Reduce your anxiety if you’re taking the TOEFL test

Over the last 9 years, I’ve spent a lot of time helping people to prepare for important language proficiency tests.  Many of those people have taken the same test, again and again, hoping to achieve a different result.  However, they keep finding that their score isn’t high enough, in at least one area.  One reason for this can be because they have not had an expert help them out with their test preparation.  Another common reason is that of anxiety.

One resource that I recommend for people who have really struggled is Glenn Harrold’s hypnosis MP3. You can purchase it and download it very quickly to begin working on reducing your stress.

For others, who are feeling that stress is reducing their score, I recommend taking the time to focus on breathing. Even in the middle of a high-stakes test, it’s relatively easy to take 3 slow, deep breaths before each speaking session.  This will reduce anxiety, slow breathing and pulse, regulate the voice, and clear the mind.  Don’t wait until test day to do this.  Incorporate the practice into every practice session, so that it will come naturally on test day.

All the best on your big exam, and if you want personalized help to improve your score and reduce your anxiety, you can book lessons with me here:




BBC Panorama investigation finds English visa tests were FAKED – with answers read out for students – Mirror Online


TOEIC test cheating

BBC Panorama investigation finds English visa tests were FAKED – with answers read out for students – Mirror Online.

The BBC sent an undercover writer to take the TOEIC test at a college in the UK, and saw that native English speakers replaced all of the test-takers to do the actual test on the computer.  A few days later, for the multiple-test part of the test, someone read out all of the correct answers to the test-takers, and they finished the 2-hour test in 7 minutes.  All of the test-takers had their photos taken, to “prove” that they took the test.

I want to be a resident in Canada!


Many of my students want to stay in Canada, and they are trying to become a resident.  If you’re already working in Canada, you may qualify for residency, but you’ll have to take a test to shows your skills with an official language (English or French).  The 2 tests that are recognized are IELTS and CELPIP.

Each test has a different format.  Both tests are similar in cost.

IELTS – The International English Language Testing System

IELTS is jointly managed by Cambridge University, the British Council, and IELTS in Australia.  The test uses mainly UK English, and all writing is done with pencil and paper.  The speaking is an interview format, with a tester.  The General writing tasks include writing a letter and writing an opinion essay.  These tasks are quite difficult if you have been away from school for a long time.  Most students find that they need to prepare carefully to succeed at this test.

A newer test in Canada is the CELPIP test:

This test has a different format.  Everything is done on a computer, and the English is Canadian English.  The writing tasks are an informal and a formal letter.  The speaking is done using the computer.  Several listening and speaking tasks include describing a picture.

If you want to take a language test to become a Canadian resident, you should try both sample tests to see what format is best for you.  It will be important to take time to study regularly, and a class or a tutor can help you to do that.  Ask me if you have any questions about the tests and how to get ready.