Quick Tips to Ace the Oral Examinations and Viva

oram examinations
Image Credits: Trinity College

No matter how small the oral examinations and viva are, they can be daunting for many. Sure, these examinations are important but they are definitely not something one should be afraid of. Preparing for the orals and viva in the correct way can reduce the fear largely. 

Orals and viva are examinations taken to test the students’ knowledge about a particular subject. These examinations not just test the students’ knowledge but also their speaking, listening, and communication skills. These are some of the factors that are used, to assign scores to the students.

As the orals and viva hold immense relevance in students’ academic results, preparing for it efficiently is important. Given below are few tips to ace your oral exams/viva:

  • Know Your Matter Well: If you study well and have all your concepts clear in your mind, no force can stop you from doing exceedingly well in your orals. Make sure you start prepping for your orals way prior to the main day. Doing this gives you enough time to cover and complete your syllabus. Also, you will get ample time to revise and practice your viva.  
  • Be Presentable: Your first impression has to be good. Presenting yourself in front of the examiner wearing crumpled clothes, undone hair, slippers, etc can put you in a really bad light. Be presentable. Wear nicely ironed clothes and dress up well. Having formal/presentable attire speaks a lot about the kind of student you are.
  • Be Punctual: You do not want to see yourself entering in the middle of an ongoing viva of your fellow classmate and invite scolding from your examiner. This is the worst thing that can happen because ultimately it will affect your performance. Make sure you leave your house way early and reach on time. Reaching before time is even safer. Remember being early is always better than being late.  Being punctual is indicative of you taking your examination seriously.
  • Listen Carefully: Listening to the questions carefully is crucial to be able to answer them. Listen to them carefully and think about the most appropriate answer for the same.
  • Don’t Rush: Do not be in a hurry to answer. When a question is asked, keep your anxiety at bay, take a deep breath and utilize some time to think about the answer. Once and only when you are ready with your answer, start answering. This way you won’t get stuck in the middle of answering.
  • Be Confident: Confidence always speaks for itself. Demonstrating confidence while answering the examiner’s questions tells the examiner that you know your subject well. Stammering, taking frequent pauses, fidgeting, etc are all signs of lack of confidence. If you come across as unconfident, the examiner might ask you more questions to test you. Hence, make sure you answer the questions well and clearly.
  • Answer Briefly but Correctly: The length of the answers doesn’t decide their accuracy. What you answer, does. It is okay to give lengthy answers as long as you are answering appropriately. Many times it so happens that the students drift away from answering the main question in focus and go on to speak about something completely different or keep beating around the same bush without even realizing it. This affects the scoring. Make sure to be relevant and to the point. As long as this happens, short answers won’t be a problem.
  • Don’t over prepare and over revise: Too much of preparation is also not good. Once you complete your syllabus and revise twice or thrice, you will be good to go. Preparing too much will leave you exhausted. This might affect you on the day of your orals. we You certainly don’t want that.
  • Do a mock session: This is the best way to prepare for your orals. Sit with your group of friends and brainstorm about the possible questions that can be asked and then frame your answers accordingly. You can also do this with any of your family member as well. Incase no one is around you for doing this, you can always place yourself in front of the mirror and answer. While doing this, make sure to study your body language and the tone of your voice and accordingly improvise.  


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