How to do Well in Oral Examinations ? For PSLE, Oral Examination contributes to 15% of the overall English grade. Clearly, acing your oral exams will give you a much higher chance of attaining that desired AL1 grade for English. However, some may find it difficult to do well for their oral exams due to poor communication skills or simply because they are too nervous when facing the examiner. If you find yourself facing such difficulties, here are some tips that may help you:
How to do Well in Oral Examinations
Relax and take deep breaths
If you're feeling nervous before your oral exam, it is important to relax and take a few deep breaths before the examination begins. Try your best to calm down, as being nervous will only make you stutter and stumble over your words. Make sure you read the passage a few times to yourself when preparing so as to know which words to emphasise and where to pause, and try to anticipate the questions related to the topic that will be asked. During the examination, make eye contact with the examiner and speak clearly and confidently.
Pronounce words correctly and use the right intonation
Your oral examination will be marked not just on the content of your answers, but also on your pronunciation and intonation. Make sure you pronounce all the words correctly so that the examiner can understand what you are saying. Pay attention to the way you stress certain words in a sentence as this can change the meaning of what you are trying to say. For example, the word 'invalid' can mean 'not valid' or 'a sick person who is unable to walk'. The right intonation can help avoid confusion and prevent you from sounding unnatural.
Organise your thoughts before speaking
When answering questions, take a few seconds to organise your thoughts before you start speaking. This will help you to structure your answer better and make sure that you do not miss out any important points. Starting with a brief introduction related to the question will also show the examiner that you have understood the task given. For example, if you are asked to describe a person whom you admire, you may want to start by saying something like, "The person I admire the most is my mother/father/grandparent/friend etc." That will be the main point of your response, then just expand and elaborate on your answer, preferably in an organised manner so that it is easy for the examiner to follow your train of thoughts, such as PEEL format - Point, Example, Explanation, Link.
Use a range of vocabulary and grammar
Using a variety of words will not only make your answers more interesting to listen to, but it will also show the examiner that you have a good command of the language. Try to use different words to express the same meaning so that your answers do not sound repetitive. For example, instead of simply saying "I like to play tennis", you could say "I enjoy playing tennis" or "I am passionate about tennis". Similarly, using a range of different grammar structures will make your answers more sophisticated and mature. For example, instead of just saying "He is my favourite singer", you could say "There is no one else I would rather listen to than him."
Speak at a natural pace
When answering questions, it is important to speak at a natural pace so that the examiner can understand you and so that you do not run out of breath before finishing your sentence. Take a few seconds to pause after each point you make so that the examiner has time to process and follow your train of thoughts. By following the tips above, you will definitely be able to do well for your oral examination and ace the entire English paper!
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