Tip For Tuesday – Which exam resource?

Breadies doing exam resource sessions can be some of the most fun sessions as they are specifically tailored to the needs of that student and the exam they are taking. English exams are very popular with Breadies as it is important for students in China to be able to demonstrate their level of English through qualifications and certificates.

Unlike in the UK where we can get a GCSE or A Level in a language and that usually is deemed sufficient, across China there is a strong focus on exams from outside sources, primarily from Cambridge English. This also reflects the love of assessments across China.

So as a Buddy, what should you be doing to ensure you are providing the most effective and useful class for your Breadies? Worry not! All materials for each of the different assessments and exams are provided on the website, it’s all about making sure you know what your Bready wants to focus on, and what has already been covered in previous sessions.

Don’t panic! All the information you need can be found in the notes about the Bready.

So what English exams do Breadies take?

There are nine exams which are very popular with Breadies, KET, PET, FCE, CAE, CPE, TOEFL, TOEFL Junior and IELTS, with the last three being taken for further academic study. The two most popular exams taken by Breadies are KET and PET, you can find out more about the different exams in our recent blog post here or on our Youtube channel here.

How can you prepare for these sessions?

The first thing you should do when an exam prep session is booked is to look through the Bready’s course details. Here you will find:

  • The exam and lesson type.
  • The exam date and frequency of sessions.
  • The skills to be covered.

If this is a regular Bready and not their first session, then it should be pretty straight forward what needs to be covered during the class. Here you will also find any specific notes from the team or the previous Buddy about what areas of focus the Bready has requested.

Types of lessons

As our Breadies prepare for their exams and are coming with all different levels, expectations and previous practice, this is reflected in the lesson type. IQBar offers:

  • Coursebook
  • Past Papers only
  • Coursebook and past papers

For some Breadies, they’ve done the bulk of the work and would like to focus on past papers, practicing doing the exams in the right time, and being accurately marked so they can see where they are and what needs work on before the exam. For others, they would like a rounded approach using the textbook to help boost confidence and technical skills with the aid of a Buddy.

Coursebook sessions:

For those wishing to use the coursebook during sessions, the coursebooks IQBar offer are:

-Objective KET, PET, FCE, CAE, and CPE.

-Complete IELTS (Band dependent)

-TOEFL iBT Course

These can all be found in the resources section of the website

You will find in the notes what the Bready did in the last session and where to start the next course. It is important to note that unlike normal sessions, you do not need to stick to two pages. You can go as fast or as slow as the Bready needs.

If it is a Bready’s first session, you may read in the notes that you need to conduct a full exam with the Bready to determine what level they are at and what areas need to be worked on. This is compulsory with IELTS to determine the correct band thus the correct coursebook.

Past Paper Sessions

Whether you are using a past paper to determine the level and score of your Bready for future coursebook sessions, or if your Bready is choosing to do past paper sessions only, you can find all the past papers in the resources section of the website.

For Past Paper Only sessions, the structure of the sessions should begin by using Extra (KET, PET) or Trainer (FCE), then move on Exam Booster.

All exams should be timed and structured exactly as in the exam, so if the exam itself takes an hour and a half, that should take up to round about four 25 minute sessions considering there to be a little introductory conversation.

Do remember to make clear notes about what was achieved during the session, what questions were answered and any scores so the next Buddy can continue on from where was left off smoothly.

You can find Kyle’s vlog looking at how to conduct a mock session here.

 Coursebook and Past Paper Session structures

-Anyone taking this course should begin the course by completing a past paper to determine their level.

-This is followed by completing two units of the coursebook

-Followed by another full exam, time and scored. This can then be evaluated and discussed with the Bready.

What homework can you set exam Breadies?

The Breadies taking any exam sessions will expect homework, and depending on what sort of course they’ve chosen, the homework varies greatly.

For those who are doing the coursebook, attach a page to the review section foyr your Bready relevant to what you’d been studying during the session and make note of it in the review.

If your Bready is doing past papers, you can attach either a full paper, or part of a paper for them to do as homework.

Where can I find extra help about exams and supporting Breadies?

Don’t panic! There are many places to find out more about the different exams on offer, how to teach them well, what is included in the exams and how to mark them.

  • First and foremost, we have a number of excellent free Cambridge Courses on offer, which look at how to teach the different Cambridge exams and what’s included. If you’re interested in applying, contact Marc Hyman via email to get your code and sign up.
  • Our excellent vloggers have also been hard at work putting together informative and entertaining vlogs about each of the different exams and how to teach them.
  • The exams all come with a handbook which can be found on the IQBar website and also on the websites specific to the exam board.
  • Finally, you are more than welcome to watch lessons from other Buddies happy to share their experience to see how it’s done, just contact Sarah if you would like to find out more.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, please write below or send us an email at socialmedia@iqbar.co.uk and we will be more than happy to help, add, and engage!