How can I prepare in English?

English exams - tips and hints for preparation

1. Reading a text with tasks to check comprehension (reading comprehension / extended word problem)

First read the text completely and find out what it is about (main content). Then look at the tasks. Then look for the passages in the text where you suspect the solution. Don't look for every unknown in the dictionary. Many words can be guessed by their meaning.

1.1. Tasks that you can be asked to understand a text

1.1.1. Multiple choice tasks

These are tasks with given solutions - a, b, c - right or wrong - think carefully about whether the sentence is right or wrong. Look for negatives, personal pronouns.

1.1.2. Matching exercises

These are tasks in which you have to correctly assign given sentences - on one side there is 1, 2, 3, 4 and on the other side a, b, c, d, e etc. So you have to find out that, for example, 1 and c belong together. - Make sure that the sentence is correct not only in terms of content, but also grammatically.

1.1.3. Find passages in text or words

You are given a part of the sentence and should complete it with words from the text (or find the word for it in the text) - This is actually a simple task, because you are really allowed to copy here. Pick the right part and only copy the part that actually fits. Too much can lead to a deduction of points. Pay close attention to the spelling, nothing is worse than typing something wrong!

1.1.4. Answer English questions in English

If you have to answer questions, make sure that you are not copying sentences from the text. You need to change a few words. So write a pronoun for a name, or turn a sentence into two.

1.1.5. Answer German questions in German

If you have to answer German questions in German, make sure that you write "good" German.

2. Analogous transfer English-German

It is very important here that you do not translate the text, in an emergency there is no point at all.

So think again about what the text is about (main content) and express the content of the sentences in good German. This is usually not that easy, because although you know what the sentence means in German, it is difficult to write it down. Perhaps the following tip will help you: First write down the formed German sentence. Then consider whether you would also write the sentence in a German essay like this. If it sounds strange, try rearranging words in the sentence, changing the tense. That can help. If it still doesn't sound good, then you must have taken the wrong German meaning from an English word in the dictionary. Look up the word again.

3. Grammar exercises

3.1. Multiple choice (choose from given words in a text)

Either you still have so much time and can look it up in the grammar book, or you try the method: "What sounds, what doesn't sound." Speak the sentence softly to yourself and insert the given words one after the other. Highlight the word that you think sounds best. After all, you have been teaching English for 6 years and you already have a bit of an understanding of the language. This method also saves you a lot of time, which you better use for the writing task, because it earns significantly more points.

3.2. Paraphrases

You should find a suitable English description for an English word. Perhaps think about which related words you know and then put them in place: Example: hotel - This is a house where you book a room or have a meal.

3.3. Find synonyms / opposites

You either know the word or you don't. If it doesn't occur to you, use the dictionary and the reading texts. Sometimes the word is already there.

4. Writing tasks

4.1. Transferring facts / German sentences into English

Always use a simple English variant → If you should ask how much something costs, then you can ask: → How much does it cost? Of course, you have to pay attention to the formation of the questions. But there is also an easier way: How much is it?

In addition, use the solutions to the facts and learn some by heart, because many idioms are repeated and you may be able to "sell" the sentences you have learned in another writing task.

4.2 essay / essay

This task almost always gets the most points. Make sure you give yourself a few thoughts and don't start writing right away. It doesn't have to be perfectly structured like in German lessons, but make sure you avoid repetitions and organize your sentences.

5. Tips for the exam

Pick the right topic. Think carefully about which topic comes to mind the most English words. What's the use of a cool topic that you can't think of in English?

Start with an introductory sentence (see Retelling Stories) and end your essay with a final sentence.

It doesn't always have to be true. If you're supposed to write about your future, and you can't think of your career aspirations in English, then you are choosing a job that you can say something about in English.

If you have difficulties with the English word order (subject - verb - object - place - time → who does what, where and when), then form simple sentences. Think about the best way to express your German sentence in English. It doesn't sound that great, but the main thing is that the sentence is correct. If you later combine simple sentences with the correct conjunctions (connecting words such as: and, or, but, because, ...), the variant is usually more successful than translating "good" German sentences correctly into English. Use our hints for complex sentences.

Finally, you should pay attention to word repetitions. For example, try replacing names with pronouns.