viernes, 16 de septiembre de 2016

Some advice to face TASK 2 – MULTI-TEXT READING (Trinity Exams)

As you may probably know, Trinity exams have suffered a change since September 2015. Before this date, in the written exam you only had to do two writing tasks. From September 2015, you have to do two reading tasks and two writing tasks.

In a previous post, I gave you some advice to face TASK 1. In this second post, we are going to see in detail task 2, the multi-text reading activity.

Let’s have a look at the format of this activity and the questions you have to answer. Here you have an example:

As you can see, you have four short texts that have a different number of words depending on the level. For ISE I (B1) the texts will be approximately 300 words for ISE II (B2) the texts will be 400 words and for ISE III (C1) the texts will be 500 words long. As in the previous text, you have to answer 15 questions. The text is factual and descriptive and they are the type of texts that a candidate is familiar with from his/ her own educational setting. One of the texts is an infographic, for example a diagram, a drawing, a map…etc.

The questions you have to answer are 15, divided in the following way:

Questions 16 to 20: multiple matching

In this section, the candidate chooses which text the sentence refers to. There are five questions but four texts; therefore, one of the letters corresponding to the texts must be repeated. Some useful reading skills that you could practice are skimming, scanning, reading for gist and understanding the main idea or purpose of a text.

Questions 21 to 25: selecting the true statements

In this part of the exam, the candidate must select the five true statements from a list of eight statements. The three that remain are false or they do not appear in the text. The candidate must demonstrate that they understand specific, factual information at the sentence level. To practice for this part of the exam you can practice reading to understand specific facts, information and significant points as well as the context in which this information appears. Also, you need to deduce meaning of words and phrases from context and how to scan specific information.

Questions 26 to 30: completing sentences

Here, you must complete the sentences with a word or phrase taken from the text. You cannot use more than three words. In this case, you have to demonstrate that you understand specific information at a word level.

Take into account that you will have 2 hours to complete the four tasks of the exam, so the key is to do the reading tasks quickly. Thus, you can spend more time on the writings.

What can you do to fulfil the questions quickly?

1. It would be a good option to write a short summary of each of the four texts while you are reading them for the first time. In this way, you will find the information you need for the task in a more efficient way.

2. Read questions 21 to 25 carefully, paying attention to what you are required to do. The important thing to remember here is that you need only 5 true statements out of the eight they have given you. Apart from this, another important thing is that they are usually ordered. What I mean is that the information that you need to know if statement A is true will be in text A and the infomation that you need to know if statement H s true will be in the last text. However, this is not always the case.

Also, it is a good idea to look for key words in the statements. By key words I mean words that you know appear a few times on the text. It will be easier to find the sentences quickly and see if the statement is true or not.

For instance, let’s take statement A as an example: “The most common reason for learning a language is to understand films and music”. As it is the first sentence, the information will be more likely to appear on text 1. A possible key word could be “reason”. If we have a look at text A, we see that here we have the reasons people want to learn a language, so our answer should be here. Having a look at the infograph we see that the majority of people who decide to learn a language do it for personal interest and enjoyment. Therefore, statement A is false. If you pay attention to both sentences (the sentence in the text and statement A) they both mean the same, but they have used different words to express them.

3. Read questions 26 to 30 carefully and remember that you have to use 3 words maximum and that these words have to be taken from the text. This is the most difficult task for students.

Here, it is very important that you read everything as the titles in bold in the summary notes can give you a clue about the text in which you can find the information to complete the task.

For instance, let’s do question 26 which says “[…]the language is required in order to study for a ……………………………”. If we follow the advice, when reading the title of this part of the summary notes (“The benefits of studying a second language”), we can guess that the information will me more to likely to be in text A, since it is the one that tells us the reasons to learn a language. Going back to text A, we see that the only part in which we have something related with “required” in the third sentence (“degree requirement”). Therefore, the answer to question 26 is “degree”.

I hope that this advice is useful for you. In the next post we will continue with more advice for the writing exam, specifically, for the writing part.

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