The Leaving Cert orals are held in April which means now's the time to make sure you're well prepared. Here are some tips to help you out:
The Structure of the Oral Exam
General Conversation (MARKS - 40)
This part of the exam last about 4 minutes. The best preparation you can do is to practice speaking German as much as possible. Practice with your friends, speak German in the shower or even record yourself on your phone. A good challenge can be to pick a theme, time yourself and see can you speak aloud for 1 minute on that theme.
Rather than waiting for the examiner to ask question after question try and lead the conversation into areas you have a good knowledge of and are well prepared for.
Examiner: "How many brothers and sisters do you have?"
Student: "I have one brother, He is studying medicine. I want to study medicine too. I want to go to college in Dublin...
Mindmapping out possible links between conversation topics can be worthwhile. So for example if you are asked about say homework, you can answer that but then link on to your hobbies and interests.
One of the key skills in an oral is to know your verbs. Be prepared to speak in the past, present and future tenses. Also do your best to use a German accent when you speak.
Picture stories (MARKS - 30)
The 5 picture stories will be turned upside down. You will be asked to randomly pick one of the 5 pictures. Be able to tell the story in 15-20 sentences. Make sure you know the first picture in all the sequences as this will get you off to a good start. The examiner will then ask you a series of questions about the pictures. Firstly you will get a short question where you can reply with a one sentence answer. Next you will be asked a question about a future projection in any picture,for example "what do you think will happen next?" Be prepared to use the future tense here. The final 10 marks out of the 30 will be a question based on a theme found in the picture story. Check out our notes and aural tool for the picture stories here.
Role Plays (MARKS - 30)
There are 5 roleplay cards to be learned. Again, you will pick one of the cards randomly. You should use the vocabulary printed on the card. Keep your sentences short and make sure you complete each of the 5 tasks on the card. Usually there will be 4 points within each of the 5 tasks. Listen carefully to what the examiner says and try to respond appropriately. Check out our notes and aural tool for the role plays here.
And finally, if you find yourself in a tight spot, phrases such as Ich verstehe die Frage nicht
(I don't understand the question!) and
Können Sie die Frage wiederholen, bitte
(Can you repeat the question please)
can be very handy indeed!
If you're looking for more tips on the oral and the German exam itself, check out our subject guide on how to get a H1 in German here.
The Studyclix Team