Over the next month we will go over some tips to help you mentally prepare yourself for an ISLPR test and strategies to help you perform well during an exam.
To make things easy, we'll break the test down into 4 parts and provide strategies to improve each of your macro-skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. Today, we're looking at:
The Listening Test.
Part 2: during the test
- If at any time during the test you don't understand something the tester has said, you need to decide whether or not to admit that you didn't understand. You may decide to wait for a short time in case you get some more clue to help you, but don't be afraid to ask for repetition, paraphrase or explanation when you need it.
- Whether listening to the tester or to a text presented electronically (on radio, disk or computer file), don't be afraid to guess (and to admit this).
- Use the knowledge that you already have - from language situations in your first language or English - about different kinds of texts that the tester presents electronically.
- For example, you expect a news story to give new information, and you know that in a media interview the interviewer is trying to elicit something of interest from an interviewee who has expertise in a particular field or other knowledge that might be of interest to the public.
- For example, if the test has not told you, ask where and when the text would have been heard - or would still be heard - in real life.
Now, a final point on note taking!In real life, we only take notes about a text if it is important to remember something and we feel that we can't trust our memory. Because of the effects of test anxiety and because of the particular way that you have to demonstrate your understanding in an ISLPR test, you might decide to take notes about a text even though you would not do this in real life. However, you should also consider the act of note-taking may interfere with your comprehension, particularly if you focus on details that are not key (e.g. the exact amount of money stole as opposed the less than $10). While notes may be taken in you first language we recommend that you use English. Switching between languages can interfere with comprehension. Also, you might forget to tell the tester something that you understood; if you have noted the information in English the tester can read it and take it into account.