Navigating an ESL Test is Similar to Creating a Website

Updated: Aug 13

Hey, there!


Welcome back! Today, I aim to encapsulate how creating a website parallels ESL testing. The best nugget that I have learned from my adventure is to live as much as possible in the present. After all, given the current state of the world, the present is our most valuable asset.


Let's get back on track. There are an array of questions to consider when setting up a website - What kind of design do you want? Which pictures should you upload? Where should you add them? What kind of content do you add and where? - I started this process the only way I knew how: by doing research and asking specific questions. In those initial steps, I realized just how imperative it was to stay focused on one goal at a time. At that time, the layout of the website was paramount. More specifically, this required figuring out how I wanted the website to feel. Not literally, of course but the feeling that someone (you) gets when you are on it. Ultimately, I want it to be a space that is safe and inviting. Once that was squared away, everything else seemed more manageable than before.


How does this tie into ESL assessments? Well, quite nicely. The process of building my website is similar to me guiding you in how to take a test. Sure, I could throw a million strategies your way, but really how many would stick? Two or three if you're lucky; more realistically, just ONE. This is why answering the question matters. For instance, let's imagine this is your scenario. You're taking _________ (your lovely- humor, yes- ESL test), and the writing prompt tells you to include both sides of an opinion. Instead, you simply gloss over one instead of fully expanding on both. Did you answer the question? Perhaps, you did- minimally of course. Will that NEGATIVELY impact your score? YES, it definitely will! This is why staying focused on the task at hand is SOOOO critical. Something as minute (in your mind) as briefly writing a few sentences on one of the two sides cost you your score. However, we BOTH know that your low score ACTUALLY cost you your dream job or _____________ (the reason you're taking the assessment in the first place). In sum, focus on and ANSWER ALL parts of the question.


Tune in next time where I will share another quick tip for acing ESL tests.


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©2020 by Lori Llarena, The IELTS Whisperer.