Reading & Listening Section Overview of BULATS Business English

Instructor: Matthew Hamel

Matt has degrees in Journalism and Business and has taught a variety of courses at high schools and universities around the world.

Taking the Business Language Testing Service (BULATS) tests can be less stressful if you know exactly what to expect. This lesson reviews the reading and language, and listening sections of the BULATS tests.

BULATS Basics

The reading and listening sections of the BULATS will require you to demonstrate a variety of English language skills. Before you look at the breakdown of these two sections, it can be helpful to get an overview.

The BULATS reading and language knowledge section takes 60 minutes to complete. It is divided into two parts of ten sections. The BULATS listening section takes 50 minutes and contains four parts.

BULATS Reading and Language Knowledge

This section of the exam contains a total of 60 questions divided between two parts and 10 sections. The two parts and their corresponding sections are laid out in the following format.

Part 1 - Four Sections

Section 1

This section offers a multiple-choice task in which you must demonstrate an understanding of a variety of business documents. There are seven questions in this section. For example:

  • New Product Design
  • Designers should submit two designs: One for a new laptop and one for a new cell phone.
    • Designers should
      • A make sure their designs are approved before they are submitted.
      • B submit designs for two different products. (Correct)
      • C complete an application before submitting a design.

Section 2

You will be given a sentence that is missing a word and you must choose the correct word from a list of four choices. There are six questions in this section. For example:

  • The marketing manager _____ the program a total success.
    • A did say
    • B called (correct)
    • C believe
    • D known

Section 3

In this section you will read a text that is a few paragraphs long and then you will answer questions that will check your understanding of the text and whether you can locate information. There are six questions in this section. For example:

Most entrepreneurs will fail many times before they find a profitable business idea. This high rate of failure can make it difficult for entrepreneurs to stay motivated. In fact, according to researcher Mia Jones, more than 80 percent of self-proclaimed entrepreneurs give up after less than a year. Back in the 1990s…

  • According to Mia Jones
    • A most entrepreneurs are successful.
    • B try for more than a decade.
    • C stop trying in less than 12 months. (Correct)

Section 4

This section contains a text in which several words are missing. You will need to use your understanding of English grammar to insert one word into each blank. There are five questions in this section. For example:

  • Preparing for a job interview can be intimidating. There are many things you must _____ about before the interview. Of course, you must remember to arrive _____. In addition…
    • Answers: think, early

Part 2 - Five Sections

Section 1

In this section there are four brief texts and seven sentences and you must match each sentence to a text. For example:

Text A

Entering into a new market can be difficult for many tech companies. Many companies have great ideas, but getting those ideas into the marketplace can be a challenge. Over the past two years there has been a 35 percent decrease of new players entering the market and…

Text B

Grocery stores are facing a dilemma: backyard gardens. Frank Thompson, the produce manager at ABC Grocery said that he's seen a significant slump in sales since the backyard gardening craze began early last year. He said that sales of squash, tomatoes and cucumbers are way down compared to the same time last year. Thompson believes backyard gardeners and the increased visibility of farmer's markets are to blame. The first month of…

  • This company is experiencing a decrease in produce sales. (B is correct.)
  • There has been a decrease of new companies entering the market. (A is correct.)

Section 2

In this section you will see a text a few paragraphs long and there will be five words missing from the text. You will need to choose the best word to insert into the blanks. For example:

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