Therefore,you should spend some time revising (or learning) some of the following:
- medical terminology for symptoms, diseases and conditions
- medical abbreviations
- everyday equivalent terms (especially for the speaking test)
The reading task is the same for all professions, so you may need to be familiar with a wide range of topics. Despite this, you should start with the 'basics'. It's a good idea to build up your own glossary of terms in the following areas:
- each body system e.g. cardiovascular, renal,reproductive
- common medical problems e.g. eczema, dementia,IBS, dental caries, sports' injuries
- common equipment used in your profession e.g. CT scan, MRI
The reading task is often presented as three to four short texts about the same topic. The information may be expressed in different ways so you will need to understand equivalent terms. By predicting the terms you are likely to be reading, you can scan for important information much easier. For example, if the text is about the brain you may expect to read terms like cognitive function, cerebral, ischaemia, frontal lobe, carotid artery etc. A text about the prostate may include terms like TURP, benign prostatic hypertrophy, PSA, hesitancy,empty the bladder and so on.
By developing a glossary of terms (and adding to it as you read more) you start training your brain to expect to see certain terms within a topic. Try to learn related medical prefixes and suffixes as well as this helps you to predict unknown words. For instance, if you are unsure of the term 'hypertrophy' in benign prostatic hypertrophy but you know that 'hyper' means 'increase',then you could make a guess that 'hypertrophy' means an increase of some sort (in this case, the prostate).