Taking an exam will always bring either stress or challenge to most people. The results will always depend on how prepared you are. For instance, you can take prep courses for scholastic aptitude exams. My GRE Exam Preparation provides all the latest and reviews on available prep courses in the market.
However, taking an exam in another language takes the difficulty to a whole new level. Apart from the actual content of the exam, first you have to fully understand the words of the questions. Thus. it is essential to have its fundamental mastery. For this article, we will dissect why a deep understanding of the language is crucial before taking the exam – whether it’s just for your foreign language class or your immigration.
- Understanding the context. The first reason is for you to understand the questions clearly. Learning the language by heart means being familiar with its unique linguistic characteristics such as its syntax, idioms and figure of speech.
- Learning about the culture. A major aspect of language is affected by the prevailing culture of the region. Hence, there is cultural knowledge you can pick up and use during your exam.
- Less time and stress. Many believe that you have mastered a language when you start thinking about your thoughts in that particular language. When you have reached that point of proficiency, you do not need the brainpower to translate words into your first language. It will save you mental effort and time while taking the examination.
- Oral exam. Most language exams require an oral assessment. Your fluency will be put to the test. In this case, learning the conversational aspect of the language is also crucial. It also encompasses non-verbal cues like body language.
- Better mental capacity. Studies have shown that another way to boost your memory is by learning a new language. By memorizing new terms and syntax, you allow your brain to process more information. Some also suggest bilinguals have an advanced cognitive ability, having the capacity to swap from one language to another. These effects can be of great help to your performance in your exam.
Now that we’ve established the importance of the command of the language, here are some more tips so that you will do well during your foreign exam.
- Practice, practice, practice. It won’t be enough to read textbooks, take classes, and use mobile apps. If possible, surround yourself with people who are proficient or native speakers of the language. Consuming unsubtitled media in that language like films, music, and series will also exercise your command.
- Take sample assessments. You have to test your skill level by taking sample exams and language level assessments. It will determine if what you have learned is enough to make you pass. It will help you point out your strengths and what areas you still need to work on.
- Research about the exam format. You’re probably not the first batch of exam takers, so it’s best if you ask around about the format from previous years. You can also start with the information given out by the examining body, which you can find on their website. What kinds of questions were asked? How long were the excerpts and how much time was given?