As you might already know, I can no longer answer everyone's comments because I don't have enough time. However, I do read them all, and I'll try to choose a few to answer every week.
Here are my answers to a few questions from this week:
1. In the reading test, is it a good idea to skim all of the questions before looking for the answers?
No, I think you'll waste time if you do that, and you will probably forget most of the questions that you skimmed. My advice is to start straight away with question 1 (unless it's a 'paragraphs' question - do those last).
2. In the reading test, is it a good idea to read the first line of each paragraph before starting the questions?
No, I would have a quick look at the title and maybe the first few lines of the whole passage (to see what the topic is), then go straight to the questions.
3. Can I write everything in capital letters in the writing test?
When I trained as an examiner, we were told that students should not write in capitals in the writing test. Somebody told me that this rule has changed, but personally I still think it's better not to write essays in capital letters.
4. How can I improve my grammar and reduce the number of mistakes I make?
Learn from your mistakes! Every time you make a mistake, you have a learning opportunity. If you analyse your mistakes and/or ask someone to explain what you did wrong, your grammar will gradually improve. This kind of hard work is the only solution.