ISLPR Language Services Blog

Strategies for ISLPR Test Candidates: The Writing Test (Part 2)

Posted by Kenina Ingram on July 19, 2018 at 6:02 PM

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 Writing Test.

 ISLPR writing test

 

Part 2: during the test

  1. The task sheet indicates the audience (who you are writing for) and why you are writing, as well as the topic and the text type (e.g. report, 'letter to the editor'). All these things are important, so check with the tester if you are not sure.
  2. Where appropriate, try to imagine yourself in the situation outlined on the task sheet.
  3. Use the white space on the task sheet to make notes to plan your work but not to write a full draft that you hope to copy into the writing booklet.
  4. When planning, be realistic about what you can express in English.
  5. When you refer to ideas from the task sheet, change the wording if possible but don't think that you must use synonyms to avoid repeating your own words.
  6. Don't be afraid to use short, simple sentences in either the shorter or longer task.
  7. The number of paragraphs that you use in either the shorter or longer task should depend on the way that you group your sentences into main points. There is nothing magic about five paragraphs.
  8. Don't be afraid to use very short paragraphs in either the shorter or longer task.
  9. Not all paragraphs start with a topic sentence, even in academic writing.
  10. Use linkers such as "moreover" when necessary but only when necessary.
  11. Avoid cliches such as "every coin has two sides".
  12. To delete a piece of text, consider simply putting a line through it rather than using liquid paper or an eraser.
  13. When checking, try reading to yourself what you have written so that you 'hear' in your head if it sounds right. 

Now, a final two general points to remember before your test!

  1. Avoid 'emotional blackmail'  (e.g. telling the tester how important it is for you to 'pass' the test).
  2. Don't ask the teacher how well you have done. You will receive your results when they're ready.

Topics: Learn english, ISLPR, Language test, Personalised testing, customised testing, English as a second language, University students, English test, individual tests, Macro skills, preparation, tips, tools, Writing Test

Strategies for ISLPR Test Candidates: The Writing Test (Part 1)

Posted by Kenina Ingram on July 18, 2018 at 9:37 PM

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 Writing Test.

 

Practice your writing skills at home.

 

Part 1: before the test

Practise writing in English every day. Write texts as outlined in the Guidelines blog so that you know what they look like in your handwriting and you don't waste time counting words during the test. Practise writing about 400 words in 60 minutes, including time for planning and for checking and editing.

Do not try guess what your tasks will be and practise only these. Also do not prepare 'chunks' of language - other than very short formulae such as greetings - that you hope you can use for almost any topic.

When you write with a word-processor, use the spell-check and grammar-check functions constructively (e.g. to keep track of the mistakes that you make and to help you reflect on why you make them).

Check with your teacher or a modern textbook for basic formatting conventions (e.g. indicating new paragraphs) and for editing conventions (e.g. for inserting a piece of text) in hand-written texts.

Topics: Learn english, ISLPR, Language test, Personalised testing, customised testing, English as a second language, Teachers, University students, English test, individual tests, Teacher registration, Macro skills, preparation, tips, tools, Listening Test

Guidelines for ISLPR Tests: Writing Test

Posted by Kenina Ingram on July 18, 2018 at 9:36 PM

Academic Test:

In the Writing test you will be asked to write about 400 words in total.

  • There are usually two tasks; occasionally three tasks are given but the total number of words expected will remain the same.
  • The topic, the type of text, the purpose for writing and the audience to whom you are writing will be different for each task.
  • One of the tasks is likely to be a letter or a note. In another task, you will be expected to express your opinion(s).
  • If your test is for entry to a tertiary program, at least one topic will be relevant to the academic discipline or profession you plan to enter (e.g. business or engineering); it is likely to be a report, a personal statement, an essay, an article, or an open letter (e.g. a ‘letter to the editor’)
  • If your test is for entry to a High School program, the topic will be an issue of interest to adolescents; it may be an essay, an article for a school newsletter or magazine, or a project report. You will not be allowed to use a dictionary.

Professional Registration:

You will write two texts, totalling about 400 words, in 60 minutes.

  • At least one of the texts will be directly related to teaching practice.
  • The audience is likely to be students, parents, colleagues or other members of the school community, or officers in the education system.
  • The other task will be a memo, report, article, submission or open letter (e.g. a ‘letter to the editor’ of a newspaper) in which you might be expected to express opinions about education.
  • Dictionary use is not allowed.
  • Generally tasks will relate to the sorts of tasks teachers could be expected to undertake.

Vocational Test:

You will write two texts, totalling about 400 words, in 60 minutes.

  • At least one of the texts will be directly related to your vocational practice.
  • The audience could include members of the general public, an employer, a supervisor, a union or government official, or someone else you might communicate with in your vocational role(s).
  • The other task will be a memo, report, article, submission or open letter (e.g. a ‘letter to the editor’ of a newspaper) in which you might be expected to express opinions or ideas relevant to your vocation.
  • Dictionary use is not allowed.

Topics: Learn english, ISLPR, Language test, Personalised testing, customised testing, English as a second language, Teachers, University students, English test, individual tests, Australia, Teacher registration, Macro skills, preparation, tips, tools, Writing Test

Strategies for ISLPR Test Candidates: The Listening Test (Part 2)

Posted by Kenina Ingram on July 6, 2018 at 5:15 PM

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 Listening Test.

 

Listening

Part 2: during the test

  1. If at any time during the test you don't understand something the tester has said, you need to decide whether or not to admit that you didn't understand. You may decide to wait for a short time in case you get some more clue to help you, but don't be afraid to ask for repetition, paraphrase or explanation when you need it.
  2. Whether listening to the tester or to a text presented electronically (on radio, disk or computer file), don't be afraid to guess (and to admit this).
  3. Use the knowledge that you already have - from language situations in your first language or English - about different kinds of texts that the tester presents electronically.
    • For example, you expect a news story to give new information, and you know that in a media interview the interviewer is trying to elicit something of interest from an interviewee who has expertise in a particular field or other knowledge that might be of interest to the public.
  4. To help you with electronic texts, make sure that you know about the context of a text.
    • For example, if the test has not told you, ask where and when the text would have been heard - or would still be heard - in real life.
  5. To help you further, consider whether in real life you would be interested in a speaker's attitudes and intentions as well as actual information. If necessary, check with the tester whether you will be expected to talk about such attitudes and intentions.
  6. To show how well you have understood a text, you will talk to the tester about it. You need to consider whether you should take notes and, if so, whether you should do this while the text is being played, immediately afterwards, or both. To help you decide, ask the tester for an indication of the length of the text that you are about to listen to.I
  7. It is possible that you will already know information that is relevant to the text but not actually in the text. Use your prior knowledge to help you understand the text but remember that the tester is interested in the ideas in the text, not in your prior knowledge.

Now, a final point on note taking!In real life, we only take notes about a text if it is important to remember something and we feel that we can't trust our memory. Because of the effects of test anxiety and because of the particular way that you have to demonstrate your understanding in an ISLPR test, you might decide to take notes about a text even though you would not do this in real life. However, you should also consider the act of note-taking may interfere with your comprehension, particularly if you focus on details that are not key (e.g. the exact amount of money stole as opposed the less than $10). While notes may be taken in you first language we recommend that you use English. Switching between languages can interfere with comprehension. Also, you might forget to tell the tester something that you understood; if you have noted the information in English the tester can read it and take it into account.

 

Topics: Learn english, ISLPR, Language test, Personalised testing, customised testing, English as a second language, University students, English test, individual tests, Macro skills, preparation, tips, tools, Listening Test

Strategies for ISLPR Test Candidates: The Listening Test (Part 1)

Posted by Kenina Ingram on June 26, 2018 at 3:57 PM

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 Listening Test.

 

Listening

 

Part 1: before the test

Talk with a wide range of native speakers of English in your local community, not just teachers, and listen to public announcements (e.g. in shopping centres and trains) and other electronic messages.

Listen to the Australian radio. Use the ABC website to find programs that are of interest to you (especially where the topic is related to what you want to study or your professional field).

Find out when they will be broadcast in case you can listen to them 'live' and also if they can be accessed through your computer, smartphone or tablet. Some TV programs (e.g. news, documentaries and Australian drama) are also useful.

You may also like to practise taking notes with texts of different types and different lengths.

Topics: Learn english, ISLPR, Language test, Personalised testing, customised testing, English as a second language, Teachers, University students, English test, individual tests, Teacher registration, Macro skills, preparation, tips, tools, Listening Test

At ILS, language testing is personal.

Language is an interactive and social skill. Therefore, we believe English should be taught and tested similarly.

ISLPR Language Services (ILS) developed the ISLPR® Test because we saw the need for a test that examined your real-life language. The ISLPR® Test is an interactive and personalised test. As the ISLPR test is personalised for each candidate, there are no tricks to pass the test. 

Why we're different:

  • We test your speaking, listening and reading skills in a one-to-one interview.
  • The content of your test is customised to match your area of expertise.
  • The ISLPR is the shortest English test, therefore minimising the chance of fatigue.
  • We offer individual English tutorials with accredited tutors.
  • We offer a feedback service so you can find out why you got that rating in your test.

 

Tell me more about the ISLPR Test

 

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