During my first year at university in the United States, I had to:
- Read about 1,000 pages per week
- Participate in class seminars (discussions) nearly every day
- Write one 3-5 page paper every two weeks
- Write a 15-20 page independent research paper twice per semester
- Give a large, public presentation with a group of students
I did not take a single test my entire first year. I was judged entirely on my written and spoken work. My question for students who are planning to study abroad:
Are you ready for this?
The fact is, many Vietnamese students struggle during their first year in foreign universities. Why? Because even though they scored 7.0 or above on the IELTS, they have not prepared themselves with the foundation they need to succeed in a foreign academic environment.
Sometimes, my students make me laugh.
Not long ago, I was teaching a TOEFL preparation class, and I asked my students to listen to a lecture and take notes.
I pressed PLAY on the CD player…and immediately they all began writing so quickly, I couldn’t see their hands! Their pens moved so fast, they began fanning the room!
I stopped the activity. “No! No! No!” I cried. “Don’t try to write down EVERY word!” They all looked up, confused.
Then I told them what I am going to tell you now:
The key to good note-taking isn’t writing MORE notes, it’s writing more EFFECTIVE notes.
Why do you read in English? Do you do it for pleasure? For work? Or do you read because you need to answer a question – from your teacher or on an English test? For many students, this last reason is most common.
People use different reading skills for different situations. For example, if you’re bored and looking through a magazine, you’re going to read differently than if you’re trying to answer questions on the IELTS.
In this post, we’re going to look at the kind of reading you do when you’re taking a test, such as IELTS or TOEFL. Understanding the kinds of questions you’re going to be asked will help you understand the strategies you need to answer them.
To put it another way, knowing why you’re reading can help you understand how to read.
The IELTS and TOEFL exams are known by English students worldwide. Both exams are used to assess the English ability of applicants, especially those who wish to study in English language universities. If you intend to study or live abroad, chances are at some point you’ll have to take one of these tests.
TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. It is developed and administered by ETS – a non-profit organization in the USA. IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. It is developed and administered by three organizations: the British Council, Cambridge ESOL, and IDP from Australia.
Let’s examine both exams to see which is right for you.