So as we are all way too aware of, the national tests are just around the corner. Some of us have already taken one or two, some are going to be doing one tomorrow and others are lucky enough to still have some time to mentally prepare themselves. Regardless of which boat you’re sitting in, here’s a basic guide on how to survive the tests with some mentality still intact (as we know how stressful and big they can seem).
When it comes to preparing yourself for the test beforehand, there isn’t much you can do except pay attention in school and do what you are meant to do. The teacher designs the course around the different skills that the national tests will be testing you on; listening, reading, writing and speaking, so if you have done what you’ve been told to do, you should be just fine. But who are we trying to fool? With a computer at hand and a free Wi-Fi connection, let’s face it, we’ve all spent a little too much time on facebook and tumblr and are probably freaking out anyway.
Firstly, you need to get confident in the subject. Super worried about the maths test? Go to maths resource to really spend time working on building up your confidence and to get rid of as much confusion and misunderstanding as possible. Stressing over your language? The best thing to do is to surround yourself by it as much as possible.
When it comes to the different parts, the best way to prepare is to simply focus on the skill:
• Are you having a listening test in french? Listen to french music and watch french movies to hear how the language is utilized.
• Are you having the writing test in spanish? Write a description of your favorite place in Malmö, write a letter to a friend about how your week has been (it doesn’t matter if this person would understand it or not, just write it anyway) and write a schedule of what you’re going to do this weekend.
• Are you having the speaking test in swedish? This one’s easy – call up a friend and talk. Tell your mom about your day. Tell your dad about what you want for dinner tonight. Tell your sister how annoying she is for stealing your shirt or tell your brother how disgusting he is when he doesn’t clean up after himself.
• Are you having the reading test? Read news articles from foreign countries, read about a topic that you may have to learn about in another subject, in english, (i.e, if you’re having a project about the basics of mitosis and meiosis, you could read information about it in english) and read gossip on international websites if you’re into that or visit a blog of someone who you find interesting and read up on what they’ve been doing. (+bonus point for reading this article, ‘cause… English. Totally planned that…)
As soon as you’ve entered the room and sat down, there is nothing else you can do to prepare yourself further for what’s about to come, so working yourself up about it is not going to help. Any thought similar to “did I study enough?”, “I should have started sooner” and “what if I don’t do well?” will not benefit you in any way so if you feel them entering your mind, try to simply block those negative thoughts out (confession: I like to think about what food I’m going to have when I get home to distract myself until I can focus on the test itself …).
When taking the test, regardless of which part it is, it’s important to remain calm. Keep breathing and don’t stress it. You have enough time, even though it feels like you need twice the amount. You’ve been preparing yourself for this all year (well kind of) – you got this. Just do your best. That’s all you can do. Don’t focus on what you could have done or should have done to be more prepared – that’s meaningless now. During the test, the only thing you should do is your very best, and that’s actually all you can do, and it’s more than enough.
When you’ve left the room and the test is all done and handed in, stop thinking about it. The test is done, over with, finished. Hopefully you feel good about it, but it seems as if most people don’t. You did all you could do and there’s nothing else you can do. The test will get the grade it deserves, regardless of how many hours you spend worrying over it, over-thinking your answers, perhaps realizing you put down the wrong one, so don’t beat yourself up about it. It’s done – let it go (and eat a giant bar of chocolate).