.


  • Practice more and more to write
  • Develop creativity in writing
  • Build a strong vocabulary
  • Make a list of the common topics and practice writing on these topics.
Apart from all the tips mentioned about preparing, it is very important to keep a check of the progress you make. 

Tips for Early Preparation

Make a schedule: Making a schedule and following it, will help you get organized and be more in sync with the test. Doing your lesson from backwards will help you to focus on your school as well as the test preparations.

Practice: Most of the standardized test are divided into four parts, reading, writing, listening  and speaking. students should focus on practicing all the four sections.  

Talk to your parents: Talking to your parents releases a lot of tension, besides you can learn a lot from their experience.

Time management: Focusing on the time aspect is very important. If you are not sure or confused about a question, section or part of the test, then quickly move on to the next. No matter whether it’s reading, writing, listening or speaking – all of these are strongly bound by time restrictions.

Practice on QWERTY keypad:  Standard English language (QWERTY) computer keyboard is used for the test. Practice typing on a QWERTY keyboard to become familiar with the computer.

Make notes: In the listening section, the best way is to make notes and utilize them. Answering immediately after listening to the section can lead to mistakes. It has been often seen that students who have scored good in the TOEFL, are good notes maker.

And lastly, believe in yourself. Believe in the power of predication, in many of the test there is no negative marking. So you can take your chances without loosing your marks.

Tips/Tricks  for D-Day
  • Dress comfortably, keeping in mind for any room temperature.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast, lest you might want to sleep.
  • Arrive at the test center at least 30 minutes early.
  • Read the directions carefully to avoid any confusion.
  • Be calm. Do not panic. Focus on answering the questions.
  • Do not spend too much time on one question.
  • Attempt all the questions as there is no negative marking. If you are not sure of the answer, then guess.

Above mentioned tips/tricks are for students but as a parent you can also participate in the test by talking to them, encouraging them, motivating them. You can assure your children that its okay if they don't know the answers, or are confused. Tell them it happens with everyone. You can motivate them by  giving them small gifts and telling them "it is the efforts that counts". 

Click here for all the standardized tests as per the level of education.

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