What’s on?

Picture of a student from Vatel Bordeaux, passing an oral exam in Vatel Bordeaux school.

As every year, our students in the 3rd year of the Bachelor degree must take the Grand Oral exam. Learn more about this test!

The exam

What is the Grand Oral?

The Grand Oral is an exciting exam because it prepares the 3rd year students in Bachelor to know how to communicate with a jury and develop a fine thought.

The student has 30 minutes to prepare a subject drawn at random. For example: “how to manage multiculturalism on board cruise ships”. 

Then, he-she must present this subject to a jury (composed of 3 people) for 10 minutes without reading his-her preparation and then answer questions in French and English.

How is the exam conducted?

The exam is divided into 5 steps:

– 30 minutes of preparation
– 10 minutes of presentation
– 10 minutes of questions in French
– 5 minutes of questions in English
– 5 minutes of jury feedback

Advice for the Grand Oral

Here is some advice on the Grand Oral test from Laurence Hebting, Professional Communication trainer at Vatel Bordeaux.

What’s the right attitude to have?

See further than the Grand Oral: this exam prepares the student to know how to «sell oneself». Tomorrow’s job interview could be “here’s a topic, you have 30 minutes, thank you for your analysis.” This would allow to see the candidate’s oral fluency, posture and depth of reflection.

The great oral is similar to that and that is why I particularly like this subject.

Keep your 2 feet flat on the ground. Support your speech with your hands: no “server position” with hands hidden behind your back.

Look all your jurors in the eye.

Smile! It’s good for you and good for your audience.

My classes are there to explain everything to them! 

The candidate during the main oral is no longer a student: it is a professional facing professionals.

What are the habits to avoid?

Remove the linguistic tics such as “in fact”, “like”, ”so”, “actually”… It could get the interlocutor bored and these words are not very useful.

How to manage stress?

Breathe! This is the basis. Come back to your body when the head takes over (we work on exercises during classes).

Practice as much as you can.  That’s what classes are for. Don’t miss any! Even if you’re tired!

Visualize positively!

Everything starts behind the door and ends behind the door, like in the theatre!

When should you start working on this exam?

From the first class and it starts soon!

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