How to Prepare for an Oral Language Exam
It’s safe to say, most of us don’t get overly excited about the thought of an oral language exam. They can be stressful to think about, especially if you don’t feel prepared. But not to worry! We’re here to help! In this article, we will teach you everything you need to know about preparing for an oral exam. Here are some tips that will lead you on the road to success.
Utilize Studying Resources
There are endless amounts of studying resources available to help you prepare for an oral exam. From videos on YouTube to virtual flashcards, there is something for every type of learner. When It comes to studying, you must know what your weaknesses are. Do you struggle with pronouncing certain words or need to brush up on verbs? Focus primarily on these areas and utilize resources that will help refine these skills.
Another way to study (that doesn’t even feel like studying) is to watch movies or tv shows in the language you are learning. For example, studying for a French oral exam? Why not change the language preference on Netflix to French? Or, if you are more of a visual learner, turn on the subtitles to French and read along. Exposing yourself to the language you are learning outside of traditional studying will not only make it easier to retain, but it’s also fun and entertaining!
One of the best things you can do when preparing for an oral exam is to stay organized. This can simply be done by creating a daily schedule on your phone or writing out a to-do list. Not only will staying organized help keep you focused, but it will also make you less anxious as you have carefully planned out how you’re going to prioritize your time. Organization also comes in handy when taking notes. Depending on what methods work for you, you can highlight keynotes or color coordinate your books according to the area of study.
Another great way to stay organized is to set big and small goals every day leading up to your oral exam. For example, you could set the goal of scoring 100% on an online quiz or simply studying for one hour straight without being distracted by your phone. Also, DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO START STUDYING. Plan ahead and organize your studying schedule accordingly.
Take Care of Yourself
Do not underestimate the power of taking care of your mental health during exam prep. This is something that is often overlooked but extremely important for your success. Most of us become overwhelmed and quickly burn out when in the midst of study. However, by prioritizing self-care, you will be more productive and successful in your studying efforts. Making time for breaks throughout your studying schedule will help you retain information and improve your focus. The breaks don’t have to be long, even going for a 15-minute walk outside will allow your mind to reset. Try to take a break every 90 minutes to prevent study fatigue.
It is also a good idea to be conscious of what you are consuming. For example, it can be easy to overload on caffeine when you are in hardcore study mode. You want to be alert and think caffeine will give you an energy boost, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Too much caffeine can cause anxiety and make it difficult to sleep- two things that are not ideal for exam prep. You should also try to fuel your body with foods that increase energy levels naturally and improve memory retention so that you can take full advantage of your study time. Consider having some snacks on hand like nuts, dried fruits or yogurt.
Practice Practice Practice
Repetition is key, especially when it comes to becoming fluent in a new language. Practicing will be a huge help when preparing for an oral language exam. One of the most effective ways to practice a language is through conversation. If you have a friend or family member who is fluent in the language you’re studying, make arrangements to sit down and chat with them. Pretend you are in the actual exam and focus on questions or skill areas you think will be important. Encourage them to offer you feedback on areas in which they believe you could improve.
If you don’t have anyone to practice with, find a mirror! It may sound silly to have conversations with yourself, but it works! Time yourself for ten minutes and choose a topic to talk to yourself about. This is also an excellent way to watch your body language as you want to be confident when you speak. Another great way to practice is to record yourself speaking on your phone. This way, you can go back and listen to the recording to see which areas you need to improve in. It will also help you know if you’re concise with your answers, as many people tend to ramble!
You’ve studied hard, practiced at least a million times, and even perfected those pronunciations that you use to struggle with- now what? As the big day of your exam finally approaches, there are a few things you’ll want to remember. The night before your exam, try your best to get a good night’s sleep. Go to bed earlier than usual and maybe even try to do an activity that you find relaxing. Also, make sure to layout any items you will need to bring with you to the exam, such as an identification card or signed forms. Therefore, you won’t have to hurry around in the morning to find them. And one last thing to remember- be confident!! When you’re confident, you can accomplish anything!
With all the tips and tools discussed in this article, you will be well prepared to conquer your oral language exam! Good luck!