When you are preparing for your OET speaking exam, you will need to practice often in order to get ready. There are many different ways to do this, including finding a tutor online or joining some local classes. However, you can also practice at home in your free time in a variety of different ways.
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In this article, I’m going to outline some things you can do at home to prepare for OET speaking to improve your chances of getting a great score.
1. Learn about the exam
Step one should be to learn about the OET speaking sub-test. It is vitally important that you know what to expect because OET is very different from other English exams. If you went into the exam without this prior knowledge, the content would be quite shocking and you would be unlikely to get a high score regardless of your actual English ability.
Therefore, you should make sure to research the exam well in advance of your test date. This could involve reading articles about it, watching videos, or doing some practice tests, all of which can be done from the convenience of your own home through the internet. Once you are familiar with the structure of OET speaking, then you can begin to practice more thoroughly and make a better preparation plan.
2. Find a speaking partner
This is the first and most obvious thing you should do. It is really the most useful way to prepare for OET or most other English tests. The ideal speaking partner would be someone who is also doing the OET exam in your specialist field. However, almost anyone with good English skills would do. Facebook OET groups can be quite useful in this regard.
You should first prepare by discussing how the practice will take place. If it is in person, great, but online is also fine. Make sure that you know who will be playing the role of the patient and what they need to say. You should prepare some role play cards in advance so that everything goes smoothly and no time is wasted.
When you are practicing, the person who is acting as the patient should do their best to keep the situation realistic, but they should also offer some useful feedback and potential areas for improvement. A good speaking partner is one who shares genuine and constructive criticism.
Remember, though, that even if your partner is not an expert, this sort of practice is really helpful at getting you used to the exam conditions and building up some fluency. Just running through the scenario will really help you.
3. Speak aloud
If you are worried about your English skills in areas such as pronunciation or fluency, then you can work at home to overcome this problem. One thing that you can do is speak aloud. Think of speaking like any other exercise – practice makes perfect. You need to warm up and practice regularly or else you will lose your fitness level, and it’s the same with speaking English.
You can practice in front of a mirror or else record yourself speaking on your phone. Both of these are helpful. Try mimicking native speakers of English while you talk as this will really help you to master those difficult sounds and also build fluency. There are even some dubbing apps available online that will let you talk over a video clip to practice repeating certain sounds.
If you have someone who can offer feedback, ask them to listen to you and offer suggestions for improvement. Perhaps you are saying a particular word wrongly, or maybe you are speaking too quickly. Often it is difficult to tell this by yourself and you need someone else to point it out. In any case, these are things you could then work to improve.
For an extra boost, try doing some tongue twisters. These are great practice for the muscles in your mouth and face. Actors and newsreaders do them before they perform in order to ensure that they can master all the sounds without making any verbal slip-ups.
4. Review the role play cards
When you are at home on your own and have no one with whom to practice, you can look up some role play cards online and see the common situations that occur in OET speaking. By doing this, you can really become familiar with the test and learn what to expect in your own exam. Obviously, it is impossible to predict the role play cards that will occur in OET, but you will get a general sense of them and feel more prepared.
You should also work on planning out your conversation. Think about what you should say first, what questions you will ask, how you should talk, and also some good ways to end the conversation. By doing this a few times, you will get used to it. That means that in the actual OET exam, it will be much quicker and easier because you are accustomed to the process.
There are many things that you can do at home to practice for the OET speaking exam. If you follow the advice I have outlined in this article, you will give yourself a good chance of success.