Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Swedex A2 Postmortem

Today's the day! I sat for my Swedex A2 test.

Short-circuiting the time-frame to proficiency to sit for an exam may not be the wisest thing to do. It certainly was brave of me and I was being a little bit of a daredevil, but so too is the higher probability of me not passing.

On the way while I strolled to the Akademibokhandeln bookstore after the exam.

The Postmortem. I'm using this term because I do believe something has "gone wrong" i.e. my readiness especially in the oral (muntlig) and listening (hörförståelse) tests.

For the muntlig, although the modelltest said 8 minutes, the actual test was 15 minutes. I eventually ran out of questions to ask Anita the examiner when shown a picture. Note-to-self: I also need a larger pool of words so that I can sound more interesting and less stiff (and ultimately run out of things to say). This is further compounded by the fact my mind kind of went blank and I ended up saying stuff exactly the way it shouldn't be said. I think I managed to spit out some Italian expressions too. The muntlig was truly not my proudest moment.

For the hörförståelse, some words from the recordings were spoken so quickly they're lost in translation, so I know I must continue to train my ears. Swedish words when stringed into a sentence can sound very different from their written form. BUT I'm confident I'd eventually become a good listener in the future.

I hope I did better in the other three parts. I always find it easier to read and comprehend than to speak (I keep quiet most of the time in real life so it's a behavioral challenge to me as well to be chatty). For Swedish, I'd also include listening as jättesvårt (very hard). I'm formulating my action plan now for further improvement!

The Experience. I was warmly welcomed by Anita when I arrived. Due to the change of exam date to today (originally 28 November), I was the only person sitting for the exam. I was actually happy about the change because I only arrived in Sweden on 8 December.

Anita led me to a room (Rum 5) and this was where I sat for the 5-part exam. Due to my early arrival, I got to start the test early. HURRAH! So I began at 8:30 AM with a 15-minute info session and Anita went on to explain the parts: Läsförståelse (comprehension), Ord och Grammatik (vocabulary and grammar), 20-minute break, Skriftlig uppgift (writing), Hörförståelse (listening), and finally Muntlig (oral).

I was given some writing papers to jot down notes or write the draft for my mini essay. I brought my own pen. Although I brought a kanelbulle (cinnamon roll) with me for the paus (coffee break), I didn't eat it.

The whole experience was pleasant and Anita was very kind to explain the process for each session slowly to ensure I understood. Linda sat in the room with me throughout the test as the invigilator, but left when it was time for the listening and oral sections. Anita took over and administered them.

The exam ended at about 11:15 AM! I will get the results in a week or two. Jag hoppas att jag kommer att klara provet! I hope I pass the exam!

Have you taken the Swedex? Whichever level you're at, I'd love to hear about your experience!