Across the world, many students who learn English choose to study for an internationally recognised English language qualification. Having a qualification that’s known and respected throughout the world can open many doors, for example: to show your English language skills are good enough to support an immigration or residency application to improve your future career opportunities to show a British or American university that you have the level of English language skills necessary to study there to help you work in your profession overseas, for example in medicine, midwifery, nursing, law or business. Whatever the reason, gaining an English language qualification is a prime reason why many students choose to learn English in London. Most London language schools will offer courses that prepare students for the exams and assessments necessary to gain a formal English language qualification. Internationally recognised qualifications to look out for include IELTS, Cambridge, TOEIC, TOEFL or Trinity. Preparing for the exams at the end of your course can be a difficult and nerve-wracking time. After all, you’ve invested time and money into learning English in London, so you’ll want to reap the rewards. However, if it’s been some time since you were at school or college, you may have forgotten how to study and prepare effectively for exams. Here are some simple tips that should help you to get the most out of your exam preparation, so you’re more likely to get the results you want: 1. It’s never too early Don’t make the mistake of leaving your studying and revising to the end of your course when your exams are approaching. The more you study and practise in the early days of your English course, the better equipped you’ll be when exam time comes around. It’s a good idea to set aside regular time to consolidate what you’ve learned, either on your own or with your fellow English language students. 2. Focus on the things you find most difficult Very few people are equally good at all aspects of the English language, and you’re likely to know your weaknesses better than anyone. It can be tempting to focus on the things you’re good at, as this can make you feel confident. However, you should make sure you spend more time studying and practising in the areas where you know you’re less strong. 3. Find out what to expect from the exams Before you take your exams, find out what formats they will take. For example, will there be a practical speaking and listening test? If the exam format is largely written, what sort of questions will there be? You may be able to obtain past papers or sample tests that will help you familiarise yourself with what to expect, as well as giving you the opportunity to practise answering the sorts of questions you’ll come across in your English language exams. 4. Make a study plan Your studies will feel much more manageable if you spend a little time to plan. Set yourself a schedule, and make sure you stick to it. Be sure to plan some leisure time too – you’ll perform better when you feel well rested and relaxed. 5. Consider doing an exam skills course Several good London language schools will offer a dedicated exam skills course, which you can often fit in around your English language studies. Doing an exam skills course will help you feel better prepared and more confident for your exams ahead, by: learning to devise strategies for coping in an exam situation working out how to manage time in an exam getting better at revising and going over what you have learned feeling mentally prepared and rested ahead of your English language exam.