Spanish Oral Exam study guide

Everything you need to know to get ready for your exam

The Spanish Oral Exam

Table of Contents

In this guide we’ll help you get ready for the Spanish orals. This year’s Leaving Certificate Spanish oral exam will take place during the Easter holidays, no worries, you still have few weeks to get ready and practice for the exam. The Oral exam is worth 25% of your entire Spanish Leaving Cert exam, so it’s definitely worthy to put some extra effort in the next few weeks.

The Spanish Oral has two main parts:

In total, the exam lasts about 15 minutes. Where 10 minutes are for general conversation and around 5 minutes for the role play.

General Conversation

In this first part of the exam, you will have to talk about different topics.

The conversation will most likely start with an introduction of the candidate, questions about themselves and their family. It’s the best part for you to show off your Spanish.

To practice, write five paragraphs on five different topics. For example: family, university, travel, work and the Spanish culture.

Now that you’ve chosen five topics, start writing down your own ideas.

Always give more information than what you are asked for. This way you can have the control of the conversation. That’s why it is important you prepare the different topics in advance.


Topics you can choose from:

General Tips

Sample questions to learn ...

Useful phrases during the exam

Improving Spanish Language Skills

A key element to succeed in your oral exam is to practice speaking Spanish as much as you can. Try practicing with your classmates, family or friends. Even if they don’t speak Spanish, let them listen to you practicing. This will help with your confidence.

Listen to Spanish podcasts, music, radio, and watch Spanish movies, TV shows, and online videos to improve your listening comprehension. Practice listening to different accents and speeds.

Practice, practice practice! Record yourself speaking and analyse areas for improvement. Learn common phrases and idiomatic expressions to sound more natural.

Read Spanish newspapers, magazines, books, and online articles. Make notes of new vocabulary and grammar structures. Summarise what you read to improve comprehension.

Practice writing your answers for the oral exam. Use the questions from your school books or classes and write your own answers for them. Check the grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure. Seek feedback from teachers or peers when possible.

Leaving Cert Spanish Oral Exam strategies

Time Management

Practice timing your answers. Set a timer on 30 seconds to 1 minute to talk about a topic out loud. See how much you can talk about different topics, such as family, school, sports, etc.

Exam techniques

Make sure you understand the questions you’re asked and what tense is the question asked in. If you don’t understand or get confused, simply ask: ¿Puede repetir la pregunta por favor? And give yourself those extra few seconds to prepare your answer.

Take your time

It is okay if you don’t answer a question straight away. Take few seconds to process the question and decide how to answer it.

Guide the conversation

You can control what the conversation is about by mentioning things you want the examiner to ask you about. Be careful of bringing up topics you aren’t prepared for!

Learn the Role Plays

The Role Plays are an easy was of getting marks in the Spanish LC exam. You can secure those points by preparing them very well and be ready to answer them. Don’t forget it is 30% of your oral exam! Click the icon to download.

Some useful questions to prepare for your Spanish Oral exam


¿Qué harías si fueras el director de tu instituto?

Possible answer: Si yo fuera el director de mi cole, cambiaría el uniforme y permitiría a los estudiantes usar su móvil.

Tip: When asked hypothetical situations, give your answers using the conditional (haría, compraría, daría, iría, etc)


¿Crees que es importante mantenerse activos?

Possible answer: Si, creo que es muy importante tener una vida activa para estar sanos. Por eso pienso que es esencial que pasemos menos tiempo frente a las pantallas del móvil o el ordenador. 

Tip: When answering opinion questions, you can use the subjunctive (i.e. ‘pasemos’). It is not essential to use it in your oral exam, but it can be a nice addition to your exam.


¿Prácticas algún deporte?

Possible answer: Me gustan mucho los deportes. Juego al baloncesto con el equipo de mi colegio y hago pesas en el gimnasio cerca de mi casa los fines de semana. Cuando era menor, jugaba en el equipo de fútbol gaélico de mi pueblo.

Tip: Try to use different tenses. Even in simple questions like the above you can add different tenses, like using the ‘imperfect’ to mention a sport you used to practice. You can do the same using the future by saying you have a basketball match next week (“la próxima semana voy a jugar un partido de baloncesto”).


Cuéntame sobre tu familia.

Possible answer: Me llevo muy bien con mi familia, somos cuatro personas en mi familia. Mi madre, mi padre, mi hermano y yo. Mi hermano estudia ciencias en la universidad, yo también quiero estudiar ciencias el próximo año…

Tip: Use general questions like the one above to direct the conversation to what you want to talk about.


¿Qué diferencias conoces entre Irlanda y España?

Possible answer: No he estado nunca en España, pero me gusta ver series de jóvenes españoles. Creo que una gran diferencia es el clima. En España hace mas calor que en Irlanda, y no llueve tanto.

Tip: Definitely prepare a question like this about Spain. An important aspect of the language is cultural awareness as well, so definitely prepare questions about Spanish movies or series, the weather in Spain, Spanish food, or a famous Hispanic person.

This is only a short guide to help you feel confident for your oral exam. Following this guide and dedicating consistent effort and practice, you can maximize your chances of achieving high results in the Spanish Leaving Cert exam. ¡Buena suerte! (Good luck!)

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