Sunday, November 1, 2009

Progress Report

After a rocky start, things on the exam preparation front improved as the week progressed, so I am finally allowing myself to be cautiously optimistic. One of the features of the DELE is that it is not enough to achieve the required overall 70% score on average - one is required to attain it in each of the three (somewhat arbitrarily defined) sections of the exam. There are some advantages to this, given the way the material is grouped. For instance, although the auditory comprehension part, which requires one to answer a series of questions after listening to 4 separate interviews/excerpts from radio programs/newscasts and the like (with accents ranging from the peninsula to Chile, Mexico, Argentina, or anywhere in Latin America), is notoriously difficult, it is grouped together with the oral part of the exam, allowing a blabbermouth like myself to regain any lost ground. Though I shouldn't be too confident - apparently the oral part proved to be the nemesis of a number of my classmates from last April. (I am trying, not entirely successfully, to take the high road and not to view this as cosmic justice for the unwarranted hostility that the two people in question displayed towards me back in April - what comes around goes around.)

The slipperiest part of the exam is undoubtedly the section known as "grammar and idioms", which is a sequence of sixty test items that grills one on really fine points of grammar, knowledge of often completely obscure idioms, and - true horror - asks one to identify mistakes in a couple of paragraphs of text. If I fail, it will undoubtedly be this part that does me in.

However, there are still two weeks to go, and I have my list of 500 idioms to study, so I keep on plugging. We did a practice run of the full exam on Friday, which went off OK, as far as I can judge.

The plain people of Ireland: Yawn.
MOTP: Yes, yes, I know. Nobody but me could possibly care about this. But it's my top priority for the next two weeks, so get over it already. I promise a nice fun trip to Gibraltar once this is all over and done with.
The plain people of Ireland: Gibraltar, begob! Great stuff. Will there be apes?
MOTP: Why, yes, I believe there will.

1 comment:

Katie said...

As one who has done my fair share of recent studying I have complete faith in your ability to pass this test with flying colors- or at least slip stealthily under the "pass" cut off line. I think that karma is most certainly on your side in this one and that those "nameless 2" simply got their just desserts.