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Let's Talk: Language Exams - Are You Really Ready?

Hey, y’all!


I heard from a little bird that you're here because you're considering taking an official language proficiency exam, and if so, you're in the right place.


Language exams can be intimidating, but they can also be incredibly rewarding. So in this blog post, let's help you answer whether, when, and how to approach these exams.



Let's Talk: Language Exams - Are You Really Ready?

What are language exams?

Official language proficiency exams are meant to assess your reading, listening, writing, and sometimes even speaking skills within a short amount of time. Before you register for one, here are 5 things to consider:


1. Purpose: Understand Your 'Why'

Before jumping into the world of language exams, take a moment to reflect on why you want to pursue certification:

  • Why would passing the exam be important to you?

  • Are you aiming to boost your resume, enhance your job prospects, immigrate to a new country, or simply challenge yourself?

  • What do you hope to gain from the study process?


Understanding your motivation will help you stay focused and committed throughout your exam preparation journey. The answers to these questions will also help you create realistic personal language goals.


2. COMFORT: MASTER THE LANGUAGE BASICS

Beginners, be warned: language tests are not fun. You have to think about all of the essential skills needed to understand what's being asked of you AND the clock!


Feeling comfortable with the basics of the language is crucial before registering for an official exam. Make sure you have a solid grasp of vocabulary, grammar, reading, writing, listening, and (just in case) speaking skills. Practice regularly, and if you have the funds for it, seek feedback from native speakers or language tutors to identify areas for improvement.


3. time commitment: set a realistic deadline

How much time can you actually dedicate to preparing for the big day?


Setting a realistic deadline for your language exam is another essential part of preparing effectively. Consider factors such as your current proficiency level, the complexity of the exam, and your other commitments.


TIME COMMITMENT FORMULA: Look at the detailed descriptions for each level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) or test-specific grading system for your language and determine your current level. Then, add at least 3 months for each level between your current level and the level you want to reach.


Give yourself enough time to study consistently without feeling overwhelmed. Remember, you can do this: language proficiency just takes time.


4. Action plan: follow a schedule

If you don't already have a consistent study plan, now would be a good time to build one.


Prepare to include regular vocab and grammar quizzes, timed writing challenges, practice exams, and review on a regular basis. Break down your study sessions into manageable chunks and set specific goals for each session. Be disciplined and stick to your schedule, but don't forget to allow yourself some flexibility for those unexpected life events.


This process could be overwhelming for casual learners, so take time to reflect and revise your study schedule until you have one that works best for you. Ideally, you want to work on doing this either before or as soon as you register for your exam.


5. resources: find reliable tools

Now, onto the most obvious part: how are you going to study?


Utilize a variety of resources to enhance your exam preparation, including exam-prep textbooks, a writing tutor, a stopwatch, and practice tests. Choose resources that align with your learning style and goals, such as videos dedicated to explaining grammar points or joining small language study groups.


Find at least 5 useful and challenging resources to start you off. Then, incorporate each resource into your detailed action plan.


Game Over!

By understanding your motivation, mastering the basics, setting realistic deadlines, following a schedule, and utilizing reliable resources, you can increase your chances of success. Remember, every language learner is unique, so find what works best for you and stay committed to your goals.


Language exams are no joke. I know this because I'm considering preparing for one myself after studying Korean for 4 years, and it's a pretty big decision for me.


If you're a casual language learner thinking about taking a language test, the biggest takeaways from this post would be to prepare carefully and take your time. Rushing into a study schedule or trying to follow one that doesn't fit your lifestyle can really slow down your progress in the long run.


If you found this blog post helpful, be sure to check out our other posts on finding your unique learning style and language learning tips. Finally, don't forget to follow us on social media for more language challenges and behind-the-scenes content.


Happy Language Learning, Card Party! 🌍📚💬


Study like a diamond ♢ Practice like a club ♣ Vibe like a heart ♡ Speak like a spade


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