Here is some advice that should help you prepare for your end of term tests. If you follow the suggestions below, you will have the best chance to show your teachers what you know and understand of the subjects you are learning
This means that you do the work as it is set (and make up what you missed if you were away). You also make sure that you understand what you are doing, or ask for help if you don't.
Most teachers will give you a review sheet so that you can be pretty sure what to study for the tests. You could also find out which part of the test carries most marks.
Make sure you know the test schedule, and make a plan listing the subjects you are going to review in the evenings leading up to the exams.
There are many ways to study for exams. The best method will depend on the subject and the kind of questions you are going to be asked in the test. In every case, however, you will remember more if you do something active. This means that you shouldn't just read through your work again and again; you need to make study notes!
There are different kinds of study notes. For example, if you have to learn the important vocabulary of a topic, you could write the word on one side of a small card. On the other side you could a definition or examples of the word. The cards are now your study notes. (More on learning vocabulary from cards)
If you have to review a large and complicated topic like the French Revolution, your study notes could be an outline of the main events or a mind map of the important causes.
When you have finished your notes, you can ask someone to test you on them. You can also review them again at the last minute before the exam.
A little anxiety before an important test is a good thing, but some students get so nervous that they don't perform as well as they could. Of course, one way to avoid being nervous is to be well-prepared, for example by following the advice above. Another good thing to do is to make sure you get enough sleep. And don't spend all your time just working; you will study more effectively if you take time off to be with your friends or do some sports.
There are things you can do in the test itself to help you to get the best possible score. For example, you can ensure that you manage your time carefully. Don't rush into the first question. Look over the whole test and decide on the order in which to do the answers. Most students do the questions they find easiest first, and leave the harder ones until the end.
Another good test strategy is to make sure that you read the question carefully to understand exactly what you need to do. For many questions, it's helpful to spend some time thinking about how best to answer and making an outline.
Whether you got a good or a bad grade in your test, it is important you learn from it so that you can do a better job next time. Here are some of the ways that you could have gone wrong, followed by suggestions on how you can avoid the problems in the future.
Obviously it's important to keep up with the work in progress in your subject classes. If you don't understand something, make sure you ask your subject teacher or ESL teacher at the time. It's certainly not a good idea to wait until just before the exam to try and catch up with work you missed or didn't understand.
You can't expect to do well in a test if you don't review your notes. If follow the advice in section 1 above, you can be sure that you have done everything possible to prepare yourself properly.
If it is allowed, ask the teacher to explain what the question means. If you cannot ask, finish the questions you do understand before coming back to the difficult ones. You may now find that you understand what you have to do. If you are still unsure, make an intelligent guess on what your teacher is asking. Believe it or not, teachers do not set questions to trick students! They try to ask questions that test students' knowledge and understanding of the work they have been doing in class. Show the teacher what you know in your answer, even if you do not fully understand the question.
The advice is the same as in the previous paragraph. Leave the question until you have done all the others you are sure about. Then make an intelligent guess on how to answer.
Try to give some sort of answer in English. In most cases your teacher is interested only in seeing what you understand of the subject; the quality of your English is not nearly so important. If you really can't write anything in English, write your answer in your own language, and ask the teacher after the exam if he or she will allow another student to translate what you have written.
Listen carefully when the teacher gives back the test papers and discusses the answers. Make sure you understand where you went wrong, or what you left out. If you don't understand why you got a low score on the test or a particular question, ask the teacher!
It is easy to make silly mistakes in the pressure of exams. That's why you need to give yourself enough time at the end of your test to check through your work. It's a shame to lose points through carelessness rather than lack of knowledge.