How do you feel on test day?
Around 5,000 candidates around the world will be arriving to sit OET today. That’s a lot of adrenalin that’s going to be created from all the nervous energy felt before the test starts!
When you arrive at the test venue, look around. You will see all sorts of people waiting to take the test with you: some will look confident, some will look petrified and many will be somewhere on the spectrum in between.
Are you taking the test today for the first time?
The vast majority will be taking the test for the first time. If this is you, then you will have the fear of the unknown to deal with. You will feel anxious about whether the preparation you have completed will be sufficient to help you achieve the grade you want. You will know the theory of how the test will go: the order of the papers, the types of questions you will find but you haven’t tried it out for real yet.
If today is your first day then this article should help you to breathe more deeply and relax: don’t let your nerves spoil your chances of success.
What if it’s your second time?
Some will be returning to the test for a second or maybe third attempt. If this is you, then you will have a different type of anxiety. The fear of having been unsuccessful at the grade you wanted the first time around and the wish to avoid this today. You will feel anxious about whether the efforts you have made to improve your skills since the last test will be sufficient to be successful today.
Advice to be second time better
If this is not the first time you have taken the test then I have some different advice for you. Of course you can apply the same advice from the article above but what’s going to be more important is to put your previous experiences out of your mind. They will not help you today.
Take each paper as it comes. Don’t compare it with the one you did before. Don’t compare how you feel about it once it is complete with the way that other candidates nearby look like they found it. Definitely don’t let your feelings about one part of the test impact another section of the test.
All too often, candidates report that they felt they hadn’t done very well in one section of the test and, after this, they hadn’t felt able to concentrate so well on the other parts of the test. However, when they received their results, they found that they had achieved the grade they wanted in the part of the test they hadn’t felt confident about but not in the other parts. Their feelings from the one had unnecessarily affected their performance in the other.
Believe in yourself
Everyone in the test room with you will have their own strengths and weaknesses so ignore them. Their opinions about what the test is like are of no importance to you. In the time between each part of the test while papers are collected and distributed, calm your thoughts. Let the previous test go and remind yourself of key preparation points which you have been working on for the part which is coming next.
Believe in yourself and the preparation you have done. Don’t give up. Ever. Keep that belief strong right until the end of your Speaking test and you walk out the test venue door and go home.
Do your best!