Exams: Final Tips Part 2
The day of the exams has finally arrived and you are trembling from anxiety. However normal this might be, remember that this is your final exam. This is the day that you prove how hard you have worked and how efficient you are in delivering all the knowledge that you have assimilated. Keep in mind that on the actual day of the exam you do not fight against any potential lack of knowledge but mainly against time and stress.
You are responsible to manage your time in a smart and effective way so that it does not pass you by uncontrollably during the exam. Should such thing happen, it will result in your stress increasing a lot more, as you will feel that you will not have time to complete everything as you were initially planning.
Stress management is an entirely different issue since the inability to control your anxiety will undoubtedly lead to a complete brain black-out, in which everything will be in a blur, confused and mixed or utterly lost. You definitely want to avoid that! So, no matter how stressed you are, think positive, acknowledge that you have put in the required work, that you have everything that you need to pass guarded in your mind, even if at this very moment you actually do not seem to remember any of that! This is also a common and totally expected feeling at this stage!
Let’s see how you can battle these two factors by forming a strong organization and keeping your concentration to the maximum!
So, for each part of the exam separately:
♠ The Listening Part:
No matter how many parts the Listening Examination is divided into or how many times you are instructed to listen to it, every examination will give you some minutes before each part begins to prepare. You should not let these moments pass wondering what’s about to come and stressing yourselves even more.
Take your pencil or pen in hand and go through the questions that you see written on the exam paper and underline or circle the keywords you can detect in them. Words like “when”, “where”, “how”, “who” and others as such will offer you the key points that you will need to focus on when the recording starts! Please, Do Not read the answers that could be written under the questions for you to choose from. Even if you are quick enough to go through the answers, doing such a thing will only confuse you as most of the things written there are about to be mentioned in the recording, nonetheless not as an answer to the things you are required to respond to.
So, Yes to underlining key words in the questions and knowing what piece of information you are about to detect but No to skimming through the answers (of course, this is for mulptiple-choice style examinations).
Before we move on to another part, I am sure that some of you have found out that it is convenient for you to write things down as you listen while others simply can concentrate better only if you just listen. Maintain the style that you have already chosen and do not try experimenting on the exam day.
♠The Grammar/Vocabulary/Reading Section:
In most exams, these three parts come together as one.
When they don’t, things are a lot easier for you because you are already assigned with specific time to complete each one so that you don’t have to worry about the organization of time yourselves.
When they do though, come in one section, it is in your personal responsibility to divide your time cleverly into three parts without losing control over it and doing the parts randomly. My personal suggestion is that you dedicate the 2/3 of your time and start from the Reading Part. This is the most logical thing to do as all the answers that you need are right there in front of you, so no matter if you are well prepared for this part or not, if you pay close attention to the texts you will find the answers.
When the time that you had set on the Reading Part has passed, either you have completed all tasks or not, answer everything even quickly and with uncertainty and just move on! Don’t spend even one more minute than the time that you had planned! Now, it is time to go over to the Grammar Part of the exam, as also compared to the Vocabulary, in this one also you are likely to achieve more answers correctly. Leave for the last part of our time, the Vocabulary Section, as you are bound to meet quite a few unknown questions here, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. Just complete everything, with your gut answer, don’t linger between answers and move on to the next one.
♠The Speaking Part:
By this time, you must have practised enough your speaking skills throughout your preparation period. The day of the Speaking Exam, is the day that you dress up well, you don’t forget to wear your warm smile and you embrace your confidence, as a person who has the strength to succeed with all that effort that they have been making.
Bear in mind that it is truly useful to have a small piece of paper with a number of linking words and beautiful phrases on it. These phrases will surely come in handy, no matter the topic that you will engage in speaking. Taking a good look at them before you enter the room of the exam will offer you more chances or retaining them and using most of them during your Speaking Exam.
Remember also, that it is all right if you do ask the examiner to repeat themselves or to explain something unknown to you. You will not be marked negatively for it!
I guess that’s all you need to know before the actual day of your exams!
Stay positive, optimistic and always believe in yourselves! You can do this, as so many others before you have done so!