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How to Approach the Oral Exams - Updated for 2020

March 28, 2017

Language Exams: How should I approach the orals?

2. Get thinking

Try to think in your language. Get some aural tapes on your phone or iPod and listen to them before bed or on your way to school. Chat with your friends or siblings at home and in school. Even if it’s just greeting people in the language, thinking in it as often as you can will help you to become a more natural speaker.

3. Practise – a lot

Practice makes perfect. Revisit your notes and copies, read through textbooks, converse with your teacher, and visit online sites with reports written in your studied language.

It’s only when you leave your comfort zone that you will come across areas of weakness you may wish to address. Don’t shy away from conversation when the opportunity presents itself.

4. Lead the way

The examiner is happy to accommodate your conversation path so take the lead from the beginning. The examiner will go through countless students in a day so not having to spoon-feed or constantly spark conversation will come as a welcome relief, and it will make you stand out.

Leading the way will also allow you to play to your strengths and bring the conversation to topics in which you have a wide range of vocabulary.

5. Relax and enjoy

The work is done. If you go looking for reasons to doubt yourself you will find them. You have engaged in class, practised at home, and applied yourself; it’s time to relax and enjoy this experience.

Leaving your comfort zone is great experience for you as you draw closer to entering the real world, so embrace your nerves and remember that the exam will be over in the time it takes to eat your dinner.

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