In SPAN 102 at Chico State, part of the final includes an oral evaluation. These oral finals are typically a dialogue between you and a partner. Oral finals sound terrifying: you sit with your partner alone in a classroom with the professor watching and waiting for you to mess up. Well, with these 5 simple tips, you’ll surprise your professor and get that A!

1. Write out the dialogue

Meet with your partner way in advance. As soon as you get the assignment meet up that day and decide what you are going to be talking about. Each professor is going to give something different but it’s good to at least have a rough idea of what you are going to be speaking about. Write out as much as you can so you can begin to memorize.

2. If you have a rubric, use it

Make sure that when you are writing out your dialogue, you hit every important part of the rubric. The rubric is a gold mine. It is literally a perfect guide to getting an A. Plus if you get a bad grade you can easily persuade your professor that you deserve better since you built the dialogue around the rubric and will actually have reasons why you said or didn’t say certain things.  While not all professors provide a rubric, if yours does, use it! However, if you are unlucky enough to get a professor who won’t give you a rubric, you could go to their office hours, and show them a draft of your dialogue to ask if you’re meeting any requirements they are willing to share with you.

3. Hit the requirements

Write out the necessary requirements and follow them. Then worry about the time limit. This is, of course, assuming that you have a time limit, but most professors will have you and your partner speak for 3.5 to 5 minutes. Some can go longer, but in a Spanish 102 class, you probably won’t have to worry about that. They also ideally want you and your partner to be speaking for equal amounts of time. So make sure not to get steamrolled, or in turn, steamroll your partner.

4. Meet with your partner

This kind of falls under the first tip but it is so important that it needs its own point. Meeting with your partner and running over your dialogue for at least an hour should be mandatory. Going over it for two hours is even better. However, considering the busy schedules that college students have, it may be best to do 2 hours over 2 days.

5. Be confident

Nothing sets you up for failure more than being sure you will fail. Simply practicing for roughly two hours should prep you enough for anything your professor can throw at you. Plus, if you are confident, and speaking energetically, your professor will see that and know you’ve practiced and are ready for this final. They will see that you are actually trying and that is something professors love!

SPAN 102 oral finals are no big deal. Prepping for them takes all the worry out of it and will help you get that A. Remember, if you’re feeling nervous, try a power pose. They really work and they help you feel more confident overall. Plus, you’ll look just like Wonder Woman, and who doesn’t want to be that cool? Simply following these 5 tips will make sure you get that A on your SPAN 102 oral final at Chico State!


Randy Richard

I am an English Studies Major at CSU Chico, I hope to minor in creative writing as well.

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