I’ve finally decided to post about my DELTA M1 experience.
I passed M1 in December 2018 and got a Pass with Merit. I am quite satisfied with my results considering that I was working full-time 6 days a week at that time.
1) So what kind of exam is that? What does it test?
As a graduate of a British university, I felt that this exam was quite like any kind of university exam I had in the past.
DELTA M1 exam consists of 2 parts and lasts for 3 hours with a 30-minute break in between.
Paper 1 tests your knowledge of terminology and language analysis skills.
Paper 2 tests your knowledge of methodology and coursebook materials analysis skills.
2) So how do I prepare? Should I take a course or not?
You can prepare either by yourself or you can take a course.
I took a course with the Distance Delta: http://thedistancedelta.com/courses/programmes/m1/
It’s an online course that lasts 3 months. The schedule is quite tight, so get ready to be super busy, especially if you work full-time like me.
The benefits of taking such a course are:
– well-organised, systematic and relevant input;
– you practice using real tasks from past papers, which are then checked by DELTA M1 tutors;
– a mock exam at the end of, which is also checked by DELTA M1 tutors;
– tons of feedback and practical advice from the tutors;
– Skype tutorials;
– a forum and a group of dedicated teachers preparing for the exam.
3) So what exactly should I do to prepare? Do you have any tips?
- Do a lot of reading and take tons of notes. Make use of colour coding and bullet points. Revise your notes regularly.
I took notes for every input reading I got in each course unit plus some additional reading I’d find by myself, and when I printed them out it turned out to be 104 (!) A4 pages. You can download my notes here.
- Go through as many past papers as you can. Twice.
- Go through as many exam reports as you can. They contain valuable information written by official Delta Module 1 tutors and can shed light on many tiny things, from what kind of answers are expected to where it is better to use bullet points and where it is not. You can download them here.
- Use Quizlet to study terminology.
I studied two sets of 300+ terms each, and it proved to be extremely helpful.
- Read all the handbooks and know what is expected of you and how the exam works.
- Work out a strategy on how to approach the exam to maximise your chances of getting a higher score.
The time you should spend on each task is as follows:
Task 1 (Terminology) – 5 mins
Task 2 (Definitions) – 10 mins
Task 3 (Task Achievement) – 10 minutes
Task 4 (Strengths / Weaknesses) – 20 minutes
Task 5 (Genre & Language Analysis) – 45 minutes
Task 1 (Test) – 15 minutes
Task 2 (Coursebook materials) – 40 minutes
Task 3 (SLA) – 35 minutes
Therefore, in Paper One exam, you should do the tasks in the following order: Task 5 b-d -> Task 4 -> Task 3 -> Task 2 -> Task 5a -> Task 1.
For Paper Two exam, go like this: Task 2 -> Task 3 -> Task 1.
This way, even if you don’t manage to finish everything on time, you won’t lose too many points.
- Plan your time carefully. Treat it as a project with strict deadlines where the final stage is sitting the exam. All that time you spend while preparing for the final stage has to be spent meaningfully. Make the most out of it.
4) So what resources should I use? Any recommendations?
- Martin Parrot’s Grammar for English Language Teachers
- Scott Thornbury’s About Language and The New A-Z of ELT
- J.C. Richard & Th.S. Rodgers’ Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching
D. Larsen-Freeman & M. Anderson’s Techniques & Principles in Language Teaching
- Tricia Hedge’s Teaching and Learning in the Language Classroom
- P. Lightbown & N. Spada’s How Languages are Learned
My notes, past papers, exam reports, and other useful materials:
Tips from those who went through this and excelled:
- Sandy Millin’s post on how she got a Distinction for Delta M1
- Dale Coulter’s posts on Delta M1 Paper 1 and Paper 2
- Lizzie Pinard’s posts on Delta M1 Paper 1 and Paper 2