2 key tips for passing exams: timing and format

Global Village Hawaii’s key advice to students taking an exam course is to focus on the format and the timing of the exam.

Our exam preparation students are required to have fundamental knowledge of the English language at the appropriate targeted level of the test.  The students should be continuously reviewing grammar concepts, but should predominately focus on getting to know the exam environment and how to be readily capable of passing the exam.

Tip #1- Timing

Global Village Hawaii offers various exams for students with various needs.  The Cambridge Main Suite exam has preparatory courses throughout the year and is offered both as intensive and non-intensive courses.  Many students don’t realize that the Cambridge exam, on average, is four hours long.  Learning how to utilize this time to the fullest is a challenge for students.  Taking practice tests and getting used to the length of the exam will help students learn how to physically and mentally prepare for the final long exam time.

Tip#2- Format

Many exams are different and becoming familiar with the exam’s format is key. Being aware of how the exam is formatted will enable the student to think more about the answer and less of trying to decipher the instructions. For example on the Cambridge and IELTS exams, the papers are separated into parts and tasks.  If a student familiarizes themselves in the course with each part’s objective, they will have more time to focus on choosing the proper answer.


Tamara Swift is Director of Studies with Global Village Hawaii, Honolulu’s premier accredited English language school (www.gvenglish.com). 

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Members of IALC share their insights on the language travel industry. Contributors are owners, directors, managers, teachers or administrative staff of IALC-accredited language schools worldwide.

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