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How to quickly prepare for an English exam: 10 tips for excellent students

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The last month or two before testing - the most intense, the hottest and the most exciting. You need to gather your thoughts and as soon as possible put in your head the maximum amount of material ... Unlearned - to learn. Unfinished - to finish off. Repeat already completed. Put everything in the head on the shelves. And tune in to victory. What do experts recommend and how did applicants from past years prepare effectively for testing and exams?

How to avoid unnecessary excitement and effectively prepare for testing and internal exams, said Associate Professor, Department of General and Clinical Psychology, Faculty of Humanities, BSU, Ph.D. Ekaterina Bespanskaya-Pavlenko.

How to prepare effectively

- Prepare better in advance. Make a plan when, on what day you will learn what, break the material or subject into blocks, parts and learn gradually. When preparing, it is better to note the questions that you know well, that you don’t know very well, that you don’t know at all. To have a picture of what needs to be done. And what you don’t know at all needs to devote more time, etc.

The number 7 is the maximum number of objects that a person can remember at one time. Those. it is better to divide some information when memorizing into blocks so that there are no more than seven, and build a logical chain between them.

Reading and remembering the text individually. It is advisable to immediately read the text, then highlight the main thoughts in it, then divide the text into parts, draw up a plan of the text, highlight the logical connection between these points and then re-read and retell. Better not to cram. The main thing is to understand the meaning of what you are reading.

It is advisable to prepare not from morning to night, but to take breaks. For example, every hour for ten minutes, after three hours for an hour. It is advisable to do some physical exercises or go for a walk, breathe fresh air, eat well. Someone is more accustomed to teach in the morning, someone in the evening ... It’s good when the material is taught as usual, because it was at school. It is also important to get enough sleep. When too much information enters the brain, it may, like a computer, freeze.

How to avoid unnecessary excitement

“Firstly, you need to understand that anxiety before the exam is a completely natural state,” the expert explains. - If a person does not worry at all, this is not normal, because a small level of anxiety helps to mobilize the body.

Secondly, when a person is attuned to an exam, to test, you need to learn to think about positive things, mentally draw a picture of yourself with a confident, clear answer, the behavior that "I will succeed." It is advisable to lose the situation in detail in advance: imagine how you enter the audience, how you sit down in advance, concentrate, and begin to complete the test tasks. Then the testing situation will not be so unexpected and will not cause so much anxiety.

Before testing, you can use such techniques of self-hypnosis, relaxation. Give yourself positive, inspired commands that "I can remember everything," "I will be fine." You don’t need to say to yourself, “I’m not afraid”, “I will not fail” ... Our part of our consciousness “does not” do not perceive and, on the contrary, it turns out that “I will fail” and “I am afraid”.

Also, during preparation, you can imagine in detail all the options for the development of the situation. Sometimes you can tune in to “I’ll do everything, I’ll decide everything,” and then, or write it incorrectly, make a mistake. And this can lead to even more stress. It is necessary to present or write on paper all the options for the development of the event and what you will do in a given situation. When our psyche sees various options, it is ready for this in advance.

Especially before testing, various sedatives are best avoided. Because it is not known how the body will react in a state of stress, excitement ... On the contrary, the process of inhibition can go. Autogenic training, relaxation calms better: sat down, relaxed, presented a positive picture. For example, in small things, they imagined how you were with friends somewhere on a picnic, etc. Respiratory exercises are effective for calming: taking a deep breath for one, two, three, and four to five, exhale. If a person is physically relaxing, then the brain receives information that you are in a normal calm state. Exercise relieves emotional stress: for example, go for a run while resting.

Parent Tips

- Parents should also prepare their child in advance: give advice, do not burden the applicant. Of course, the parent acts as an expert, so he can reassure, tell how he once passed the exams and coped with stressful situations. Excessive moralization will not bring any benefits. Excessive control too. An applicant is already in a situation of stress, he himself knows what needs to be prepared. And if parents constantly remind about it, then it only makes him nervous, stresses. If the parent sees that the child is preparing, then it is better not to be intrusive.

As for the choice of profession (for those who have not yet decided to the end) ... If the parents send the student to study where he does not want, for which he does not have abilities, sooner or later this will negatively affect the child. It is necessary to proceed from abilities, and in this matter it is better to consult a psychologist. And if it’s not too late, get tested by a psychologist on career counseling. There are special tests, diagnostic techniques that help to identify propensities for a particular profession.

Dark chocolate and honey, and nuts instead of chips

Marina Popova, a dietitian at the Ekomedservice medical center recommends eating properly during periods of intense stress:

- The basis of the diet should be proteins, fats and carbohydrates, with proteins should be at least 30-40 percent, fats - about 20 percent and carbohydrates - 40 percent of the daily diet. It is important that the food is regular, despite the intensity and busyness. A meal should be taken at least four times a day. The diet should include vegetables, fruits, as well as protein suppliers such as cottage cheese, milk, cheese, and an egg. Must also be present must meat, fish. Moreover, fruits and vegetables should be present in the diet at least 350-400 grams daily for high school students, because they stimulate the gastrointestinal tract, improve well-being and are suppliers of trace elements, vitamins, minerals and fiber.

You can also include in the diet products such as honey, dark chocolate and other sweets such as marshmallows and marmalade. Because they contain pectin and are absorbent of all non-useful products that can enter the human body. And honey and dark chocolate are the main source of nutrition for brain cells, because they contain glucose (the only source of nutrition for brain cells). In addition, honey is the only unique natural component in its structure, which includes the maximum amount of vitamins, minerals, which serve as an excellent way to combat stress and fatigue.

It is better to limit products such as chips, carbonated drinks, energy stimulants. It is proved that green tea has a more tonic effect than coffee. The permitted dose of caffeine is from 40 to 70 mg per day, that is, it is about 6 cups of real strong brewed coffee. Naturally, it should not be used as an additional stimulant. Coffee, cocoa, tea can be consumed, but do not focus on it. The same vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, dairy products are better suppliers of vital elements for the normal functioning of the body.

During this period, food needs to be diversified, glucose must be present in the body, but we must not forget that nutrition must first be balanced. Chips and soda should not serve as a substitute fish with vegetables (if there is no possibility of a normal meal), and better - nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts). Dried fruits can also serve as food sources - dried apricots, figs, raisins ... Ie those products that contain glucose, fiber, vitamins, and minerals in their composition.

Shooting Tips

Applicants from past years share their personal experience and give advice on effective preparation for passing tests and exams.

Olga, 1st year student of the Presidential Academy of Management:

“Teaching for me was easier in the evening, but not at night.” I came home, dined, had a little rest and went to extra classes at school or went to a tutor. For example, every day I tried to read a certain number of topics. I broke almost all of them: for example, this week I have to go through so much, the next - so many ... The main thing is to eat well, because nothing is thought of on an empty stomach.

For the weekend I tried not to overload myself, I left the weekend to rest. Because at the beginning of the week you will be tired if you work hard at the weekend. It must be proportionately divided. For example, today to study Russian, tomorrow mathematics, the day after tomorrow CHOG. Because if it’s the same thing in a row, then it bothers and the mess starts in the head, and if distributed, it’s easier.

It helped me a lot: on CHOG I started a notebook and wrote out the main points. Then you leaf through the notebook and remember everything very well. Because my motor memory is very well developed. By language - you select a topic, and on it you run all the tasks on the topic in different collections, that is. Then, when all the topics are covered, it is better to work out the tests from beginning to end. It is necessary to fill your hand in order to meet the time allotted for the test. Also on how to fill out the forms, not to make mistakes, trial tests helped me with this. The more tests you do, the better. And in time you will be guided ...

In mathematics, I tried to develop a certain methodology so that it would be shorter to decide, not to paint conditions very much, etc. I did this: if I solve a task and it does not work out, I drop it, I continue to solve the test further. After I completed the test to the end, I returned to those tasks that I missed. I began to approach this task with new thoughts. So in Russian, so as not to linger for a long time (you never know what glitch there is), it is better to go further. And then you will sit, and in the end you will not have time, and there will be tasks that really could be done.

Before the Russian language, I was very worried and could not cope with it, to be honest. Before the test itself, it’s best to think about something abstract. If you go to the test with friends, it’s better to talk about something else along the way, because you start to worry if you start talking about tests. “But I don’t think I’ll write it ...” etc. Bad thoughts begin.

You need to get enough sleep. And especially - before the test. Lie down in advance in case you simply cannot fall asleep due to excitement. Before one of the tests, I really did not get enough sleep, got up in the morning with a headache. And again: no matter how nauseous it is, it is better to eat. Because then the thought that you are hungry will torment you, and not that you need to solve the test.

Nikolay Schetko, graduate of BSUIR:

- Of course, you need to prepare for tests and exams throughout the entire school year, but the importance of systematizing knowledge and closing your own weaknesses in recent weeks before testing can hardly be overestimated.

Therefore, preparation must be approached with all responsibility. For each applicant, the details may vary, but based on my experience, I would recommend not paying attention to the following four points.

First: provide yourself a calm and comfortable space for classes. Disconnect your computer, mobile phone and regular phone if they are really necessary for preparation - severely limit their distractions (mobile phone to silent mode, computer -
away, ICQ and mail - disable). It is better to do in a bright and well-ventilated area. It is also important to correctly organize the space: it is convenient to lay out books, notebooks, and other materials.

Second: develop an effective daily routine for yourself. Set aside time for classes when you yourself feel that your head "cooks" best - for example, I trained in the exact sciences (physics, mathematics) and worked most effectively until lunch. From morning to dinner I decided
tasks, after lunch - repeated the theory. Someone “thinker” cooks better in the evening - then it makes sense to sleep longer in the morning. :) It is very important not only to work out, but also to observe the daily routine: getting up, bed, lunch-breakfast-dinner. At least up to an hour and a half - believe me, your body and your brain will appreciate it and will please you with increased working capacity! Do not overdo it, try at least once an hour to take a five-minute break. If your brains are completely stalled, you can
more - the main thing is not to overdo it.) Be sure to take time to relax: for example, for evening walks.

Third: be consistent, plan your time every day before the test! It is one thing if the purpose of the day to “read physics” and quite another is to “solve the problems on pages 33–35, repeat chapter 7 in the textbook and add a short summary to the cheat sheet.” Properly planning the task, you can very effectively control yourself and, if you are behind schedule, push it up, or, conversely, allocate a little more time to rest if the schedule is ahead of schedule.

Fourth: in advance, collect all the necessary and useful literature so that in the midst of the preparation process you do not have to run to the book (to friends) or surf the Internet. It is useful at the time when the brain is already turning off, write neat cheat sheets or mini-reference books (in compact notebooks). Whether or not to take them for testing is up to you, but you will “swing” the visual memory in the process of writing them, and a well-written “cheat sheet” will help in the preparation.

1. Set real deadlines

Many can prepare for the exam for several years, each time delaying the moment of passing the exam. At the same time, a person may be ready for a knowledge test, but for fear of failing the exam it will seem to him that it is too early. A dream is a deadline goal. If you have a deadline for completion, you can plan your preparations to the last detail.

2. Get ready for intense work with a minimum of weekends

You need to do daily, at least 1 hour a day. Closer to the exam date, it is advisable to increase the duration of training to 2-4 hours per day. However, do not forget about the breaks. Check out the article “Tomato Technique for Learning English,” the principles of time management described in it are ideal for preparing for the exam.

4. Choose the “right” teacher

Which teacher to deal with: Russian-speaking or native speaker? As a rule, native speakers can help break down the language barrier. English-speaking teachers do not know Russian, so you have to speak English, and the teacher at that time corrects your mistakes and teaches a conversational cliche, useful vocabulary - helps your speech become “lively”.

Which teacher to deal with: Russian-speaking or native speaker? As a rule, native speakers can help break down the language barrier. English-speaking teachers do not know Russian, so you have to speak English, and the teacher at that time corrects your mistakes and teaches a conversational cliche, useful vocabulary - helps your speech become “lively”.

Thus, the optimal choice is a combination of classes with a native speaker and a Russian-speaking teacher. The lessons will complement each other and help you achieve your goal.

5. Complete typical tasks

Find out what tasks are waiting for you in the selected exam, then find online examples of such exercises and do them every day, at least for a couple of tasks per day. If you have to pass the exam, get a special manual with typical tasks and solve it from beginning to end.

You can familiarize yourself with the format of Cambridge exams and practice in standard tasks on this site examenglish.com. There you will find free tests to prepare for IELTS, TOEFL, TOEIC, CAE, FCE, KET, PET, PTE Academic, PTE General, Michigan.

6. Develop all skills at the same time.

Any exam consists of several parts, on which all English skills are tested: written and oral speech, listening, reading, vocabulary, knowledge of grammar, pronunciation. Each of us has our strengths and weaknesses, we need to use strengths skillfully, and develop weaknesses to strengths. How to work on each of the skills? We offer the following techniques:

  • Reading skill. Read texts on various subjects: from newspapers and magazines to fiction and non-fiction. So you learn new words from the context, increase the speed of reading, with the help of visual memory, remember the spelling of new words, refresh the knowledge of words and phrases on specific topics. A typical reading assignment in an exam is questions for understanding the text. You can practice this skill at myenglishpages.com. Там представлены десятки тестов самой разнообразной тематики и даны вопросы на понимание.
  • Навык письма. Типовое задание на экзамене — это эссе. Учитесь писать его правильно: в любом вашем письме должно быть введение, несколько абзацев основного текста и заключение. Учтите, что на некоторых экзаменах вам могут дать задание написать письмо в определенном стиле: формальном или неформальном.Therefore, train to use the correct vocabulary and grammar. In addition, try to keep within a certain volume and allotted time when writing. For example, if you know that in an exam you need to write an essay for about 200-250 words, train yourself to write just such volumes, then when passing you will not need to count the words, you will see that you have achieved the ideal length. An important condition for working on a letter is the presence of a person who can test and evaluate your writing skills. Such a person will be able to tell how to and does not need to be written. You can get acquainted with the main types, structure and rules of writing an essay in our article "How to write an essay in English perfectly".
  • Listening skill. A typical task in an exam is listening to an audio file and answering questions to it. Testing the understanding of English speech by ear is one of the most difficult parts of the exam. However, if you will be engaged in listening, then there will be no problems with this test. One of the most effective and affordable ways to train a skill is to listen to audio podcasts. We wrote about the secrets of working with audio files in the article “Modern Listening in English: Podcasts, Audio Series, Radio Shows”.
  • Speaking skill. A typical task is a spontaneous speech on any topic. This part of the exam is best rehearsed with your teacher: he will help you correct typical mistakes and teach you to speak naturally. There is a simple and very effective exercise for training spontaneous speech: select any subject and try to talk about it for 1 minute. So you learn to talk about anything, and this is exactly what you need in the exam. You can also work independently on your speaking skills. To do this, try the following method. Take an interesting video, watch it several times, learn subtitles. After that, turn on the video without sound and try to get into the pace of the speaker. This exercise will help you learn useful vocabulary and learn to fluently speak English. In addition, do not forget to read out loud: you improve your pronunciation, work on intonation and the correct accent, learn to formulate your thoughts clearly and competently.

7. Read about the experience of people who passed the exam.

On the Internet, find the articles of people who took the exam, find out in detail about the format of the exam, the grading system, and the secrets of successful preparation. For example, if you want to pass the IELTS exam, check out the helpful articles by our teacher Lily, “How to Prepare for IELTS Speaking.” She successfully passed the exam, knows about all of his “pitfalls” and will be happy to share her experience. And Lilia talked about "TOP-9 common mistakes when passing the IELTS exam."

If you are interested in a series of Cambridge exams FCE, CAE, CPE, then you should definitely read the article by Svetlana's teacher “How I passed SAE. Confessions of a certificate holder. " She shared her personal experience of passing one of these exams, gave practical advice on how to show the “class” in the oral part of the exam. Try learning from other people's mistakes.

Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.

Learn everything from the mistakes of others. You don’t have enough time to do them all yourself.

8. Rehearse the exam

Find out how the test passes, how much time you will have to complete each task, etc. Together with a teacher or friend who also needs to take an exam, try to write an essay, read a text and answer questions, do listening exercises and speak a variety of topics in English. In this case, you need to meet the specific time allotted for each part of the exam. By the time of the exam, you should have the notorious “sense of time”, which will tell you at what pace to complete this or that task.

9. Get all the information in English

Try to get all the information you need during the day in English. Looking for a new microwave? See descriptions of models and reviews on the websites of foreign online stores. Would you like to bake a pie? Look for the recipe on English-language sites. Can't imagine your life without books? Read them in English. Want to learn how to prepare for your English exam? Look for information in English! In such a simple way, you will enrich your vocabulary with vocabulary from various spheres of life and discover many useful and fascinating resources.

10. Do not be distracted by alarmists

Proper preparation for the English exam is the key to success and good mood. Surely before the exam, you will go to some forum studying English, where you will look for tips on how to prepare for the English exam. It happens that the participants in the discussion give very valuable recommendations, but you will hardly have to isolate them from the stream of complaints and panic messages about how “it is difficult to pass the exam”, “this year they promise super-complex tasks”. Such messages distract and push you away from your desired goal. Better to spend precious time on training or on vacation.

We hope that after reading our article you will no longer torment Google with the question "How to prepare for the English exam," but begin hard work and productive work. If you need help, try enrolling in the English Exam Preparation Course. Experienced teachers will be happy to help you prepare for the test. Passing an exam is not so difficult if you thoroughly prepare for it. We wish you no fluff, no feather!

Check yourself

It is simple to organize a self-examination on the exam - just find the online tests, do a few and look at the result. Universities usually have their own entrance examination programs.

“For verification, I buy problem books from a particular university over the past years and solve them. From year to year, the tasks themselves do not change much. But for the preparatory materials for a specific admission campaign, it is better to come to open house days. True, they usually take place long before exams, ”says Dina.

On exams in humanitarian subjects, it is usually necessary to verbally answer ticket questions.

Katerina helps just the humanities. To test herself for knowledge of topics, she advises finding a partner. “When my daughter prepares for the exams, we do it together. We choose a theme. She reads it first, then me. Then we tell each other how we understood and remembered her. Listening to someone else's interpretation is also very useful, ”says Katerina.

Tune in for the exam

You need to prepare for the exam not only knowledge, but also your own body. Sitting until late or not sleeping at all all night before an important day is the wrong tactic. “If you want to sleep, then you concentrate not on remembering and solving a problem, but on fighting sleep. In order for the brain to work to its fullest, it is necessary to satisfy all the needs of the body: get enough sleep and eat well, ”says Dina.

It is also necessary to refuse the help of sedatives. “A reasonable share of jitters should be. It’s a certain engine, ”the tutor says.

So that nothing distracts from passing the exams, from the night you need to prepare everything you need: clothes, shoes, documents, pencils, pens. “I advise students to bring along a notebook with notes. If before the exam itself it seems that you forgot something, you can look into it and calm down, ”says Dina.

For those who were unlucky with a ticket or were not able to prepare well in advance, Katerina advises answering with confidence, no matter what.

“It is very important to be able to defend your point of view at the exam. If the examiner says that you are wrong, listen to his arguments, agree, but offer your vision of the question. Your confidence and arguments will make your opponent understand that you still spent time preparing, and in addition, you have your own opinion. Now it’s very much appreciated, ”says Katerina.

There is a popular opinion that entrance exams to a university are easier to pass than an exam. If the test involves communication with the examiner, the ability to explain one’s point of view will play a significant role in the final assessment. But without the necessary knowledge, entering a university will not work. Quietly repeat everything you have learned, check your level, get enough sleep and confidently go to the exam.

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