UNAIR NEWS – Global competition will be faster in the future. To face it, students must have excellent foreign language skill especially English as the international language.
Universities have obliged their students to get certain score for Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or English Language Profiency Test (ELPT) as a way to measure their English skill, including Universitas Airlangga.
But in reality, TOEFL or ELPT is still a hurdle to overcome for students who will finish their studies. UNAIR has set the minimal TOEFL score, for undergraduate degree is 450, except for English program which is 550 and for master and doctoral degrees is 500.
Here are some tips from Sidarta Prassetyo, S.S., M.A. TESOL, a lecturer of English three-year vocational (D3) program UNAIR on TOEFL or ELPT test preparation.
- Know your weakness
Passing ELPT test UNAIR is not only a requirement for graduation, but also for students who are just admitted to UNAIR. The freshmen are obliged to take the test to measure their English skill. From the results they know their weakness from the different aspects of the test, listening, structure or reading comprehension.
After knowing their weaknesses, students should practice more on their weak aspects. If they are weak on the structure, they should practice more on it. The span of their studies, four years, gives enough time for students to practice and get the best TOEFL results.
- Have clear intention and motivation
The most important thing to have is a clear intention. Sidarta believed that if students do not have it from the start, they will feel that way until the end of their studies. Therefore, clear intention is necessary.
- Set your target through the Conversion Table
In the module book of ELPT created by UNAIR Language Center (Pusat Bahasa) UNAIR, there is a score conversion table where students can see how many correct answers they need to get expected results from each section of the test. Therefore, students know which parts of the test they should prioritized because sometimes to get 450, they just need to answer correctly at least 50% from each section.
This in the most important part of the test preparation. Spend 2-3 hours to learn ELPT through practice book or the internet. There are a lot of available ELPT practices in the internet for free. They are usually complemented with the answer discussion.
UNAIR has held ELPT trainings and TRYOUTs periodically free of charge for students. Students are encouraged to monitor the site of Pusat Bahasa or get the information directly from the Pusat Bahasa in Campus B UNAIR.
Sidarta said that to improve our ELPT listening, we should practice more with the listening comprehension practice specially for TOEFL/ELPT. There are three sections of the test. In part A, there are thirty short dialogues followed with questions. This section mostly focuses on understanding dialogues not only about dictation. So, listening to every word in the dialogue will not be enough because the students have to understand the dialogue as a whole and they choose an answer from the synonym or paraphrased sentences. In the Grammar Section, there are two patterns of questions and the students must know the different and how to answer them because they are related to time management. There are 40 questions to finish in 25, so each item needs 37.5 seconds or half a minute.
“Start to improve your grammatical knowledge as a preparation for ELPT. For reading comprehension, you should learn to read fast and find the main idea of the texts. Start to increase your vocabularies,” said Sidarta.
- Use the suitable learning method
When students learn by themselves or in groups, they often practice the test in a more relaxed state. Therefore, students should try to practice with time pressure. They should set their minimum score before studying. It is a form of a simulation when they are in the real test, so the students will not be surprised during the real test.
The day of the test
- Come early, 30 or 15 minutes before the test to familiarize with the room
- Prepare all the necessities, such as pencils, erasers and number of the test
- Try to calm and pray
- Concentrate and remain motivated. Maintain focus to answer all the questions
- During listening section, pay attention to the short conversations and lectures thoroughly and calmly
- The structure and written expression section is deemed to be the most difficult. First thing to do is analyzing the sentence, find the subject, predicate and the object. The subject and predicate are not always close but they can be separated from each other. The tense and the pattern should also be analyzed. It is important to improve the grammatical skills in English.
- In Reading section, the last section of ELPT, most students already lose their focus for the first and second section. However, reading also demands concentration.
“Don’t be affected by the length of the text as it doesn’t affect the questions. Use a fast reading method, do not focus on the text too much as it will take too much time,” said Sidarta.
The question on main idea usually takes most of the time as students often read the text completely only for a question. The easy questions should be done first such as a question about ‘reference’ and synonyms. It will help the students in getting points for reading and it is more important to know the kinds of questions in reading which ease up the time management.
If there is still time, students should use it to go over the answers and make sure they have achieved their target and all questions. They may be lucky and got some answers correct. If they are wrong, at least they do not waste the opportunity for more scores.
Those are the tips, students should use their time well in college to learn ELPT. They must not wait until they are managing for the graduation. There is always a process of learning, the process will never betray the efforts made. (*)
Author : Faridah Hariyani
Editor : Binti Q. Masruroh
This post is also available in: Indonesian