Basically, whenever I even practise in class I get panicky and focus more on keeping myself from crying in frustration or having a full on panic attack than actually focusing on what I'm saying and being asked.
I've practised absolutely loads and nothing much seems to help, I've got two Spanish speaking exams on Tuesday (AS & A2, WJEC) and I'm so worried I'm going to bomb them just because of nerves getting in the way. Even revising with nerves is difficult because I just clam up and nothing goes in.
Last year nerves got the better of me and I came out with a C instead of the target A I was predicted so this year I'm resitting AS and I'm doubly nervous.
Please help out if you can - worried about failing it!
How do I tackle nerves during a speaking/oral exam? Watch
- Thread Starter
- 11-04-2013 21:12
- 12-04-2013 22:06
I feel your pain. Language orals are challenging enough without nerves causing extra problems!
I know it's obvious but what I try to do is just pretend that I'm at home and I'm just having a causal Spanish conversation with my friend (or somebody else that I feel comfortable speaking with in Spanish, like a family member etc). This helps me to settle down, to stop shaking and usually results in far fewer mistakes as I'm slightly more relaxed.
I don't know whether the examiner will be a stranger, but I know that for me the idea of having a full conversation with a stranger or even my teacher is very daunting, but since they'll understand that you are nervous (everybody gets anxious about exams, especially speaking ones), they won't mind if you avoid eye contact with them because they know you will be concentrating — this is my most important tip as, for me, it allows me to clear my mind and listen properly to what they are saying and forget that there is an actual real person physically talking to me in a foreign language and will be judging me on my response! Scary stuff! So, if your mind is wandering, look away from the person and try to focus clearly on what they are saying / what you are trying to say.
Finally, lean fillers! Fillers are words such as 'like', 'you know' and 'ermm..' and I'm presuming that you know some of the Spanish equivalents of the these words. USE THEM! In normal conversations in Spain, fillers are used just as often as they are in English, so take advantage of this and use them to give you more time to mentally decide on what you want to say, or mentally replay what the examiner just said (it's best to make sure that you fully understand what the examiner is asking you before you respond).
For example, the examiner may say: '...no estoy de acuerdo con eso, pero ¿cuál es tu opinión?', and you may say 'pues...' while you decide on your opinion. It's important that you don't start a sentence and not know where you're going with it because this doesn't show good fluency!
I hope this helped you to calm down a bit! Stay positive, and good look! :-)Last edited by HeyThereHarry; 12-04-2013 at 22:07.