How To Create A Study Plan For Language Exams

I have always been a great test taker and usually pass all the tests that I prepare for. Even a lot of the ones I don’t prepare for. As a Virgo, I’m a natural perfectionist, an analytical organizer and a planner by nature. So I thought I would share how I create a study plan that has always worked for me. This study plan is specifically for language exams that don’t require completed coursework as a prerequisite for taking the test. If you use this process to establish a study plan and stick to it, you should be successful in your test taking endeavors.

  1. Know which language test you want to take. Are we taking A1? A2? B1? B2? C1? C2? If the test you are taking is for a career or academic opportunity, make sure the organization you are applying to accepts the accreditation of the language institution that will certify you.
  2. Know your current lingual abilities. Are you A1? C2? Take the practice tests starting with the lowest level on up to the level you plan to test, stopping at the practice test you fail. That is the language level that you would currently have.  
  3. Determine the missing concepts and ideas you don’t know. For example, if you’re currently at A2, you’ll have to learn everything between the A2 and B2 levels to pass the exam.
  4. Find out what is expected to pass the exam you intend to take and identify your knowledge gaps. If you’re taking the B2 find out what will be on the test and what type of fluency you will be expected to have in all four portions (reading, writing, listening, and speaking).
  5. Divide the amount of weeks until the date of registration (not the date of the test) by the levels you need to learn. This will be the amount of time I can spend on each level. For example if you are A2 and want to take a B2 test in 48 weeks, your equation would look like 36 weeks / 3 levels = 12 weeks you can dedicate to each level you need to learn.
  6. Create a detailed study schedule down to the day and medium. I’ve used syllabi from university courses that I’ve searched for online as a guide to planning which concept to which day.
  7. Schedule in incremental practice tests to ensure your progress. Every X amount of weeks that is dedicated to each level you’re learning is when you should be taking the practice exam for the next level up. This is why I say schedule around the registration date and not the test date. If you are still failing the final practice test by the registration date, it can give you an accurate idea on whether you need to set your sights on a later test date or if you can handle the test date you originally planned for.

This is how I studied for my language exams and it helped me pass. Try it and let me know how it works for you. Do you already use a similar study plan? Do you have a different way for studying for language exams? I’d love to hear more about it. Send me an email!
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