Exam preparation course, ACET, Ireland

Exam preparation course, ACET, Ireland

Study and exam tips for language students

More and more students plan to work or study using English and need to take an internationally recognised exam. Whether the students need Academic English, Business English or General English, it is important that they select the exam that best suits their individual needs and interests. Language schools play a key role in providing up-to-date information and helpful advice to students in order to ensure they choose the exam that meets their requirements and is achievable.

Once the students have selected the exam course, the role of the teacher is vital in providing exam skills and learning strategies to help the students fulfil their goals. Giving correct and useful advice can play a key role in leading the students to success.

Some key advice would be:

Study Tips

  • Don’t get overwhelmed by the workload – make a study plan and try to work with other students to help and support each other
  • Set realistic goals and milestones for yourself
  • Study consistently for a set amount of time (between 30 minutes and 60 minutes) every day after school
  • Our brains work differently, so try to use a range of learning strategies – try using visuals such as mind maps and diagrams, colour coded lists, pictures to help you find the best way to learn and retain new information

Exam Tips

  • Make sure you are familiar with the content and the structure of the particular exam
  • Be aware of how the exam is assessed and what criteria are required
  • Take time to find out how to approach the various sections of the exam
  • Do practice papers and keep a record of your scores to assess your progress and identify areas for further improvement
  • Record yourself doing the speaking section of the exam and use the recording to support and develop your training
  • Work on your confidence and ability to cope with the stress of exam situations
  • Listen to the valuable feedback you receive from your teacher/tutor

Other Tips

  • Look after your body as well as your brain – make sure you get enough sleep and eat healthy balanced meals
  • Take responsibility for your own learning – do more work outside of the classroom, such as watching TV, writing emails and reading books
  • Try to make friends with native speakers to be exposed to authentic contexts for the language learnt in the classroom

Finally, it is important to not to get discouraged if you feel you are not making progress – stick with it and work through any areas of difficulty and keep your eye on your ultimate goal.


Laura Dwyer-Canton is Academic Manager with ACET (www.acetireland.ie). Located in Cork, Ireland, this English language school offers Cambridge (KET, PET, FCE, CAE, CPE), TOEIC, TOEFL and IELTS exam preparation courses.

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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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