PTE Preparation Tips From An E2Language Student (Who Scored Straight 90’s!)

Manjunath is an E2Language student who recently took the PTE and received straight 90’s on his first try! He kindly offered to write a blog for us in order to provide PTE preparation tips from a student’s perspective. 

Manjunath’s Story

I would like to share an inspiring story about the PTE Academic with you guys. I scored a low 6.5 in the writing section of my IELTS in my second attempt. I required 8 in all bands of the IELTS for my immigration and was struggling to get the desired score. I started thinking about alternative English exams which could potentially get me over the line. Ultimately, I started researching other tests such as the PTE, TOEFL ibt and OET. I found that PTE Academic was a good option and started reading about the different tasks. It is also vital to know and understand the scoring guide.

PTE Preparation Tips
Jay and Manjunath met up for a coffee after the PTE!

PTE Preparation Tips For Newbies

To begin with, I would like to say that it is essential for you to choose the right test. IELTS is good for people who find it difficult to speak to a computer. The reading and listening sections of the IELTS are comparatively easier. The PTE Academic writing section is much simpler to crack, whereas the speaking and reading modules are slightly complicated. Having said that, with continuous practice and perseverance, you can crack both the modules. It is also important for you to improve your typing speed (if you are slow in typing) which is a key factor in the writing task.

It is also very important to prepare properly. I do not think you can prepare for 2 weeks and get a 79+ in all modules. I started my PTE preparations 5-6 months back and put in extra effort in the last 1-2 months. I purchased the actual PTE mock tests from the official Pearson website.

Once you get a basic idea about the tasks and practice a few questions using the Pearson book or YouTube, you should take both scored PTE practice tests. These tests give you an experience of the actual PTE and the algorithms used for marking are the same as the real PTE exam. In my first practice attempt, I scored 84 (Speaking), 75 (Reading), 74 (Writing), and 76 (Listening).

Do not be disappointed if you get a low score. You will get an idea about where your focus should be. This will help you in working out methods to tackle obstacles in the actual testing environment. I would suggest people use this test as an opportunity to improve their overall language skills. This will not only help you in the exam but also in your future endeavours. As a non-native speaker, it was very important for me to revise basic vocabulary and grammar which was helpful in the reading and writing tasks.

Finding E2Language

The only issue with the PTE was the lack of practice material available. I started watching YouTube videos and came across an interesting online teaching platform called E2Language. I started watching the free videos such as the Core Skills classes, methods webinars, and mini mock tests. I required more practice and signed up with E2Language. I took the ‘I’m nervous’ package with them ($250 AUD) which gave me enough practice materials to work with.

The teachers were extremely nice and friendly. I would like to thank Jay, Kaia, Colin, David, Jamal, and the other members of E2Language for their continued support, motivation, and guidance. I could not have achieved this amazing score without their assistance. They provided feedback & assessment on the different tasks, plenty of PTE preparation tips, and all the necessary techniques & strategies I needed to improve my scoring.

There are several free PTE methods webinars on the E2 PTE Youtube channel, and you can access a methods webinar for all of the PTE tasks when you become a paid student.

PTE Preparation Tips For Test Day

On test day, it is very important to relax and calm your nerves. Once you enter the exam room, just go through the instructions thoroughly and check the headphones. It is mandatory to check the microphone and check your recording. If you feel that the recording is not proper, get your headphones changed.

The Speaking tasks came first and just came one after the other, so it is very important for you to know the sequence and pattern beforehand. You must speak with minimal or no hesitation, because it contributes to your oral fluency score. Speaking is scored based on content, oral fluency, and pronunciation.

The next task was Writing which was the easiest for me. I practiced a variety of summarize written text and essays which helped me in the actual exam. Getting assessment for these tasks from E2Language was helpful during the test.

Reading was tricky and I was running out of time. You should have a method to tackle all the reading tasks and vocabulary is important in answering them correctly. It is also crucial to have a good understanding of the different parts of speech and basic grammar to answer these questions. I used the process of elimination technique to get the right answer for the multiple choice questions.

Listening was comparatively easier and, like Reading, time management is key. The tasks after summarize spoken text are not individually timed, so you need to handle the allocated time efficiently.

In A Nutshell…

I had an amazing experience with the PTE Academic. Enjoy each task as it comes. Do not think about the next or the previous task and just concentrate on the task at hand. This will help you in improving focus and concentration, which is of paramount importance in the PTE. Moreover, get proper guidance from E2Language before taking the exam. They will give you important PTE preparation tips and strategies which you can use in the test and get a high score.

Good luck and never give up. I hope my story inspires you guys into achieving something great. My PTE Academic and IELTS scores are as follows….

PTE Preparation Tips
My IELTS General Scores: Listening – 8.5, Reading – 8.0, Writing – 6.5, Speaking – 7.5, Overall Score – 7.5
My PTE Academic Scores: All 90’s!

The E2Language team would like to congratulate Manjunath on his amazing (and well-earned) PTE success!! Make sure you check out his detailed PTE Academic Success Story video on Youtube. Manjunath, thank you for taking the time to share your PTE preparation tips and experience with fellow test-takers! 

Make sure you follow our social media for more PTE resources and updates:

 

 

Written by Manjunath I.

PTE or OET? Which Test Should I Take?

Many of our students are confused about whether they should take PTE or OET for immigration and employment purposes, so we decided to provide some facts about which test may be right for your situation. 

Hi my name is Jay and I’m one of the expert teachers at E2Language. E2Language is the OET’s only authorised ‘feedback provider’. We are the only institute trained by the OET to give feedback on writing and speaking. We have an online OET course that is second to none. Our materials and our methods get students the score they need.

But is OET the right test for you? Although you are a medical professional, you can take other tests, such as the PTE. Should you take the OET? Here are some reasons why and why not that you should consider…

PTE or OET: Why you should take the OET instead of the PTE.

Medical vocabulary

The main reason doctors, nurses and physios take the OET instead of the PTE is because they feel more comfortable with the vocabulary associated with their profession. In the OET writing sub-test you must write a letter using vocabulary that you are familiar with. You will not be faced with a question prompt about ‘spaceships’ or ‘global warming’. The same goes for reading and listening: The words you hear will be medical words; they will be familiar to you.

Professional development

The other big reason why doctors, nurses and physios choose the OET over other tests is because they feel it relates to their professional development. The tasks that you do in the OET are ones that mirror the workplace environment. Listening to a consultation and taking notes in the listening sub-test, for example, is one such real-life task. Writing a discharge letter is another. The test can prepare you for your upcoming job in the hospital or clinic whereas the PTE will not really apply.

PTE or OET
The OET takes into account the English skills that you will need in the workplace if you are a healthcare professional.

PTE or OET: Why you should take the PTE instead of the OET.

It’s cheaper

The cost of the PTE is substantially less than the OET, so if money is an issue then PTE might be a better option.

It’s quicker

The results of the PTE are released within 2-3 days of taking the test, so if time is an issue for you then the PTE might be a better option.

It has more tasks

Why would more tasks be a better thing? Wouldn’t that make it a worse test to take? Well… it depends on your attitude towards taking the test. If you see the PTE or OET as a barrier that you have to get through then it doesn’t really matter what you have to do, but if you see these tests as an opportunity to improve your spoken, written and comprehension of English then the PTE is arguably a more ‘rounded’ English tests. It tests more aspects of your language and as such gives you more opportunities to improve your English all ‘round. For example, in the reading section of the PTE there are five different tasks, each of which tests a different aspect of reading and vocabulary. Preparing for the PTE, then, gives you a better insight into English language.

Make sure you check out our blog’s free PTE practice questions and PTE writing sample.

It’s on a computer

I’m not sure about you, but I can’t write with a pencil anymore. Years of typing on a keyboard has rendered my handwriting skills redundant. While I haven’t taken the OET, I have taken the PTE and the IELTS. Typing, for me, is far easier than writing by hand.

PTE or OET
The PTE is completely digital, which is certainly an advantage for tech-savvy test takers!

There aren’t many OET preparation materials

One of the problems with the OET is that the preparation materials are extraordinarily difficult to create. As such, there are very few ‘sub-tests’ on the internet to practice with, and usually what you find is sub-standard. E2Language is different in that our preparation materials are top quality. However, if you need HEAPS of practice materials because your English is low, then you should opt for the PTE because we have more practice materials. On the other hand, if your English is already very good, then you should consider doing the OET because you don’t need that much practice.

If you decide to take the PTE, make sure you visit the E2 PTE YouTube channel for webinars and video lessons like this one:

What else do you need to know about the OET?

If you are leaning towards the OET as your preferred test, there are some other things you should know before you go ahead and book your test.

A) Get feedback

Vocabulary and grammar aside, the way that you write a referral or a discharge letter is quite complicated. The method of selection, transformation and organisation requires practice, and more importantly, it requires feedback. You shouldn’t just get any old feedback, however. You need expert feedback from people who are officially trained by the OET – in other words, us. We know what you need to do to get an A or B on the OET writing.

B) Learn methods

OET Reading Part A is a real killer. You have 15 minutes to answer about 30 questions – or 1 question per 30 seconds. Without a method – without a step by step approach to this sub-test it is virtually impossible to score highly. There are two skills that OET candidates consistently fail and they are writing and reading.

PTE or OET: What should I do now?

If you need to become a registered nurse or practice medicine in Australia, for example, and you need to pass the OET or another test like the PTE then you should start your preparation immediately. Don’t underestimate how challenging these tests are. We’ve had candidates who have completed a four year nursing degree in Australia – who have written essays and done workplace practice – yet fail the OET several times because they did not prepare adequately. This is the final step before you land your dream job – don’t let this test stop you.

If you decide to take the OET, make sure to visit our E2 OET YouTube channel for some free webinars and video lessons like this one:

Do you still feel like you need some expert advice about whether you should take PTE or OET? Contact us and one of our knowledgeable tutors can help you make your decision and select the PTE or OET preparation course that best suits your needs!

Follow our social media for more PTE & OET resources and updates!

 

 

Written by Jay Merlo.

PTE Training: Priyanka’s E2Language PTE Success Story

This E2Language PTE training article contains some complex and unique English expressions (idioms).

These expressions are hyperlinked to their definitions to help you if necessary. Make sure you click on an idiom if you do not understand it!

Priyanka began her E2Language PTE training with us in early November, and unfortunately she came to us with an all-too-familiar story. A resident of Chennai, she works for an American multinational corporation and wants to migrate to Australia with her husband. Aiming for a minimum of 65 in every communicative skill, Priyanka had taken the Pearson Test of English four times since last February. She was educated in English, works in English every day, has many of her social interactions in English and regularly reads books and journals in English.

E2Language PTE
Despite being educated in English and using it in daily life, Priyanka repeatedly failed the PTE speaking section.

Priyanka’s First Attempts:

In January, in anticipation of her first test, she bought the blue and green covered ‘Official Guide to PTE Academic’. She was disappointed to discover that, while her overall score was 67, her speaking result was a mere 48. Unperturbed, Priyanka immediately applied for another test two weeks later. She went back to the blue Pearson book to prepare a little bit more, then went back to the same test centre for a second bite at the cherry. This time, Priyanka was shocked to discover that her score remained almost unchanged: 69 overall, and 50 in the speaking section.

Priyanka’s husband urged her to enrol in a PTE course at a local English school, which she did. The hours were not ideal, since her job requires her to be at the office at 8am and she cannot leave until after 6pm. Traffic and unpredictable meetings meant she almost never made it to class on time. Still, she tried her hardest for the duration of the four-week course and re-sat her test. Imagine how crushed she was to get exactly the same overall result as before, with a slightly worse result in her speaking! Priyanka was crushed. Investing in three tests, one book and a four-week course over three months, as well as the time she had put aside to study, all to no avail was unbearable. Her husband was outwardly trying to keep his cool, but having got 72 on his first attempt at the PTE, he was getting nervous.

On her fourth attempt, Priyanka did not even tell her husband. Believing that somehow fate had dealt her a bad hand in her previous tests (“Perhaps the questions were just exceptionally difficult in those PTEs?” “Maybe the system was rigged?”) she did no preparation and booked herself for a test at the earliest opportunity. Once again, failure. Priyanka was disappointed. She was unable to sleep and even missed a couple of days of work due to the stress. Her dream of moving to Australia with her husband was crumbling before her eyes, all because of the speaking section of the PTE.

How Priyanka Found Our E2Language PTE Training Course:

In late August, when Priyanka was almost at her breaking point, she decided to do a quick search for PTE training material on YouTube. It had not occurred to her to look online for help before, but Jay’s webinar on Describe Image was exactly what she needed. She went to our website and registered for free to our E2Language PTE training course before having a free information session, which is when I first ‘met’ her.

E2Language PTE
It was Jay’s E2Language PTE “Describe Image” Webinar that changed the game for Priyanka. Watch it here by clicking the screenshot.

Priyanka told me her tale of woe and her desperation was clear. After a few minutes of talking her down from the metaphorical ledge, I suggested she take one of our packages. Obviously, her focus was on improving her speaking; in every one of her previous tests she had scored over 65 in each of the other skills. I mentioned several issues which are commonly experienced by south Asian speakers of English taking the PTE.

The five key things to remember are:

  1. Do not speak too quickly: adopt a speed which you can maintain for the duration of the test.
  2. Do not mumble: if the computer cannot hear you, the computer cannot mark you.
  3. Make sure your enunciation of words is clear: where does one word end and the next word begin?
  4. Make sure your tone sounds natural: you should not sound like a robot.
  5. Avoid all hesitations, umms and aahs: these are fatal to your speaking score.

South Asians like Priyanka are surrounded by English all the time. If it is not their first language, it practically is: at work, at play, at school, everywhere. But be warned! Constantly speaking, reading, writing and listening to English on a regular basis does not a test taker make. The algorithm that marks your speaking does not care whether you are from South America, south Asia or South Australia, so treat it with respect.

I also told Priyanka to take a very deep breath and not to fret. She had until the first semester of 2017 to obtain the PTE result she needed, so there was no need to rush her preparations and risk yet another failure. She and I had a shared objective: that her next PTE would be her last!

Priyanka’s E2Language PTE Training was a success!

As it turned out, participating in our webinars, practicing and recording herself every day, in addition to the two 1:1 tutorials she took with E2Language made all the difference. Priyanka retook the PTE in November and achieved an overall score of 78, including 71 in the speaking.

Priyanka’s story is not unusual. You need only look at the testimonials on the E2Language Facebook page to realise that. Being properly prepared for the PTE, learning our methods and knowing how to tackle all 20 sections of this challenging test makes all the difference in the world.

Follow this article for more PTE preparation advice, tips and practice from an English native speaker.

Is your story similar to Priyanka’s? Are you desperate to pass the PTE and discouraged by your past attempts? We can help. Share your story with us in the comments below.

 

 

Written by Colin David.

 

 

How to Develop Your IELTS Vocabulary

The development of comprehensive IELTS vocabulary is crucial to your IELTS score.

Vocabulary is one of the building blocks of language and a necessary requirement for success in the IELTS. Being ready for the IELTS requires a lot of preparation, including understanding the test, knowing the strategies, and practicing. In addition to all of that, you need vocabulary. It is essential for the reading section, the listening section, for writing a good essay and for being able to speak impressively in the speaking test. To do well, you need to know words. It is believed that it takes 15-20 exposures to a new word for it to become part of your vocabulary. So here are my top 10 methods for integrating new words into your English library.

IELTS Vocabulary Tip: Read, read, read!

The more you read, the more words you’ll be exposed to. This is essential for IELTS preparation, and for increasing your English fluency. Reading doesn’t have to be boring. Read about things that interest you: Food, gardening, fashion, celebrity news, economics, science, politics, etc. As you read, you will discover new words in context. You can infer the meaning of new words from the context of the sentence. If not, then look the word up in an English to English dictionary.

IELTS Vocabulary Tip: Use an English to English dictionary and thesaurus.

You can use hard copies or online versions such as dictionary.com and thesaurus.com.  When you come across a new word, look it up in the dictionary. An online dictionary will give you the definition and will let you hear the pronunciation. It’s important not to just use a translation tool. A translation may be helpful for you to understand the meaning of the word in your native language, but it will not help you integrate the word into your English mental library. You need to be able to think of the word in English, and not rely on a translation. Otherwise you will be thinking of the word in your own language and will have difficulty recovering it in English when you need it. Then use the thesaurus to find synonyms. You don’t have to memorise every synonym (there may be too many). Choose a couple of interesting ones and add them to your vocabulary journal.

IELTS Vocabulary

IELTS Vocabulary Tip: Use a vocabulary journal.

This can be a little notebook that you keep with you where you record new words that you hear or read. Steps 4-7 will explain useful ways to use a vocabulary journal.

IELTS Vocabulary Tip: Organise your journal thematically.

Group words together that relate to a similar topic to make it easier to remember and relate them. These categories could be food, hobbies, nature, society, etc.

IELTS Vocabulary Tip: List the different forms of the word.

For example its noun, verb, adjective and adverb form, as well as its past participle. Let’s take the word “manage”. It is a verb. The noun form is “management”, the adjective is “manageable” and the adverb is “manageably”. The past participle is “managed. Now you know five new words instead of one! This will impress your IELTS examiner and increase your mental word bank. A dictionary will usually give you the different word forms abbreviated as (n) for noun (v) for verb, (adj) for adjective and (adv) for adverb.

IELTS Vocabulary Tip: Collocate!

List words that the word collocates with. For example, manage effectively; manage competently; efficient management; competent management, etc.

IELTS Vocabulary Tip: Write, write, write!

Writing helps to ingrain new words into your memory. When we hear and see a new word, it becomes part of our passive Our passive vocabulary includes words that we can understand but not use. We want to make new words part of our active vocabulary. This means we can both understand and use new words. To do this, we need to use them! One way is to write sentences using the new word in two or more of its word forms. Even better, integrate reading with writing by writing a short summary of an article you have read using 2 or 3 new words from the article in their various forms. Remember to check your spelling! At the end of each week, go back to your list. Pick 10 words from that week and write a short story, even if it’s just 100 words. It can be a personal reflection, a review of something you read that week, or a practice IELTS essay.

IELTS Vocabulary Tip: Listen!

Hearing words in context will help you hear how words are used and also familiarise you with their pronunciation. Watch music videos or short movie clips on YouTube with English subtitles. When you hear a word that you don’t know, or have difficulty pronouncing, play it again and sound it out. Also, Ted ESL and Ted Ed are great sources for interesting and inspiring talks on a variety of topics. You can watch videos and read the transcripts to see the spelling of new words that you hear in the talks. This will help you understand the pronunciation of words, how they are used in context, and how they are spelt.

IELTS Vocabulary Tip: Learn a word a day.

Check the English Learner’s Dictionary word of the day for a new word each day with the definition, pronunciation, word form and example sentences. Add them to your journal list and use them in your journal writing and IELTS writing practice.

IELTS Vocabulary Tip: Speak!

Incorporate the new words into your everyday conversation. Talk to your friends about a movie you saw or an article you read, or a hobby you did, using new words you learned that week. The best way to remember words is to use them! This will grow your vocabulary and make the word part of your mental word bank. This will increase your speaking fluency which will help you in the IELTS speaking test, and in your everyday English development.

Learn about Jay’s experiences in his IELTS Speaking Exam, on How to get an IELTS 9.

Check out our Free Webinars on YouTube, including our recent IELTS reading webinar:

Do you have any questions about IELTS vocabulary or IELTS preparation? Ask us on our Free Forum!

Follow our social media for more IELTS resources and updates!

 

 

Written by Jamal Abilmona.

Jamal Abilmona is an expert IELTS teacher, curriculum designer and language buff. She has taught English for general and academic purposes in classrooms around the world and currently writes e-learning material for E2Language.com.

IELTS Success Tips: How to get an IELTS 9 in Speaking

Recently, I decided I needed to figure out how possible it really is to get an IELTS 9 in speaking.

I’m the co-founder of E2Language, which provides students with online test preparation for their high stakes English tests. 

I took the IELTS Academic test today. I woke up at 6.30 a.m. I made sure I ate a big breakfast. I had two coffees. I jumped on the train and walked up the street. I had my passport in my pocket. I was ready to go.

I had also been studying for months, which is odd, because I’m a native English speaker, and an English teacher, and a graduate of a masters in applied linguistics. I’m probably the last person who needs to study for his IELTS exam. To put it humbly, it was a bit like Messi training for a friendly soccer match in the park.

Despite that, in order to write unbelievable teaching materials for IELTS, nothing beats taking the test yourself. That’s why I took it. I wanted to understand what truly results in an IELTS 9 for speaking. There must be a magic trick, I thought!

And there is… I’ve found it. But before I tell you the magic trick — which is in fact ‘scientific’ and ‘linguistic’ — first let me tell you about my experience taking the speaking test…

IELTS 9
Face to face can be daunting!

Before the speaking test

I only had to wait an hour after the first three sections of the test before my speaking test was up. I went outside and got some fresh air and had another coffee. My pulse was racing (from caffeine and nerves!).

I was aware of the speaking section, and I had learned some helpful ‘tricks’ and ‘tips’ from books and Youtube videos but nothing truly helpful – no one had thought truly deeply about it. I knew, for instance, that I had to ‘elaborate’ on my answers and speak more than I usually do. I knew that it’s not really ‘a conversation’; it’s more of me talking and the examiner listening. I knew that I had to speak using complex grammar and less common vocabulary. I knew that all of this could help me get an IELTS 9. But that’s about all I knew and I didn’t really understand how. I had some idea that I wanted to impress the examiner, but I didn’t really know how that would be possible. I mean, he or she was going to give me a Task Card and ask me to talk about ‘bicycles’ or ‘festivals’, right? I mean, how are you supposed to show off your language skills with mundane topics you think so little about?

I went up to the registration room, showed my passport and took my seat. Surrounding me were people shivering with fear. I felt sorry for them. I’ve learned other languages and sometimes you’re ‘on’ and sometimes you’re not… It depends what side of the bed you woke up on. It also depends on how good your grammar is and how large your vocabulary is – and how easily it comes to you. It also depends on psychological factors like how confident you are as a person, or whether you’re naturally talkative, or not.

A number of examiners came through and called out obscure names, a person stood up and then they both left. Finally, my name was called. I greeted a short curly haired woman and we walked down a corridor into a classroom. There was a table set up with a stopwatch and a recorder as well as some documents.

My examiner was Vicky, a friendly looking woman with with a lovely smile that showed crooked teeth. I liked her, which helped. I felt like I wanted to talk to her. She seemed nice.

The Interview

The first thing Vicky asked me was whether I was a student or I worked. I responded that “I’m an English teacher”, and she smiled.

I quickly realised that what I had learned and what I teach about IELTS Speaking I wasn’t actually doing. ‘Elaborate!’ I thought to myself. So I went on… ‘Oh, I might tell you a little bit more about that”, I said… and I did go on.

A few more questions came and went. I could see that Vicky liked me. She was interested in me as a person for even though IELTS is big mechanical test, Vicky is still a human being.

The Long Turn

“I’m now going to give you a topic to talk about and you should talk about this topic for 1-2 minutes,” she said, and continued, “here’s a piece of paper for you to prepare.”

I read the topic and went blank. It said:

Talk about a time you were recently angry.

  • Explain the situation.
  • Say where and when it was.
  • Talk about whether or not it was resolved and if so how.

I can’t even remember the final statement.

I sat for 45 seconds and didn’t move. I was lost for words. But I wasn’t lost for words because I didn’t have them – remember, I’m a native English speaker! I was lost for words because the most recent time I was angry was a very personal experience. And Vicky, as lovely as she was, was a complete stranger and I did not want to tell her my personal experiences and my thoughts and emotions, yet it was the only thing that I could think of. My mind kept returning to it. I was completely stuck.

15 seconds…

I wrote a single word and then crossed it out.

5 seconds…

I’m going to have to lie…’ I thought to myself.

“Okay,” said Vicky smiling away. “You can start speaking now.”

I spoke and I lied. I used a recent situation where I had been, let’s say, ‘annoyed’, which is not quite angry. But I used that little story and I told an elaborate story that was not at all true. I built a house of cards on top of it. I explained the situation. I said where and when it was. I talked about how I had resolved it. And while I was lying, it dawned upon me that it doesn’t actually matter. You are not being rated on your character. And you have to tell a story. Stories are often fictional.

Keep in mind that: ‘It’s not real life; it’s a test. It’s not a lie; it’s an exaggeration.’

IELTS speaking is much more than a test of your English language skills because there is a social and psychological component to it; you’re not talking to a computer as you are in the PTE Academic. Had I have been speaking to a computer I would have poured my heart out to it and told it everything.

Because you can’t separate language from its content, and content from the language you must be allowed to lie because it is the only fair way that you can say something about a topic that you have no story about.

Vicky stopped me mid-way through my elaborate story. I was shocked. Was she going to judge me? Could she tell that I had just made that story up?

She neither judged nor cared. She just wanted to hear good language being used and I gave her that.

The Discussion

From here, I could see that Vicky was impressed. I had told a good story. I had used intricate vocabulary and fancy grammatical structures. My sentences were flowery and engaging – and very importantly, on topic (even though the topic was make-believe!).

From her IELTS documents she asked me some interesting questions, such as “Do you think that anger affects us physically?”

‘Exaggerate’, I thought to myself and said something like, “Undoubtedly. The scientific literature now fully supports the fact that anger impacts upon the human body. I mean, when you’re angry you can feel it. And this is happening hormonally. Adrenalin is being excreted and your body is priming itself to run. The effect on your heart is particularly profound.”

The combination of the coffee, the hyperbole and the setting was now getting me fired up. I listened like a thief and answered each of her questions politely, intelligently and with a lot of fabrications. I drew upon magazine articles I had read years before and made them sound profound. I drew upon ideas I had had when I was a teenager and made them seem philosophical.

I used vocabulary that I rarely use… And this brings me to the (scientific/linguistic) magic trick.

The (scientific/linguistic) magic trick

There are two ways to talk about the Task Card – in the concrete and in the abstract. Let me compare what would achieve an IELTS 6 (concrete) and what would achieve an IELTS 9 (abstract).

Talk about a time you were recently angry.

  • Explain the situation.
  • Say where and when it was.
  • Talk about whether or not it was resolved and if so how.

Concrete answer – IELTS 6

Train. People. Seat. Old man. Young person. Old man standing. Young person sitting. Old man angry. Me angry. Young person unaware. Old man leave. Young person stay.

These words are what are called ‘concrete nouns’. They are real things. They are things that you can touch. They are things you can see. And they are common words. You sound like everyone else. You are not using less common, more complex vocabulary. If you want to stand out above the rest – above the average (IELTS 9 level) – then you need to use less common, more infrequent language – language that the examiner rarely hears.

Abstract answer – IELTS 9

Train. People. Seat. Old man. Young person. Youth. Impoliteness. Social structures. Ageism. Recklessness. Assumptions. Changing values. Possible resolutions. Mediation. Governmental awareness programs.

These words are called ‘abstract nouns’. They are un-real things. They are things that you cannot touch. They are things that you cannot see. And they are uncommon words. You sound different to everyone else. You put yourself above everyone else. You talk about things that no one else talks about. You extend yourself beyond what’s normal, what’s average. You talk about abstract ideas.

In order to access abstract ideas you need abstract words and abstract words are rare. Vicky wanted me to use words that explained concepts that are interesting and unfamiliar to her. She did not want to hear the same old same old. I can’t imagine how boring it would be to be an IELTS examiner, sitting there every day listening to someone talk about ‘anger’ in mundane ways.

The critical point is: if you want to impress the examiner – which is what you have to do to score a 9 – then you need to speak about abstract concepts. When you speak about abstract concepts you use vocabulary reserved for abstract concepts. As long as you can glue it all together with some simple and some complex grammar then you can rest assured that when you open up your results you will see an IELTS 9 and not an upside down IELTS 9.

Check out our IELTS speaking simulation for more information about how to achieve an IELTS 9:

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Written by Jay Merlo.

IELTS vs PTE Difficulty: The Writing Sections

IELTS vs PTE – everybody wants to know which test will match their skill set the best. I thought I would begin answering this intimidating question by talking about the differences between the two tests when it comes to the writing sections.

My name is Jay and I am a native English speaker from Australia. I’m also an English teacher. Not only that, but I’m a language expert with a masters degree in applied linguistics from the University of Melbourne.

I’m also naturally curious. I find it interesting to take English language tests, such as the PTE and IELTS. They’re not exactly fun, and it’s definitely not my number one hobby, but I do find it fascinating. (Admittedly, I don’t like spending $300 each time I do it…) Who knows? I might have been in the test center with you that day… I was the guy with the blue Australian passport who people were looking at thinking, “Why is he here?”.

IELTS vs PTE
Here I am discussing my PTE experience with my colleague!

I’ve taken the PTE Academic and the IELTS Academic and as a result I now have very good insights into both tests. Yes, I sat next to you and stared at the PTE computer for three long hours and did ‘Summarize Written Text’ and ‘Summarize Spoken Text ‘and ‘Write Essay’. Yes, I sat beside you and did ‘IELTS Writing Task 1’ and ‘IELTS Writing Task 2’.

Here are some critical differences that you should consider when choosing either the IELTS Academic or PTE Academic with regards to getting higher writing scores. Get ready for an IELTS vs PTE writing showdown! 

IELTS vs PTE Writing – a quick overview

In the PTE Academic you must:

  • Write an argumentative essay of between 200 and 300 words in 20 minutes (Write Essay)
  • Summarize a block of text into a single sentence in 10 minutes (Summarize Written Text)
  • Summarize a spoken lecture into 70 words in 10 minutes (Summarize Spoken Text)

In IELTS Academic you must:

  • Describe a graph/process in at least 150 words in 20 minutes (IELTS Writing Task 1)
  • Write a 250 word essay presented in various formats in 40 minutes (IELTS Writing Task 2)

PTE Write Essay vs IELTS Writing Task 2

Comparing the essays is the most obvious place to start because both tasks are the biggest and most time-consuming.

In PTE Write Essay you have 20 minutes to write a 200-300 word argumentative essay. In IELTS Writing Task 2 you have a number of different essay types that you may see, and you have 40 minutes to write at least 250 words. Overall, I think it’s easier to score a higher mark in PTE Write essay for the following reasons:

In PTE Write Essay there is only ONE type of essay – the argumentative essay. While the question prompts differ slightly, you can always use the same structure for all of your essays. How you organise – or structure – your essay has a massive impact on your overall grade. In this respect, PTE wins a point for easiness because IELTS Writing Task 2 hits you with various question types – agree/disagree, give you opinion, double question etc.

In PTE Write Essay you get 20 minutes to write at least 200 words while in IELTS Writing Task 2 you get 40 minutes to write at least 250 words. Hmmm, that’s 20 more minutes for only 50 more words, right? Well… it’s not that simple: Consider that in the PTE you get to TYPE on a computer! I don’t know about you, but I can type MUCH FASTER than I can write with an old-fashioned grey-lead pencil. What’s more, if you want to change something, delete something or move something then it is super easy. For me, typing 200 words in 20 minutes versus writing 250 words in 40 minutes with a pencil is a no-brainer. I choose the keyboard any day of the week.

PTE: Summarize Written Text AND Summarize Spoken Text vs IELTS Writing Task 1

It’s not quite fair to compare IELTS Writing Task 1, where you have to describe a graph in at least 150 words, with PTE’s Summarize Written Text where you have to write a single sentence of anywhere between 5 and 70 words. So, to make the battle fairer I will add the other writing task in PTE, Summarize Spoken Text, where you have to summarize a spoken lecture into 70 words or fewer.

I must say that when I did the IELTS I had a formula for IELTS Writing Task 1 that made it FAR SIMPLER. I had a plan. I had a structure. I knew exactly where to start and where to end and everything in between (see this blog post!). If you went into the IELTS Academic without a formula for Writing Task 1 then I think you would get a big surprise because A) you wouldn’t know what to write and B) you would waste heaps of time! There’s no doubt that IELTS Writing Task 1 is more complex and challenging than the other two PTE writing tasks – Summarize Written / Spoken Text. However, without that formula you wouldn’t have a chance of scoring above IELTS 7.

See an overview of our IELTS Writing Task 1 formula here:

In Summarize Written Text you have to summarize a block of text into a single sentence. It sounds easy, right? No way… If you do not know your grammar, if you don’t know a ‘subject + verb + object’ sentence when you see one, then you will not score highly on PTE Writing. I see hundreds of PTE students write the most ridiculous snake-like sentences thinking that they have written a single sentence. NOPE!

Check out some of our Summarize Written Text tips here:

Summarize Spoken Text, in contrast, is quite simple in terms of writing, but it does require you to listen to and understand the content of an academic lecture. So, it’s a double-edged sword. If you’re a good listener, you can rest assured that you do not need to write complex sentences. Short, sharp sentences are fine with this task. But, as I said, if the lecture doesn’t sink  in… who knows what will come out!

In short, if you have a formula for IELTS Writing Task 1 and you know your grammar for PTE Summarize Written Text and if you can understand an academic lecture for PTE Summarize Spoken Text, then the challenge is about equal.

IELTS vs PTE – My humble (and informed) opinion…

For this section of the test, PTE comes out as slightly easier but not by much and it’s not a straightforward difference. A good preparation course for IELTS Academic, such as the one on E2Language.com, will give you the methods and formulae you need to crack the exam – especially for IELTS Writing Task 1. But overall, PTE is slightly more forgiving, not least of all because you can type your answers, and if you make a mistake, like I always do, you can easily fix it. 

What are your thoughts on IELTS vs PTE when it comes to the writing sections? Let me know in the comments!

If you have any questions about IELTS vs PTE, check out our free forum and ask away!

 

Written by Jay Merlo.

How I got a PTE 90 (The Second Time Around!)

On August 17th I took the PTE academic again. After failing the PTE speaking section on my first attempt, my confidence had decreased substantially and I was nervous. I need a PTE 90 to get into my university program and I never thought it would be a problem to achieve it. This is a mistake that many native and near native English speakers make— and it is a very costly one at that (330 AUD to be exact)! Since my first experience with the PTE, I have spoken to an astonishingly high number of native speakers who have done poorly on at least one section of the PTE. Why is this the case?

You might be thinking, “If many native speakers can’t even get a PTE 90, what chance do I have?” Stop right there. I’m not telling you this to scare you or to decrease your confidence even more. I’m telling you this because you need to know that acing the PTE comes down to more than just your English ability. We say this every single day to E2Language  students and it is absolutely crucial to remember: if you don’t know the format of the test through and through, and if you don’t use the appropriate methods in your responses, it will negatively impact your PTE result. On the bright side, knowing the format and the methods means that you can have less than perfect English and still get the PTE score you need for your immigration or study purposes!

Would you like to receive a free PTE study timetable and an online course recommendation from E2Language?

Fill out the form below and we’ll email you with a free study timetable to suit your needs, AND our recommendation for the right E2Language PTE preparation course for you!


I want to share a few PTE tips that really worked for me on my second attempt, and I hope you find them helpful too!

 

PTE 90
Hurray!

PTE 90 Tip #1: Use a reliable method to address the criteria in each of the PTE sections.

I’ve put this first because it is by far the most important. On my first attempt at the PTE, I thought I could just talk about a graph for 40 seconds with no problems, and I was very wrong. The graphs and diagrams in the “describe image” task can be highly complex, and I found myself not knowing where to look for information or what to say. I couldn’t even fill up the full 40 seconds because I didn’t know what points to focus on!

The second time I took the test, I couldn’t believe how easy it was to talk about the graphs and diagrams when I applied our E2Language method (which of course I should have been using all along!). If you want to find out what the “describe image” method is, you can watch our webinar below for free to find out! One of the most useful things about this method is that it tells you what to say at the very beginning of all of your responses. As Jay says: “if you know how to start, you know how to finish”.

We’ve developed a method for every single task type on the PTE and they work. We do weekly webinars detailing these methods for our students and we also have a webinar bank built into our PTE preparation courses. You can sign up for a PTE free trial here.

PTE 90 Tip #2: If you can, choose a smaller testing center.

This made a huge difference for me. The first time I wrote the PTE, I went to the busiest test center in Melbourne. It’s a beautiful location and the Pearson representatives there were lovely, but the sheer number of students writing the exam meant more background noise and nervous tension. On my second time around, I went to one of the smaller centers and there was a noticeable difference in both noise and nerve levels! Because there were fewer people, the whole process of getting set up was a lot more relaxed, and the representatives had more time to spend with each candidate to explain the rules and expectations of the test.

In addition, I felt comfortable talking to a fellow test-taker who was sitting next to me in the waiting room. I highly recommend doing this before you write your PTE. Don’t waste time talking about study tips though, just genuinely have a nice conversation with the person about why they are taking the test, what they do, and whatever else you can think of! It’s not about using your fellow PTE candidates as study resources (too late for that!), but rather creating a relaxing atmosphere for you and for them. Trust me, it does wonders for your nerves!

Finally, in this less hectic atmosphere I felt more comfortable confirming with the test moderator that my microphone was working correctly to pick up my voice. I cannot reiterate this enough: ALWAYS ask somebody for a check if you are unsure whether the microphone is picking up your voice properly.

PTE 90 Tip #3: Actually read the instructions before you begin the test.

This may seem like a silly tip, yet you would be surprised how many people go through this test without fully understanding how it works or what’s coming next. You need to be aware of how to use the equipment, how the time limits work, what order the tasks will be presented, and much, much more. I can guarantee you that there is always a piece of information in the instructions that will prove useful to you during your PTE exam.

PTE 90
Read those instructions!

Another reason to read the instructions is that it gets you warmed up for reading in English. The first section on the PTE is the speaking test, and this can be quite daunting for many people. Reading the instructions fully gets you thinking in English, and it gives you time to get focused and prepare yourself for the challenging task ahead!

Bonus PTE 90 tip: It pays to know the format.

Although the instructions will notify you which section you will be completing next, they don’t tell you which order the tasks will be in, nor are the tasks labeled when they are presented. This can be quite disorienting and it certainly confused me the first time I wrote the test! Here is what you can do: if you have the PTE book, make sure you look at the order of the tasks for each section and get comfortable with it.

If you don’t have the Pearson book, you can look at the order of the tasks on our blog, which matches the real exam format as well. Here is an example. Knowing what is coming next and what it looks like will make a huge difference in helping you achieve the PTE test result you need.

Follow our social media for more PTE resources and updates!

 

Did you find these tips helpful? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Written by Kaia.

How to Pass OET Reading Part A

The OET Reading Part A test is unlike anything that you’ll see on IELTS or PTE. It’s been designed to mimic the kind of fast-paced reading that you need to do in a medical situation. It’s hard! This blog will tell you exactly what it is and how you can pass it using E2Language.com’s “secret step-by-step method”.

What is the OET Reading Part A?

OET Reading Part A is a ‘summary completion’ task. What does that mean? It means that you are given a summary of four short texts with GAPS.

OET Reading

Your job is to fill the gap with the correct word taken from the TEXTS. Sounds simple? Well… keep reading because you need a Step-by-Step method to complete this one.

STEP 1: IDENTIFY THE TOPIC (3 seconds)

Just below the INSTRUCTIONS and just above the TEXTS is the TOPIC. Can you see it here in red?

OET Reading

That’s it: The topic of these TEXTS and the SUMMARY is Vasectomy. How long did that take you to identify? It should take you less than 3 seconds to find and understand.

Identifying the topic is the best possible start. It will prime your brain with relevant language on what the TEXTS and SUMMARY will be about. You don’t want to waste valuable seconds looking at the TEXTS trying to deduce what they are all about because the TOPIC gives it to you immediately.

STEP 2: IDENTIFY THE TEXT TYPES (10 seconds)

You need to be able to quickly identify the TEXT types.

There are usually 4 (but sometimes 3) of them. These TEXTS might be:

  • Statistics
  • A research abstract
  • Q and A
  • A definition
  • A short case study

They’re short. Sometimes they are just a couple of hundred words, or a bunch of numbers. But they’re not exactly easy to read. Check this one out; it’s a Research Abstract:

OET ReadingThese are Statistics:

OET ReadingGlancing at the TEXTS and being able to identify them will help you enormously because the SUMMARY will directly relate back to these TEXTS. If you see a reference to statistics in the SUMMARY you know that the answer will be in the statistics TEXT, for example.

STEP 3: SPEED-READ THE TEXTS (1-2 minutes)

I know it’s scary because the clock is ticking down but you need to spend 1-2 minutes speed-reading the TEXTS. You need to get an idea of what they are about. If you miss this step you will not be able to fill out the SUMMARY correctly.

You need to understand three things when you speed-read the TEXTS:

  1. The general idea
  2. The headings and subheadings
  3. Keywords

Look at this one again:

OET Reading

  • The title states the “risk of prostate cancer” after vasectomy. That’s the general idea.
  • The headings and subheadings talk about:
    • Authors
    • Context
    • Objective
    • Design, setting and participants
    • Outcomes
    • Results
    • Conclusions
  • The keywords are:
    • “Risk”
    • “Prostate cancer”
    • “Diagnosis”
    • “No association”
    • “Does not increase risk”

STEP 4: MATCH THE SUMMARY TO THE TEXT

Now it’s time to look at the SUMMARY. What you’ll notice in the SUMMARY is that there are clues as to which TEXT you should look at to find the word to fill the gap.

Look at this SUMMARY paragraph:

OET Reading

There are clues in here as to which TEXT you should look at to find the correct words to fill the gaps. Can you remember which one it might be?

  • Statistics? No.
  • Q and A? No.
  • Case study? No.
  • Research abstract? YES!

Look more closely at the KEYWORDS in this SUMMARY paragraph:

OET Reading

These KEYWORDS directly link back to the TEXT that was about research. Remember? Aha! This is where we need to go to fill the gap correctly.

KEYTIP 1: EACH PARAGRAPH IN THE SUMMARY CONTAINS INFORMATION FROM ONE OR TWO TEXTS

Keep in mind that each paragraph in the SUMMARY usually contains information from one paragraph. Sometimes, however, each paragraph in the SUMMARY may contain information from two TEXTS. As a result, you may have to look at the TEXT on research and the TEXT on statistics to fill the gaps for that single paragraph.

STEP 5: MAKE SURE THAT THE WORD FITS FOR MEANING AND GRAMMAR

Most of the time you cannot take a word directly from the TEXT and fit it directly into the gap in the SUMMARY. The word may have to be changed to fit for grammar or meaning.

STEP 6: …

Sign up to www.e2language.com/home/oet to see the rest of the STEPS to complete OET Reading Part A successfully.

If your OET exam date is nearing, you may need to do an OET preparation course. E2Language.com has OET sample tests, including OET reading sample tests including lots of practice for OET Reading Part A. Our course is 100% online – OET online. If you need OET writing tips or an OET writing sample then sign up today!

 

 

Written by Jay Merlo

4 Mistakes Everyone Makes on the PTE Speaking Tasks

The PTE Speaking Tasks are the hardest to master for many of our students.

I’ve spoken to a lot of students lately who have told me variations of the same concern: “I am a native or near native speaker and I am still scoring very low on the PTE speaking tasks. It’s destroying my confidence! HELP!” As somebody who has failed the PTE Speaking section, I completely understand how bad it feels when you don’t get the score you expect.

PTE Speaking Tasks

Speaking as someone who has been there, I want to say this to all those who have done poorly on the PTE speaking tasks: STOP beating yourself up over your speaking ability. You’re probably not as bad as you think. I don’t care what your level is either; I bet you are making at least one or two of the common mistakes I will describe below. And I bet it’s losing you points. To everyone who has lost confidence and felt defeated after receiving their speaking score: you can do this! You just need to be prepared.

Speaking of being prepared, make sure you download our free PTE Academic Word List:

Before I outline the 4 common mistakes that people make on the PTE speaking tasks, I just want to mention that my poor PTE speaking score was caused by “human interference” with my microphone. This means that I was making “plosive” sounds (caused by pushing out excess air when pronouncing the “P” and “B” sounds) and due to excess breathing noise. Essentially, my score was not a true representation of my speaking skills, and this brings me to a very important point for all PTE takers: if you listen to your voice sample at the beginning of the test and you hear loud breathing noises or a “thudding” sound when you pronounce P’s and B’s, you need to tell someone. This can and will affect your score.

Check out our latest YouTube video on PTE technology and testing environment here:

Now let’s get down to the 4 most common mistakes people make on the PTE speaking tasks!

Mistake #1: Speaking too fast

Many people make the mistake of thinking that a brisk talking speed is the same thing as fluency. We see this a lot with our E2Language students, and I can’t even tell you how many times we have told people to SLOW DOWN! You can have a very high level of English and still be completely impossible to understand.

For example, one of our top students is from India and considers English to be his first language. His grammar is perfect and his vocabulary is impressive, but he speaks even quicker than an auctioneer (and those guys speak FAST)! Although it took him quite a bit of practice to break the habit, it made a huge difference and he was finally able to achieve the PTE speaking score he needed.

Another thing to consider is that when people are nervous, they naturally speed up. We all do it, and it’s a natural reaction to stress. However, you need to be aware of yourself doing this so you can break the habit. No matter how anxious you are, you will benefit much more from speaking in a slow, measured way than you will from spouting out 1000 words per minute!

Mistake #2: Using too many fillers (“like” and “um”)

We are all guilty of this one, native English speaker included. Most of us use fillers while we are thinking of a word or concept to fill the next part of our sentence. In real life, people don’t even notice when you do this. But the PTE academic can be very unforgiving. Remember, you’re not in a normal situation. You’re not talking to a friend, you’re not telling your partner about your day. You are being assessed on your ability to access vocabulary and concepts quickly and accurately. Is this realistic? Probably not. But it is the reality of an English proficiency test.

In the PTE speaking tasks where you are required to say more than a few sentences (describe image and re-tell lecture), you are given some time to collect your thoughts before you are recorded. Use this time to mentally choose the 2-3 concepts you will address in your response so you are not scrambling to think of the next thing to say.

Another crucial thing about these tasks is that you must have your own format method already planned out before you go in to the PTE. In other words, you must have decided how you will structure your response so that you’re never unsure of what you are going to say. If you need an example of what this looks like, our PTE describe image webinar on YouTube provides a great method that works. 

Mistake #3: Use of colloquial language

What does this mean? Well, it means that you are using casual language instead of the more formal, academic language that the Pearson test assessors are looking for. You might say something like: “the trend in this graph shows that employment is gonna keep going up in Europe”. You may think that talking the way you often hear native speakers talk is an advantage, but the assessors are looking for advanced vocabulary and word structure, so it’s best to leave this kind of language to your social life.

How can you avoid this mistake? Pretend you are in a job interview. You would never speak to a potential employer the way you casually speak with a friend, and the same logic applies here. Impress the computer with your professionalism!

If you don’t have a clue what kind of language the PTE test assessors are looking for, think about every essay you have ever written. Those big, impressive words that got you an A+ and a gold star on your dissertation about how technology has shaped the modern world? Those are perfect. For the purposes of this test, you need to use “essay” language to prove that you have a wide range of vocabulary. If you want improve your vocabulary range and work on pronouncing those complex academic words, our e2pronounce app (included in most of our course packages) is a great way to do that.

Mistake #4: Speaking in fragments

We (again, native speakers included) often start thoughts and don’t finish them, or start a new thought in the middle of a sentence when we are speaking. In a conversation, this often goes unnoticed we’re used to this “stopping and starting” and so is everybody around us. However, this way of talking will not do you any favours on the PTE academic!

The PTE requires you to speak in complete sentences, no matter what. The way the PTE speaking tasks are scored for oral fluency, you’ll probably score higher if you finish a nonsensical sentence than if you self-correct halfway through your point and start a new sentence. Why? You get 5 points for oral fluency. This means that even if the content of your sentences is slightly off (or just not as comprehensive as you had hoped), you can still get full points for fluency if you speak in full sentences with no re-starts.

So, the best advice we have to avoid this mistake is: If you missed a word you wanted to say, if you feel like you want to rephrase the beginning of your sentence, if you got confused and said the wrong information – whatever – KEEP SPEAKING UNTIL YOU COMPLETE YOUR SENTENCE! You can always add additional information or clarify your point in a new sentence.

Follow our social media for more PTE resources and updates!

 

Now that you know the common mistakes, can you tell me which ones you’re guilty of? Can you think of any more common speaking mistakes people might make on the PTE?

 

 

Written by Kaia Myers-Stewart

Failed an English Test? Worth Switching Your PTE, IELTS, TOEFL or OET Exam?

Ever failed an English test for the PTE, IELTS, TOEFL or OET exam? If you fell short of the score you needed in a particular English proficiency exams, one of the first things you’ll want to do is switch tests. You tell yourself: the “PTE must be easier than IELTS!”

Disbelief and blame is a common symptom of failure.

The truth is, after failing an English test, switching tests takes a lot of time and energy and may not be the solution to your problem. Each test has a very different format and each format takes a long time to learn.

failed an english test

Consider the different structures of the following listening tests and your head will spin:

PTE Listening: 45 – 57 minutes / 7 different tasks

Summarize spoken text / Multiple choice x2 / Fill the blanks / Highlight the correct summary / Select missing word / Highlight incorrect words / Write from dictation

IELTS Listening: 30 minutes / 4 “sections” with 10 different question types

Multiple choice / Matching, plan/map/diagram labelling / Form/note/table/flow-chart/summary completion / Sentence completion

TOEFL Listening: 60 – 91 minutes Listen to lectures, classroom discussions and conversations, then answer questions

Specific detail / Function / Attitude / Organization / Connecting / Inference

OET Listening: 50 minutes / 2 “parts” of 20-28 questions. Part 1 is a consultation where you take notes. Part 2 is an academic lecture on a medical topic. There are many different question types including:

Multiple choice / Short answer / Gap-fill

If you failed the PTE or the TOEFL because you’re digitally illiterate, then switch. I don’t think that the PTE or TOEFL are suitable for people who struggle to use a mouse or keyboard. Think older test-takers. It may be the machine and not the content that you failed on. And if you struggle to use a pen or pencil in the IELTS or OET, then switch to the PTE or TOEFL and use the keyboard.

But if you’ve unfortunately failed your English test because, well… your English is weak, there’s only really one thing to do: learn. And when I say learn, I don’t mean practice.

English practice tests are only effective after you have learned, or re-learned, your fundamental English skills.

Grammar, vocabulary, listening, reading, writing, speaking and pronunciation. Practice tests should be the cherry on top before you take the plunge (you should learn idioms, too).

If you’ve failed an English test more than, say, three times, and you have learned, reviewed and practiced the test then you may want to think about switching. If the essay topic in the IELTS threw you, and you are more comfortable with your medical topics because you’re a nurse, then the OET is probably a better choice. If you suffered anxiety in the OET speaking and you’d feel more comfortable talking to a computer, then switch to the PET or TOEFL.

But if you failed an English test because your English is weak, hold your horses and stick to the test that you know and concentrate on building your English.

Check out www.e2language.com for online preparation courses that are effective, enjoyable and convenient.

Read the following articles:

Follow our social media for more IELTS resources and updates!

 

Written by Jarrad Merlo