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What to Prepare and Study for OPIc

Updated on August 3, 2015

Preparation is Better

There are different reasons in taking an oral proficiency test, but there is one common goal. 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 with the OPIc, but there is also OPI which is a face-to-face interview with an examiner.

1. Building the Skill

Most students and young professionals take the OPIc test because it can give some sort of leverage for them to enter a reputable university or company. Also, this type of test requires two basic skills: listening and speaking. Unlike other English tests like IELTS, TOEFL, or TOEIC, which require listening, speaking, reading and writing skills to pass.

How to Build a Skill?

Even though the applicant only needs two skills, it is still advisable for him/her to practice or 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 comprehends statements easier. Afterwards, try to read aloud, with the help of your dictionary or smart phone 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 which 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.

2. Be Familiar with the Guidelines and Levels

In this type of test, there are a total of four major level: 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.

Knowing the description and requirement for each level can help an examinee in preparing his study plans and goals for the one to two months of review.

3. Set a Target Goal

It is more feasible for an examinee to set a target goal or level before starting the review. This will help in motivating him/her. Also, when a test-taker is familiar with each level's description, that can be a challenge to guide his/her studies.

If the test-taker is well-versed with the levels, making a study plan would 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.

4. Practice

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 to conduct mock interviews and recording 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.

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. 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 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.


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