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SAT, TOEFL, IELTS: standardized tests
Widely used by American universities, it is taken by most domestic and international students who want to go to college. Students can take this exam as many times as they wish, but it is said that your second time is probably your best score. Also, some universities might not appreciate someone who has taken the test too many times. The SAT consists of three topics: Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing. The time limit for answering is strict and it is necessary to practice a lot before taking the real test if you want to get a good score.
Our staff recommends the following books for studying for the SATs:
The Princeton Review SAT Test Preparation
The Official SAT Study Guide by College Board
Kaplan SAT Prep
For more detailed information regarding the SAT, visit the official website: http://sat.collegeboard.org/home
TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. It is an English proficiency test for non-native English language speakers for enrolling in universities where the courses are offered in English. It is accepted by universities in about 130 countries. It is an internet-based test, but in some areas it still is a paper-based test. TOEFL is divided in 4 sections: reading, listening, speaking and writing. All sections cover academic vocabulary.
IELTS stands for International English Language Test System. It is also an English proficiency test for non-native English speakers, accepted in institutions in over 135 countries, but mostly used as an entrance exam by universities in the United Kingdom. There are two IELTS tests: one is the Academic test and the other is the General Training test. The Academic test is for the people who want to enroll in a university, and the General Training is for the people who want to gain work experience or for getting a VISA. Both tests are divided in four topics: Listening, Writing, Reading and Speaking. If you are studying English at a language school, talk to your teacher about these tests and ask for advice. Getting closer to your teachers will help you to get more confidence and, if they aren’t native-speakers, they probably have been through the same process, so they will understand you. There are also plenty of free online tools to help in your study, so a quick search will lead you to a world of knowledge and practical exercises.
Don’t be afraid of standardized tests. They aren’t made to prevent you from going to college: they are made to get you ready to go to college. If you study hard and practice a lot, both your mind – to be calm during the test – and your skills, you will master the tests. Good luck!