Strategy 1: Learn all there is to know about the Linguaskill (Bulats) test
You are sitting a standardised exam. Indeed, to ensure the consistency of the scores, the creators of the Linguaskill (Bulats) test based it on the same clearly identifiable exam structure. The structure of the test is as follows:
|Reading and Listening –
Written and spoken comprehension
Part 1 : Oral comprehension and written comprehension Part 2 : Knowledge of the language
|Approximately 1 hour
|Speaking – Oral expression
Part 1: Answering 8 simple questions about yourself, your experience, your work, your future. For example: Where do you work?
Part 2: Reading aloud 8 phrases that are displayed on your screen
Part 3: Oral expression on a subject linked to work (for example, the ideal office) that you should discuss for 1 minute
Part 4: Oral expression relating to a document containing several graphs (for example, pie charts or line graphs). You should discuss them for 1 minute.
Part 5: Communication activity where you are presented with a situation and need to answer 5 questions about it.
|Approximately 15 minutes
|Writing – Written expression
Part 1: Drafting a brief email or a short letter of 50 to 60 words. This part is obligatory and represents 1/3 of the final score.Part 2: Drafting a report or a letter of 180 to 200 words, depending on the instructions. This part represents 2/3 of the final score.
|Approximately 45 minutes
If you sit all the sections at the same time, the test should last approximately 2 hours.
For the Reading and Listening module, the questions come in the following forms:
- Read and select (multiple choice)
- Gap fill (multiple choice)
- Open gap fill (without multiple choice)
- Extended reading
- Listen and select (graphic)
- Listen and select (short excerpt)
- Listen and select (long excerpt)
If you focus your preparation on this specific structure, you will have more chance of getting a good mark in the exam. Be aware of timing – if you manage your time properly, you should not dwell for too long on one question.
Furthermore, the Linguaskill (Bulats) test is an exam which measures your ability to communicate in an English-speaking business environment. You should focus your preparation on related themes and vocabulary!
Strategy 2: Set a realistic target
Why are you sitting the exam? You will have different aims from other candidates depending on the reasons behind your decision to sit the exam. If an organisation or company requires a minimum score, your target will obviously be to attain that score. If you sit the exam so that you can put the result on your CV without any particular constraints, you can set yourself any target score that you like: do you wish to work within an English-speaking company? Or is a more basic proficiency in English sufficient?
If you are undertaking the Linguaskill (Bulats) test in the framework of a CPF (Compte personnel de formation), you should ask yourself which competencies you wish to develop. Which score would accurately reflect the development of these competencies?
To reach the target score that you have set yourself, you should develop a specific strategy. You can do this by taking a mock Linguaskill (Bulats) exam to start your training. You can decide whether you need to work more or less intensively according to the difference between the score you receive in the mock exam and the score you wish to achieve. Also, by trying individual exercises, you will discover in which type of exercise your potential for improvement is greatest.
On this basis, you can choose the Global-Exam formula which suits you best!
Strategy 3: planning your practice sessions
- Create a realistic revision timetable so that you can stay on target
- Alternate between active and passive revision
|Taking a course in a language school
||Watching television – news, documentaries, films – on British or American TV channels
|Working through a Linguaskill (Bulats) exam preparation textbook
||Reading: magazines, novels, websites, etc.
|Practising online with Global-Exam
||Also: podcasts, e-books, talking with English-speaking friends, etc.
Your timetable does not have to be fixed. It is a dynamic tool that can be revised and renewed.
You should regularly check up on your progression by taking mock exams and practising specific exercises. You can alter your timetable according to your results!