Why international students fail ENGLISH Language

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Students fail because they do not understand the test requirements.
Students underestimate the large volume of work necessary to pass.
Students fail because they have limited English vocabulary.
Students fail because some English skills are not practiced.
Students rely on "secret tips" rather than real skill.
Students fail because they cram for tests and become confused.
Students fail because they become upset and cannot perform.

How international students can pass ENGLISH tests.

First step in your plan to pass a specific English test is to understand the test requirements. Is the test a written test only, do you have to read a text, do you have to listen to a conversation on tape, what type of questions will be asked, what type of answers are required. Students must understand how the English information is presented, what English skills are being tested, and how answers must be submitted.

Second step is to understand the volume of English required to pass. Students must have advanced levels of English skills and vocabulary to pass TOEFL, TOEIC, IELTS or Cambridge. Students must have studied or practiced English for 2500 to 5000 hours counting school and self study.

Students require a vocabulary of between 8,000 and 15,000 words to pass the TOEFL, TOEIC, IELTS, and Cambridge tests.

To pass you need the four English skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening) technical knowledge (grammar) vocabulary and familiarity with the test formats and requirements.

The "secret tips" of using grammar to decode questions or specific words that have a higher percentage of occurrence in the correct answers may give you the opportunity to raise your score from 0 to 2 %. If your vocabulary is less than 8000 or your listening skills or writing less than advanced then you will still fail despite using all the "secret tips" or "secret vocabulary indicating correct answers".

Everyone knows that cramming helps memorizing facts for a short time but does very little for the application and practice of the facts. All English tests are a combination of facts and application of English skills. Students who only cram for tests will fail 60% of the test as it is an application of English skills. The students who cram can only help 40% of their factual knowledge if they can remember it perfectly. I have never met a student who can remember crammed English facts correctly.

Students become upset when they read questions they cannot answer, questions they cannot understand, words they do not know the meaning of, or "indication words" that occur in two answers. Remember students that are prepared have less chance of becoming upset. Students that are rested, relaxed and arrive on time at the test site will do better.

What English Should I study to PASS English Tests?

There is only one English language. There are a variety of programs and courses that overlap each other. Many business English courses cover 90% of what students require to pass the TOEIC exam. Many advanced English courses cover from 80 to 90 % of what is required to pass TOEFL, TOEIC, IELTS and other English tests. Some special toefl courses only do practice tests without teaching any vocabulary or English skills. Students must create a plan to increase all English skills, vocabulary and become comfortable with the test requirements and answer formats.

Students can take combinations of programs and still pass tests.

For example: Students could take 100 hours of business English, 200 hours of academic preparation and 20 hours of toefl and pass a Toefl test . The only secret is to have a balance of facts and practiced skills. The following is an example of a balanced program.


24% vocabulary

15% grammar comprehension

15% reading comprehension

15% listening comprehension

15% writing skills, short answer and essay

15% speaking skills

01% practicing test formats

About the Author:

Written by Ross McBride of ESL in Canada
Additional articles at: http://www.eslincanada.com

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