There is no getting past it, taking a test is usually stressful. We tend to worry about test for days, weeks and months before hand; lose sleep the night before; work ourselves up into a panic while we are taking the test and over analyze it afterwards. In other words, we make things harder for ourselves when we could be doing the opposite! Some of these behaviours are just human nature and hard to avoid. We want to achieve a good score so badly that anxiety creeps in and ironically affects our score for the worse.
We probably can’t get rid of all of this exam-anxiety, but we can certainly manage and reduce it by making sure that we are fully prepared, organized and going into the test with the right mindset. If we feel like everything is planned, then the fear of the unexpected is eliminated and we can save our mental energy for giving our best performance in the test. We can make things easier for ourselves, giving us the best chance possible of walking out of that test centre with a smile on face!
Follow our foolproof ticklist which covers what you need to do leading up the test, during the test and afterwards and you will be sure that nothing can go wrong.
Plan your route: Make sure you know how to get to the test centre. Use your Google maps or whatever works for you to plan out the journey. If you are traveling by car, leave time for any unexpected traffic jams and bear in mind the possibility of rush-hour traffic. If you are taking public transport, have all the details arranged well in advance and check that your trains or buses are running on time. If possible, do a trial run before the actual test day so that you know exactly where you are going.
Print out the test centre address: This will be available on your PTE account and in the confirmation e-mail. Print off your confirmation e-mail in advance so that you aren’t rushing to do this last minute or relying on it being on your phone.
Remember your ID: Have your ID ready the day before the test and packed in the bag or folder that you will take with you on test day. Check that you have the correct form of ID that fits with the details that you gave in your registration, for example, your passport.
Leave at least 30 minutes extra time: When you arrive at the test centre, you will be required to complete the signing in process, so you need to allow time for this. Additionally, it would be prudent to additionally leave some time for any potential transport issues as previously discussed.
On Arrival at the Test Centre
Follow the signing in and security processes. It would be a good idea to check online to see what they will entail in advance so that you know what to expect and as mentioned before to leave extra time for this.
Ensure your equipment is working properly: Check that all your technology is behaving as it should. This includes your computer, headphones and microphone. Also ensure that the correct screen is visible to start the test, which you will recognise from your practice sessions.
Ask for help: If you are unsure about anything, either regarding equipment or the test itself, be sure to ask a test administrator for help. They won’t be able to help you with the actual questions of course, but if you have a question about something to do with the format or set-up don’t be shy as they are very helpful and will solve your probably quickly and efficiently. Often, this can just be a matter of reassurance and will stop you wondering about anything unnecessarily.
After the Test
You will no doubt be desperate for your scores ASAP! No one likes the agonizing wait for exam results. Luckily, your PTE results will be ready quite quickly, taking between 2 and 5 working days. In the meantime, try not to think too much about your performance in the test and your potential scores. There is nothing you can do to change it now, so you may as well get on with your days! Once you get your scores, hopefully you will be sending them to your colleges or relevant bodies who will need to see your results. If you don’t quite make the grade, try not to be down-hearted, spend time analysing your results and see the test as a practice and learning experience so that you will definitely pass with flying colours the next time around!
The best of luck from the Benchmark team!