CEFR as a learning tool?

For those of you who have taken language exams, how much did you learn from studying for the exam? Did you find that you were more motivated, and that your learning increased a lot when you had an exam deadline? Or was it more stressful than helpful?


Hey @stefilios!

It depends on the person but for me deadlines have always been a good motivation to work… the last days before the exam haha! Those few days/weeks of hard work were still beneficial though! :nerd_face:

I know that some of my students have set a goal of taking a language exam a few months or even a year later, and it helps them to be regular and diligent in their practice. :muscle:
If you’re organized, I think it’s a really good idea and if it’s a personal goal then the stress of taking an exam is probably less (because there’s less at stake). :hugs:


Hi @stefilios. That is a good question. I’ve taken many CEFR exams in 3 languages and I must say they always keep me motivated, and somehow they push me to learn things faster. It is stressful, but what type of exam isn’t?. In the end, the satisfaction when one can accomplish the goal makes one feel great and capable of more :blush: :raised_hands:. And even when one doesn’t pass the exam I’m quite sure one has already learned a lot through the process.

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Hi @stefilios,

I haven’t taken any CEFR exams myself but I have tutored English students in preparation for their exams, and I think it really does help students advance their language skills because it encourages them to use all their language skills in a more active way.

Many learners have lots of passive knowledge, that is, if they read or hear a word they will recognise and understand it. But that doesn’t mean that it comes to their mind naturally when they are speaking. When we speak we are drawing on our active knowledge, language we can recall easily and use appropriately.

When practising for an exam, students work harder to use a range of vocabulary and grammar structures, which is usually more sophisticated or precise, than they would in their everyday conversations, because this is one of the criteria for getting a good score in an exam.

I think whether this process feels motivating or stressful depends on the person, so I’m not sure how it will feel for you! But in any case, I think the extra pressure that an exam date puts on a student does indeed help them to advance faster.

And after the exam, the relief and the reward of a good result is totally worth it! :blush: