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Oral exam advice

bee*

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 14, 2006
Messages
12,170
Help! We've just been told that we have 2 thirty minute oral exams next Friday in college and I'm already feeling sick with nerves. I hate oral exams. Does anyone have any advice on how to relax before them or what to do in them. I'm going to be getting no sleep in the next week at the thoughts of them ;(
 

Haven

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
13,166
Bee*, you are going to do GREAT!

I always envision myself performing really well on exams, or races or other things that make me nervous. I think it really helps. I once read that Olympic athletes go through their entire events in their heads and they see themselves doing everything perfectly, and it's supposed to have a positive effect on their performance. So, if I were you I'd start daydreaming about how I am going to kick that exam's arse!

I also do a lot of talking to myself in the car prior to things that will require that sort of thing, such as interviews or presentations.

Good luck, friend!
 

Porridge

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
Messages
3,269
Don't worry bee*! You'll ace it.

We had something similar to oral exams in physio in that we had a practical exam every quarter. Before the practical component was 15 mins of an oral exam, and the examiner could also ask anything he wanted during the practical.

My number one piece of advice is to PRACTICE with your other classmates. It's something that definitely takes getting used to - I know for me especially, I don't answer written exams linearly, I tend to do easiest first and hop around, go back if I think of something extra etc. In the oral you need to have a more focused train of thought. Practice practice practice, and the exam won't seem so scary.

Second piece of advice is, just like in an interview, don't be afraid to say so if you need a minute to think. Don't go am...uh...well...ah... Just say "ok, let me take a minute to think about that/organise my answer" etc. Alternatively, ask them to repeat the question to give you more time.

Thirdly, the examiner will I'm sure have a set of questions they want to ask, but they might follow your lead too, so if you don't know much about a certain area don't bring it up!!!

Finally...relax and exude confidence!

Best of luck.
 

Porridge

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
Messages
3,269
Haven|1314381045|3000451 said:
Bee*, you are going to do GREAT!

I always envision myself performing really well on exams, or races or other things that make me nervous. I think it really helps. I once read that Olympic athletes go through their entire events in their heads and they see themselves doing everything perfectly, and it's supposed to have a positive effect on their performance. So, if I were you I'd start daydreaming about how I am going to kick that exam's arse!

I also do a lot of talking to myself in the car prior to things that will require that sort of thing, such as interviews or presentations.

Good luck, friend!
Oh this is great advice! I have a final interview on Wednesday, and not only have I been talking to myself nonstop like a loon, I have also been recording myself to hear how I sound and to remember anything I think of!
 

bee*

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 14, 2006
Messages
12,170
Thank you so much for your advice Haven and Porridge! I can't even eat my dinner I feel so nervous-I HATE oral exams! I've emailed some of the girls to see do they want to meet up and go through things and do mock questions. I'm really hoping they will want to. I'll just have to keep talking through different questions and try and be confident about it! :errrr: :errrr:
 

Tacori E-ring

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
20,039
No advice, just wishing you luck! You will do great.
 

monarch64

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
17,905
I've done a lot of public speaking but that doesn't make me a natural at it. I'm better at ad-lib than prepared speeches as well. My advice is similar to others'--practice A LOT by yourself, in the mirror, with others, and try to record yourself and play it back several times so you can really hear/see yourself. It will get easier the more you practice. Last, smile!!! It will automatically lighten your intensity and help this experience not be a negative one for you, which in turn will make it easier to do again in the future should there be a need.
 

wildcat03

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 11, 2011
Messages
503
The best advice I ever received before an oral exam was to take a minute to think about my answer and plot it out in my head - and only speak after you have an idea of what you are going to say! You will sit in silence for a moment, but it will feel MUCH longer to you than it does to the examiner - so don't worry about it.

Good luck!
 

bee*

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 14, 2006
Messages
12,170
Thank you Tacori! Luck is also very welcome!
Thanks Monarch-I'm not great on public speaking so I tend to get really flustered and more nervous. I'll definitely practice in front of the mirror. DH said that he'd go through questions with me.
Thanks wildcat-that's a good idea. I'd say it feels like ages if you're in silence for a few seconds! I'll have to try and remember that!
 

somethingshiny

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2007
Messages
6,746
Practice practice! Also, make sure you drink something that doesn't make you phlegmy or belchy before you begin. Keep water handy. If you start tripping over your words, are feeling extremely nervous, need a moment to think, whatever, just take a sip. People understand that you get thirsty when you speak. It will seem natural to them and give you the moment that you need to get back on track.

Good Luck!
 

bee*

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 14, 2006
Messages
12,170
ooh the water is a great idea. I doubt I'll be able to eat at all that morning so I don't think the belching will be a problem! thanks a mill!
 

pregcurious

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
6,724
Focus on trying to teach something to a few people in the audience, and really conveying your message.
 

Hera

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
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2,401
Haven|1314381045|3000451 said:
Bee*, you are going to do GREAT!

I always envision myself performing really well on exams, or races or other things that make me nervous. I think it really helps. I once read that Olympic athletes go through their entire events in their heads and they see themselves doing everything perfectly, and it's supposed to have a positive effect on their performance. So, if I were you I'd start daydreaming about how I am going to kick that exam's arse!

I also do a lot of talking to myself in the car prior to things that will require that sort of thing, such as interviews or presentations.

Good luck, friend!

Haven, I love that idea. I can see how that would make an impact on your performance. I must implement this for my client presentations!

Bee, I don't have any suggestions but I want to send some good luck wishes.
 

Fly Girl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 9, 2007
Messages
7,312
When you are studying, don't just read the material, say it aloud. Then the speaking part will be grooved into your brain.

And, relax. Tell yourself that what will be, will be.

You'll do fine. :wavey:
 

bee*

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 14, 2006
Messages
12,170
Thank you so much everyone-they're great ideas. I've stopped writing out notes and have started saying them out loud instead and the dog will soon be an expert in the subject as I've been telling her all about different topics :cheeky: I just cannot wait until this exam is over. I've been trying to picture myself doing well in it but I haven't got very far with that yet. I'm a bit of a pessimist when it comes to exams. Thanks again!
 
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