NSE encourages students to expand their Spanish skill set


Addie Salvosa, Staff Reporter

The bell rings, and students in Spanish class log into their Chromebooks to access their test. This isn’t just any ordinary test though. Spanish students have the opportunity to take the National Spanish Exam or NSE in all levels of their high school Spanish career to earn achievements for their Spanish knowledge. 

Sophomore Mahika Bansal explained what encouraged her to take the National Spanish Exam.

“The National Spanish Exam seemed like a great opportunity to gain recognition and achievements in Spanish studies,” Bansal said. “Also, the exam had no risks affiliated with it, which made it more appealing.”

Spanish teacher Paola Hamann described the format of the test and how the amount of questions depend on what level of Spanish the students are testing for. 

“The exam has 2 parts,” Hamann said. “The grammar and vocabulary one has 50 questions and the Reading and Listening Comprehension has only 28. These numbers vary on the level as well. All the answers are multiple choice.”

Bansal detailed her experience taking the grammar and vocabulary part of the National Spanish exam and its level of difficulty.

“The exam was quite challenging, but for a lot of it, it was possible to make an educated guess,” Bansal said.

On the other hand, junior Charlynn Maina had an easier time and mentally reassured herself as she was taking the exam.

“It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be,” Maina said. “I tend to over exaggerate how hard things, like tests, will be, so I was relieved by how easy it was.”

Hamann explained how teachers have been helping their students prepare and listed some methods for students to prepare on their own.

“The NSE has a great website that has all the information to prepare for the test, Hamann said. “It has all the topics for each level, it provides links to vocabulary practice sites, and it also has access to past online exams. Additionally, teachers this year opened up their tutorials to help students navigate through the sample tests.”

Maina described how Hamann’s tutorials helped her succeed and how staying positive allowed her to persevere.

“The tips Señora Hamann gave during the tutorial she held were the most important things I kept in mind,” Maina said. “Occasionally reminding myself that I know more than I think helped me get through the whole thing.”

Maina talked about how whatever the outcome is, the exam will help her remain confident as she speaks another language.

“In a weird way, no matter the results,” Maina said, “I think the exam will enlist confidence in my abilities in communicating with others.”