Managing stress in interpretation exams
Thread poster: María López Gromaz

María López Gromaz
Spain
Local time: 23:29
English to Spanish
+ ...
Feb 7, 2005

Dear all,
I will be doing official interpretation tests very soon and I need some advice about how to handle stress in the middle of the exam. From past experience, I know that I get really nervous and this affects my concentration so, if anyone has some tips to share, please do!
Thank you all!
Mía


 

alx  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:29
English to French
+ ...
PUT IT INTO PERSPECTIVE Feb 7, 2005

Just before the exam, breathe deeply, eat well, have a cuddle with your loved one and think of it as something you want to achieve yes, but something not so important on a lifetime scale (it's only a job, right?).
Also, think positive, like you are confident enough with your skills, then why on earth would you mess?
And motivate yourself: If you've worked hard, you will deserve to play hard.
Good luck!!!


 

María López Gromaz
Spain
Local time: 23:29
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Feb 7, 2005

Thank you, Alexandra. I will try to put it into practice...

 

teju  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:29
English to Spanish
+ ...
Where? Feb 8, 2005

Maria, where are you taking this interpreting exam?

 

María López Gromaz
Spain
Local time: 23:29
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Where Feb 8, 2005

At different international organizations. I already did it in the past and, usually, my level goes down in the exam due to the stress.

 

teju  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:29
English to Spanish
+ ...
Suggestions Feb 8, 2005

Maria, I'm an interpreter, and I also used to get nervous with oral exams. Written exams don't bother me, but in an oral exam your nerves can affect your score a lot.
There are a lot of things that you can do, most of them are no secret. I find that being very prepared is the best way to beat your nerves. Practice doing consecutive interpreting with a partner. When you practice simultaneous or sight interpreting, tape yourself, so that you can play it back and review how well you did.
Once you are taking the test, and you actually started, if you are well prepared, it's a relief! So study and practice a lot. I'm a court interpreter, so I practiced with Holly Mikkelson's tapes, "The Interpreter's Edge", they were very helpful. The last oral exam that I took was the Federal Court Interpreter's exam, before a panel of 3 proctors. Behave in a professional manner all the time, and don't be chatty, this is not the time for a lot of small talk, you're on a mission to pass the test, and impress them!
Get plenty of sleep the night before the exam, you want to be alert. I did not touch a book on the day of the test (mine was in the afternoon), by then, if you don't have what it takes, it's not going to make any difference reviewing a glossary. This type of exams require months of preparation, you can't cram. If drinking tea relaxes you, then have a cup before the test. Yoga, meditation, going running, visualization, are all techniques to relax. Prepare yourself mentally with what they call "internal dialogue". It just means that you believe in yourself, never underestimate the power of positive thinking. You need to walk in, ready to show everyone that you are an interpreter.
I actually went out and bought the frame for my certificate before taking the test (it was my own way to psyche myself). It now hangs on my wall. You can do it! Good luck to you Maria.


 

María López Gromaz
Spain
Local time: 23:29
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Teju! Feb 8, 2005

Thank you, Teju! I know that being prepared is the most important think, the problem is when you are not always able to show it. I will try your "techniques", specially the "inside dialogue" before the exam, to try to gain as much confidence as possible.
Once more, thanks!


 

rguerra  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:29
French to Portuguese
+ ...
Maria I've listen you working and your are a great interpreter! Feb 11, 2005

Maria,
I've listen you working and your are a great interpreter!Just keep that in mind.
Just one more tip: you must be confident, and please think you are very professional and one of these kind of people talented born!
I Wish you all the best.


 


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