Exams & Preparation

Find useful exam information and teaching ideas for your students.

Developing listening skills for C2 level with free internet resources

It was not that long ago when “listening activities” in the EFL classroom conjured images of CD players that would not work or even cassette players that would chew the cassette in the midst of a test. The material was scarce and prices for cassettes and CDs for textbooks or practice tests were exorbitant. In my early days as a teacher, I quickly learned...

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...

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...

Top Tips for Exams and Tests

1) Pens and Pencils Some exams require the use of PENS, while others have to be completed in PENCIL. Make sure you know what you should be using in every paper before you go in. 2) Websites All the major examination boards have websites these days, usually with sample papers and examiners’ reports that you can download. These sites are well worth a...

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...

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...

2020 exam updates – a summary

  Cambridge Assessment English has revised its lower level exams to make sure they are up to date with the latest research in language learning and teaching. A2 Key, A2 Key for Schools, B1 Preliminary and B1 Preliminary for Schools have undergone a thorough review. The new exam formats will start being used from January 2020. The changes...

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...

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...

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