Nervous about your English speaking exam? Wondering how you can get a good score? To help you, we asked our team of experienced exam teachers, many of whom are also oral examiners, for their top tips:
1. Give a positive first impression to the examiner
- Have ‘open’, positive body language
- Speak up!
- Speak clearly!
2. Try to show the examiner what you know
- Avoid short, uncommunicative answers
- Don’t just say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ – expand with more information; ‘yes, because ….’
- Use examples to help explain a statement
- Show off your vocabulary!
- Show off your grammar!
- Use a range of linking language
- Prepare: be sure you know how to say certain things about your life, eg: your job, what your parents do, etc
3. Listen carefully to the examiner
- Do what you are asked – compare if asked to compare, describe if asked to describe
- Use any written information or instructions to help you
- Self correct if you realise you have made a mistake (but keep going)
- Don’t worry if the examiner stops you – it’s normal!
4. Interact as much as possible
- Listen to your partner
- Don’t dominate the conversation
- Keep talking – silence scores zero!
If you would like more useful tips like this why not take an exam preparation course in the UK? The exam preparation courses at Eastbourne School of English, for example, are taught by experienced examination teachers, many of whom are also oral examiners for Cambridge FCE and CAE as well as IELTS so they have a very good idea of what succesful students need to do to pass the exam.