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HF Exam - oral exam info

The oral exam is only for candidates who have received a mark of "5" on exactly one part of the exam.

Individual tiimes are generally announced at the time of the results for the written exam.

Please do not ask for an alternative time unless you were either:

a) ill at the time of the oral examination, and produce a doctor's note (to Jeffrey Purchla) within two weeks


b) studying abroad at the time of the test (or on an internship as part of an official year abroad).

Sorry,  but work experience ("Praktikum") is only allowed as a reason if it is required for your studies. Pre-booked holiday cannot be accepted as a reason.

 If you  cannot take the oral exam for any reason other than sickness or study/ work abroad for your degree, you will receive a ‘5’ (Nicht erschienen)  and  fail the HF exam as a whole. You may actually prefer this, because if you fail the HF exam you can take it again once (twice if the Lektorat approves your application.).

--> You must contact Jeffrey Purchla by Email to confirm you will attend, at the latest by 15.08.2019

 If you have an oral exam, it will count as one quarter of your final exam HF English grade.


You may choose any one of the three topics below. You do not have to notify us in advance as to which topic you chose. 

The topics for the oral examination on 25.09.2019 and 26.09.2019 are:

1. Are smartphones ruining our personal relationships?

2. Should parents be legally punished for the crimes their children commit?

3. Should the whole EU abolish corporation tax for companies, or keep the tax rate at an extremely low level?

Important General Information on the oral examination

The total length of the exam is 30 minutes. This includes preparation time of about fifteen minutes and fifteen minutes with the examiners. When you arrive, you will be given a text relating to your chosen topic which you can refer to in the exam itself if you wish. However, we advise you to prepare for the topic in advance.

The exam will test the relevance and coherence of what you say, as well as the accuracy and style of your English.

You will have to explain your position on the topic (what do you think?) in a structured way. However, during the exam, the examiners may ask questions which may take you away from your original plan, so you will need to be flexible.

You can bring notes to the exam but you cannot read from a prepared script. Because the exam is about communicating with the examiners, you should not memorize a speech.