How to Prepare for an Individual Oral (IO) Assessment

How deeply do you understand about the IO Assessment?

How am I going to be assessed?

If you’re a language and literature student, you will need to pick a literary text and a non-literary one. Their styles can therefore be strikingly different. Make sure that you pay attention to their differences as well as their similarities. You may, for instance, highlight what you think is important about each text: this is best done when you have different colours for different themes so that you can better categorise them later on. If you’re an English literature student, both texts will be literary (one work in the original language and a translated work).

Is there a difference between HL and SL Individual Oral Assessments (IOA)?

In terms of assessment format and grading rubric, no. But there is one critical difference: the IOA weighs 30% of the overall grade for SL students while accounting for only 20% for HL students. Therefore, SL students are advised to be well-prepared for their IOA. This is not to say that you can mess with it if you’re doing HL, of course. 20% is worth something, especially when you’re aiming high.

The marking system

You should, in your 10-minute presentation, include an introduction which clearly discusses your overall argument, several supporting points with analyses of the chosen texts, and a conclusion. This is because one of the grading criteria is “focus and organization”:

Criteria Description Weighting
Criterion A Knowledge, understanding and interpretation 10 marks
Criterion B Analysis and evaluation 10 marks
Criterion C Focus and organisation 10 marks
Criterion D Language 10 marks
Total marks: 40 marks

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How to choose my texts?

Your teacher will already have some texts in mind when he or she starts to teach you at the beginning of the school year. Therefore, your choices are limited. Pick the texts you’re most confident with: i.e., the ones whose meaning you feel you have adequately grasped and those you think you can discuss with some analytical depth. Of course, you are freely entitled to choose the global issue you want to talk about before you choose the texts, or vice versa.

How to choose a global issue?

A natural way to do this would be to pick an issue that can readily connect the two texts together. Therefore, you should identify what is common between the chosen texts. For example, a common issue between Carol Ann Duffy’s “Little Red Cap” and Petra Collins’s photography series Selfie would be the representation of young women through different forms of images.

How to read my texts?

Reading literary texts is an activity quite different from reading texts of other genres. It’s because literary texts are particularly expressive. When you read them, do take note of the content and how it is conveyed. That is to say, think about the texts’ meaning and their particular contexts.

How to write my bullet points/script?

Do remember to start off with what interests you. It would be much more difficult for you to complete the whole framework if you’re developing your ideas into a direction which is not to your interest. Include an overall argument that is insightful and support it with observations from the text(s). Remember: you only need to speak for 10 minutes. Don’t write a lengthy script which you will never be able to memorise or finish within the examination time. Our tutors are always here for help when you’re in need.

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