Test yourself
07.11.2012

Test yourself

Teaching tip

You might have noticed that the 'Test yourself' pages in 'Network Now A1' are different from those in 'A1 Starter'. That's because we've used them to introduce typical exercise formats from the telc A1 Test, the first exam that your students can take. Click here to find out how to help them use these pages effectively ...



You'll find a Test yourself page at the end of each unit and, as in A1 Starter, the idea is to give students the chance to see how well they've learnt the material in the unit itself. As the key is at the back of the book, your students can do the test at home and then mark it themselves, only asking you about answers which are not clear to them.

 

In this month's Teaching tip, we'd like to offer some advice and suggestions on helping your students make the most of these pages, whether you use them in class or get your students to do them independently at home.
 

Using the Test yourself pages in the classroom


You may decide to give time to the Test yourself pages in the lesson.
Here are some ideas to make it as much fun as possible:


Do a quiz


Introducing a competitive team element means that students can work with others in a fun way. Put the students into small groups and ask them to choose a name for their team.

  • Get them to do the Language elements exercises (exercise 1 on each Test yourself page) together. Go through the correct answers and keep a tally on the board of how many each team got right. 
  • Give them a timeframe to do the Reading comprehension exercises (Units 1, 3 and 5) and tell them the team must agree on the answers. Add the scores to the tally on the board.
  • Give the teams time after the listening exercises to agree on the answers.

Have a prize ready for the winning team(s).

General tips for you

  • Giving students time to read the questions before listening or reading is very important. If appropriate, get them to try to predict what the answer might be too. This will prepare them better for the exercise and mirrors real-life, where we often know something about the situation we are using language in and automatically think about what might be said.
  • Take time to go through the answers. It's very important to help students understand why a particular answer is correct and why the incorrect ones are not possible. Get your students into the habit of justifying their answers ("That preposition doesn't work here."; "That word is plural so we need these.") and they'll feel a lot more secure in their language abilities.

Exam strategies for your students

As we all know, good English is not enough to pass language exams: we also need good exam strategies. Encourage your students to adopt the following ones:

  • Read questions first in reading and listening exercises
    (e.g. page 42, exercise 2 and page 100, exercise 2).

    It not only prepares students better if they read the questions before reading or listening, but it also saves time, and being efficient can make a difference. Encourage your students to always(!) take the time to read the questions first, even if they have the impression that it takes too much time!
     
  • Do the questions you find easiest first.

    There are several advantages to getting these ones out of the way first:
  • It's a good opportunity to 'get into' the English language easily before having to face the more difficult exercises.
  • The psychological effect of being able to do some of the exercises easily is extremely positive and will give the student confidence when tackling the more difficult questions.
  • If the students spent too much time on the more difficult questions, they might not have time to do the others and would give away easy points.
     
  • Pace yourself.

    Students should have a rough idea how long they'll need for each section and keep, more-or-less, to this timing. They can always go back to an unfinished, difficult task if they have time at the end.

    Encourage them to include time to go through their answers again – although most people find this incredibly annoying, it's amazing how many silly mistakes can get picked up at this stage. And students will see that their results improve.
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