Can you actually enjoy a Spoken exam?
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Can you actually enjoy a Spoken exam?
City&Guilds / City&Guilds
International English Qualifications by the UK's largest awarding bodyhttp://cityandguilds.hu
- November 08 2013
Everybody has different experience in terms of spoken exams. School-leaving exams, entrance exams, state exams - for someone it means just formality but for someone else, it could be a nightmare that keeps returning for many years afterwards. However, we should all agree on one thing - a spoken exam is definitely not a situation which we could enjoy. Or is it?
The fact that we submit ourselves to the merciful or unmerciful hands of the examiner during the exam is one of the most stressful factors. Another thing typically contributing to a bout of jitters regarding the spoken exam is the fact that it is a matter of luck. But how does it work with City & Guilds exams?
Put your English on the hanger
To alleviate the effect of these factors City & Guilds Spoken exams are organized in a different way. Only two persons participate in the exam: the candidate and the interlocutor, i.e. a person who leads the candidate through the oral exam. Interlocutors are trained to learn how to become a “hanger" where the candidate puts everything that s/he can do.
As part of her role interlocutor is not supposed to evaluate the candidate’s performance at all and this is yet another important characteristic of the exams. As a direct result, the interlocutor can then concentrate on working it out with the candidate. The “it" here can stand both for a well-organised Spoken production and communicative success. His/her task is to ensure the maximum objectivity of the exams by strictly following the frame of the exams and at the same time maintain a friendly atmosphere which helps simulate real-life situations more easily.
The interlocutor is on the same side of the football pitch as the candidate: at the moment of the exam the candidate has all the circumstances ready-made to enjoy the exam the same way as with his/her teacher. The candidate doesn’t often realise that their dialogue is being recorded and after it has finished, it is sent to City & Guilds Headquarters in the UK for assessment.
When and where?
Another factor making the City & Guilds Spoken exam less stressful is the possibility that the candidate can decide to register for the exam only a few weeks before the actual exam. A lot of us have experienced the situation when we sat for the exam but we felt so unprepared that we were paralysed by fear and we barely said a word during the exam. So why don’t we take a chance to sit for the exam only when we really want to or need to?
How to prepare for the exam?
Many students preparing for City & Guilds exams literally bombard the testing centres with questions about available preparation materials. Of course, there is a range of such materials out there and you can use them for preparation from a wide selection of commonly used textbooks by renowned publishers, but thanks to the very general communicative skills tested during the exams it isn’t that important. The City & Guilds exams are structured (form and content) in such a way so that they can appropriately measure if the candidate is AT the level - and not how much s/he has prepared for the exam. If your English is at C1 level, you can take the exam Expert C1 but there is no need to spend sleepless nights memorising so-called topics 14 days before the exam. So no more sleepless nights!
I really enjoyed it!
In conclusion, there is one important feature of the City & Guilds exams which contributes to its popularity. The whole exam takes only from 7 - 15 minutes depending on the level. This time runs so fast thanks to its interesting content that candidates often remember the exam by saying "I actually really enjoyed it.“