Magoosh GRE

Do I Need a Pre-course in English?

| February 3, 2012 | 0 Comments

If you have a band 7+ in IELTS academic papers it may not be necessary for you to take a pre-course in English before your University course. Other examinations, such as UCLES Proficiency English, and the London Tests of English level 5 (Edexcel) qualify you to take a post-graduate or undergraduate degree, but you may feel that your academic writing skills are not sufficient for your course requirements.

Some countries have a very different academic style to that required by British Universities and it is perhaps wise to read academic writing samples before you decide whether or not you need a pre-course in English.

You may need a pre-course in general English to enable you to converse in a way which does not immediately mark you out as ‘foreign’. There are so many different regional accents and dialects in the UK that you may need a pre-course in order to understand the language that you will find all around you as soon as you set foot off campus. Not everyone has a “BBC” accent. Many foreign visitors toBritainare lost when they encounter a ‘strange’ regional accent and a course in colloquial English could be very useful.

There are different types of pre-courses for non-native English speakers and if you come fromIndiaorChina, for example, there are different rules for academic writing. You have to use straight-forward language rather than elaborate, flowery English as this is not the language of British academia. It is direct and uses as few words as possible as ‘padding’ is discouraged and may be penalized in a Master’s level dissertation.

You may also feel the need to learn how not to plagiarize as in some countries there is no real concept of plagiarism. Pre-courses teach students how to cite material as well as how to reference it and paraphrase what someone else has written, while still giving them a citation.

Unless you have complete confidence in your written English abilities, a pre-course is advisable in order for you not to have to rewrite your essays and dissertation or thesis at the last moment.

Category: International Student Guide

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