The Occupational English Test, famously known as OET, is an essential exam for healthcare professionals who aim to work in an English-speaking environment. It evaluates a professional’s English language proficiency, assuring they have the necessary communication skills to provide safe and effective care to patients.
Because it is such an important exam, it’s natural to experience stress and anxiety. But it is important to manage these emotions to perform at your best. Here are some effective tips to stay calm and focused throughout the OET exam.
1. Prepare and practice
Solid preparation and practice are key to reducing exam-related stress. Knowing what the exam entails and preparing for it gives you the confidence needed to take on any competitive exam, including OET.
So, ensure that you’re well-versed in the OET format, test sections, content and timing. This helps you prepare a focused study plan, which is the cornerstone of your practice for the coming exam.
Now, based on your study plan, dedicate sufficient time to study and practice the specific language skills required for your profession. Remember to keep your practice consistent as it will increase your confidence and reduce anxiety.
2. Establish a routine
Create a study routine leading up to the exam. You already know that establishing regular study and revision sessions is crucial to enhancing memory retention and skill development. But how to do it effectively?
- Design a consistent daily or weekly schedule that allocates time for studying each exam component.
- Set clear goals for each session, concentrating on areas that need improvement.
- Prioritize a balanced routine that includes ample breaks, physical activity, and relaxation techniques to manage stress.
A well-structured routine such as this cultivates discipline and optimizes productivity.
3. Take care of yourself
Managing stress always starts with taking care of your physical and mental well-being. Habits like regular exercising, eating a balanced diet, and having adequate sleep can help your study routine immensely.
If you need more help, you can also try activities like meditation, deep breathing exercises, or listening to calming music. These are some of the most effective activities that can instantly control your stress levels and allow you to concentrate better.
4. Visualize success
Visualizations can help reframe negative thoughts and create a positive mindset. Many students and athletes practice this technique to enhance their performance and reduce anxiety. Research in sports and educational psychology has shown that visualization can have positive effects on performance, confidence, and anxiety levels.
So, give it a try before your OET exam. Imagine yourself successfully navigating the exam, answering questions with ease, and achieving a desirable score.
5. Adopt relaxation techniques
When stress or anxiety creeps in during the exam, having effective relaxation techniques in your toolkit can be exceedingly helpful. Deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, or mindfulness techniques can quickly calm your mind and bring your focus back to the task at hand.
However, you have to explore and find the technique that resonates with you the most because different techniques work better for different people.
6. Time management
Effective time management is crucial for staying calm and focused during the OET exam. Whether during the preparation or the exam, use the available time wisely and productively.
For example, use productivity techniques like the Pomodoro, where you work for focused intervals and then rest. Similarly, planning and practising timed mock exams can also train your mind to work efficiently within the given timeframe, reducing stress during the actual exam.
7. Stay positive and optimistic
Last but most important, maintaining a positive outlook can significantly impact your performance.
For starters, try using positive affirmations and be mindful of your self-talk. Replace self-doubt or negative thoughts with uplifting and encouraging messages. And remember that setbacks or challenges are only temporary, and you are capable of overcoming them.
Managing stress and anxiety during the OET exam is crucial for performing at your best. Remember, it’s normal to feel the nerves, but with the right mindset and strategies, you can conquer the OET exam and achieve your professional goals.
English Wise would be happy to guide you further if you have any questions. Our OET trainers have a goal-oriented teaching approach that helps you achieve your desired outcome.