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Preparing for the Certificate Tests
by Trudi

Certificate tests will be happening over the next two weeks, and it is a good time to give some information about understanding and preparing for the coming tests for students in Levels 4 to 10.

Patricia wrote a wonderfully helpful weekly feature that you should review. 

First, you should try to attend as many classes as possible. Often the teachers will mention the tests in class and will give students information on how to perform better on them. Also, you should study your English workbook. Try to finish it. Some of the questions on the grammar portion of the test may be very similar to the workbook. Make sure you know how to use all punctuation and capitals properly.

All the tests have a grammar section. They also have a reading section. The reading will be one you have never seen before, so there may be some unfamiliar vocabulary.

Remember to use context clues to guess the meaning. There are usually some hints in the sentences before and after the unknown word. The third section on the test will be writing.

All levels need to write clear complete sentences. English 6, 7 and 8 also need to write a good paragraph. English 9 and 10 need to write a good essay. Make sure you write only on one of the topics given. You have probably practiced doing this many times in your class.

No dictionaries are allowed during the tests, but don’t let that worry you. Everyone is in the same situation. Try to relax and do your best. The following weekly features are especially helpful to prepare for the upcoming certificate tests:


Essay Writing

Writing an Essay: Part One

Writing an Essay: Part Two

Writing an Essay: Part Three


Feature on Alliteration (Poetic Technique)

Feature on Using Semicolons

Feature on Using Coordinating Conjunctions (FANBOYS)

Feature on Using the Correct Verb

Practice Sentences Using Skillswise

Using Articles in Grammar (Part 2)

Using Articles in Grammar (Part 1)

Using Adjectives and Adverbs in Writing

Vivid Verbs

Weekly Feature on Commas

Paragraph Writing

Editing a 20 Error Paragraph

Four Sample Paragraphs

Writing a Descriptive Paragraph

Feature on Writing Topic Sentences

Other Resources

Reading Comprehension Exercises Online

Resource Page for Certificate Tests (Many more resources)


Test taking tips:

Here are some test-taking tips that will help you get ready for any test:

         Attend as many classes as you can – teachers will give information about what to study

         Ask your teacher what to study for the test

         Go over any work that was done in class

         Get some sleep before the test – do not stay up all night studying

         Eat before the test and/or bring snacks to the test (quiet snacks – no chips)

         Bring lots of pens and pencils so that you are ready to go

         Budget your time, make sure you have time to finish the test and review your answers

         Try to relax and breathe during the test

Some rules to remember:

         No electronics (dictionaries/phones) allowed  - put away in a pocket or bag

         All bags and books must be put away – on the floor or bookshelf

The most important thing to do is to try your best.

Good luck.

Weekly Feature Index

(Includes all 2002 to date Weekly Features with descriptions)