How to Prepare for an Exam?

The last question on my Beginners Spanish final exam was: “How did you prepare for this exam?” The students had to answer the question in the past.

Some of them went over the grammar to prepare, some read the textbook, other looked at their notes. One student, however, wrote the following,”I didn’t really prepare. I just watched Latin American soap operas and El sabado gigante. And on my way to class, I listened to some Spanish music.”

Not only did this student do a lot better on the exam than everybody else, she also did a lot better than I expected her to.

Well, at least one person had taken my recommendations as to how to prepare for the exam seriously. The students seem to think that I’m trying to be funny when I say that the best way to prepare for a language exam is by watching TV and listening to music.


4 thoughts on “How to Prepare for an Exam?”

  1. Sabado Gigante? I haven’t seen that in a while. I don’t get cable, and the channel that used to be the Cleavage Channel (Univision) in my area is now a Christianist channel.


  2. This is wonderful. I am always distressed when students try to learn the entire course the night before the exam. I tried this exactly once as an undergrad and realized that it was a bad idea very quickly.

    I am also distressed that students try to “prepare” for the SAT, GRE, and similar tests. This at least I never did as a student.


  3. My students think I’m kidding too, even when I tell them I have specifically designed their final such that the best way to study for it is to read and listen to a lot of Arabic!


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