Speaking Exams and nervousness... Watch

HmmmInteresting
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I don't know if I'm the only one, but I find speaking exams (in particular, German GCSE) particularly nerveracking. I completely screwed up my mock by just going blank on my presentation, and then consequently got all choked up for my general converstaion. AAARGH! How can I overcome this?! No matter how hard I try or practice I still can't do it... in fact, I was pretty close to tears I am ashamed to say:confused:

...any suggestions on how you approach speaking exams?
Help would be MUCH appreciated - thanks!
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Inquisitive
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You could try practising by recording yourself so that it becomes natural to hear yourself speaking.

Also, concentrate on the content of the speech rather than the process of it.
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omfgski
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Prepare, prepare, prepare! If your weakness, like mine, is making things up on the spot, prepare some things that are likely to come up, or revise the sentence structures that you will need most. In the exam, try to stick to what you have prepared while keeping natural. Well, that's what I find anyway!
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kellywood_5
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I have sort of the same problem, except that for some reason I tend to go to pieces and end up on the verge of tears when practicing with the assistant, but am then fine in the actual exam and do really well :confused: Not that I'm complaining, but I've always found that quite weird given how worked up I get over them beforehand! Anyway, the only thing you can really do is practice as much as possible, even if it means talking to yourself, and as someone else said, record yourself. I have a dictaphone to record my distance learning GCSE Spanish assignments and send them to my tutor and I'm finding it really helpful that I've got used to the sound of my own voice now!
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leannemarie
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I was actually crying when I started my Spanish mock. The assistant had a really big go at me before because I forgot something that she didn't tell me to bring. But I was crying because "hace calor" or something like that . I also almost ended up in tears when she told me we were having a mock when I hadn't even done my debate. But when it got to the actual mock I was fine, for once I really got into it and enjoyed it. Maybe I'm sad... My tip is not to look at the microphone and look at who you're talking to and treat it like an actual conversation. If you're debating, really set your stance and don't be afraid! General conversation is more difficult, but try to avoid the temptation of overlearning things because trying to recite them in an exam can often sound clumsy and increase nerves.
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Gael
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I got full marks on my GCSE oral, and then got a B for my AS oral and an A for my mock A2. In my opinion, the oral exams are not a good measure of your speaking ability by any stretch of the imagination. I know I'm a good talker. sure i make mistakes, i'm only human, but i prefer to speak quickly and with some fluency and make a few errors than ponder over it with no mistakes making the conversation as slow as a snail riding a snail. I got penalised in my A2 mock for talking too fast! It's silly, because some great speakers are often not given great marks, because the mark scheme revolves around lexis and all that bull****. I mean how often in a real conversation do you say :si hubiera +gerundio...habria + gerundio...bla bla. i'm not saying it's never said, but just because you don't include it, doesn't mean you're not a good speaker....

[/rant] sorry.
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HmmmInteresting
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Thanks, that's really helpful! xxxx
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Piggsil
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I've had a few teary/panicky moments in oral mocks, but it's definitely all about preparation, practise and staying calm. I agree with drsmeeth that oral exams aren't the best way to test your speaking ability - I just used to learn my presentations off by heart, how is that good? But you have to play to what the examiners want and that means doing a load of crap stuff like presentations.
I still get really nervous before oral exams, so I do breathing exercises to calm myself down, and once I'm in there try to get really involved in the conversation. If it's not going my way, I'll turn the topic to something I'm really passionate about, because if you are passionate about what you're talking about you'll do better! Hence me doing my exam exposé this year on 'L'effet Zidane - pourquoi est-ce qu'il a disparu? La violence at le racisme dans le foot français'
I can't wait to talk about it!
Good luck with future oral exams!
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kellywood_5
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(Original post by drsmeeth)
i'm not saying it's never said, but just because you don't include it, doesn't mean you're not a good speaker....
True, but how else are exam boards supposed to know you know how to use complicated structures, tenses etc if you don't use them in the exam?
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shinytoy
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(Original post by HmmmInteresting)
I don't know if I'm the only one, but I find speaking exams (in particular, German GCSE) particularly nerveracking. I completely screwed up my mock by just going blank on my presentation, and then consequently got all choked up for my general converstaion. AAARGH! How can I overcome this?! No matter how hard I try or practice I still can't do it... in fact, I was pretty close to tears I am ashamed to say:confused:

...any suggestions on how you approach speaking exams?
Help would be MUCH appreciated - thanks!

mines was terrible. i got scared in the french oral and despite being an a* student i couldnt remember the word for 'what' lol. i think just practise all the time, maybe have a day of speaking only french. or visit france over the easter. and on the day, read through it all before you go in andbe weel prepared. arrive about 10 mins early - earlier and you'll have time to panic, later and you might miss it.good luck
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NickiM
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As others have said make sure you're really prepared - record your presentation, memorise it off by heart, get other people to ask you the questions. I also play music, and one thing which people say for nervousness is to eat a banana 1/2 hour before you do something stressful
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leannemarie
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(Original post by drsmeeth)
I got full marks on my GCSE oral, and then got a B for my AS oral and an A for my mock A2. In my opinion, the oral exams are not a good measure of your speaking ability by any stretch of the imagination. I know I'm a good talker. sure i make mistakes, i'm only human, but i prefer to speak quickly and with some fluency and make a few errors than ponder over it with no mistakes making the conversation as slow as a snail riding a snail. I got penalised in my A2 mock for talking too fast! It's silly, because some great speakers are often not given great marks, because the mark scheme revolves around lexis and all that bull****. I mean how often in a real conversation do you say :si hubiera +gerundio...habria + gerundio...bla bla. i'm not saying it's never said, but just because you don't include it, doesn't mean you're not a good speaker....

[/rant] sorry.
Same here! I got full marks in GCSE and then a B at AS! I think I might be penalised in my A2 mock for talking too quickly and not thinking enough. I should have said si hubiera a lot but I kept forgetting because it's much easier and more natural not to say it. In my debate my teacher seemed to keep agreeing with me which was a bit worrying!
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Piggsil
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(Original post by leannemann)
Same here! I got full marks in GCSE and then a B at AS! I think I might be penalised in my A2 mock for talking too quickly and not thinking enough. I should have said si hubiera a lot but I kept forgetting because it's much easier and more natural not to say it. In my debate my teacher seemed to keep agreeing with me which was a bit worrying!
Lol, a similar thing happened to me in the debate. In my mock my teacher challenged everything I said so I was able to argue loads, but in the exam we ad a visiting examiner and he seemed to agree with me all the time! I didn't get to argue, i was really disappointed!
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Ludivine
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Most people find it awful, clearly. I tended to find that however nervous I was, in the exam I would pull through and get plenty out bc you just know it's an exam. I highly doubt you will end up getting very little out on the actual thing. Try to have a bit more confidence if possible; adopt a German alter-ego or something! Good luck!
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leannemarie
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(Original post by Becca)
Lol, a similar thing happened to me in the debate. In my mock my teacher challenged everything I said so I was able to argue loads, but in the exam we ad a visiting examiner and he seemed to agree with me all the time! I didn't get to argue, i was really disappointed!
Well her body language was agreeing with me because she just kept nodding all the time but then she said "what about all the ill people blah blah" (I'm doing euthanasia) and then I just argued back really strongly then she just kept nodding. My French teacher is a bit more argumentative, although she tends to repeat the "what about the people in pain" argument (for cannabis) and then just say the same thing several times!
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paddy
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What really annoyed me about the oral for AS was that it was hardly to do with language ability at all. The majority of the marks were given for content, which is a bit bloody stupid as it's supposed to be testing your Spanish ability, not how much research you can do about some irritatingly-dull subject:mad:
I hate having to give presentations and all that crap, if I ever have to do that when I'm older I'm just going to hand out pamphlets and tell them to use their bloody brains:mad:
And WHAT THE BLOODY HELL is the essay about in edexcel unit 6?! There's like 6 marks for quality of language and that's literally IT!!! WHY should Spanish A2 have to be a test of how much I know about pollution or Racism and prejudices?! I'd rather them give me a stupid grammar test!!:mad: :mad: :mad:
Sorry I needed to vent the rage a little bit, revision stresses me out
Just thank God I didn't get started on my Spanish teachers...
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leannemarie
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(Original post by paddy357)
What really annoyed me about the oral for AS was that it was hardly to do with language ability at all. The majority of the marks were given for content, which is a bit bloody stupid as it's supposed to be testing your Spanish ability, not how much research you can do about some irritatingly-dull subject:mad:
I hate having to give presentations and all that crap, if I ever have to do that when I'm older I'm just going to hand out pamphlets and tell them to use their bloody brains:mad:
And WHAT THE BLOODY HELL is the essay about in edexcel unit 6?! There's like 6 marks for quality of language and that's literally IT!!! WHY should Spanish A2 have to be a test of how much I know about pollution or Racism and prejudices?! I'd rather them give me a stupid grammar test!!:mad: :mad: :mad:
Sorry I needed to vent the rage a little bit, revision stresses me out
Just thank God I didn't get started on my Spanish teachers...
I thought it was the coursework that had 6 marks for language and the Unit 6 essay was roughly half content and half language. But yeah, I know what you mean! Having not found the motivation to write an essay on endangered species and one one "what are the best ways to teach and learn a language". I am tempted to write "not the way you teach it" just to see my teacher's face!
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paddy
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(Original post by leannemann)
I thought it was the coursework that had 6 marks for language and the Unit 6 essay was roughly half content and half language. But yeah, I know what you mean! Having not found the motivation to write an essay on endangered species and one one "what are the best ways to teach and learn a language". I am tempted to write "not the way you teach it" just to see my teacher's face!
HA that would be priceless!!
I am so tempted to just not bother revising for the written exam. It's so irritating, plus I don't need a very high mark for an A overall (I know dangerous thinking). I *really* hope that next year unis aren't able to see my UMS marks
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Piggsil
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(Original post by paddy357)
What really annoyed me about the oral for AS was that it was hardly to do with language ability at all. The majority of the marks were given for content, which is a bit bloody stupid as it's supposed to be testing your Spanish ability, not how much research you can do about some irritatingly-dull subject:mad:
I hate having to give presentations and all that crap, if I ever have to do that when I'm older I'm just going to hand out pamphlets and tell them to use their bloody brains:mad:
And WHAT THE BLOODY HELL is the essay about in edexcel unit 6?! There's like 6 marks for quality of language and that's literally IT!!! WHY should Spanish A2 have to be a test of how much I know about pollution or Racism and prejudices?! I'd rather them give me a stupid grammar test!!:mad: :mad: :mad:
Sorry I needed to vent the rage a little bit, revision stresses me out
Just thank God I didn't get started on my Spanish teachers...
Oh my God yes, the AS oral is so pointless! I did the media in France or something.......so boring reeling off a bunch of statistics about how many people in France read a newspaper. :mad:
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leannemarie
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(Original post by paddy357)
HA that would be priceless!!
I am so tempted to just not bother revising for the written exam. It's so irritating, plus I don't need a very high mark for an A overall (I know dangerous thinking). I *really* hope that next year unis aren't able to see my UMS marks
Either way Cambridge will so that might motivate you. Personally I don't revise much for languages anyway because I sort of get to the point where I think that if I don't know the vocab then I never will. That's why I've tried to start learning earlier this year!
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