Creating the Right Study Ambiance for Your B1 Exam Preparation

english testStudying does not start and end in school. Truth be told, learning is a never ending process. It’s a lifetime thing that we all have to do. After all, humans are known to naturally crave for knowledge and improvement. Plus, there are cases when you will be required to do so just like when you apply for an Indefinite Leave to Remain or a UK citizenship wherein you will have to pass the B1 exam. But studying can be boring, you then ask. Oh worry not because the right ambiance can instantly turn a seemingly boring study day to a fun and learning induced one! Read up for ideas how!

Turn on some feel good music.

Music is known to tickle the brain. It can access areas that help make information absorption better and faster. It can also jazz up the ambiance of the room. Of course we all have different preferences when it comes to music but be sure to pick those that will not serve as a distraction when you concentrate.

Keep your lighting appropriate.

Reading will be involved as you will have to refresh and add up to your knowledge reading language rules and principles. You will also have to practice speaking and listening. That would be hard to do if you could not read your study materials properly due to poor lighting. So open up your windows, get a lamp and insure that enough light makes reading a pleasure but also avoid overdoing it as you might create too much glare.

Stock up on brain food.

You will also need food to fuel your energy. Experts suggest peanut butter sandwiches, fresh fruit slices, dark chocolate, yogurt, mixed nuts, fresh fruit juices, coffee and water. These make for great snack options as they not only increase brain function and are healthy for you but they also taste awesome.

Remove and stay away from distractions.

If you want to fully create a learning environment that will help you ace your B1 exam then you should make it a point to remove and stay away from any forms of distractions that will make you deviate from your focus. Take your smart phones and your social media accounts for example. If you keep them close then you will be tempted to check them out again and again eventually swaying from your tracks.

Polishing Your Language Skills in Time for Your B1 Citizenship Exam

The B1 Citizenship Exam is a test given to non-European citizens who wish to stay or reside in the United Kingdom for an indefinite period of time.  It basically evaluates and assesses a person’s comprehension as to the use of English in conversational cases, listening and speaking. If you are about to take one or are planning to then you better polish up on your language skills. Here are some tips to help you do just that!

b1 citizenship ExamTipsThink of it as a job interview. To put it simply, practice. Get any reading material. It could be a poetry book, a random newspaper or magazine article, a novel or even the back of a milk carton and start reading aloud. This way you get to practice your intonation, diction and pronunciation. It can be as simple as a few lines to a whole paragraph a day. It makes a difference and actually makes your tongue feel more comfortable with the language.

A mirror and a recorder go a long way. Another trick is to go and sit in front of a big mirror. Practicing this way will help you see your facial expressions, hand and bodily gestures as you speak. At the same time, throwing in a recorder (or your smart phone) will help you play back and listen to yourself. You’ll be able to spot a few hitches too and then improve from there.

Dance and sing to the beat. If you want your polishing to be done in a more fun and enjoyable way, then what better way to do it than with some music? Pick a good song with discernable and good lyrics. Listen to it and then sing along. It’ll hone your listening skills. To rev up the benefits, pick a song that you aren’t familiar with or know all the lyrics to. Try transcribing it to see how well you are at picking up what people say. The same can be done with a speech recording.

Find someone who you can practice with. Of course the best way to polish your language skills for your upcoming B1 Citizenship Exam is to actually converse. Practice makes perfect after all and this is best done when you have a partner or more to do this with. You can ask your friends and family members to speak and talk in English with you.

How to Impress During Your B1 Citizenship Exam

The B1 Citizenship Exam is a type of language proficiency test given to individuals who are not European citizens and who would wish to reside or stay indefinitely in the United Kingdom for work, leisure or any other reasons.  It measures an individuals’ basic command when it comes to speaking and listening and is therefore a two part exam. So should you be in the running to take one, what are the things for you to do in order to impress your examiner?

Get to studying. Of course if you fail miserably and stutter like a mad man then you will impress no one. One way to avoid this is by studying and preparing for the exam itself. Like most English proficiency exams these are not easy. They are however not impossible but rather challenging. If you read and study well then you’re bound to impress.

keep-calm-cause-you-will-ace-this-testPractice till you perfect it. Also see to it that before you dive into the exam proper, you’ve already practiced well and enough. You cannot simply rely with reading and previous knowledge. Speak, converse and practice it daily. It helps a lot.

Dress up appropriately. You do not want to look like a mess in front of the examiner. First impressions count and for you to get a good one you should start with the manner in which you carry and dress yourself. Think about this like a job interview.

Know proper courtesy. A simple greeting, a hand shake, a respectful nod and a thank you are necessary. Sure the B1 Citizenship Exam tests your English proficiency but also take note that being courteous is a good trait.

Stop fidgeting. Nerves can destroy your mantra and can meddle with your thoughts. Breathe in and out slowly. Sit up straight. Think positive. Clear your head and most of all stop fidgeting. It will make you look anxious.

Lastly, show enthusiasm. When the examiner blasts of his or her questions or when you answer be sure to add in a bright sunny smile. Just remember to not overdo it or else you’d end up looking like a mad man. Think professional friendly. You need to show that your answers are sincere and even if you commit a few mistakes here and there, you could brush it off and continue.

The B1 Citizenship Exam may be challenging but with proper preparation one can easily impress any examiner and ace the test!

English Academy: How to Cope Up When Your Brain Goes Blank

Sometimes the inevitable happens just when you don’t need them to. Your brain will go blank on you. It could be during your project report in school, at an office presentation, while delivering your graduation speech in front of a big audience, during your job interview or while taking an oral language proficiency exam. What really is the culprit? In most of these cases it’s the nerves, anxiety and fear. How do we shun it away? London’s English Academy has got some neat advice for everyone on how to cope up when your brain goes blank.

BREATHE AND CALM DOWN. Do breathing exercises. Sit straight up, Put your hands on your lap palms down if you are sitting or on your side if you are standing up. Gently close your eyes for three seconds. Slowly inhale and exhale. Don’t allow your confusion and stress to overwhelm you. Calm down, relax and breathe.

IT’S OKAY TO TAKE A SHORT PAUSE. Yes it definitely is. Rather than talk nonsense and say loads of filler words, take a short pause. The key word here is “short”. Three to five seconds will do but see to it that you do not appear lost by keeping your posture and maintain eye contact.

NEVER LOOK DOWN. MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT. When you feel lost for words, keep your eyes alive. Never look down, on the sides, up or anywhere else. Look at the person or audience you are talking to. This way you are still communicating with them through a gaze and it could appear that you are making a point or stressing on a topic when in fact you are finding your way back.

brain blankSMILE AND KEEP YOUR POSTURE. Don’t lose it. It’s not a lost battle yet so be sure to still be in proper posture. Do not let those eyebrows meet or frown that it creates wrinkles in your forehead. Worry lines are not needed at this point in time. You have to look confident.

REMEMBER TO FAMILIARIZE AND NOT MEMORIZE. One of the many reasons why your brain can go blank is because you memorized more than you understood. Let’s say that you are going to a job interview or to an oral exam. Chances are you have practiced your answers to familiar and common questions. The English Academy reminds us to avoid memorizing them but instead familiarize and understand them by heart. When you do so you are less likely to have you mind pause abruptly.

Fun Facts about the English Language

The English language, like the others all over the globe holds an interesting history and a number of fascinating details surrounding it. Do you want to know a handful of them? If yes then read on and amuse yourself!

FUN FACT # 1: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” That sentence fun factscontains all the letters in the alphabet and is thus called a ‘pangram’.

FUN FACT # 2: A famous way to create new words is through making a portmanteau word or to put it simply a blend. A famous example of this would be the favorite mealtime of a lot of people: breakfast plus lunch equals brunch!

FUN FACT # 3: Being dubbed as the universal language, there is one in every six persons in the world who can speak, understand and write in English.

FUN FACT # 4: Let’s add some accounting term into the pile. Did you know that the words bookkeeper and bookkeeping are the only words in the dictionary that has three consecutive double letters? Pretty unique, huh?

FUN FACT # 5: The word ‘queue’ is one of the most mispronounced words of all time and it got many people scratching their heads. Fear not because the way you say it is the way you read its first letter. Right it’s Q. On a related note, “pronunciation” is the most mispronounced in the world. Quite ironic, don’t you think?

FUN FACT # 6: During job interviews, we have often been told to avoid filler words like obviously, basically, actually, honestly and the never dying “um”. All of these are called crutch terms and they are used to buy people time as they structure their words and sentences.

FUN FACT # 7: During the period from 1932 to 1940, the dictionaries published had one word that did not have any meaning to it thus it has been dubbed as the “ghost word”. Can you guess what it is? It’s “dord”. We wonder what it could have meant. Ideas?

FUN FACT # 8: Speaking of dictionaries, the earliest one ever published dated back to the year 1755. That makes it over 250 years old!

FUN FACT # 9: “Alphabet” actually had Greek origins and was derived from alpha and beta.

FUN FACT # 10: Uncopyrightable is the only term to be spelled without having any one of the letters being repeated. Now that is truly leaving up to its name!

Background and Prerequisite for Indefinite Leave to Remain Application

A lot of people wishes to stay in the United Kingdom because of the employment opportunities and a high pay. For those who are not British citizens and would like to reside in the UK, it is essential to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). If you are not accustomed to what an ILR is, this is a grant for an immigration status to someone who does not have the right of residency in the United Kingdom. A person should pass the ILR exam for the ILR to be granted. Once ILR is granted, a person can come to the UK without any time limit and can apply for a job or enroll for education without any restriction.

ILR life in the ukAs a prerequisite one should take one or all the exams depending on what type of exam you are qualified to take. It is necessary that migrants aged 18 to 65 to have adequate knowledge of the English language and about the life in the UK to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Before taking any exam you have to be prepared and take measures to ensure you pass.

Life in the UK Test is one of the tests to take for ILR. To give an overview, Life in the UK Test is an assessment of a person’s knowledge of British traditions and customs. It is a computer based test and a requirement for someone who is seeking for ILR or naturalisation as a British citizen. If you are 18 to 65 years old then you have to take the Life in the UK Test. In order to pass the test, you’ll need to get 75% or more. Make sure to read the official handbook for the Life in the UK Test to be ready. If you fail the test you will have to wait 7 days before you can take the test again. You don’t have to worry because you may take the test until you pass however you will have to pay for each test you take.

Studying is the key to pass the exam. Being resourceful helps a lot also like taking practice tests and reading study guides. If you take these advice into consideration then you will feel more prepared and confident to take it. There are also preparation courses you can enroll to enhance your communication skills and grammar.

The English Academy on How to Become a Better Listener

The English Academy on How to Become a Better Listener

Becoming a better listener is important in our daily lives. How do you like it when you talk and someone seems to turn their heads from you or worse cut you in the middle? Of course, you do not like it one bit. Listening skills are also important in one’s career pursuits, education, and your daily contact with people and even in the application to live in certain countries. That’s right. There are requirements like the B1 citizenship exam that require basic command and proficiency in a certain language in speaking, listening and writing. If you want to improve in this department then you are in luck. The English Academy has been generous enough to give us tips on how to become a better listener.

  1. ListenASSESS THE SITUATION – Sometimes the person speaking has a big voice in other cases they can sound so soft that you have to prod your ears. No matter the case still listen. You have to assess the situation, adjust your focus and inclination.
  2. ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS – Mannerisms, facial expression and body language can say a lot and determine if you are indeed paying attention or not. Nodding, raising of eyebrows, twitching of lips, shaking of head and eye contact are examples of actions that indicate you have lent your ears.
  3. JOT IT DOWN – In some cases such as when you are listening to a lecture, a discussion or in a meeting, taking down notes is beneficial. Our brains are no computer and even though how high ones’ IQ is, you still have to find a way to remember things by such as by jotting them down.
  4. NEVER INTERRUPT – This one here is really important and a significant point to consider. When someone else is talking make sure not to interrupt. If you have questions or clarifications wait for them to finish or make a pause. Never cut them shirt.
  5. SCREEN OUT DISTRACTIONS – Many things can happen all at the same time. Be sure to put your focus on what is important. Your ears will hear all sorts of sounds and voices. Screen out everything and focus on the person you are listening to.

As they say if you want to be heard then you should see to it that you know fairly well how to listen. You can’t do all the talking in the first place.

How to Ease the Nerves Before Your B1 Citizenship Exam

You can feel your heart hammering inside your chest. Your palms begin to sweat madly. Your forehead is dotted with sweat droplets. You feel nauseous. Your head seem to spin and everything you have studied days and weeks before seem to have faded into oblivion. Exam anxiety is fairly common. Everyone gets it but with the right preparation and techniques you’ll be able to shun it away. Gather your courage. You have to do this if you are preparing for the B1 Citizenship Exam or any other exam for the matter.

So how exactly do you ease those pesky nerves?

studyingMAKE SURE TO STUDY WELL – One of the many reasons why people feel anxious and nervous before and during the test is because they know to themselves that they lack the preparation. They haven’t studied enough. Confidence starts to build up once you have gained the amount of knowledge and skill you must acquire to ace the test.

PREPARE FOR IT EMOTIONALLY – Even if you have studied hard if you fail to consider the emotional part then you can still be bound to failure. Mental power has a lot to do here. You know how nervous you get in exams. Anticipate for it. Plan what you should do to suppress it and practice doing so.

SAY GOODBYE TO DOUBT – It’s time to squash all that negativity. Worrying doesn’t get you anywhere except down. Don’t stress yourself thinking that you’d fail in the end or that you lack preparation and all. Think positive. A healthy optimistic mind can do wonders.

EAT UP HEALTHY – Getting sick will also drag down your chances at acing that exam. Be sure to eat right, well and enough. Exercise regularly and get enough rest and sleep. Go with beans and buts for brain power, a little sugar for bouts of immediate energy, protein to keep your muscles healthy and fruits and vegetables packed with vitamins and minerals to keep sickness and disease at bay. Plus, a good hearty meal can always uplift your spirits.

FIND SOMETHING INSPIRATIONAL – It could be a quote, a book, a person, a dream or a goal. When you have an inspiration for what you do you will have all the right energy to get you going.

PRACTICE LIKE THERE’S NO TOMORROW – Lastly, make sure that you practice and apply what you have learned, studied and read. There’s no use if you keep them in paper and in theory.

So heads up and get ready to ace that B1 Citizenship test!

English Academy’s Tips for Improving One’s Speaking Skills

When one wishes to travel, reside in or stay in the United Kingdom, English speaking skills are necessary. Miscommunication can really get you in a bad situation and one way to avoid this is to make sure that you are well acquainted and comfortable with the language. Besides, how else do you plan on finding your way in and out of the beautiful cities? You’d have to ask around. And let’s not forget conversation and listening is the start of good ties and friendships. Now, what do you do if you feel that you lack in this department? No need to fret right there buddy, the English Academy has been generous enough to hand us some useful tips and advice to make your speaking skills better in no time!

english academyBLAH BLAH BLAH – Talk as much as you can. Practice makes perfect after all. Don’t worry if you commit mistakes here and there. It’s basically normal. No one was born a pro at something so speak to hone your skill. If people giggle brush it off and smile. Learn from your mistakes.

MUSIC TO YOUR EARS – Another way is to bring out your earphones and blast some good music. Make sure that the songs on your playlist have good lyrics and avoid those with all the rap and slang. You have to learn good grammar so make a little research first. This is also a good way to learn pronunciation and proper diction.

PAGES AND PUBLICATIONS – Grab an English magazine and start flipping and reading articles. Get a good novel and devour a good story. If you’re not one who is so much into reading then the daily newspaper should do you well. Oh and don’t forget to read them out aloud.

CAMERA ROLL – You will get a lot by watching movies and television too. Doing so will allow you to grasp new words and learn pronunciation. You can even try to imitate the actors and actresses and play pretend. This will make learning extra fun.

MISTER DICTIONARY – This may sound cliché and boring to many people but the dictionary really does you a lot of good. Flip open random pages and learn at least five to ten new words daily. If you don’t know how to pronounce them or read the guide on the dictionary then by all means use the internet. You’ll surely find a recording somewhere.

MR AND MS CONGENIALITY – Lastly, a fun way to hone your speaking skills according to the English Academy is by making friends with people who are native speakers or who have excellent grasp of the language well. Think about it, you earn new acquaintances and you get to practice. Double score!