Over the next month we will go over some tips to help you mentally prepare yourself for an ISLPR test and strategies to help you perform well during an exam.
To make things easy, we'll break the test down into 4 parts and provide strategies to improve each of your macro-skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. Today, we're looking at:
The Reading Test.
Part 1: before the test
Before you sit an ISLPR test, we encourage you to practise your English skills at home every day.
- Read texts that are of interest to you (and especially those related to your studies or professional field) in a wide range of publications intended for native speakers of English.
- Create the right level of challenge for yourself. For example, you might start with free local newspapers and progress to metropolitan and national daily newspapers and then weekly publications (e.g. Time Magazine).
- When reading, consider the writer's attitudes and intentions as well as the factual information.
Practise the following different approaches to reading, both in your first language and in English:
- Scanning the text for a particular piece of information needed or specified;
- reading extensively for the gist or main ideas; and
- reading intensively for precise meanings and relationships between meanings.
Consider how your reading speed differs with the different approaches listed above and which strategies are appropriate. For example, if you are scanning, it is generally not a good idea to underline or use a highlighter because it will slow you down.
Practise underlining or using a highlighter in ways that help you to 'attack' different kinds of texts. For example, if the text is a news story or article that gives different opinions, you might highlight the names of the different people, or just linkers such as "however" or "as well".
Consider highlighting to link different parts of the text. For example, if the same person is quoted more than once, you might draw a line in the margin or even across the text to link these places. A lot of people underline or highlight too many words.
Develop skills in paraphrasing (reporting the same ideas but in different words); these will help you in your academic studies or professional work as well as in your test.
Up next: "Part 2: during the test"
NB: Many of the points in the section on LISTENING are also relevant to READING.
Let us know if these tips were helpful in the comments section below! If you have any questions relating to the reading section of the test, comment below and we'll reply back to you ASAP.