Military English exams – speaking

Oral exam format

Today, basing on Polish military exams, I will discuss the oral exam format and scope of materials you must be prepared for. Being familiar with the course of the exam will help you prepare for it and consequently achieve a better score.

Speaking requirements on the level 1 exams

Since level 1 exams do not require from you a fluent English (or any other language), all the instructions will be given in your mother tongue. Nonetheless, the scope of materials requires English proficiency, good enough to tell the examiners about basic personal details, your daily routine, and giving and asking for basic data in everyday situations.

Prior to the English exam you should be aware of type of tasks you will have to fullfil. Most frequently, you will start with small talk questions and then you will be assigned a role to play (role-playing). That is why you will be given several sheets of paper to choose from. Each paper contains the role to be played by you with some details you must use while performing.

Speaking part of the exam – strategy

Since you have the chosen role to play, read the instruction carefully and try to recall all the possible and necessary vocabulary to cover the role in a satisfactory way. Usually the examiner is to start the conversation, so during reading time you should predict some of his questions. It will prevent you from being surprised and will enable you to answer the questions smoothly. Since the whole speaking part of the exam is conducted in a conversation convention, be prepared to ask questions as well. It may happen that you are told to start the conversation, but this situation is not that frequent as the examiner starting the whole conversation. It stems from the fact that on lower levels of English proficiency, the examiners should warm you up, so they start from easy questions to tune you into English conversation.

Speaking activities – tasks during exams

Below you will find examples of tasks for both the examiner and the examinee.

L1/S/001

Part 1a

– What’s your name? Can you spell it?
– What do you do?

Part 1b

1) Tell us about your wife/husband/ partner.
[ you should cover these questions ]
1. What does he/she do?
2. What does he/she look like?
3. Where did you meet her/him?

2) Tell us about when you learnt to drive.
[ you should cover these questions ]
1. When did you learn to drive?
2. How long did it take you to learn to drive?
3. Are you a good driver? Why?

Part 2 (formulated in your mother tongue, here in Polish)

Rola zdającego:

Jesteś w kinie.
• Poproś o bilet na Rambo X o 17:30
• Zapytaj o cenę biletu
• Zapytaj, kiedy film się kończy
Rozmowę rozpoczyna egzaminator.

Rola egzaminatora:

Jesteś pracownikiem kina. Kandydat chce kupić bilet na Rambo X o 17:30.
• Cena biletu: $5
• Zapytaj, gdzie chciałby siedzieć
• Film kończy się o 19:25
Rozpocznij rozmowę.