Episode 143

Language Exams: Are They Right For You?


July 15th, 2019

32 mins 43 secs

Your Host
Special Guest

About this Episode

This week, I'm answering a listener question with help from a special guest.

Gareth Popkins is a serial language learner with decades of experience. He's a native English speaker but fluent in Welsh, Russian, German, and currently learning Japanese and Basque. He regularly builds preparation for language exams into his study routines, so today I asked Gareth to come on the show and share his views on the following quesion.

Evan asks:

I see many people who reach advanced C1/C2 level with a few of their languages, but just learned them for the heck of it (or they grew up with it in their homes). These people probably never took an official test to get a certificate proving that they are C1/C2 level or something.

Why might one want to get this certificate, or any other sort of qualification, to prove their language abilities?

Is it worthwhile or not?

You may find yourself wondering why a language exam would be useful for you at all, especially if you’re not studying for work or school. But there are a few excellent reasons to dive into the idea of test prep.

Good question! Between our experiences taking the IELTS, Goethe Institut exams, the TRKI Russian exam, Gareth and I talk. Listen in to hear

  • the best reasons to prepare for a language exam
  • why exams are more than just a memory test
  • which situations mean you will never need a language exam to prove your skills

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