Tips for your oral exam

Here is some advice on how to improve your performance during role plays
1.-Read the rubric well and get into the character you are playing. Take a pen and make a note of keywords. If it says you and your partner this is a euphemism for a couple. So act as a member of a couple even if it is the first time in your life you see the person in front of you. Get into your role.

2.-Start the conversation by stating what the situation is, so that it’s clear you both understand what you are doing. E.g. As you know, we have just had a medical check-up and my results were terrible, so my doctor has recommended a change in lifestyle and I was thinking….

3.-Make sure you interact and ask questions: e.g. What is your opinion on this point? or How do you feel about living on the outskirsts? Etc.
Make comments: Hummm, quite an interesting idea!, or Hum I hadn´t looked at it that way, etc., and of course take turns, don’t take over the whole conversation and react to what the other person is saying: Do you really believe that? or Great! I never thought about that!, etc.

4. Don´t talk about all your points at once, but state one and explain or justify your opinion. Illustrate with an example: I have been considering taking up dancing. I did salsa lessons once and found it really therapeutic, exercising to music. You should try it.

5.-The points in the card are only a guidance. You can think outside the box and add other arguments and suggestions.

6.- Don´t make the most terrible mistakes:
I am agree, the people is, when I was a child I go to …, he said me, etc.
(Eugh!!!!!)

The BBC has a great series called ‘How to…?’ where they go through the language needed in different communicative situations:
How to …. discuss: making suggestions, making a point, disagreeing, expressinguncertainty, ….

How to … instructions, explanations & advice: asking for and giving directions, showing understanding when you are listening to explanations, ….

How to …. good news, bad news: congratulating someone on good news, responding to someone’s bad news, …
How to … conversation: extending a conversation, closing topics, talking about things you like, …
How to … requests, offers & invitations: asking for permission to do something, inviting someone in an informal context, making polite invitations, …

How to … complaints, apologies & excuses: making a complaint, saying sorry, accepting an apology, pointing out the positive …
How to … hello & goodbye : greeting friends, greeting people in more formal situations, introducing people, small talk and follow-up conversations, saying goodbye,…
And if you want to improve your pronunciation follow this advice and check out this good blog from a nice Spanish woman, Iciar, living in London who gives tips on how to get rid of the Spanish accent.

Let’s get talking!
The table below lists useful expressions that you can use to signpost the various parts of your presentation.

Function Language
Introducing the subject
  • I’d like to start by…
  • Let’s begin by…
  • First of all, I’ll…
  • Starting with…
  • I’ll begin by…
Finishing one subject…
  • Well, I’ve told you about…
  • That’s all I have to say about…
  • We’ve looked at…
  • So much for…
…and starting another
  • Now we’ll move on to…
  • Let me turn now to…
  • Next…
  • Turning to…
  • I’d like now to discuss…
  • Let’s look now at…
Analysing a point and giving recommendations
  • Where does that lead us?
  • Let’s consider this in more detail
  • What does this mean for ABC?
  • Translated into real terms…
Giving an example
  • For example,…
  • A good example of this is…
  • As an illustration,…
  • To give you an example,…
  • To illustrate this point…
Dealing with questions
  • We’ll be examining this point in more detail later on
  • I’d like to deal with this question later, if I may
  • I’ll come back to this question later in my talk
  • Perhaps you’d like to raise this point at the end
  • I won’t comment on this now
Summarising and concluding
  • In conclusion,…
  • Right, let’s sum up, shall we?
  • I’d like now to recap…
  • Let’s summarise briefly what we’ve looked at…
  • Finally, let me remind you of some of the issues we’ve covered…
  • If I can just sum up the main points…
Ordering
  • Firstly,… Secondly,… Thirdly, … Lastly…
  • First of all…, then…, next…, after that…, finally…
  • To start with…, later…, to finish up…

The table below lists useful expressions that you can use to agree or disagree on other people’s opinions you may present during your presentation.

Expressions for Agreeing and Disagreeing

Stating an opinion
  • In my opinión …
  • The way I see it …
  • If you want my honest opinion …
  • According to …
  • As far as I’m concerned …
  • If you ask me …
Asking for an opinion
  • What’s your idea?
  • What are your thoughts on all of this?
  • How do you feel about that?
  • Do you have anything to say about this?
  • What do you think?
  • Do you agree?
  • Wouldn’t you say…?
Expressing agreement
  • I agree with you 100 percent.
  • I couldn’t agree more.
  • That’s so true.
  • That’s for sure.
  • (slang) Tell me about it!
  • You’re absolutely right.
  • Absolutely!
  • That’s exactly how I feel.
  • Exactly!
  • I’m afraid I agree with James.
  • I have to side with Dad on this one.
  • No doubt about it.
  • (agree with negative statement) Me neither.
  • (weak) I suppose so. /I guess so.
  • You have a point there.
  • I was just going to say that.
Expressing disagreement
  • I don’t think so.
  • (strong) No way!
  • I’m afraid I disagree.
  • (strong) I totally disagree.
  • I beg to differ.
  • (strong) I’d say the exact opposite.
  • Not necessarily.
  • That’s not always true.
  • That’s not always the case.
  • No, I’m not so sure about that.
Interruptions
  • Can I add something here?
  • Is it okay if I jump in for a second?
  • If I might add something …
  • Can I throw my two cents in?
  • Sorry to interrupt, but …
  • (after accidentally interrupting someone) Sorry, go ahead. OR Sorry, you were saying …
  • (after being interrupted) You didn’t let me finish.
Settling an argument
  • Let’s just move on, shall we?
  • Let’s drop it.
  • I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree.
  • (sarcastic) Whatever you say / If you say so.
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