Preparation is Better
There are different reasons for taking an English oral proficiency test, but there is one common goal for them. That is to get a good score for your certification. Before someone applies for an OPIc (Oral Proficiency Interview by computer) test, there are some basic things to consider. These are only some of the tips that one may try before making a go for the OPIc test.
I am going to focus mostly on the OPIc, but there is also OPI which is a face-to-face interview with an examiner. That one needs a different set of preparations.
1. Building the Skill
Most students and young professionals take the OPIc test because it can give some leverage for them to enter a reputable university or company. Unlike other English tests like IELTS, TOEFL, or TOEIC, which require listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills to pass; OPIc is a type of test that requires two basic skills: listening and speaking.
With those considerations, it is important to start building on those skills to secure a good result from the test. Of course, this process will take time and need a level of motivation as well as dedication.
How to Build a Skill?
Even though an OPIc applicant only needs two skills, it is still advisable to practice and review for the test one to two months prior to the examination date. It is observed that this amount of time is sufficient for someone to learn and be familiar with a particular set of skills.
As an individual trying to get better, find good English materials to read. The goal is for you to be familiar with English terms and helps you comprehend statements easier. Afterward, try to read aloud, with the help of your dictionary or smartphone you can try to check for proper pronunciations and stresses.
Then later try to go online and search for sample audio files which can help you be familiar with the American accent. Though be reminded that in the OPIc test there would be a computer-generated examiner that can be very different from the audio files that you will get online.
The duration of building the listening and speaking skills depends on the actual level of the applicant or student. It is mostly practiced that possible test-takers seek professional help from academies or personal tutors to prepare. You may specify the needs you would like to focus on, however, keep in mind that you still need to be the one to exert the necessary effort to succeed.
2. Be Familiar with the Guidelines and Levels
In this type of test, there are a total of four major levels: Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, and Superior. However, within these levels, there are also sub-levels. You may check www.actfl.org for more details. You can also check the other post about OPIc to have a better understanding of this English proficiency exam.
Knowing the description and requirement for each level can help you in preparing his study plans and goals for the one to two months of review. Also, it is important that if you truly wish to have sufficient support while preparing for the test, there are tutorial services and review centers that you can enroll in to help you out. It's never that late to study and equip yourself with the right set of skills.
3. Set a Target Goal
Do you have a particular goal in mind for taking the test?
Is it for work or is it for your university enrollment? Whichever is your goal, make sure that you set a target goal or level before starting the review. This will help motivate you. This is important for any test-taker so that when you are familiar with each level's description, it can be a challenge as well as guidance in putting your review plans to work.
Making a study plan would also be easier. The required skills and performance needed for the target level can also be addressed more properly. The focus is fixed and so the review would be more effective.
Familiarization is not the only important thing before an OPIc test. Each applicant must practice answering based on the actual OPIc test format. There are many sources or reviewers online and in local bookstores. It is suggested in academies or tutorial centers to conduct mock interviews and recordings as a form of practice.
There are some formats to each part of the test, so being conditioned to different possible questions and situations can help the examinee's overall performance. You may try investing in these review materials and lessons to help you out.
Understand, Practice, Review
There are different styles that anyone can try. Not one study style can fit all. That's why it is much better to further search and read for additional information. The practice may not really make someone perfect, but is the closes thing to being prepared and performing well.
Each may take the OPIc test for different reasons, but one must keep in mind that this is an oral proficiency test. This means that the clearer and more comprehensive way to express your idea, the higher the chances that you'll get a better score. This will then help you reach your future goals, may it be in entering a good university or being in a better company.
Of course, relax in between
Even though you may tire yourself out to the limits, you must never forget to have a rest. Studying works this way (I think). There should be proper balance to the things we do and balancing it with good music must be the best way to do it.