The speaking test contains 1 part. You will be on your own with twoexaminers. You
will begin witha presentation based on a series of written documentsand it will
be followed bya discussion with the examiners. You will have a choice between two
fields: humanities and social studies or science. Bear in mind that your choice will
include both writing and speaking papers.
You will be given 1 hour for preparation and the oral exam will last for 30 minutes
(between 10 and 15 minutes of presentation and 15 minutes of discussion). This part
is worth 25 marks.
A French monolingual dictionary is allowed during the preparation.
The oral presentation, which is called the “exposé” requires thorough preparation.
You will not only be assessed on your speaking skills but also on your ability toraise important pointsfrom the documents and present them ina structured analysis.
One hour is a very short time to complete this task. That is why it is necessary
that youtrain effectivelybefore the exam andacquire good reflexes. The framework
of your presentation is worth 8 points.
Stage 1: General approach and Brainstorming
• On the first reading, identify the nature of the texts,
the sources, the type and the common theme (most of the time a title is given for
each document providing a hint).
• On the second reading, underline the main ideas and select two
main points on which you will work out your plan.
• Afterwards, think of as many ideas, points and examples as possible to use in
Unlike the synthesis part,you will be expected to express your
opinionbyreferring to examplesfrom foreign or French current affairs and from
your own experiences. Once you have noted your main ideas, work out how to convey
your key points effectively.
Stage 2: Making a plan
Different types of plans may be considered:
• The argumentative plan: you introduce a false assertion then you disprove
this argument and you propose a different one one.
• The question plan: you introduce and illustrate a premise then you analyse the
causes of the problem and you suggest solutions and their feasibility based on your
• The balanced discussion plan: at first you give the points in favour of the statement,
then you make the points against the statement and you conclude with your own opinion.
• The thematic plan: you present a topic from different angles and you give your
You will choose a plan after reading the documents. This is why it is important
to understand their type (comparative, informative or argumentative) from scratch.
Stage 3: Introduction
The way you introduce your presentation is essential and you must take into account
the following steps.
Firstly,you may start witheither:
• a definition of the theme you are going to talk about
• a recent event in the news
• a personal example
Secondly, you present the documents which were handed in to you byciting their sources(the magazine or newspaper’s title, the author and the date). You will sometimes
have documents from the same sources and sometimes not.
Thirdly, youbring out the issuewith a direct or indirect question.
Finally,you outline your plan. Although this outline should not be too artificial,
the examiner must be able to follow the logic of your presentation.You may use for
• Dans un premier temps…
When you introduce your plan,do not forget to use the future tense.
The third part is dedicated to your personal vision and experience of what you talked
about in the first two parts.
Even though you may think that such an introduction is too fastidious, it is nonetheless
the best way to give the examiners a good impression and consequently a good mark.
Although it isout of the question to draft all the talk, I suggest you to write
some or all the introduction as we can be easily put off by stress at the beginning
of the presentation.
Stage 4: Development
The speaking part includes elements which are inseparable from the act of communication.
Obviously you will pay attention to your pronunciation and your intonation but you
will also use a specific metalanguage associated with speech.
First of all,the examiners must feel concernedbyand I dare say engaged in what
you are presenting. Therefore, it is good to use theimperative with “nous” :
• Passons si vous le voulez bien à la première partie de mon exposé...
• Examinons maintenant les causes de…
• Notons que…
• Prenons l’exemple de…
The examiners should not have to make an effort to follow your train of thought
and arguments. What’s more, theuse of logical connectorsis essential throughout
your presentation and you should learn 3 or 4 connectors for each function.
As I said before you must not draft all the presentation and that is why you
should write what is the most important to remember.
• First givea titleto your different parts
• Then in each of them you write yourkey words, argumentsandexamples.
• and write an explicit transition when you go from one part to another:
Abordons maintenant dans une deuxième partie les raisons de...
Moreover, you should pay particular attention to your third part as you will
express your opinion. As I said before, you need to articulate your ideas usingprecise
examplesand not generalities unless you want the examiners to get bored! When you
can connect your ideas to the French news, it is even better. Find a way of surprising
Stage 5: conclusion
To finish with a good presentation, the conclusion must be short and effective.
You may write it down if you do not feel confident enough.
• At first, summarize briefly the content of your presentation in a few lines. You
can introduce them with the following:
Par conséquent, nous avons constaté que...
En résumé je me permettrai de rappeler que...
• Then, it is worth broadening the issue with a new question.
• Thirdly, you thank the audience for their attention and invite the examiners toask for questions:
Je vous remercie de votre attention et je suis désormais disposé à répondre à vos