How to Pass the Oral Communication Task
- Relax & Speak up
Don’t worry about trying to remember all the information in the video. This test is more about accessing your speaking skills so focus on speaking clearly. Also, you will speaking at the same time as everyone else in your exam so make sure you speak up!
- You will only get to see the video once
And there are no pauses. Nor can you take notes.
- How hard is the Oral Communication Task?
Great news! The video is very slow and simple.
I had some concerns going into the exam for this section. The practice video from the Victoria Police Candidate Information Booklet was good, but I struggled to retain information from the video. My brain isn’t wired for memorising names, dates, etc.
I ended up practicing on other Vimeo videos. These are short videos of small accidents involving emergency services. I watched these several time to help train my memory recall.
Thankfully, the video in the Victoria Police Entrance Exam was very simple. It’s not taken from the news and instead, looks to be shot for this test specifically.
The pace of the video is very slow so you have a lot of time to take in information. The narrator isn’t a journalist speaking rapidly either. Rather, the dialogue from the video is presented slowly and is easy to follow along.
I won’t explain the details of the video in case they have changed. Just know it will be easy to take in details from the video such as; location, time of day, people involved and their actions, gender, etc.
What You Should Focus On
As its stated in the Acer’s Practise Now book, the aim of the oral communication task is to access your oral communication skills.
What you need to demonstrate is:
Using the right vocabulary
This isn’t the time to be speaking like you would to your mates, “hey fellas!”, rather they want formal language used and if you can remember some specific words within the video, then repeating those words will be rewarded.
My voice can be quiet and monotone at times but fortunately for this task, you are sitting right next to 3-4 other people who have headphones, so it forces you to speak louder. Basically, just speak as clearly as you can, avoid “ums” and “arghs” and speak confidently.
Speak in complete sentences and make sure to use appropriate phrases between facts and beliefs, ie for a fact, “the video showed…” or for a belief, “I believe there were two…”. Even if you are unsure about some aspect of the video, give it a go by stating it is a belief.
Make sure that you report the main details from the video, ie, number of people involved, what they were wearing, time of day etc. Whatever you do, don’t make stuff up! Only speak about information you are 100% confident about.
Plenty of Practice
Watch short news videos and see you can recall the details from the video by asking the following questions:
describe what you observed, who was involved, describe their appearance, where and did the incident occur, what would a police officer (or you) do in that situation? Etc
Don’t sweat this one too much. My exam score was 16/20. Check out some practice videos for the Oral Communication Task here for free.
Good luck with the prep!
If you would like extra help on a question, drop me an email.