Oral Exams – Do’s and Don’ts

To help our students CAE & FCE students who are taking their mock oral exams today, let’s review some oral exam “do’s and don’ts”…


DO try to relax, even though you are feeling nervous, and smile at the examiners as you enter the examination room and sit down.

DO take up every opportunity during the test to show off your abilities 🙂

DO refer to the written questions on the visuals sheet in Part 2 and Part 3 if you forget what you have to talk about.

DO listen carefully to the questions that do not appear on the visuals sheets and answer them appropriately.

DO speak clearly and loudly enough for both examiners to hear you throughout the test.

DO try to use a wide range of grammatical forms and vocabulary throughout the test.

DO expand on your answers in the second section of Part 1 and in Part 4.

DO take advantage of the opportunity to speak on your own in the long turn in Part 2 by keeping talking until the examiner says ‘Thank you’.

DO allow your partner opportunities to speak in Part 3. If necessary, invite your partner to make a comment.

DON’T begin your Part 2 long turn by saying: ‘I’m going to choose this picture and this picture.’ This wastes precious time and prevents you changing your mind should you wish to do so. Just start to do the task and it will become obvious which pictures you are talking about, or point to the picture you are describing and say ‘In this picture’, etc.

DON’T talk about all the pictures in Part 2. Talking about all the pictures instead of only two will not give you enough time to do the more speculative parts of the task properly.

DON’T give just a one- or two- word answer to the question about your partner’s pictures in Part 2.

DON’T reach a decision too early in Part 3. Do the first part of the task and evaluate all the visuals before making your final decision.

DON’T ask the Oral Examiners to comment on how you have performed in the test. Examiners are not allowed to make any comments on candidate performance.

And most of all, STUDY, PREPARE and BE CONFIDENT~! 🙂

Examiners are not evil people who want to ruin your life. Most of the time, they will actively try to give you marks rather than take them away, so show them your best side and allow your personality to shine through.

Good luck~!!

 

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