After having discussed Listening tips in the previous post, it’s time for READING SKILLS.
Here are a few tips on how to prepare effectively for NATO Stanag / SLP / JFLT Level 3 Reading exam:
- Don’t focus on reading novels. Prioritize reading ARTICLES instead. The vocabulary you need in order to pass STANAG / SLP / JFLT will be found there, rather than fantasy books.
- Use articles as an inspiration source when it comes to sentence structure (it’ll be useful for writing) and vocabulary. Pay close attention to collocations, rather than single words.
- Make sure you have developed a daily reading routine – success is a compound effect of small daily actions. Save some news websites in your Favorites or join Telegram news groups in English – whatever format works better for you. You can also download Soldier Magazine of the British Army. It’s free and comes out monthly.
- Train yourself in exam reading and types of tasks reflected there. Reading for pleasure is very different from exam reading. Never miss a learning opportunity – if you answered incorrectly, come back to the question and analyze it. Underline the part with a correct answer.
- If you can’t find a proof in the text that the answer you want to pick is a correct one, try to find proofs that other answers are definitely incorrect.
- Pay attention to extreme statements (words like never, hardly ever, only), modal verbs of probability (especially ‘will’ and ‘may’/’might’, which will carry a different meaning) and words that change a meaning depending on an article – few vs a few, etc.
- Don’t jump to conclusions immediately. Hold your horses.
- Pay attention to grammar used – is there a second conditional in a sentence? That translates into discussing something that is unreal. Be aware of how grammar structures can change the meaning of a sentence.
- Be selective – examiners will try to distract you with a lot of details, extra information or fancy vocabulary. You need to be able to filter out those unnecessary details and focus on the information you are looking for.
- Don’t underestimate reading. A lot of people do take it for granted and assume that if they understand articles in English, they won’t struggle with Exam Reading. That is not always the case. Make sure you practice with some exam sets.
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