The MELAB test is an exam that assesses English language proficiency for college students and others who are not native English speakers. Test takers should learn the content of the exam and ways to prepare for this important language proficiency test.
The University of Michigan English Language Institute produces the MELAB test. It provides a few specific tips for preparing for the MELAB, but most are pretty general in nature. Like all language proficiency tests, the MELAB can have virtually any topic in the English language. This means that there is no such thing as studying too much for the MELAB exam.
General ways to improve your language proficiency really depend on your personal situation. But a good way to improve every single day is to get a good dictionary and carry it around. Look up words you know in your own language but do not know in English. When you speak or think in your own language, develop the habit of trying to translate what you say into English. When you think of a word you don’t know, look it up. This is primarily for vocabulary practice, as it is very difficult to teach yourself grammar by doing this exercise.
Because the MELAB test does have grammar, this means you need to employ other study techniques. Obviously, any grammar book in English is going to be helpful. It should be a grammar book used by native English speakers, as this will give you extra practice in using your dictionary and learning new words from the lessons found in the grammar book.
They say practice makes perfect, and this is definitely the mindset you should have when learning English and studying for the MELAB English language proficiency exam. If possible, speak with native speakers. This is good practice for learning both grammar, everyday language, and new vocabulary. Never be afraid to make mistakes, as this is the normal process of learning unfamiliar material. And never get offended when a native speaker corrects your mistakes. This is also a valuable part of the learning process.
Before taking the MELAB, you should also find out exactly what is on the test. The University of Michigan English Language Institute publishes the MELAB exam content outline on its website (see link at the bottom of this article). Use that content outline to get familiar with what you need to do on the exam. This is an all-encompassing language test that includes composition, speaking, listening, and a section for grammar, cloze, vocabulary, and reading. Cloze is a fill-in-the-blank exercise, but you are given four choices and must choose the best word among the four to fill in the blank in the given passage.
Tip: For listening practice, the Institute recommends sound files online with transcripts. Listen first and try to grasp the meaning. After doing that, you can then go to the transcript to try to pick up on what you did not understand the first time. View the link below to find these files.
To look for more listening practice, run a search online for ESL podcasts. You will find some additional websites that will either have a transcript or slowly break down the sample conversations for you. English is a very hard subject and language to master. But every second you apply yourself to improving is a step in the right direction.
University of Michigan English Language Institute: MELAB Content
Regents of the University of Michigan: Sound Files for MELAB Test Practice