Ep.5 Taking Exams

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Intro
Are tests easy for you, or do exams make you freak out? Some people have no problem taking and passing tests. They are able to go to an exam without feeling nervous, and they stay calm during the test. They push through the difficult parts and excel. Sometimes, people like this don’t even need to study. They can ace their tests with very little practice.
On the other hand, most people feel nervous before a test. The most difficult tests are final exams. Many people psych themselves out before a big test. They think about it too much and become more nervous. Feeling this way might give them sweaty palms. This is normal for many people, but it isn’t fun. Some people even feel sick before big tests. They might breathe too much and hyperventilate.
Jessica is nervous about her final exams, but Romeo is calm. Learn his secret in today’s English lesson about taking exams.
Dialogue
Romeo: Jessica, are you ready for your final?
Jessica: No! I am absolutely not ready for my final exams. I just feel so much pressure to ace it, and I don’t know… I’m starting to freak out. How are you doing?
Romeo: I’m ready. I’m just going to push through that fear of failure. I think the best thing to do when you’re in a situation like that… you’re getting ready to take your exam… is to just focus on that drive to succeed.
Jessica: Well, you always excel when it comes to test taking.
Romeo: Thank you. Thank you.
Jessica: I psych myself out. I get sweaty palms. I start to hyperventilate. I need some advice. Maybe, you can sit down, and we can do some practice exams.
Romeo: We can do that.
Jessica: You can help me relax into it a bit, so I actually ace it.
Romeo: OK, let’s do it!
Jessica: Alright. Thanks!
Romeo: You’re welcome.
Discussion
Jessica and Romeo are preparing for their final exams. Romeo is ready. He has studied, and he feels good about taking his tests. He is a little bit afraid of failing, but he has a great drive to succeed. He is trying to push through his fears, so he can focus on acing his tests.
Jessica is not ready for her finals, however. She becomes extremely nervous before tests. She experiences bad physical reactions, such as having sweaty palms or hyperventilating. She even has a psychological reaction and begins to doubt herself. Jessica asks Romeo to help her relax into her exams, so she can feel better about her finals.
How do you feel before a big test? Do you freak out, or do you stay calm?
Grammar Point
Simple Present Tense
Jessica is talking about how she feels before taking a test. She says, “I psych myself out. I get sweaty palms. I start to hyperventilate.” She uses three verbs in the simple present tense.
We use the simple present tense to talk about regular or habitual actions. When Jessica says, “I psych myself out. I get sweaty palms. I start to hyperventilate,” she uses the simple present tense because these things always happen to her. It is a fact of life for her.
With the pronouns I/you/we/they, regular verbs use the base form in the simple present tense. For example, “I play basketball,” or, “We love watching movies.”
With the pronouns he/she/it, most regular verbs use the base form with an –s ending, as in, “Devan hates the holidays.” When the verb ends with -ch, -sh or –ss, add –es, as in “She watches a lot of TV,” or, “He misses his mom.”
And remember, you can use “always” in front of a simple present verb to show that something happens all the time.
Which is correct, “I always brushes my teeth in the morning,” or, “I always brush my teeth in the morning”?
Quiz
❶ Which sentence is true?

  • Jessica has studied and feels ready for her exams.
  • Exams make Romeo feel very nervous.
  • Jessica is freaking out about her final exams.
  • Romeo doesn’t care if he passes his exams.

❷ Jessica does not __ before a test.

  • feel calm
  • psych herself out
  • get sweaty hands
  • hyperventilate

❸ When a person aces a test, they receive a grade of __.

  • F, below 60%
  • C, between 70% and 79%
  • B, between 80% and 89%
  • A, between 90% and 100%

❹ Which sentence does not use the simple present tense correctly?

  • My nose always itches when it is cold.
  • Every day, Mrs. Jones teach us a new word.
  • Maggie often searches for music on the Internet.
  • Each morning, my cats watch the birds in the window.

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