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  1. Biganon
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    #1

    Question Training my "use of English"

    Hello,

    I'm currently preparing the Cambridge Advanced Test, which I will attend on the 8th December.

    The section "use of English" (I'm practising with past editions) is a bit problematic for me ; I get only 65% to 75% good answers.

    Is there any way I could improve this subject ? What kind of books should I read ?

    Not all the exercises in that section are problematic : the first one is (where you have to choose between 4 similar words to fill a blank), along with the one where you have to create a sentence using one given word and the idea of the sentence (last exercise)

    Thank you

  2. ieltsonly's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Training my "use of English"

    Your current scores should see you pass the Use of English paper. I would spend as much time as I could reading different texts and looking at verb + dependent prepositions etc. This should help you with the multiple choice gap fill exercise. Also look at confusing words (try Why are words so confusing? | IELTS ONLY).

    Don't ---- repeat don't ----- do too many past papers. As long as you understand the exam and what is expected of you, you are better spending your time learning English. Doing past papers will only show you what you get wrong (and right) in those papers. If you do a past paper, make sure you look up why answers are wrong!!

    Hope this helps.

    Stephen
    Last edited by Tdol; 21-Nov-2010 at 10:52. Reason: multiple link removed

  3. Biganon
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    #3

    Re: Training my "use of English"

    Thank you for answering.

    Is it "bad" to do too many past papers ? I'm enrolled at Wall Street Institute, and I don't really have the choice, I have to do one written exam per week :|

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Training my "use of English"

    Quote Originally Posted by Biganon View Post
    Thank you for answering.

    Is it "bad" to do too many past papers ? I'm enrolled at Wall Street Institute, and I don't really have the choice, I have to do one written exam per week :|
    Hmmm.

    Provided you have a teacher who can explain why the correct choice is correct - and why the incorrect choices are not correct, this will probably do more good than harm. If you are just getting your paper back with a or a X, then you are gaining no benefit at all.

    In an ideal world, ieltsonly's advice is sound - certainly when he writes: "I would spend as much time as I could reading different texts and looking at verb + dependent prepositions etc. This should help you with the multiple choice gap fill exercise". However, I am not a fan of multiple choice tests, and my personal feeling is that doing a number of past papers will help you improve your mark; but follow ieltsonly's next tip: "make sure you look up why answers are wrong!"

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    #5

    Re: Training my "use of English"

    Quote Originally Posted by ieltsonly View Post

    Don't ---- repeat don't ----- do too many past papers. As long as you understand the exam and what is expected of you, you are better spending your time learning English. Doing past papers will only show you what you get wrong (and right) in those papers. If you do a past paper, make sure you look up why answers are wrong!!
    It would possibly be a good idea to clear up what you mean by 'too many'. I disagree that doing past papers will only show what you get wrong and right- it is possible to learn a great deal from doing past papers- it depends a lot on the degree of analysis of the answers, and it is important to know an exam well and to be familiar with what it expected, what sort of tricks and traps there might be, etc.

    If you don't quantify what you are saying, many will read it as advice not to do papers after the repeated negative. I would say that don't ----repeat don't ----- do plus the vagueness of what comes next could easily be misunderstood.

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