10 Tricks for Improving Your English Skills During Your Exam Preparation

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Mastering English helps you stand out in the increasingly competitive job market. Apart from being admitted to a top international university, advanced English skills will also open up tons of amazing job opportunities.

However, the journey of learning English may not be quite easy. In many cases, people give up because they don’t see much progress.

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Here are some tips and tricks that can help you throughout the process. Take note because the following can make a difference when enhancing your English knowledge and skills.

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1. Dive into it, Immerse yourself

Once you’ve decided to learn a new language you have to be fully committed to it. You have to take a 360° approach; so no matter which language tools you use, you have to practice it every single day. However, what will make the difference is when you put what you learn into practice, be that writing a text, speaking to yourself, watching a movie or anything you’ve like.

So your first priority is to set aside at least one-hour-a-day for English language practice. Then, day by day it will add up, you will see the progress and you will be amazed how you start to communicate in English.

2. Embrace mistakes, act like a child

One of the greatest barriers when learning English or any new language is the fear of making mistakes. But you should embrace mistakes, and you should definitely not feel ashamed because practicing means you are trying and people acknowledge that. If you don’t try, you won’t improve.

You should start acting like a child when learning a new language. Think about it! When learning a language, children just go for it, they don’t really care about what people think. They just try, and this way, they suck up a new language like a sponge. We learn by making mistakes, so embrace them and you’ll learn the language much faster.

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3. Practice and practice

One of the biggest issues is that we forget things unless we use them as memory fades unless it’s used. This is why it is crucial to practice. The more you practice English speaking and writing, the better you’ll get at it. It won’t be effective if you attend your English language course every week but then you don’t practice on your own. So, try to learn as intensely as time will allow you to.

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4. Let technology help you

One of the best things to do when learning English nowadays is to download fun applications that helps you in practising. There are many resources such as Duolingo, Memrise and Babbel among many others. Using additional resources helps you in effectively memorizing English words and phrases by seeing, hearing and practising them.

These applications allow you to download exercises as well as creating flash cards. They are a fun way of learning English as you can earn points when completing lessons.

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5. Carry a pocket dictionary

When you start learning English, you constantly encounter new words, terms, phrases, and idioms. You’ll then probably feel lost as don’t understand anything. Carrying a pocket dictionary on your phone will make a huge difference. It is a great tool that you can use to learn new words and their meaning during a conversation. Having it on your phone is perfectly convenient because it takes you less than two seconds to look for something up during a conversation.

When you use new English words and phrases during a conversation, you’ll be more likely to remember them. There are a lot of people out there who credit their large English vocabularies to reading the dictionary as a child, learning one new word a day. So why not do the same?

6. Watch TV shows and movies for good supplementation.

Learning English also involves listening and reading. So why not start watching American or British TV shows and movies to get more familiar with conversational English? At the beginning, it might seem senseless, but you have to break through and make an effort because this will make a huge difference.

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Watching TV shows and movies help you get used to sounds and rhythms of the English language. Further, it’s very useful because you get to hear how people speak, use slang and cool expressions – it’s how people really talk. But it’s important at the beginning to watch things that you already have a certain understanding about, this makes it easier and more efficient. Therefore, it is useful to start watching programs or movies that you’ve already watched but dubbed in English.

And remember to turn subtitles off, otherwise, you’ll be dragged to read and not listen.

7. Focus on the core vocabulary first, the rest will come

In order to successfully learn English, you first need to get used and learn the core vocabulary. Did you know that only 300 English words account for more than 65% of what you say every day? In fact, there are numerous words you probably don’t know in your mother tongue (and will never use!) So you don't need to know every single word, this will come along as you practice more.

You need to practice hearing English in an everyday context. It is first about focusing on your conversational skills, not about learning tons of vocabulary. You need to choose core vocabulary that helps you structure your English conversational skills. It’s useful to use some apps or flashcards and start recognizing and memorizing keywords.

8. Find a native English partner

Probably the best way to learn or advance your English skills is by dating someone that speaks English very well, preferably a native speaker. At any time, you can ask questions and ask for any clarification if you don’t understand something. Your favourite phrase will become “How do you say …?

If you are dating an English native, you will also learn words and expressions that no other foreigner will learn. In a dating context, is not only about learning English language and vocabulary, but really about communicating and expressing yourself in English.

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9. Start a dialogue with yourself

Another way of practicing English language is by repeating things on your mind out loud, but in English. Try to challenge yourself by thinking in English, this will definitely help you remember things. We usually always have monologs running in our head, so use your mind to create and practice conversations.

This will help you in developing your English conversational skills. For example, you can envision having a conversation that you really like to have with someone before actually having it. I bet you’ve even done this in your mother tongue. So why not use this tool to help you improve your English?

On the other hand, there are funnier ways of practicing English on your own. You could pretend to talk to your imaginary friend on the phone, while you walk to the groceries store or somewhere else.

10. Don't forget to have fun

Last but not least, learning English is about enjoying and having fun. As with anything, if you’re going to stick to it, you have to find a way to make it fun. Otherwise, you might get bored or frustrated and quit. And you definitely don’t want that after investing so much time and effort. A great way of having fun while learning English is by hanging out with natives on your free time or going to events.

In this way, you can practice while having fun. You should also talk about things you enjoy and care about; make it personal, so you feel more connected to it. And definitely see it as a learning experience, because you will not only learn English, but understand more about a new culture.

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