Oral Exams: They’re Cooler Than You Think

You choose

What was once the common technique for teachers to evaluate has over time become a rarity that only a few brave (and Erasmus students who have more difficulty with writing) request. And it is that the written exams have won the battle to the oral ones for many reasons, but the oral ones also have a lot of charm once we get mental.

Alert, embarrassing

Oral exams terrify the shy and those who have a hard time speaking in public. The oratory is something that usually is already practiced in classrooms and, unfortunately, we depend more on the self – confidence of everyone that a learned and refined technique, so face an oral test will depend on management we can make our nerves. The fact of being alone in front of the teacher can suppose a high level of stress, even more so in those tests that are recorded (which is very necessary if, for example, we decide to complain).

Think fast!

Another problem with oral exams is the time we have to organize our ideas: the normal thing is that they give us 5 or 10 minutes to prepare the answers. It is not about writing, but about making a quick outline to be able to consult during the exhibition and that nothing happens to us. We must hurry and we cannot remain blank. If one does not come out, we move on to the next one and we will return to it later if there is time. It is important that we answer the questions without digressing and without leaving anything important in the pipeline because, in these cases, telling the teacher: “Wait, I’m going to think about it a bit” will lower the grade. Therefore, when preparing for an oral exam, keep in mind what the main ideas of the syllabus are and learn to develop from there. And above all: do not forget that an oral exam is studied orally,

Don’t memorize

It is not nice to memorize like a parrot (unless the exam is exactly about reciting something to the letter), but we are going to have to know what we are talking about, understand it and explain it correctly and with an adequate use of language. If we are able to explain the agenda in our own words, it will give us more marks.

Are you easily distracted?

Beware of dispersion. In the oral exams, we are going to have to tell a lot more about the question they ask us than in the written exam, simply because it takes much longer to write and it is known that the time per question is very limited. Instead, speaking we are going to need to cover a few minutes of explanation without getting scattered, jumping off topic or beating around the bush. As soon as we start to put straw, the teacher will notice and change the question, even if we have not answered everything we should.

Look the positive side

If we are able to handle the above (preparation is the key and anyone can do it), oral exams also have a few points in their favor that we should not lose sight of.

The first thing is that to volunteer for this test you have to want to demonstrate something, and when we want to demonstrate something it is because we have prepared ourselves so well that we seek excellence. No one in their right mind would go to their teacher without having a clue of the syllabus. So, the main reason for those high marks they give in orals (yes, the rumor is true) is not that the oral exam is easier, but that only the most nerd gets into it. If we want the teacher to keep our face and value our work, there is no better way than embroidering an oral exam.

Another advantage is that, if the teacher is not too uptight, he will give us some clue or point out, in dialogue with us, the way forward. Some even pose the test as a conversation between teacher and student on a specific topic. If we are good at debating or arguing, this is the golden opportunity for honors.

Yes, in these exams you can also claim the grade

As we have said before, claiming an oral exam is as possible as claiming a written one. The fact that there is a recording or a sketch of our intervention will help us to show that we did ghostwriters for hire to the test better than the note reflects. The channels to do so are also the same as in a written one.

A valuable practice

Throughout the four years that the degree lasts, and although the written exams are more comfortable (and not always), it would not hurt if we ever tried this formula. We must consider that, later on, we may find ourselves in the situation of having to defend a thesis in court or speak in public at a conference. Practicing with the oral exams will help us learn to relax and express ourselves correctly and fluently.

The choice is yours. You dare?