How to Prepare for Your English Test

In my previous article, I discussed a few of the many English tests available online and offline. However, before you register and pay for the examination of your choice, it would be good to get some tips, advice, and even do some practice exercises or mock tests. This article will offer a few suggestions, all of which are free or have a nominal fee, to help you upgrade your English skills and become familiar with the format and content of the more popular tests.

TOEIC/TOEFL:

https://www.4tests.com/toeic and https://www.4tests.com/toefl  offer descriptions of the test formats as well as one or two complete mock tests that you can do online.

https://www.examword.com/toeic-list/3000-vocabulary-1 offers thousands of words for the TOIEC as well as exercises like a quiz and spelling exercises. You can also print a PDF or use an app to enhance your practice, as well.

https://www.examenglish.com/TOEFL/toeflvocabulary.htm offers a vocabulary word list, and test for the TOEFL

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEI_IuJ2jdqjYl0T-k04RLw is the official TOEFL iBT channel, also known as TOEFL TV

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXpl1usxA_ZAkdKuGipysYQ/playlists is the TOEIC Program sponsored by ETS, but there are channels for each skill not sponsored by the test creators.

IELTS:

https://www.ieltsbuddy.com/ offers IELTS Tips and Strategies for a high score, along with plenty of free sample questions with answers.

https://ieltsliz.com/ offers IELTS tips, model answers, topics, practice lessons, and videos. There is an Advanced IELTS section with paid materials here, as well.

The three organizations that created the IELTS test have their own YouTube channels with slightly different tips, advice, and sample materials.

https://www.youtube.com/user/IELTSOfficial is the official Cambridge channel.

https://www.youtube.com/user/IELTSEssentials is the official IDP channel

https://www.youtube.com/user/BCIELTS is the official British Council website. 

OPic:

https://opicstudy.wordpress.com/about/what-is-opic/  and https://www.rifla.org/How-to-prepare-for-the-OPIc offers explanations of what is the OPic, how it is scored, and a version of the background survey used to tailor the test topics and questions to each candidate. 

https://www.wikihow.com/Answer-OPIc-Questions walks you through how to register for, prepare for, and take the OPic test. 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXkO27HvE8EpcJTFqpkYaTw is the closest to an official OPic channel, I could find on YouTube, but – as Samsung uses the OPic extensively in Korea – the channel is Korean only. 

Bonus Sites:

www.higheredme.com/2017/04/11/guide-discover-english-certificates/ offers a good overview of the most popular commercial tests as well as a conversion table for the most popular tests by score, CEFR level, and skill level.

https://virtualwritingtutor.com/ielts offers eight free, timed IELTS practice tests, which will be automatically scored. Feedback is also part of this tool.

Finally, as mentioned previously, there are many competing tests available to assess your English level – usually within a whole or partial four macro skills framework of listening, speaking, reading, and writing – and the same is true of the plethora of practice materials available for these tests on and offline. I have provided a list of the primarily free official and unofficial websites that my students or I have used in the past. There are many quality resources out there for you to use, but I have tried to only list ones that I have used successfully or have had recommended by sources I trust. All the best with your English studies, and may you have a positive and satisfying test-taking experience.