30 Tips to Prepare a (French) oral examination

Preparing for an oral examination can be very daunting as there is no place to hide!
But don’t panic! It can be a stress-free experience provided you are well prepared and know what to expect.
Below is a list of things to do in order to make your examination a much easier adventure!

OralExam

LEARN:
1) Your presentation (if any) but not by heart. It must sound natural and authentic, not monotonous and rehearsed!
2) Key words / Linking words / Connecting words: which will help link your ideas together, develop and make an argument.
3) Vocabulary: have an A to Z notebook in which you can record all important new words. Use rich and varied vocabulary.

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A to Z vocab notebook

A to Z vocab notebook

PRACTISE:
4) Read assessment of past oral exams (http://bit.ly/1KvK2re  – http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/hsc_exams/2014/ ). They help you get familiar with the format of the exam as well as with the type of questions asked. This is probably the most valuable tip of them all!
5) Practise responding to a wide range of sample questions (http://bit.ly/1wZxkpb).
6) Record yourself on the webcam or iPhone practising your oral (you can do this with friends whom you feel comfortable with and give each other productive advice and criticism). Watch it and see what you could improve on! If with friends, why not practising as an examiner-student role-play!
7) Practise your numbers.
8) Practise asking questions (also such as « Pouvez-vous répéter la question, s’il vous plaît ? »).
9) Watch French movies or shows with subtitles (SBS for example);
10) If you need a tutor, find a tutor you feel comfortable with, who has adequate credentials and who is familiar with the examination (check my website http://www.estellebox.com for information about SKYPE tutoring lessons);

BODY LANGUAGE:
11) Make sure to maintain eye contact throughout the conversation.
12) Don’t forget to smile (even if you do not feel like it and where appropriate)! Continue reading

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