One of the most difficult phases of the selection is the English proficiency test for the Master’s or PhD. So we’ve separated 7 tips that will help you reach your goal. As the selective processes for this level of study are more and more contested, doing well in proof of proficiency in English is essential to achieve a good result. Check out:
Tips for Proficiency Testing in English for Master’s or Doctorate
- Master reading and advanced text interpretation techniques
Keep in mind that to take the English proficiency test for the master’s degree you do not need to speak or listen in English. The English proficiency tests of postgraduate selections require the ability to read and interpret texts at an advanced level. These tests have peculiar characteristics and the institutions that prepare the tests with the objective of effectively sorting the candidates insert complex structures of grammar and interpretation of texts of advanced level.
- The myth of the specific vocabulary of the area of study
As universities organize the proficiency tests separated by large areas such as Health Sciences or Human or Exact Sciences many candidates mistakenly think that the essential thing during preparation is to have a great vocabulary in the area they are studying. Approximately 5% to 10% of the words contained in the texts of the tests are of specific vocabulary of the area and usually these words are substantives. The other 90% to 95% of the words are Verbs, Adverbs, Adjectives, Prepositions, Conjunctions … all interrelated within the text.
The teachers who prepare the tests know so much that in many cases they even release the dictionary at the time of the test, because they know that it will not be useful to the candidate.
Another fact that proves this, is that if the tests are separated into large areas such as Human Sciences, then what benefits for a student who studies specific vocabulary in Psychology and at the time of proof falls a text more related to Philosophy that are of the same macro-area?
- Study specific grammar points.
There is no way, postgraduate proficiency tests are technical and so studying grammar is crucial because in all tests it is charged at an advanced level. In some cases they are direct grammatical questions and in others you can only solve the questions of text interpretation if you master some items of English grammar.
The good news is that you do not have to master all English grammar. Focus the studies on the following points: Verbal Times, Nominal Groups, Conjunctions, Prefixes and Suffixes. Mastering these grammar structures at an advanced level will solve this part of the preparation.
- Learn reading strategies and problem solving techniques.
In order to increase the degree of difficulty of the tests, the institutions determine a relatively short time to solve all the questions. In many cases there is not enough time for a complete reading of all the texts of the exam. To solve this problem you need to master some specific test reading and resolution techniques such as Scanning and Skimming.
Applying techniques like these you will go straight to the point of the texts where the answers of the questions will be. These techniques can be learned through a methodology called specific instrumental English for masters and doctoral proficiency tests.
- Avoid the biggest mistake in preparing for proficiency testing
Do not make the mistake of focusing your studies only on texts from your area of study and previous master’s degree exams. This is a classic error and unfortunately very common among the candidates generating a high index of elimination of the process in the first attempt. This error is usually caused by 3 reasons:
- Non-specialized English schools and private teachers with no specific experience in preparing for graduate proficiency examinations guide students in this misguided way.
- Candidates who have intermediate or advanced level of English acquired in conventional conversation courses will be sufficient to make a good test. It is very common to see many students at the basic level who make the correct preparation to have more positive results than those who already have previous knowledge in the language with the wrong preparation.
- Masters / doctoral secretaries or internet articles tell students that the proof is simple and a superficial study is enough.
We separate for you to download and use as support in your studies two sets of materials, but remember, only use them after already mastering the grammatical structures and techniques of solving proficiency tests mentioned above, otherwise the result can be very negative. Check out:
- Take a specific Instrumental English course
If you are not fluent in English and your time is short, you need to get right to the point. The best methodology of preparation for the English proficiency test for the master’s and doctoral degree is a specific Instrumental English Course for this purpose. We have separated for you a Free Instrumental English Video Lesson.
The Revisa Exame published an excellent article talking about the importance of Instrumental English methodology as a competitive differential in selective postgraduate processes.
- Get ready with professionals specializing in postgraduate proficiency testing
Over 95% of the English language teaching market in the US is focused on skills related to conversation, ie speaking and listening. In this way, English schools and teachers are proportionately specialized in these skills and do not fully understand the advanced requirements of proficiency testing.
When looking for a private English language school or tutor, make sure the professional who will prepare you has specific experience in postgraduate proficiency tests.