Learn English: 8 TEST & EXAM Expressions

Learn English: 8 TEST & EXAM Expressions

http://www.engvid.com/ If you have a test coming up, you are probably talking about it with your classmates to prepare for it. Describe your testing experience accurately by learning some common expressions that are often used when talking about tests and exams. Some examples include “procrastinate”, “cram”, “pull an all-nighter”, “burn the midnight oil”, “pass with flying colors”, “flunk”, and “pass by the skin of your teeth”. After watching, KILL THAT QUIZ with your new knowledge!


Hello. My name is Emma, and in today’s video, I am going to teach you seven test expressions. Okay? So, seven expressions that have to do with exams, finals, tests, quizzes, whatever you call them. So this video is very useful to you if you are in university or college, in high school, if you’re taking the TOEFL or the IELTS, and also if you just want to learn some expressions for when you talk about when you were in school. Okay?

So, without further ado, let’s talk about these seven expressions. The first expression: “Procrastinate”. Okay? This is a very long word that actually has a simple meaning. Procrastinate. If you procrastinate, this is the first thing you do before you do a test. Procrastinate is where you don’t study right away. For example, maybe you’re very stressed about your test and you just don’t want to study, so maybe you watch a movie, maybe you hang out with your friends, maybe you go to the bar. Maybe, like me, you spend a lot of time on Facebook or Twitter instead of actually studying for your exam. So, when you procrastinate, it means that you are not studying. In fact, you are doing everything but studying. Okay? So we call this “procrastinate”. And we don’t just use this for exams and tests. You can also use this word when it comes to projects, assignments, taxes; anything where you need to do work and you really don’t want to do the work, so you do something else instead. Okay?

So let’s look at our example sentence. “Facebook helped me procrastinate.” So before my test, I went on Facebook, I didn’t study, I procrastinated. Okay? And because this is a long word, let’s just practice pronunciation. Pro. Okay? So say this with me. Pro. Procras, procras. Procrastin, procrastin. Procrastinate. Procrastinate. And you’ll notice the “cras”, procrastinate, is the loud part. Okay? If you are a person who always procrastinates, you, my friend, are a procrastinator. Okay? You are a procrastinator. A procrastinator is a person who always procrastinates.

So let’s look at the next expression. If you have been procrastinating, and you’ve had weeks and weeks to study for your exam but you didn’t, then this is when you might have to pull an all-nighter. Okay? “Pull an all-nighter.” What does this mean? Well, I want you to look at this word here, “night”. So, when you pull an all-nighter, it has to do with nighttime. It’s where you study the whole night. You do not sleep, so no sleep. All you do is study all night. You might do this if you have an exam or a test the next day. You will stay awake all night studying. This usually happens after procrastination. Okay? So, pull an all-nighter. Pull an all-nighter.

Let’s look at an example sentence. A very simple sentence, but: “Last night, I pulled an all-nighter for my math test.” I stayed up all night studying. I pulled an all-nighter. It’s a little bit of a strange expression, because we have the word “pull” an all-nighter. It’s a little strange, but very, very common.

The next word: “cram”. Okay? So here we have a verb, “cram”. “Cram” is similar to “pull an all-nighter”, although you can cram for weeks, so the time here is a little different. When you cram, it means you study very, very hard. It’s like you are studying all day, all night. You’re just always studying, and you’re studying a lot in a very short time. You might have a week to cram, you might have two days to cram. Okay? So it’s not always one night; it can be a week, a couple of days, but you’re trying to put a lot of information in your head. You’re trying to learn a lot in a short time. So, before a test, you will have to cram. You will have to study hard. “Study hard” and “cram” are synonyms. Okay?

So let’s look at an example. “I have crammed a lot for the test.”, “I have crammed a lot for the test.” This means I have studied hard for the test. I’ve studied for the past two weeks for this test. I’ve crammed. I’ve filled my head up with all this knowledge.

Okay, the next expression: “Burn the midnight oil”. “Burn the midnight oil” is very, very similar to “pull an all-nighter”. Okay? Again, we have this idea of night, midnight. If you burn the midnight oil, it has nothing to do with oil. Okay? Maybe historically, yes, but nowadays, if you say you burn the midnight oil, it means you stay up all night, just like an all-nighter and you pretty much study or you do something all night, working hard. Okay?