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Level 3 Receptive Exam

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My Level 3 Receptive is in a few days. Ive done some old mock exams and despite all my best efforts I havent come close to a pass mark. Any tips on best ways to practice or anything you found useful. Ive watched lots of BSL Zone and Sign World.

Many thanks

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Hi Littlebird, 

I completely understand how you feel. I think the receptive was the exam I was most nervous about. One of the things that actually helped me was I convinced myself I wasn't going to pass on the first time and decided to treat my exam as a practice test instead. As luck would have it (and I think luck is involved) I did end up passing and I think it was down to the following points below. I'm not sure if it will help you as everyone is different but I hope this helps:

  • Like you, I watched a lot of BSL Zone but especially the interview style shows (e.g. Close Up) as I felt this was the most similar to the Signature Level 3 receptive exam. There were two things I focused on while watching - practising writing notes without looking down and also getting myself familiar with the feeling of not understanding everything and not panicking. I knew that if I started to panic I would completely lose concentration so I needed to practise experiencing that feeling and trying to overcome it and continue.
  • I also used the Signature Level 3 Homework content to practise. At the time I felt that it was not worth the money I spent on it as I didn't think it was very helpful but in hindsight I think watching these videos did help. If you only have a few days, it might not be worth purchasing and the SignWorld content might be similar. When watching the videos, the main thing I practised was writing without looking down, getting used to not understanding everything and trying to pick out key details such as numbers and names. 
  • On that note, I did a quick refresher of regional numbers before the exam as I found this quite difficult. This website was helpful with that: https://bslsignbank.ucl.ac.uk/regional/numbersigns/
  • Trying to recognise fingerspelling made me very nervous so I practised this as much as possible when watching any BSL videos and also by using the game on this website: https://www.signlanguageforum.com/bsl/fingerspelling/fingerspelling-game/. If you haven't used it before it is really helpful as practising your understanding and can be speeded up to make it more difficult.
  • I used YouTube videos to practise too, for example the National Deaf Children's Society YouTube channel was helpful as it had videos like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiLPtwNKczw
  • I have to admit that the exam I did happened to be on a topic I was quite familiar with, which helped massively so I think luck is part of it. 
  • I practised the format of the exam too, so that I had the timings and the structure clear in my head so that there wouldn't be any surprises. For example, if you're watching a YouTube video or a BSL Zone video, try to watch it the same number of times that you would be able to watch it in the test. 
  • I tried to learn some key dates, names and facts to help me recognise these if they came up. This is quite hard when you have so many topics but it definitely does help.  
  • There is a Facebook Group called BSL Level 3 Certificate which is helpful too- lots of advice and questions answered.

I really hope it goes well. I kept asking myself why on earth I was doing this to myself so it's also important to remember that although this is really difficult it is a worthwhile thing that you are doing and no matter what happens with the exam, you are gaining skills that are really valuable! If it also helps to know, our class all did a mock exam a couple of weeks before the real thing and we all failed the mock but all of us apart from one passed the real exam (and the one who didn't pass the first time, passed the second time). Best of luck and I really hope it goes well. 


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