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Resources to prepare for September tests and to keep practicing English

  • According to lots of studies, reading also helps you get better at other skills: writing, speaking, listening and mediation.
  • Read a little bit every day. Instead of memorizing isolated words, it's better to deal with vocabulary in context, which makes it easier to remember.
  • Read for fun. Read things that interest you and choose a text with the adequate level of difficulty.
  • If you find an unfamiliar word, don't stop reading! When you get to the end of the passage, check if you can deduce its GENERAL meaning from the words you do understand. If you can't, check a dictionary.

Strategies: Reading in general

  • Keep a notebook or use digital tools to write down the most important points, unfamiliar words, and questions that arise while reading. Summarize each section in your own words. Write your own reflections on the main points. This process not only reinforces your understanding but also provides valuable mediation practice, and develops critical thinking, which you need to write.
  • Divide long sentences into smaller parts and concentrate on each of these divisions at a time.
  • Create mental images as you read, to improve your understanding, remember the content more easily and understand complex ideas.
  • Discuss what you've read with classmates, study groups or friends. This can give you fresh perspectives and clarify any points of confusion.

Strategies: Reading in exams

  • Read the instructions carefully. Do you need to leave gaps? (For example, if there are extra options that you don't need to choose). Always give an answer for the rest (the examiner won't take away points for incorrect answers).
  • Before you start reading, take a few minutes to preview the materials: headings, subheadings, images,... They will give you a summary of the content and help you set expectations for what you're about to read.
  • Relate the new information to what you already know, your personal experiences and your cultural context.
  • It's a good idea to underline important words to help you focus on them.
  • Don't stop if you don't know a word. You aren't allowed to ask its meaning or look it up. Don't waste time!
  • breakingnewsenglish.com
  • LibriVox. With free audiobooks, which will also help you practice listening and pronunciation.

- Project Gutenberg. (Over 70,000 free eBooks)

  • E-books. Download books with formats which are easily adjustable: .azw, .epub, .mobi,... (NOT .pdf) Ensure you can zoom in and zoom out with ease. You can also instal monolingual and bilingual dictionaries in your ebook. Thanks to that, you'll just have to tap a word to see its meaning... Easy-peasy!
  • Exams from other Official Language Schools.

Resources to practice reading