How to Prepare for the O-Level English oral examination

Are you worried that your child might not do well for the O-Level English oral examination? Here are some very simple ways to prepare for the big day. We have O-Level English tuition classes where we train your children to ace their O-Level English oral examination as well.

What is the O-Level English Oral Examination?

The O-Level English Oral Examination accounts for 20% of a student’s O-Level English grade. The oral examination has a planned response and spoken-interaction component, and each of these components is worth 15 marks.

Criteria for O-Level English Oral Examination

In the planned response component of the oral examination, students will be given a video to view with an accompanying question on that same video. In this component, students will be assessed on their ability to effectively plan and present their ideas and response to the question on the video.

The spoken-interaction component evaluates students’ ability to converse with invigilators about topics broadly related to the video clip they had viewed. Apart from the clarity of their language used, students will be evaluated on their ability to formulate a response, and the degree to which they are able to sustain a discussion with the examiners.

Common struggles & mistakes from students

It is perfectly normal to make mistakes in the oral examination, given that you are speaking on an unfamiliar topic to a stranger. What is more important is learning from these mistakes. Some very common include the lack of voice projection which lead to muffled speaking, not including personal experiences in their responses, and going off-topic.

Tips to excel

Treat the invigilators like your friends

You could feel less anxious if you think of the invigilators simply as people you already know and with whom you are having a friendly conversation. More importantly, it might make you feel less nervous and will improve the flow of the conversations you will have with them during the spoken-interaction component.

Be natural

Being relaxed and allowing the conversation to flow naturally could help you build a rapport with the invigilators and leave a more lasting impression on them.

Voice projection: be loud and have clarity

It is crucial to present yourself professionally even if you feel unconfident. Speaking clearly and loudly will give off the impression that you are confident of your response to the invigilators. Most importantly, it ensures that you would not lose unnecessary marks simply because the examiners cannot hear your response — remember, the most insightful of ideas and responses are not worth much if they cannot be heard.

Give detailed explanations

Giving more specific descriptions on previous experiences you have had on the topics not only makes it easier for you to illustrate the points you are trying to drive across, but also makes your responses more interesting to the examiners!

Observe how journalists and reporters speak

Learning from the professionals is a simple but guaranteed way to learn effective skills to advance your oral examination abilities. Learn about how to handle pressure by watching how journalists remain calm while reporting and responding to difficult questions. Listen to how they punctuate and include stress and emphasis as they speak. Beyond just content you can use from watching the news, there are many oral presentation skills you can pick up too!

Practice, practice, and more practice

It is true that practice makes perfect. Prior to the examination, practice responding to oral examination questions given to you by your school teachers. You can also time and record yourself in these practices — so that you can play it back to listen to and assess your own areas of improvement. As with most skills in life, practice really does go a long way to help you get better in presenting your ideas in the oral examination.

Improve your oral skills with us at Wordstruck!

20% of your child’s overall English grade is not an insignificant amount that should be dismissed, and the oral examination is definitely a component that is not difficult to do well in as most people fear. Excelling in the oral examinations can help to pull up the overall English grade — which is something to take note of if your child does not fare that well in written examinations. So seize the chance for your child to prepare for the oral examination with us as Wordstruck!

From Secondary 1 to 4, apart from the oral examination component, our curriculum provides and exposes students to a wide range of topics and skills relevant to the O-Level English examinations. If you wish for your child to learn effective skills and strategies that could help them do better, or if you simply want your child to have fun learning English, do schedule a trial with us right away to find out how we can help improve their abilities and prepare them for the O-Level examinations!

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