Last Minute Tips for the VCE LOTE Oral Exam
This article has been written by Lydia McClelland, a VCE French, Music Theory, Literature & VCE English Tutor at Learnmate. If you’re interested in private tutoring from Lydia then please check out her page here.
VCE language students all know that one of the biggest stresses is the much-hyped oral exam. In the midst of oral exam season, here are some last minute tips to calm nerves and impress those examiners.
- Prepare to be surprised
Often students’ worst-case scenario is getting thrown a tricky question you weren’t expecting, leaving you red-faced and stumbling for words. Make sure you prepare strategies to use up time to allow you to think! This means rehearsing the word for “um” in the language (for example, say ‘あの’ or ‘ええと’ in Japanese, or ‘euh‘ in French). You should also learn some phrases like, ‘That’s a great/interesting question!’, and even ‘Would you mind repeating the question?’ – even if it’s just to buy some time. Asking an examiner to clarify what they mean won’t automatically penalise you, as they are often looking to see how you deal with difficult questions. Also, if you get asked a particularly tricky question, take it as a good sign that the examiners think you are a strong student!
- Remember the examiners are not there to trick you
Very little inspires dread in students as much as the oral exam and the examiners. However, I remember coming out of my LOTE oral and just about all of my classmates had a better experience than they expected! Examiners are usually very friendly, and they’ll try to help you do your best. Even though it’s played up to be an intimidating situation, it will go better than expected more often than not.
- Talk more than you want to
If you’re asked a question such as, ‘Tell us a bit about your family’, give more than the absolute basics! Elaborate on things such as your parents’ jobs, and how well you get along with your family. Examiners are impressed the more students can say. You can even prepare in advance some ideas on what you’re going to respond to basic questions, to feel more confident.
The oral exam is your chance to show off everything you’ve worked on throughout schooling. Ultimately, remember that speaking a second language is never easy – no one is perfect!
If you loved this article, you will LOVE all of our other articles, such as: Last Minute Advice for the VCE English Exam, The Best Way to Reduce Stress in Year 12: It’s Not What You Think! and Time Management in the English Language Exam
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