Unified State Exam (USE=ЕГЭ): Time Management

Time Management plays a great role in our lives. 2019 has come and it’s high time to ponder on resolutions and strategies to make a difference this year. When talking about any exams, the question of TM really matters. Getting ready for the Unified State Examination (ЕГЭ)? Let’s discuss it today.

STEP-1 Before planning your strategy, do the following

— Examine all the documentation.

— Download demo 2019 to see the material (zip file with PDFs and MP3).

— Downloadable versions for assessors.

— Recommendations for teachers.

— Information for school-leavers.

— Open tasks database.

STEP-2 Define your students’ strong and weak points

There are some ways to do it:

— Download ЕГЭ sample for students to do it and check their gaps.

— Ask students to take ЕГЭ online here. To do this, students should  just select the number on the menu, set up a stopwatch, and do the test.

STEP-3 Plan the strategy

Time Management

After defining strong and weak points, your student should practise more to improve their weakest spots. As a teacher you should guide them what they need to do on a regular basis. An effective way to plan anything, moreover, the exam preparation, is to create some kind of a diary and try to note everything your students do and plan to do to improve their results.

My students and I test various ways to track the progress, and this year it’s JANUARY 2019_Reflective SUCCESS JOURNAL that assists them/us to do daily planning and inspires my students to acquire a language learning habit. We have English on Tuesday & Thursday, so they have to work hard for the rest of the week (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun). This journal helps them to keep the track of everything they do, I also have the access to this online journal and can leave comments whenever it’s necessary. For extra motivating ideas on achieving goals check this out.

STEP-4 Tips

LISTENING is a very challenging part

30 min (~10 min per task)   (Task 1, 2, 3-9)

Tasks for matching, completion, answering questions should be practiced before exam time. Despite doing regular exam practice, I recommend autonomous listening where the student can select the listening piece according to levels, topics, accents and do self-practice daily filling in our journal (sending you a screenshot with results, so you could analyze and discuss his/her ‘bugs’ or fix the problem/mistake whether they are of grammatical or vocabulary character during the lesson). For autonomous listening I use this website.

READING is to the mind, what exercise is to the body (by Joseph Addison)

30 min (~10 min per each text) (Task 10, 11, 12-18)

Reading is a set of selected, well-weighed actions, and skills that will play a great role in your USE success. Well, here the question of skills comes first. It’s not a secret that students should coin their Skimming and Scanning reading abilities to pass this part. For extra reading I use this website.


40 min (Task 19-25, 26-31, 32-38)

It would be great to take several Placement, grammar, vocabulary tests to detect common mistakes and problems to be solved. You don’t need to work through all grammar and vocabulary topics, but should find what you students need to revise or learn.


80 min (Task 39, 40)

A Letter (100-140 words) and an Essay (200-250 words) should be written after each section when students have learnt some grammar and vocabulary material to consolidate knowledge.


Total 15 min (Task 1, 2, 3, 4)

Part 1 Reading aloud

1.5 min for prep + no more than 1.5 min for reading

Tongue twisters (Xmas tongue twisters) will be helpful in students’ daily practice + sample texts

Part 2 Asking questions

20 sec per question 1 + beep + .. + 20 sec per question 5

= totally 1.5 min to answer 5 questions

Revise the structures of all question types (general, alternative, tag, special) and include the revision as your warm-up or cool-down routine.

Part 3 Describing a photo

1.5 min for prep + no more than 2 min of speaking (12-15 sentences)


Part 4 Comparing and contrasting 2 photos

1.5 min for prep + no more than 2 min of speaking (12-15 sentences)

First, study the skeleton of your speech, then add up linkers, and, finally, practice descriptions of a photo/ of photos. Here it’s really important to have a professional coach who will consult and give some feedback. Practise some speaking tasks every lesson and assign the rest as a homework. 

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