British Council-Exam stress

British Council-Exam stress

British Council-Exam stress


Transcript of the podcast

Emma: Hi Tim, are you ok

Tim: Er, no. Not really. I’m in a bit of a state actually

E: Why? What’s the matter

T: I’ve got my French oral exam on Thursday and I’m really worried about it

E: Why? You’re really good at French

T: I don’t mind written exams but with orals … I get nervous. How do you manage? You had your German oral last week, didn’t you

E: Yes. It was fine. I enjoyed it

T: Enjoyed it?! Here I am trying to survive an oral exam and you are telling me that you actually enjoyed one

E: Come and sit down. Let me give you some advice

T: Thanks Emma – that would be great

E: Ok, what exactly are you worried about? Your marks in French are usually good, aren’t they

T: Yes. It’s one of my best subjects. I got 70% in the last exam

E: And you know what the oral exam consists of, don’t you

T: Well, not exactly. I think we have to compare and contrast two pictures and they ask us about our hobbies … the usual sort of thing

E: Well, to start you ought to make sure you know what to expect. The more information you have, the better you’ll feel. You get nervous when you don’t know what to expect

T: That’s true

E: So find out! Find out exactly what every stage of the exam consists of

T: How can I do that

E: Well, you should ask the teacher to explain exactly what happens. Ask her if you can do a mock oral in class

T: A mock oral

E: Yes, a practice. A trial run

T: That’s a good idea. I hadn’t thought of that. What if she says no

E: I’m sure she won’t. But if she does, you should organise a mock oral with some friends. Two of you can practise while another person listens and takes the role of the examiner

T: Ok. That sounds like good advice

E: What else is worrying you

T: I keep imagining myself in the exam and being unable to say a word

E: Have you ever been unable to say a word

T: No. I usually manage

E: Then you ought to remember that! You shouldn’t waste time worrying about something that can’t happen. You know enough French to have a conversation and so you won’t freeze up. You ought to believe in yourself

T: The trouble with a speaking exam is that you can’t really revise before it

E: Yes, you can! Why don’t you read something in French, listen to some French music, watch a French film – it’ll all help to get you into a French mood

T: I hadn’t thought of that

E: Listening to the radio is a good idea too

T: French radio

E: Yes: You can listen on the internet – or download a French podcast – find something that you are interested in

T: Good idea. I could listen to a film programme

E: Yes. And did you say you have to compare and contrast two pictures

T: Yes. The worst thing is that you have no idea what the pictures will show

E: But you can practise

T: How

E: Just use any two pictures – and look for things that are the same and things that are different

T: For example

E: Well – look at this menu … both of these pictures show sandwiches, but the first picture shows a ham sandwich and the other one

T: ….shows a cheese sandwich – yes. I get the idea


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