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Tips & Tricks Growth Centre December 12th, 2017
Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks


IELTS (International English Language Testing System) - Tips & Tricks

General Tips & Tricks

  • Answer ALL questions. There is no negative marking.
  • Only answers written on the answer sheets will be assessed. Ensure all answers are transferred onto them.
  • Make sure you write your answers in the correct spaces provided, especially for the Listening and Reading sections.

Listening

  • Answer Listening questions in the order that they appear on the question booklet as they normally follow the order of the information in the recording.
  • At the end of the recording you will have 10 minutes to transfer your answers to the Answer Sheet. Check your grammar and spelling as you do so.

Reading

  • As you read through the passage, don’t try to understand the precise meaning of every word or phrase. You don’t have time, and those parts of the text might not be tested anyway.
  • If the instructions include a word limit, e.g. Use no more than three words, stick to this and avoid unnecessary words in your answer.
  • Avoid spelling mistakes by referring to the question booklet—all the correct spellings are in it!!

Writing

  • Keep to the suggested timing for each task:  20 minutes for Task 1 and 40 minutes for Task2- there are more marks for Task 2 than Task 1.
  • Always keep to the topic given and write in your own words. Pre-prepared answers will cost you marks.
  • There is no maximum number of words for either tasks, but you will lose marks if you write less than 150 words in Task 1 or less than 250 in Task 2.
  • Organize and link your ideas and sentences appropriately; express opinions strongly and be persuasive.

Speaking

  • The interview will be recorded, but do not be intimidated by that.  Always speak directly to the examiner and not the recording equipment.
  • Remember that you are being tested on your ability to communicate effectively and not on your general knowledge.
  • Always give details in your answer; do not give monosyllabic replies of “Yes” and “No” without explaining at least one point.
  • Stick to the topic asked; do not deviate and do not try to give a prepared speech.
TOEFL (Test Of English as a foriegn Language) - Tips & Tricks

General Tips & Tricks

  • Improve your typing skills
  • Never leave a question blank. There is a 25% chance of getting the right answer.
  • Become an expert note taker and create your own shorthand for frequently used words& phrases.
  • Learn academic English from textbooks, encyclopaedias, journals and research articles as  it will help you  become familiar with the presentation and language used in academic material.

Listening Section

  • While practicing, play the tape or CD only once, as on the test day also you will only hear everything once. You have to train your ears to listen fully the first time.

Speaking Section

  • Try to fill as much of the time as possible with your response. It is okay to hesitate for a moment or two before responding. If you have a few extra seconds at the end,  you can sum things up in a short conclusion.
  • Try not to use big words that you can’t say properly, as you will lose marks for poor pronunciation. Also ensure that you know how to use an expression properly before using it on the exam day, as marks will be lost for improper use of vocabulary and idioms.

Writing Section

  • When you practice for the essay, find a format that you are comfortable with and use this format every time.
  • Keep your writing simple and clear.
  • Use lots of examples in support of your essay.
  • Always review what you have written—ensure you leave enough time for this.

Reading Section

  • Get familiar with idioms and  academic vocabulary
  • When doing practice tests, don’t refer to the dictionary—you will not have one during the actual test.
  • The questions will be asked in the order that they appear in the passage. Skim through the passage first, then look at the questions, and then look for details.
  • Highlight main ideas and facts like dates and numbers in the passage. It will make referring back while answering questions easy.
SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) - Tips & Tricks

General Tips & Tricks

  • Use the process of elimination. Eliminate one or more possibilities (of the 5 given), and your chances of guessing correctly are 25% or better.
  • Skip questions that you are struggling with and come back to them later
  • ALWAYS keep an eye on the clock
  • Transfer questions at the end of each section and cross check that you have transferred to the  correctly
  • Improve your vocabulary

Tips for Verbal Section

  • The essay does not have to be grammatically perfect, but it should be clear, focused and organized.
  • While attempting Reading Comprehension questions read the passage carefully and focus on the main idea. The answer is in the passage.
  • Rely on the line numbers which will help you find the relevant part of the passage.
  • Focus on answering the questions, and not on reading and re-reading the text.
  • For the multiple choice section, read each question carefully so that you understand what is required before you answer it.
  • In Sentence Completion, try to complete each sentence in your mind using your own words BEFORE looking at the answers. Then identify the choice closest to your answer.

Tips for Quantitative Section

  • College Board allows the use of a calculator, so practice using it on sample questions before the test. Use a calculator with which you are familiar.
  • Also make sure that the calculator you are using is allowed on the test day.
  • Translate  words in a question into math – this will make it easier to solve.   Remember that”of” means to multiply.
  • Know number properties like odds and evens, prime numbers, and the order of operations.
  • Common trap answers  include oddball answers and answers that are too small or too big- be careful of these.
  • Know your triangles and understand the difference between values, ratios, and percents.
GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) - Tips & Tricks

General Tips & Tricks

  • The GMAT is a computer adaptive test, meaning that the test is performed on a computer and the questions change based on your answers to the previous questions. The better you perform, the harder the questions get. With every correct response, the lowest possible score you can receive increases.
  • Set a time limit and stick to it while practicing; this will help you while taking the actual test.
  • The Verbal section is as important as the Quantitative section, as communication skills are necessary to be successful in the business world.  Low scores in the verbal section can harm the overall score.
  • Read directions carefully; this avoids careless errors. Look for traps set for you (e.g., trying to trick you into believing a number can only be an integer when it could also be a decimal number).
  • Make educated guesses. Use the process of elimination. If you can eliminate two of the choices, you can increase your chances of getting the right answer by 65%.
  • Answer ALL the questions.  Unanswered questions are penalised more than a wrong answer.
  • Take advantage of the 2 optional breaks- they will help you clear your mind and regain your mental stamina.

Tips for Verbal Section

  • While writing the essay, include an introduction & conclusion and make 3-4 points per essay.
  • There is no “right” position, simply argue and present your position well.
  • While attempting the Sentence Correction section, Pay attention to grammar, choice of words, and sentence construction.
  • Choose the answer that produces the most effective sentence; this answer should be clear, should not be awkward, ambiguous, redundant, or grammatically incorrect.
  • In Critical Reasoning utilize process of elimination and avoid choices that make absolute statements.
  • You will be give scrap paper. Utilise that for the Reading Comprehension section, tomake brief notes on the ideas presented in each paragraph.
  • Always leave enough time to proofread and review all your work thoroughly.

Tips for Quantitative Section

  • While practicing, make sure you re-do every problem that you miss. Continuously reviewing the problems that you miss is the key to better yourself.
  • Time is of essence and therefore you must get good at mental math.
  • Memorize some math facts. For eg,   the square root of numbers from  2 to 25, the cubed root of numbers from 2 to 11, the rules of prime numbers, etc. This will be of immense help on test day.
  • Recognize “number properties”. If you can note that the correct answer must be negative (vs. positive) or odd (vs. even), you can sometimes avoid doing the math and follow the pattern to the correct answer.
  • Quant problems are often designed to look abstract and tend to look like something never seen before. Try a few small numbers to test the relationship in the problem, find a pattern, or try to learn more about the concept in the problem.
GRE (Graduate Record Examination) - Tips & Tricks

General Tips & Tricks

  • Answer ALL the questions
  • Boost your vocabulary
  • Learn to manage your time
  • Use process of elimination
  • Utilise the scrap paper given to solve math problems& to write points for the essay

Tips for Verbal Section

  • In Analytical Writing, organize and develop your response in a way that will effectively communicate your evaluation of the argument. Include examples in your evaluation.
  • Use as many or as few paragraphs as you consider appropriate for your argument/ issue.
  • In Reading Comprehension, Text Completion& Sentence Equivalence, read through the text carefully and get an overall sense of it.
  • Read and understand each question carefully.
  • Always leave time to review and proof read your work and make sure the answers are coherent, logically sound and grammatically correct.

Tips for Quantitative Section

  • Practice, practice, practice– there is no substitute for it.
  • Develop your own ways and systems for doing arithmetic quickly
  • Become familiar with different types of charts and graphs.
  • The revised GRE allows you to use a calculator, so don’t stress yourself out by doing too many mental calculations.
  • Answer the early questions very carefully. If answered correctly, the computer-adaptive system will provide more high-value questions, helping you to achieve a higher score.
  • Don’t waste too much time on one question. Give yourself approximately two minutes per question.