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Preparing to take an English exam can be stressful. You’ve studied hard, and learnt a lot, yet you still feel nervous about the examinations. This is perfectly normal. You want to do your best, so it is normal to have some doubt and confusion.
Here are the top tips from ES Dubai on what to do before your next exam to get the best possible result and give you the confidence you need.
This is the most important thing to keep in mind. You’ve done the hard work. You’ve attended English classes regularly, written notes, asked questions, studied at home and been proactive in learning everything you can.
By reassuring yourself of these things, you’ll go into the exam more relaxed and with a clear head, giving you the best chance of doing well.
Of course, it’s impossible to be able to predict exactly what the exam will look like or what questions will appear, but there are things you should know about it and some basic key information that your teacher should be able to give you, such as:
By understanding how the exam will be structured, how long you’ve got, what grammar or vocabulary topics will appear, and what score you need to pass, you’ll be better prepared than just going in blind and hoping for the best.
After having studied for several weeks, months or even years, you should have a good idea of the areas you are weak. When you are planning your study and revision time, make sure to spend more time working on improving your weak areas than reviewing areas that you already know you do well in.
If, for example, you always make mistakes in class with conditional sentences or reported speech, spend some extra time before the exam trying to understand why you make these mistakes and working on putting them right. Stay behind after class and ask your teacher to explain things you haven’t understood. Then, once he/she has explained it again, go home, and practise some more.
There are loads of great online resources with grammar/exam practice materials, and a lot of them also give automatic answers and feedback on your mistakes. By doing lots of self-study outside of class, you’ll be giving yourself the best possible chance of success.
Make sure you’re clear exactly where the exam will be held, on what day and at what time. And make sure you understand what you should bring with you and what you’re not allowed to bring, such as:
These may seem obvious to most people, but they’re worth repeating. Don’t be the exam candidate that turns up late or on a wrong day, or worse still, the wrong exam centre. If you take care of these little details ahead of time, then you can focus fully on the exam itself.
This is something that’s important all the time, but especially before you’re about to take an exam. Often the thing that separates the average students from the really good ones is work ethic. So do everything you can to improve your learning. Write down all new vocabulary you learn in English classes, take every opportunity to speak with your classmates at your English school in Dubai or other English speakers, listen to English podcasts, and practise tests online.
Being the most proactive student you can be is the best way to prepare and do well. Good luck!
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At ES Dubai, we make studying English a fun and fascinating experience for every student. A family-like atmosphere in a culturally diverse community at our school is our asset. Our school will become your second home while you learn, discover, and enjoy Dubai.