How to Ace Your IB German Oral

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This shouldn’t come as a surprise – but careful preparation can increase the likelihood of IB German oral exam success The good news is that it is more straight-forward than you think. As this Internal Assessment has a value of 25%, doing well in this exam will lift your final IB score.

An IB oral exam can be stressful, especially, if you lack linguistic fluency. If the very thought of the German oral exam sends shivers of fear down your spine, or you just want to strengthen your skills, this is the article you need. Our experienced IB teachers and examiners explain how to prepare for your assessment in the right way, step by step

German Oral Tutor

But first, we get into the details of what to expect from your exam. After all, to get a top score, you need to know exactly how the IAs are carried out.

Difference Between SL and HL German Oral

The Internal Assessment is organised a little bit differently for Standard Level (SL) and High Level (HL).

In the IB German oral exam at SL, students get a visual stimulus (an image) that refers to one of the topics of the syllabus:

  1. Identities.
  2. Experiences.
  3. Human Ingenuity.
  4. Social Organization.
  5. Sharing the planet.

After picking a stimulus, a student has 15 minutes to create a plan and prepare the speech.

At HL, instead of visual stimuli, students give a presentation on one of the literary works they should already be familiar with during their time in class. You will have 20 minutes to decide what you would like to cover and plan a structure for your discussion.

When preparing your presentation, it’s not worth writing in great detail – you simply won’t have enough time for this. Instead, you should come up with an outline or notes for your speech. It may specify the most important things you’d like to say  in the form of keywords, bullet points, arguments, etc.

IB German Oral Exam

The Structure of the IB German Oral Exam

When the preparation time is over, you must give a presentation and discuss it with the examiners. This is the main part of the oral exam. As we have already said, it lasts 15-20 minutes and consists of the following stages:

  1. Stimulus description. You will have 3-4 minutes to describe what you’ve seen in a picture or learned from a given literary work. Make sure to focus on the characters, events, and environment the stimulus/literary work showcases. It’s also worth it to briefly state your opinion about its event/situation/environment.
  2. Dialogue. Within the next 4-5 minutes, an examiner will ask you questions based on your presentation. For instance, they may want to hear more about your opinion or ask what made you think that. Don’t forget to express your appreciation of the topic of your exam, especially if it concerns the target culture.
  3. Monologue. The following 5-6 minutes you will spend talking about your experience in the context of the chosen topic. For instance, you can mention your trip to Germany (or having a pen pal, watching a movie, reading a book, etc.) and how this experience affected your views. It is actually quite common to step outside the frames of the topic, but you need to learn how to smoothly transition from what is prescribed to your personal perspective.

Above all, by pulling off your German oral, you will be able to get points in the bag ahead of your final exams as the oral contributes 25% of the final mark. To succeed, you need to be prepared, knowledgeable, and confident. Below are the tips that will allow you to get the best score you possibly can.

Tips to Ace your IB German Oral

The best thing you can do to prepare for your German oral exam is practice. But don’t just read your textbook from cover to cover – this repeated action will just exhaust your brain. Besides, it provides little speaking practice. Instead, (or in addition to) you can try the following.

Speak, Talk, Converse

The oral exam is all about talking. Even if you score the highest marks in writing, listening, and reading, this does not automatically guarantee good verbal skills. What guarantees it is constant targeted practice.

Here are some tips on how to go about it.

  • Start with talking to yourself when you do things around the house or enjoy your hobbies. Plus, whenever you write something in German, try to simultaneously articulate it.
  • Find someone to talk with. A native speaker would be ideal but not always possible (although there are plenty of online language exchange platforms, you can try one). For the purpose of preparing for your IB German oral exam, anyone who speaks German will do as your study partner. Don’t worry if their German is not perfect – your goal here is to gain speaking practice rather than polish your grammar.
  • If you want to kill two birds with one stone – get better at talking and grammar – it’s worth considering getting a German tutor. He or she is able to pinpoint your mistakes and overall weaknesses. The ability to free your speech from errors is always a good thing in terms of acing your IA.
  • Finally, read out loud. It is beneficial for memorising new vocabulary (thus you can create audio information in addition to visual) as well as for refining your accent.

German-IB-Homework

Consume Content in German

When evaluating your knowledge during IA, an examiner takes into account not only what you learned in class, but also independent research and revision.

This is especially true for HL. Hence, it is important to have a wide vocabulary. It will help you express your thoughts freely and in-depth, and will also show your appreciation of German.

When reading/watching/listening to educational materials in German, don’t forget to make notes. For instance, write down new words, idioms, and expressions in your vocabulary, note pronunciation, pay attention to grammar, etc.

Be Ready for What May Come

It goes without saying that you should know prescribed topics like the back of your hand. Every time you learn or repeat a topic, try to make a small oral presentation. For example, summarise what you’ve found out, give your opinion, highlight the pros and cons, etc. This way, you will gain sufficient experience to talk about any topic you might get in your exam.

Don’t forget that a presentation is only a small portion of your oral exam. You will actually spend more time answering questions or engaging in a dialogue. Try to figure out in advance what these questions may be and prepare your answers.

Remember, the IB German oral exam is designed to assess your speaking confidence. An examiner wants to find out if you are able to articulate your thoughts fluently and smoothly. Sure, it is great if you can blend this confidence with the correct use of tenses, genders, cases, sentence structures, etc. But don’t get upset if mistakes creep into your speech. It is better to convey your thoughts with mistakes than be silent. A clear, convincing, and comprehensive presentation is what you should focus on.

<h3>Use Common Phrases for Your IB German Oral Exam</h3>

Speaking about mistakes, you may significantly reduce them if you rely on some common German oral exam phrases and connector words. Just like bridges, they will allow you to effortlessly transition between ideas and keep your presentation flowing naturally.

But not only that, phrasal cliches may also help minimise awkward pauses when you search for the right words. And finally, they can make your story more coherent and harmonious.

We suggest include some of these in your presentation and dialogue:

  • Meine Präsentation heißt …
  • In meiner Präsentation gibt es folgende Teile:
  •  Zuerst erzähle ich gern über …
  • Dazu beschreibe ich einige Vorteile und Nachteile.
  • Zusammenfassend vertrete ich meine eigene Meinung.
  • Ich denke/glaube…
  • Meiner Meinung nach…
  • Ich bin der Ansicht, dass…
  • Ich habe niemals/oft…
  • Ich bin sicher, dass…
  • Zum Schluss möchte ich noch sagen, dass …
  • Einerseits ist …
  • Andererseits ist …
  • Als Nachteil/Vorteil kann man sagen …
  • Vielen Dank für Ihre Aufmerksamkeit!

Prepare for Your IB German Oral Exam with Tutors Plus

An oral exam puts an exclamation mark on your IB German course. To ace your oral exam, you need to focus on acquiring speaking confidence through talking, amassing vocabulary, mastering grammar, and polishing your oratory skills.

Do you feel there is a gap in your knowledge or do your skills leave much to be desired? Let us help you become a more confident German speaker. We are Tutors Plus, a team of qualified and friendly IB tutors committed to assisting aspiring students in gaining linguistic competence. Whether you want to get more speaking practice, improve your grammar, or learn German from a different angle, we’ve got you covered!

All our tutors are also certified IB German teachers and examiners with years of experience under their belts. They know it all about the assessment format and the specific criteria to award top marks. Thanks to this knowledge, they can get you prepared for your IB German oral and help impress your examiners.

Feel free to contact us at 022 731 8148 and info@tutorsplus.com. We are looking forward to helping you get to the top of your class.

By Sara Lloyd

Sara has been an education consultant for TutorsPlus for 15 years, and is an expert on international IB education.  She is also a parent of two lively children.

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