You can increase the likelihood of IB German oral success with careful preparation. As the Internal Assessment or IA has a value of 25%, with careful preparation, you can really excel in your oral and use it to help you lift your final IB score.
Here we give you top tips from our IB Examiners and Teachers on how to plan for success.
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. Read on, and if you need a little help our IB teachers and examiners can help prepare to ace your oral in just a few lessons.
In this post, we offer some useful tips to ace your IB German oral. First, we get into the detail of what is required. As to get a top score you need to know exactly how the IAs are carried out.
Difference Between SL and HL German Interactive Oral
Internal Assessment is organized a little bit differently for Standard Level and High Level.
In the German oral exam at SL, students get a visual stimulus (an image) that refers to one of the topics of the syllabus:
- Human Ingenuity.
- Social Organization.
- 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 have to give a presentation on one of the literary works they should already be familiar with during their time in class. This gives you 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. Instead, you should come up with an outline or abstract of your speech, which specifies keywords, bullet points, arguments, etc.
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. It usually lasts about 15 minutes and consists of the following stages:
- 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 the event/situation/environment of the stimulus.
- Within the next 4-5 minutes, an examiner will ask you questions based on your presentation. For instance, they may want to hear more detail 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.
- The following 5-6 minutes you will spend talking about your experience in the context of the chosen topic. For instance, you can talk about 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 overall mark. To succeed, it is important that you are prepared, knowledgeable, and confident. Below, are the tips that will allow you to be all of that.
Tips for German IB 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. you need to practise, practise and keep on practising.
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 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 issues. 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 memorizing new vocabulary (because thus you can create audio information in addition to visual) and refining your accent.
Consume Content in German
When evaluating your knowledge during IA, the 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 an ample vocabulary. It will help you express your thoughts freely and in-depth, and will also show your appreciation of German.
- YouTube is a storehouse of knowledge for students learning a foreign language. It has lessons on pretty much everything – grammar, phonetics, useful vocabulary words, etc. Here are just a few channels that may come in handy for SL and HL: lingoni GERMAN, GermanPod101, Learn German with Herr Antrim, Deutsch mit Marija, fröhlich Deutsch, Deutsch für Euch.
- Podcasts are one more efficient way to emerge yourself into German. They are quite entertaining, provide information on a plethora of topics, and you can listen to them on the go. Here are some podcasts you may find useful: Coffee Break German, Speaking Of Berlin, Warum nicht?, Easy German.
- Read content in German. This can include books appropriate to your level, comics, news articles, blogs, etc.
When reading/watching/listening to educational materials in German, 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, summarize 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.
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, IB German oral 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 be discouraged by mistakes that may 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.
Phrasal cliches and connector words can make your story more coherent and harmonious. Make sure to 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 IB German Oral Success with Tutors Plus
An oral exam puts an exclamation mark on your IB course of German. To ace your German oral, 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!
Feel free to contact us at 022 731 8148 and firstname.lastname@example.org. We are looking forward to helping you get to the top of your class.