Strategies for the BULATS Business English Reading Aloud Task

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.

Are you looking for strategies to help you successfully complete the reading aloud task of the BULATS online speaking exam? Let's explore this portion of the exam as well as some tips you can use for reading business phrases in English.

Reading Aloud Tips

Whether or not you're a good test taker, preparation is the key to success. For the reading aloud portion (part two) of the BULATS online speaking exam, it's important to know that you will read eight sentences aloud, speaking into a microphone attached to a headset, and the computer will record your response. While this may sound like an easy task, there are several things you'll need to keep in mind. The initial consideration is the time limit. For each sentence, you will have ten seconds. Some of the sentences are short, and some of the sentences are longer, so you'll need to use the time wisely.

Depending on your English level, it's very possible that you may see words that are unfamiliar or that you haven't used very frequently. Because of this possibility, it's very important that you practice a few of the BULATS reading aloud strategies outlined in this lesson before you take the test.

Reading Aloud Criteria

When you read aloud for part two of the BULATS online speaking test, you will be scored on your pronunciation and clarity. Remember, it's perfectly fine to have an accent when you speak English. In fact, many people who take the BULATS are not native English speakers and therefore usually have an accent. Having an accent will not affect your score unless your accent negatively affects the clarity of your words. To avoid any accent issues, you can practice pronouncing English words that are difficult for you to say clearly and coherently.

Reading Aloud Strategies

One great way to practice for the reading aloud section is to read the sentence silently in your head before reading it out loud. This can help you work out the pronunciation of any word you are unsure of. If you do choose to use this strategy, be careful that you don't spend too much time reading silently, otherwise your recorded response will sound rushed.

The sentences that will be displayed on the screen will be similar to the following.

  1. We finished the new marketing plan yesterday.
  2. Please make sure the meeting minutes are accurate this time.
  3. The new office furniture will arrive next Thursday.
  4. Please hold your questions until the end of the presentation.
  5. Mrs. Jones has been delayed at the airport and will miss the meeting.
  6. Our accounting department is currently reviewing the new tax regulations.
  7. If your report won't be ready by Friday, please let me know by Thursday at 2 p.m.
  8. The clients are very happy with the new product designs.

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