Tips for the TOLES Exam

TOLES Test of Legal English Skills

The TOLES Test of Legal English Skills is a useful examination to take when judging your level in English for Law. Legal English UK has taught hundreds of lawyers and law students to prepare for the test and these are some tips that our expert teachers found useful.

1. Start to engage with Business English

The exam is of course about Legal English but it does also contain questions relating to business and finance so having a background in those subjects is likely to help. If you have not studied Business English, take a look at The Financial Times or The Wall Street Journal as you approach the exam.

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2. Take some lessons

The best way to improve at anything is to spend time with an expert. You can research and read up as much as you like but an expert can answer your questions and provide you with the tools to succeed.

3. Take your register

If you work for an international law firm, you will have to write emails and letters in a relatively formal style. The TOLES exam tests students on this so you should seek out formal and informal letters. Learn from the formal style and copy it out so that you understand how these letters are composed. Look at the informal letters and see what language and grammar you could add to make them more formal. Look at changing the active voice to passive voice, for example.

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4. Learn to understand idioms

Idioms will crop up (appear) in the TOLES Advanced exam so it is vital that you understand how they are used and try and learn a few that relate to the legal and business world. There are several books available on this subject and you should also try and watch some English language TV to understand how this language is used in every day conversation.

5. Get a friend (who knows nothing about the law)

One exercise may require you to explain contract clauses to a layperson (someone who doesn't know the law). Find a contract on Google and pick out a few clauses from it and then try and explain them to your friend. You can also try writing the explanations down on a piece of paper and have your friend read over them.

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