How to Study for the DLAB Test

How to Study for the DLAB Test

How to Study for the DLAB Test

The DLAB test was designed to put the test taker in a language learning situation and test to see how they respond.  It's designed to see how you think, whether you can quickly apply new grammar rules, and if you're able to understand or pick-out intonation, and more.

The desire is that you are not prepared for what is to come and instead they can see how quickly you can pick up on things and  work effectively.

Because of this, many people will tell you that you can’t study for the DLAB because it isn’t a “knowledge-based” exam.  You can’t go somewhere and memorize a bunch or words or facts and then regurgitate them on the test. And, when I first took the DLAB, this was true. There was not DLAB Prep site, nor was there any particular information about it.  I just had to walk in, sit down and respond to whatever they threw at me.

However, that is NO LONGER THE CASE.  You can actually study for the DLAB test, and you will absolutely improve your score if you do.

So, to help you prepare, here are the things I wish I had done before taking the DLAB Test.  I call this my "How to Study for the DLAB Test" guide.

Step 1: Understand the Test Layout and Know what to Expect

Our first goal is to understand what to expect when taking the DLAB test.  It is important that nothing catches you by surprise and that you understand the best way forward with each section.

Basically, the DLAB is a test consisting of 124 questions broken into 2 parts: Audio and Visual. So, to start your process on how to study for the DLAB, you need to first go through and learn about the different sections on the test, and tips on how to approach each.

I've already written on the general organization, and how to approach both the reading and listening sections of the test.  You can check them out here:

a.  How is the DLAB Test Organized

b.  Listening Tips for the DLAB

c.  Reading Tips for the DLAB

2. Access DLAB Study guides and Practice Tests

Now that you have a strong understanding of the DLAB layout and what to expect on the test, it is INCREDIBLY important that you pick up a DLAB Study Guide.  I truly wish these had been around when I took the test.

First off, these are like a cheat code to taking the tests.  Not only do they give you example questions, but they also include the EXACT grammar rules that the test will try to make you memorize on the fly and apply in a timed manner.

Just by picking up one of these, you can study the grammar rules before hand and even practice them ahead of time.

There is NO WAY your score won't improve with just that alone.

However, the study guides go even further in each section.  So, if you really want to improve your score, I not only recommend you pick up one study guide, but pick up both.  This way you can ensure you get double the practice and different takes on the exam.

Quick Word of Notice: You'll see that both of the Study Guides listed below were published years ago.  However, both are still very accurate - even more so than the knockoffs that have been recently published.  So, they still are the best bet.

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The Official DLAB Training Manual is DLAB Prep’s number 1 choice and recommended buy due to not only being the most comprehensive study guide but also being the cheapest.

It gives clear descriptions of the layout of the test and provides key tips and recommendations on how to approach the questions.

Furthermore, the DLAB Study Guide includes the EXACT grammar rules used on the test and an extensive DLAB Practice Exam with answers and explanations.

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The Complete DLAB Study Guide is a close second to the above study guide but still is an excellent study guide.

It's the recommendation of the DLAB Prep that those are seriously about taking the DLAB test and getting as high of a score as possible should purchase both since they both have incredible Practice Tests that will surely help you with gaining experience on the test most think you cannot prepare for.

So, do you yourself and favor and check out both.

For more specific information, please check out our “Best DLAB Study Guides” and “DLAB Practice Tests” articles for more information.

3. Review your English Grammar Rules 

As was discussed in our “tips” articles, a strong handle on English grammar will significantly prepare you for both the visual and audio port of the exam.  The ability to break down a sentence structure and organize the words based on their grammar rule will truly make the difference between a 105 to a 125 in the DLAB score.  While there are many resources that you could try to piece together to achieve this knowledge, we highly recommend the following:

#1. English Grammar for Dummies

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Don’t let the name fool you, English Grammar for Dummies book is one of the most renown book sets in the world.  Regardless of your level of expertise on the matter,  it is written for all everyone.

What’s most important for us DLAB takers are the examples they use throughout the book.

For our specific purposes, these examples were the best in illustrating the key points we need for the DLAB test, and believe us, we read a lot of these types of books.

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The Only Grammar Book You'll Ever Need is a must if you are serious about understanding grammar structure and thus increasing your DLAB score.

While the book focuses on improving one’s ability to write grammatically correct papers and articles, it is one of the highest rated basic grammar books on the market.  it is clear, concise and relatively inexpensive.

While English Grammar for DummiesEnglish Grammar For Dummies has better examples, No products found. was more useful after finishing the DLAB and preparing for DLI/Language Studies.

Preparing for the DLAB Test the Right Way

So, there you have it. Based on this How to Study for the DLAB guide, you've got three steps you can take.  First is to become familiar with the layout of the DLAB exam.  Next is to pick up a study guide that will not only give you the exact grammar rules on the test, but give key insight into each area.  And finally, because language rules and grammar are incredibly important, the final step is to take some time to improve your understanding of grammar rules and familiarize yourself with the terminology.

What used to be a mysterious exam with no ability to prepare is now an exam where you can.  Those that take these three steps will not only be better prepared, but will be able to score higher, and take better spots in school.  I highly recommend you take the necessary 3 steps and follow through. Your scores, careers and path will thank you later.