You’re in high school, it’s the end of the year, and now you have to take your Spanish finals, or maybe your SAT Spanish subject test.
It’s no longer about learning Spanish—it’s too late for that now! To pass your Spanish test, you will need to have been working for at least the previous school year, if not for many years at this point!
So how should you tackle reviewing for a big Spanish test?
Don’t worry test-takers, in addition to your notebooks and corrected past exams, a private tutor is here to help you.
Passing a Spanish test can sometimes depend on the professor!
Before taking the big test, some students might need the help of a personalized tutor to help review.
It might simply be a need to be reassured. An intensive language-immersion trip or activity before the test can help reassure students and lower their stress level so they can pass the test with flying colors.
Other students might need the proper setting to work. All year, they are encouraged or guided by their professors and their fellow students and then a few weeks before the test they find themselves alone, trying to review, and don’t know where to start or how to work alone. They can’t motivate themselves and it’s especially difficult when the warm weather returns and others are enjoying themselves outside! It’s another trial that tests which students are the most motivated to succeed!
Taking private Spanish lessons gives students a framework in which to review for the test. Students are obliged to follow a specific plan, just like in their high school classes, and a teacher is there to steer them and to “force” them to work.
The test-taker might also have a methodology problem and thus their way of reviewing might be utterly inefficient. At-home Spanish lessons can help a student find their own way of reviewing in order to pass even the most dreaded of exams.
Finally, no matter what kind of language test a student is studying for, there are generally three different areas the test will cover: reading, writing, and listening skills. A student might have difficulties with listening comprehension, or with written expression, and private teachers can help focus on and improve each student’s weaknesses, whether that be pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, turns of phrase, or making logical connectors.
Don’t forget that if you are taking the SAT Spanish subject test, you have the option of taking the standard test, or the test with a listening component.
We’re not suggesting you make an art project out of it, but clean and well-organized study notes are better for reviewing!
Meeting your teacher in an informal manner, for example at a coffee shop, will allow you to see if you can work well together, but also to speak about your needs, your weak spots, and your strengths. The Spanish professor will thus be able to better orient the test preparations for their students.
The teacher must make sure that their lessons are up to date and legible to keep from losing precious time. Bringing previous homework and tests to the lessons can be a good way of illustrating a student’s strong points and weaknesses in order for the teacher to know what areas to focus on.
Good at-home tutors, contrary to those in the high school classroom, must be able to adapt their lessons to the students’ needs. They shouldn’t settle for following a general test review without paying attention to the students’ individual needs. It’s possible to review the concepts posing the most difficulty for the students, but the most important thing is to prepare for the test and to review in a way that will guarantee the best chance of passing.
Are you ready to review your Spanish?
One idea might be to make worksheets or flash cards to review. More than a simple list of words, your review sheets should be specific to what subjects will be on the test. Generally, language tests include a written component, a reading comprehension component, and perhaps a listening or speaking component as well. Make sure your review includes all of these different areas.
The Spanish teacher can, and I would even say should, utilize pedagogical resources such as corrected past tests, quizzes, and homework assignments. Reviewing past exams allows a student to better prepare for what awaits them. It’s practically impossible to speculate about what texts will appear on the test.
On the other hand, the vocabulary and grammar questions generally focus on lessons taught in class, so make sure to review your class notes to be well prepared. For listening comprehension, it’s essential to prepare by training your ear, so listen to Spanish beforehand. Try watching YouTube videos!
The private tutor should also help the student to identify their strengths and weaknesses in terms of memorization: is the student more of a visual learner, auditory learner, or a kinesthetic learner?
Teachers can combine several methods to aid memorization:
Multiple-choice questions can also be a fun and different way of learning and reviewing.
To avoid finding yourself unprepared during the exam, it is important to take a practice test. The advantage of having a private tutor is that they can correct the practice test for you and also give you the tools to succeed. They might even help you to get a very high score thanks to their Spanish skills.
Working on your writing and reasoning skills is a good way to gain points on your test by using prepositions, logical connectors, and literary devices.
Sometimes practicing for the oral component can feel a bit theatrical, but it’s so necessary for review that you practice conversations with your private tutor.
Your private tutor can help you figure out how to organize an essay draft. Just as with an English test, it’s important to have a coherent argument and not be too scatterbrained. You probably won’t have time to edit your essay, so you should instead focus on using key words that will help you remember important concepts and which will help you to clearly convey your ideas.
A private tutor can help you to write draft essays before your test.
Regular assessments with your professor can help you to manage your stress levels. If that’s not enough, you can also do relaxation exercises with your teacher in order to lower your overall stress level and improve your public speaking abilities.
Whether you’re studying Spanish in order to pursue a journalism degree, a business degree, or a literary career, Spanish and foreign languages in general are important to study and can play a role in choosing your professional path. Study abroad in college, or as a gap year after high school, can be pretty cool and not too difficult if you already have a pretty good grasp on the language.
If you don’t want to fall behind in your studies, why not find a private tutor who can help you throughout the year?
Learning and reviewing regularly over the long term is a good way to ensure that you will maintain a high level of Spanish.
An at-home Spanish teacher can set you on an intensive course during Easter vacation or the week before a big test for example.
A student who has chosen to take this path will have a more manageable stress level because their knowledge will be reinforced over time. Passing a big Spanish test isn’t that complicated! Trust in your Spanish teacher.