How to Choose the Right Exam Preparation Class
How to choose the right exam preparation class
Many students ask me where they can get exam preparation classes, which ones are affordable and if they can ask their sponsors to reimburse them. I am sure you can find all this information on the web but I think the most important question is which exam preparation course is actually going to help you get the score you want. You don’t want to spend money and time sitting in a class that doesn’t actually help you improve your score.
How to make sure that you choose the right program for you? Here are some questions to ask before you register:
- How many hours of strategy teaching will I receive?
Recent research has shown that students need at least 100 hours of strategy teaching to increase their score by one full band.
2.What kind of strategies will you teach me?
A good exam preparation course should teach you both exam and time strategies.
- Are the teachers experienced in teaching this kind of exam? Have they ever taken the exam themselves or have they ever been examiners themselves?
Teachers with personal experience or insight understand and can explain exam requirements better than those who just follow a textbook.
- What materials am I going to practice with?
Some institutions just use their own published textbooks, others use practice textbooks published by well-known publishers such as Princeton Review or Cambridge University Press. That is fine but you should also practice with real exam papers because textbooks tend to have either too easy or too difficult activities and fail to give you a true picture of your exam taking ability.
- Will I have the chance to do timed practice?
Finishing the reading or the writing section of a language exam on time can be tricky and it takes lots of practice to perform well in 30 or 40 minutes. Unless you are one of those students (most of us are not) who can turn off their phone and force themselves to do timed practice at home, then you should choose a program that gives you the chance to practice timing in class.
Associate Professor in EFL
Cambridge Certified Examiner
Oxford University Press exam writer