Session 1

Are you working towards an important exam? We're here to help with a series of videos that pick out some top tips for studying and taking exams.

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

Exam skills: 5 tips about building vocabulary

Noticing, remembering and using

Noticing, remembering and using new vocabulary is important, but can be difficult. Hopefully we can help you. Watch this video to find out five top tips to help you build your vocabulary - then afterwards test your understanding in our quiz.

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Noticing, remembering and using new vocabulary is important, but can be difficult. Hopefully we can help you. Start by asking yourself how you learn new vocabulary: When you hear or see a new word in a foreign language, what do you do to make sure that you remember it later? This teacher has some useful advice…

One way I suggest students record vocabulary is to write it down either in a notebook, or on a tablet or on their laptops that way they can look back at the words later and I also find it helps them to remember new vocabulary.

So our first tip is to write down new words and phrases that you hear – and look back at them later. How about when you discover that you don’t have a word in English to say what you want. What does this student do?

I choose a few useful words or phrases in my own language - the ones I use all the time and would like to say - and find out what the words or expressions are in English. Then I try working them into my conversations. But I have found that literal translations don't always work!

So there's a good tip – look at the useful words and phrases you use in your language and then find out the English equivalent.  Remember to record it too! Another useful way to increase your vocabulary might be to use a dictionary either an old fashioned paper one or an online one. Even though it might feel scary, it is very important that you use the new vocabulary, otherwise you will forget it. In the beginning you could try out new words with your friends. Later you can take a risk and use your new words in other situations. Don't worry; it’s OK to make mistakes.

So don't be shy – start building your vocabulary today. Good luck!


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Here's a summary of our tips about learning new vocabulary:

1. Record all news and phrases

2. Find out the English equivalents of words in your language

3. Use a dictionary

4. Practise with friends

5. Use your new vocabulary in other situations

To do

So what did you discover? Find out by taking our test…

Building your vocabulary – how should you do it?

4 Questions

Answer these 4 questions.

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You can get more tips about learning vocabulary listen to our 6 Minute Vocabulary podcasts.

Have you got any tips about learning strategies and exam preparation that you can share with us? Please email them to us at with 'Exam Skills' in the subject line. We will post our favourites here and on our Facebook page. Please note that we can’t reply to individual emails, but we do read all of them

End of Session 1

Join us in Session 2 for News Review, where we'll bring you key words and phrases from the latest stories and show you how to use it in your everyday English.

Session Vocabulary

  • work something into
    include one idea in another

    in its original or most basic meaning

    with the same meaning