How to maximize your exam speaking

Oral exams for languages provoke similar anxieties to giving presentations. In both cases, the more prepared you feel, the less anxious you will be.

  • Act confident even if you aren’t. Smile when you enter the room and make eye contact during the exam. Ask questions as well as responding to them. Thank the examiner when you leave.
  • Breathe deeply and regularly to calm nerves. Take a bottle of water in case your mouth is dry – slightly warm is better than ice-cold.
  • Plan before you speak– Stress can make all your good study intentions disappear. However, this is when it’s more important than ever to get your ideas across clearly and concisely. You have some preparation time to:
  1. Underline the key words in the question.
  2. Identify the main topic and discussion areas.
  3. Choose a few points/arguments about which you can TALK about.
  4. Write down key Advanced 1 language you want to use.
  • Take your time! Don’t rush into giving an answer before you’ve thought about what you want to say – you will get confused and make mistakes. Take a breath and think before you speak.
  • Listen to the whole question carefully before you start constructing your answer. It’s tempting to latch on to one word that you recognise and start thinking of your answer, but don’t- you may miss an important part of the question.
  • If you missed part of a question or didn’t understand it, ask for it to be repeated.
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