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Exams & Preparation

Find useful exam information and teaching ideas for your students.

Online registration procedures for all Hellenic American Union examinations

    Online registration procedures for all Hellenic American Union examinations As of September 2018, registration for all examinations administered by the Hellenic American Union Center for Examinations and Certifications (Michigan Language Assessment, Cambridge English, Hellenic American University, ETS) will be handled online through the ORFEAS...

Speaking exams: 7 tips for candidates and teachers

The big day has come and your heart palpitates with stress and fear. The only thought that crosses your mind is “Will my candidates open their mouth and speak or will they just gasp without uttering a single word in front of the examiner?” Challenging by nature, the speaking test can become the nightmare of test takers and exam prep teachers. What can you...

The effect of speaking topics on candidate performance

One of the claims of language tests administered in Greece is that topical knowledge is not tested so that all candidates may stand the same chance of performing well. However, topical knowledge, especially in the form of intercultural knowledge, is one of the constructs that should be tested according to the CEFR by which all language tests are supposed...

Speaking in Exam Preparation Classes: Students’ difficulties

    Greece has a strong testing culture since teaching foreign languages is linked with language exams. Students learn foreign languages mainly to get a foreign language certification. The Greek market offers a large number of English Language exams and certifying bodies. All these exams consist of various sections – some evaluate all language skills...

Test preparation needn’t be boring!

What does “test preparation” mean for you? All too often, I suspect, it means working through endless past papers and practice tests. Of course your students need to be familiar with the test format and ready on the day for the kinds of tasks that they will be confronted with, and working through some practice tests under exam conditions is the right way...

Test Anxiety and how to help our learners tackle it!

Although anxiety is considered to be a natural process so that humans are able to function effectively, it can become detrimental when it becomes excessive and uncontrollable leading to distress and interfering with everyday activities such as learning, studying or evaluation situations as in the case of our learners. Anxiety is the anticipation of a...

Preparing learners for exams: the problem with listening

Fear of listening Listening appears to be the most feared component of language exams: learners invariably complain that “the listening was difficult,” teachers seem to worry about the listening subtest more than anything else, examination bodies are often asked to explain themselves and justify the format and level of their listening tests...

Preparing candidates for the Cambridge English Proficiency exam

  There is a wide range of official free and paid for Cambridge English support materials from Cambridge English Language Assessment and Cambridge University Press, including the coursebook and practice tests and other types of materials in both print and digital formats, such as the teacher handbook and the speaking test preparation pack.   Checklist to...

IELTS: how to crack the Reading test

The content of the Reading component is different for the Academic and General Training testing options but the total amount of time for the completion of this component in both is 60 minutes. Candidates are presented with three passages pertaining to a wide array of subjects of general interest, drawing from work and academic contexts. In this article...

Thoughts on Preparing Candidates for the Cambridge English Exams Speaking and Writing Papers

  I am often asked by teachers given the proximity of exam day what the right balance between exam practice and general language and skills development work should be. What I suspect lies behind this question is that teachers know that learners will keenly set about anything in this period given an exam practice label – keen as they are to see how close...