Revising Effectively for the Oral Exam

Doing well in the oral component is not rocket science even if it makes many of us nervous. With a plethora of topics that are wide-ranging, students sometimes resort to memorising facts or even good phrases. While these things have their place, there are also tried and tested tips to improving how your child does in oral.

1. Have Focused Conversations

Practice having focused conversations with your child about a specific topic. Together with your child, generate clear main points and elaborate on each with examples. If your child does not have specific content knowledge, read an article about a topic and then discuss the points together.

A sure-fire way to revise effectively is to practice organising information mentally, covering one main point at a time before moving on to the next main point. Fret not if this seems like a challenging task. As the saying goes, practice makes progress! Even if you don’t succeed the first time, practice again and again.

2. Do Audio Recordings

After practising focused conversations, students can put the content they have just discussed or learnt to the test! Listening to ourselves is great feedback even if it feels odd to do so. One of the key ways that students improve is by recording themselves using just the audio record button on a mobile phone.

When listening to a recording of themselves, the effect is strange as it feels like they are listening to a different person altogether. This creates the opportunity to evaluate if they are speaking too fast, if they are speaking clearly and to adjust energy level by varying their tone or expressiveness. Jot down areas for improvement after listening to the recordings so there is immediate feedback.

3. Keep Calm

Even if it sounds cliché, the best way to do well is to keep calm and carry on. When a student is nervous, more often than not, they are unable to think clearly so being calm is really quite important.

Practice simple 4 by 4 breathing or a quick mindfulness breathing exercise that practices being present and in the moment. Doing this on a regular basis gives students the tools to stay calm when they are anxious and helps them give their very best during an oral exam.