Study tips

There is no standard preparation package for the ITACE for Lecturers. However, a useful starting point may be the sample questions offered on the ITACE website. Although these are not intended as a representative practice test, they do offer some insight into how the test is designed and which question types to expect. This could help you determine which aspects you need to pay specific attention to. We also advise you to increase your exposure to English in the days before the test and to try to start thinking in the target language.

On this page you will find some specific tips for each component of the test, including a selection of books and websites for further practice. Many more interesting resources can be found through Google (e.g. search for “academic English word list”, “exercises English C1 reading”, “conditionals”). You can also consult websites that prepare for other English-language tests (such as TOEFL, IELTS or Cambridge).


Note that your university may have extra internal Academic English resources for staff members on the intranet:



Reading & listening

  • First read the questions and possible answers to know what to focus on when reading or listening to a fragment.
  • There is no correction for guessing, so it is advisable to always select an answer even if you are not sure.
  • Note that the listening and reading extracts will probably not be from your field. However, they are academic extracts containing general academic terminology you’ll encounter in any academic article, so being an expert reader/listener in your own field will help you process the extracts in the test.
  • The following website provides information on academic reading skills (e.g. skimming and scanning) and some useful exercises.
  • For listening extracts by experts in various domains, pay a visit to these websites.
  • For exercises on academic listening skills, you can consult the following website.




  • Note that the test does not focus on field-specific terminology, but on general academic vocabulary at C1 level.
  • Articles and books from your own field often constitute the best source of relevant vocabulary. While reading, we often only pay attention to the subject at hand and pick up subject-specific terminology, but not sub-technical vocabulary (e.g. typical expressions such as ‘adopt a position’ or ‘address an issue’). A useful tip is to attentively read a couple of paragraphs every day, while paying attention to language and while keeping a record of useful expressions.
  • When learning new vocabulary, pay attention to collocations, i.e. words that typically occur together (e.g. ‘conduct an experiment’, ‘confirm a hypothesis’). By using a collocations dictionary, you can find useful combinations with any new words you encounter and want to study.




  • It is important to use the correct grammatical form of any word you fill in. Consult a grammar guide and revise usage rules concerning the use of articles, subject-verb agreement, conditionals, adjective or adverb, and other typical issues. It may also be useful to do some exercises to check whether you can apply these rules correctly.
  • The ITACE for Lecturer tests grammar at C1 level. Below are examples of websites and books you could use to practise advanced grammar, but you can find many more interesting websites using Google (search for the issue you are struggling with and narrow your search with the term ‘advanced’).
  • If you prefer printed resources, the following books may be useful.
    • ‘Practical English Usage’, Swan
    • ‘Oxford grammar for EAP’, Paterson and Wedge




Have a look at the sample oral task on the ITACE website. This can help you feel more prepared for the specific tasks you will be expected to complete.

  • Pronunciation
  • Some general tips and exercises to improve your English as a medium of instruction can be found in the following printed resources.
    • ‘ Academic Spoken English. A Corpus-Based Guide to Lectures, Presentations, Seminars and Tutorials’, Blanpain and Laffut
    • ‘Teaching through English: The didactics and language of English-Medium Instruction in practice’, De Moor and Mous


A sample writing task is available on the ITACE website. The writing task involves writing a short academic text related to your own field of research or teaching experience.

  • Vocabulary
    Use this opportunity to show that you know subject-specific vocabulary relevant to your field and the academic world in general. Try to use a range of different phrases. (also see ‘Vocabulary’)
  • Grammar
    Especially in a formal text, try to avoid using too many short, simple sentences. Instead, try to use more complex grammatical structures (e.g. relative clauses, participle clauses, etc.). To remedy specific grammar issues, revise the usage rules and do some advanced exercises. (also see ‘Grammar’)
  • Spelling and punctuation
    Pay attention to the correct use of commas, e.g. with linking words, in relative clauses.
    Keep in mind that a spell check does not detect all errors, e.g. your / you’re. (also see ‘Vocabulary’)
  • Coherence and flow
    Divide your text into logically organised paragraphs.
    Use linking words and phrases (e.g. ‘however’, ‘in addition’) and reference words (e.g. ‘this problem’, ‘such concerns’) to clarify the structure of your text and to show how different ideas relate.
  • Academic Writing
    Some general tips and exercises to improve your academic writing skills can be found in the following book.
    • ‘Academic Writing. A Resource for Researchers’, Blanpain