Todd’s recommended reading: Pre-exam Do’s and Do not’s

To All Sapientia Students,

Hello, hello! It is time to buckle down and focus on the target. And with just a couple of days to go, what are the do’s and do not’s? Here is what I suggest:

Do’s: First and foremost, take a look at the latest editions of The Economist and Foreign Affairs to see what the main headlines are. This will give you a notion of the current events that are booming in the world today, such as the nominations of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the US elections, ISIS and its worldwide reign of terror, World Economy, Technology, Environment, etc.

Secondly, take a quick look at some of the Book Reviews in both magazines, as these will give you a notion of narrative voice and literature in the modern day. Remember that Arts & Literature have been on all of the most recent exams. There is no sense in trying to read any major novels or art history, but being aware of such language used in these kinds of texts will be valuable.

Third, remember that all questions in the English section of the TPS are based on four main styles: vocabulary, grammar, directly stated information, and inference questions. No matter the textual content, the question style will be the same. Pay attention to the commands and tricky wording, and you will find that the answers are easier than you might think.

Fourth, review only the grammar points that you have gotten wrong on past exams or my mock exams, but this should be the least of your worries, as the number of grammar questions is usually minimal in the TPS.

Do not’s: First and foremost, do not waste your time doing useless grammar book exercises; they will not help you answer IRBr questions. Focus on reviewing the grammar that you have gotten wrong on past exams or my mock exams only.

Second, do not set to reading major novels (i.e. Crime and Punishment or Ulysses, etc.) or even major literary works or art history. Look only at some minor book reviews or short stories to familiarize yourself with the types of language and styles.

Third, do not try to learn new vocabulary at this point; it will not stay in your long-term memory. Focus more on reviewing what you have learned to date in past exams, my mock exams, or even in my Sapientia English classes. By knowing these terms, you should be able to figure out other unknown terms by inference from contextual clues.

With these main study tips, you should be able to make good use of your limited time before the test without killing yourself with burdensome and useless information. Keep an open mind toward any kind of subject, and focus on the main four kinds of questions. Be true to yourself, as your first instinct is almost always correct. Only change your mind on an answer if you are absolutely sure you were wrong the first time. And only leave a question blank if you truly have no idea of the correct answer or are in serious doubt one way or another.

I am sure you are all ready for the exam! Focus and tranquility are the keys to success!

Best of luck,
Todd

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