Try to complete one simulated test without outside help.
Check the answers by yourself.
Use the self-evaluation form to diagnose your weakness.
Self-Evaluation and Suggestions for the Story Narration:
Self-Evaluation and Suggestions for the Email Response:
Strategies for a 5: Story Narration
Before the test:
Learn how the story narration is graded so you’ll know what’s expected and how you measure up.
Practice browsing the four pictures provided to create a brief story in your mind. Start by typing the actions shown in the pictures that you need to write about.
Learn to use the three steps for writing a complete, vivid story with minimal errors.
Practice writing the story narration within the time limit of 15 minutes.
To enhance your story and minimize errors, review “Functional Grammar” in Stage 1.
During the test:
Complete the task. First, create a brief story in your mind and write down each action in the four pictures. You will need to write about all four pictures so budget your time carefully. In your narrative story, be sure to fully address all of the actions shown in the pictures.
Pay attention to language usage and delivery. Sticking to the pictures doesn’t mean you cannot elaborate. You can add adjectives to describe the objects and adverbs to describe the actions. You can add details describing the facial expressions, the weather, or the environment in which the story takes place. Try to use advanced language such as Chinese idioms, metaphors, proverbs, and so on.
Check your work. Try to give yourself time to check your story narration. Focus on the transitional elements for logic and on a culturally appropriate delivery for the situation. Check for typos and grammatical errors. Use familiar conjunctions to make correct complex sentences.
Strategies for a 5: Email Response
Before the test:
Learn how the e-mail response is graded so you’ll know what’s expected and how you measure up.
Practice writing the e-mail response within the time limit of 15 minutes.
Learn to use the three steps for writing an e-mail response with minimal errors.
Memorize useful expressions and build a template for the e-mail response before the test.
During the test:
Read the e-mail message carefully and identify all the questions (usually two) that you need to answer.
Complete the task. First, carefully read the e-mail message that you will need to respond to. Make sure that you understand all the questions it asks (usually there are two questions). Normally, one question the e-mail asks is for your opinion in choosing between two options. You are not able predict the topic of the e-mail message in the actual exam, but you can always use a model response or template that provides a structure to compare and persuade.
Pay attention to language usage and delivery. Sticking to the questions doesn’t mean you cannot elaborate. The e-mail response requires you to provide reasons for your suggestions. Writing a statement sentence and giving a more detailed explanation is good enough. Here, too, using advanced language such as Chinese idioms, metaphors, proverbs, and so on, is a great add-in.
Start with a structure (template) prepared in advance. To read an e-mail message and respond in 15 minutes, there may not be any time left for you to check your work like you did in story narration. You can make the best use of your limited time by doing fill-in-the-blank writing instead of starting from zero in the actual exam. A prepared, well-organized structure with perfect grammar and the use of rich language thought out before the exam really helps you to better succeed in this task. Adapt the prepared structure to the questions you are asked to respond to.