Studiu de specialitate – Helping Students Succeed at Foreign Language Exams


Autor: prof. Andrei Elena
Colegiul Economic Buzău

Introduction
Romanian students are studying the English language all over the country and a lot of them find it very stressful to take speaking exams. This fear is often due to not knowing what to expect, being afraid of not knowing what to say, being insecure about their speaking abilities, or simply being shy. There are a lot of students that cannot help but worry, despite the fact that worrying is the biggest mistake they can make at an examination like this. This study aims at helping teachers of English in preparing students for the foreign language BAC exam, increasing their confidence in their own abilities and helping them to get the best mark they can.
Research results
How to prepare for a foreign language oral or speaking exam and succeed and do well
1. Learn the requirements and criteria
2. Play it safe – being interesting or speaking your mind should not be your priority
Countless students who are excellent get very disappointing scores on their speaking exams. One of the main reasons for this to happen is their desire to say something specific and interesting that they cannot say properly. So they start making grammar and vocabulary mistakes, making pauses, strange noises and even blurting out things in their native languages. They aim at saying something interesting or at simply sharing their personal opinion, but they end up losing a lot of points from their exam score due to all the mistakes and the inability to express their point clearly.
At the same time, much less capable students are getting excellent marks, because they pay attention to what they are saying and instead of focusing on the content, they are focusing on keeping the things they are saying simple and more importantly correct. And this is what you should do. You should make sure you are saying things you know how to say, use vocabulary that you know well and use grammar that you know you can use correctly.
3. Read questions carefully
What you need to do to avoid this is simply concentrate on the questions while they are being given to you, and only after you are sure you have understood them, start giving your answer. If you don not understand something, it is often better to politely ask the teachers, instead of answering something you hope is on topic. (fragment)