Do you know the importance of Oral exams? An oral exam could be done in less than half an hour, but it contributes to a significant weightage of the overall score for your language subjects. Your final grade depends on how well you fare for your Oral, apart from the written papers and listening comprehension. It determines whether your final grade would be push one or two grades up. So, what are the strategies and tips to ace Oral?
#1 – Practice pronouncing difficult words
One component for reading aloud is the ability to read fluently. The technique to speak fluently is to articulate the words in the passage and pronounce the words clearly with expression. When you are preparing for Oral, practice reading new words to widen your vocabulary. For all you know, these words may come out in your passage for Reading Aloud. Even though you may still face the situation of seeing new words in the passage, you would more or less be able to pronounce those words correctly.
#2 – Be professional
First impression matters. It will leave a bad impression if you were to arrive at the exam venue late. Treat the oral exam seriously and be well prepared. Dress neatly and arrive at the venue on time or at least 15 minutes before the commencement of the oral examination. When it is your turn to take your oral, smile and greet the examiner before asking for permission to sit down.
#3 – Be confident
Ultimately, the most effective way to ace oral is to be confident. No matter how nervous you are, show the examiner that you are well prepared for the Oral exam. Demonstrate self-confidence through body language by maintaining good posture and good eye contact. Speak clearly and concisely with confidence. If you ever feel nervous for your Oral exams, smile and take a deep breath to boost your confidence. Do not panic and start to ramble. You might go off topic and affect your overall performance.
#4 – Pause (Is there a better word to replace it?)
For reading aloud, pause whenever you see punctuation. I believe most of you has heard of the punctuation rule. Pause for one second for comma and two seconds for full stop. This is an effective method to remind yourself to pause and keep the flow of reading the passage. For picture discussion and conversation, you could restate the question in your answer, if you need time to think of how to answer the question. For example, “The education standard in developing countries can be improved by…”. If you are running out of idea, use the 5W1H (Who, What, When, Where, Why & How) approach to answer the question.
#5 – Share your own personal experience
If every student were to give similar example, the examiner will feel bored after listening to it for a few times. Do not simply reply with a “Yes” or a “No” answer. Share your past experience to differentiate yourself from the other candidates. The examiner will have good impression of you, if you are able to capture their attention with your own experience. If you are thinking of using humour to make the conversation interesting, you could do so, but do bear in mind that it should be relevant to the topic.
With these tips in mind, you can prepare yourself better for any oral examinations!