In this blog post we look at ways to give yourself the best possible chance of doing well in an oral exam. Oral tests can be intimidating and require a lot of practice in advance of the exam.
The primary purpose of an oral exam is to demonstrate the students’ presentations, speaking and interpersonal communication skills while also showing your knowledge of a subject matter. Oral exams may be formal or informal. Informal exams will be quite structured with the examiner asking a set of questions which require specific answers. Informal exams are more loosely structured and permit the student to provide more open and detailed responses to questions.
If you are dreading the thoughts of sitting for example your Leaving Cert Oral Exam in a particular subject, remember, the examiner is on your side! Their job is to help you show your talents. Speak clearly and interact well with other students if they are with you during the test. Be confident, friendly, and concise in your answering. For more Exam Revision Tips click the highlighted text.
Find Out What’s Covered During Your Oral Test
Ask your teachers what kind of questions to expect and what answers to give during your Oral Assessment. Another good source of knowledge is past pupils who have taken the exam before. After doing all of this you will now be in a better position to plan your study strategy.
Practice Providing Verbal Answers
You may have a thorough knowledge of the exam subject but if you cannot communicate the answers clearly and precisely you will be at a major loss during your oral exam. Practice calling out the answers yourself when you are studying or even better ask a family member or friend to get involved.
Listen Carefully to the Questions
Focus on effective listening. Answer the questions you were asked, avoid going off in tangents.
Stay Focused but Relaxed
Try not to spurt out the answers to the questions too quickly. Even if you have decided on the answer you are going to give allow yourself an extra few seconds to gather your thoughts and then communicate clearly using the proper terminology for your subject.
Project confidence through your body language. Sit up nice and tall, smile, and look the examiner straight in the eye. Even if you lack certain knowledge of the answers to some questions your presentation and confidence can sometimes make up for this.
After the exam take some time to review your performance. What did you do well? What did you do wrong? How could you improve for the next time? Discuss what you findings with your teachers and take note of what they suggest.
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