How to Test Your Progress

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There are so many different standardised tests available to test your English skills: the Cambridge certificates, TOEIC, TOEFL, IELTS, BULATS and, here in Japan, the Eiken/STEP test.

For a lot of people, these tests are pointless. If you need the certificate to get a job or a college place, go for it. If not, read on.

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Do I Have To Learn Phrasal Verbs?

Vocabulary

Yes, you do, eventually. If you never learn phrasal verbs there are going to be huge gaps in your vocabulary knowledge. This could cause you to be unable to express yourself properly or to misunderstand other people.

“But you could just use normal verbs, couldn’t you?”

You could in some situations but not in others. There are differences in meaning between some phrasal verbs and their non-phrasal alternatives; sometimes it is small but sometimes it is vast.

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Talk About the Paranormal

ghost
I don’t believe in ghosts or anything like that but sometimes you get caught up in talk about the paranormal (things that appear real but don’t have a real explanation). Here is some vocabulary to talk about it. It might come in handy for Halloween next month.

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Be Strategic to Read Academically

Campus Week

Books

This week it’s Campus Week at Get Great English. I know the term hasn’t started yet but think of it as a little time to prepare before packing bags, unpacking, moving into halls of residence or a flat.

Reading for pleasure is usually different to reading for university. Reading for pleasure has no time limit, though if you have a great book it can seem like you have to read it quickly in case the world ends. You have to be strategic to read academically. Here are some academic reading strategies aimed at university students.

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