Monday, 12 November 2012

Avoid Distractions

This blog entry focuses on a key tactic that can help you in Sections 3 and 4 of then Listening part of the test and in Section 7 of the reading section. This is to avaoid distractions. What do i mean by distractions? To explain, please take a look at the following sample question. We are going to focus first question 1. The correct answer is a. In the morning. however, both vocabulary similar to both b and d are in the dialog (I have marked these in blue). Next, lets look at question 3. The correct answer is c. Making a phone call. However, if we look at the other options in the answer, we can see words related to all of them in the transcript (I have marked them in red).

Man: I was wondering if we received the contract from Ms Park? She said last night that she'd fax it here today.
Woman: It hasn't arrived yet. Perhaps we should call her if we don't get it by lunchtime?
Man: Well, it is only ten o'clock in the morning, and she is very reliable. The Seoul office is running so much better since she became the manager.

Question 1: When does the conversation take place?
  • In the morning
  • Around midday
  • In the late afternoon
  • At night
Question 2: What are the speakers waiting for?
  • A call from a customer
  • A job application
  • A food delivery
  • A contract
Question 3: What does the woman suggest?
  • Sending a fax
  • Making a phone call
  • Hiring a New Manager
  • Flying to Seoul

So, what advice can I give you to help here. Well, the obvious answer is to read and listen carefully. Don't just pick an answer because you see it or hear it. These are on the test to distract you. However, that is a bit simplistic and will not necessarily help you too much. The best piece of advice that I can give you is to (1) read the questions carefully (2) do this before you listen to the dialog/monolog or before you read the piece.

Why is this so important? That is a very good question. It is importnat because many students do not prepare for each question individually. This is crazy. You must be ready for each one.
  • In the Listening scetion, after you have answered questions 1,2 and 3 you will hear them read out on the CD. This gives you around one minute of time. You answer 1,2 and 3 quickly and use the time you have to read 4,5 and 6. if you know what you are listening for, it makes answering the questions so much easier.
  • In the Reading section, students think that they save time if they read the text first and then answer the questions. This is not the case. Read the questions, then read the text and then ... read the questions again.
Very simply, be sure the choice you make answers the question you have been asked. Do not pick an answer just because you see or hear the words. If you look at the question above, you heard most of the words, but not all of them answered the question.

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