Posted in English

Exam Prep Review #5

Progress update on the list of topics to cover.

Speaking Goals

  • Build Confidence: I need to speak clearly and confidently even when I get to a bit I’m not sure about. If I don’t know the word, just guess and keep on going rather than fretting and looking confused.
  • Conversely, don’t be cocky: talk at a sensible speed to give myself time to think, and don’t go off at a tangent that seems interesting if I’m not sure where I’m going with it. Obviously this is in conflict with the point above. I haven’t really got anywhere with these first two but I’m planning to do a sort of portuguese version of “just a Minute” as a way of making myself do it. One for the next couple of days, I think. 
  • Speak portuguese for at least 5 minutes every day between now and the exam. Crossing this one off – I have done loads and have 4 hours of conversation practice booked in the next 5 days, plus whatever I can coax out of Mrs Colin

Listening Goals

  • Listen to videos of people speaking in a range of accents from Alentejo, the rural centre of the country. and the islands (hence that Açoriano video I just posted).
  • Listen to at least 3 video films with subtitles. Not really a film but I’ll count “Na Ponta da Língua” for one and the Ricardo Araújjo Pereira thing as another. One to go.
  • Get to grips with the Raul Solnado “Guerra de 1908” sketch Done!

Cultural Goals

  • Read at the very least:
      • A Língua Portuguesa (Fernando Pessoa) I probably won’t get to finish this but it’s locked and loaded. I have read two extra (smaller) books in the meantime.
      • Mensagem (Fernando Pessoa) Done!
      • Brevíssima História de Portugal (A.H. De Oliveira Marques)
      • Maybe even A construção da democracia em Portugal (Kenneth Maxwell) although that seems a bit ambitious. No way is this happening. 
  • Make a timeline of portuguese history to get a sense of how it hangs together. Done
  • Write about portuguese landmarks – the Padrão dos Descubrimentos, Torre de Belém, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and so on. I’ve done one and listened to some audio about the others

General Language skills

  • I need to build my vocabulary – Memrise and Lingq daily goals – Still winning
  • I’m getting better at the ver/vir (which was one of the 4 Evil Exes I identified a year or so back) but need to step up my game on some of the other weirder irregulars like Por and Dar
  • Finish the exercise book I’m on now Done!
  • Do a couple of mock exams to get a feel for the speed I need to be working at to get in under the time limit Work still needed. Only half a one!
  • Practice writing legibly. I type so much these days I need to get my hand used to forming letters or I’ll be penalised for spelling errors. Crossing off. If I can’t do it now, I’m in trouble,
  • Letter format and forms of address Still one to do
  • Learn – actually learn verbatim – one song. Still not done.


Plans for the next few days to make sure I hit all the remaining items


  • Do the Just a Minute Challenge
  • Watch “Gatos Nao têm Vertigens”
  • Spend 15 minutes trying to commit the song to memory
  • Do half an hour more on the transcript
  • Go through DIPLE model exam


  • 1 hour lesson
  • Do half an hour on the transcript
  • Write about the Padrão dos descobrimentos
  • Write about the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos
  • Watch 1 episode of “O Ministério do Tempo”


  • Read on the train
  • 1 hour accent practice
  • Write about o Mosteiro de Batalha


  • Read on the train
  • 1 hour lesson
  • 1 hour conversation practice
  • Write a letter of complaint
  • Go to bed early


  • Exam


Just a data nerd

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