Oral Test Rules

Please click the button to the right for each rule in Oral Tests category.

Oral Tests Critique Sheets
Directed Dialogue

Entry Limit: Two contestants per level, per school:  Level 1 & Level 2 only

The judges will ask the contestant questions on his/her level of understanding (things generally covered in first-year and second-year textbooks).  Questions will be selected by a combination of students drawing 3 questions and judges asking the same 2 standard questions to all contestants.  Judges will grade on pronunciation, degree of complexity and fluency, knowledge of topic, and grammatical correctness.  

DD 1 Prompts

DD 2 Prompts

Extemporaneous Speaking

Entry Limit: Two contestants per level, per school:  Level 3, Level 4 & Advantaged

Speech Time Limits: Level 3: 1-3 minutes      Level 4: 2-4 minutes      Level Adv: 3-5 minutes

The contestant will draw a topic at the beginning of his/her time slot.*  The topics will not be technical and will pertain to daily life.  Different contestants will receive different topics, but the topics will be of approximately equal difficulty.  After drawing a topic, the contestant will have a maximum of 10 minutes to prepare.  He/she may write during this time, but no books or dictionaries may be used in preparation, and NO notes, even those made during the preparation period, may be used in the speech.  *At Regionals only, students may draw 2 topics and choose one of the two to prepare.

Possible Extemp Topics

Oral Presentation - Digital Submission Event

This event is submitted and judged virtually. The entry is due one week prior to contest day. Websites will be updated each year to reflect the submission due dates.  Instructions for uploading the entry will be published on the contest website and/or distributed to teachers each year. 

Entry Limit: 2 entries per school: Level 4 only. EXCEPTION: if a school has no Level 4 students attending contest, Level 3 contestants may enter, but with the understanding that they will be competing primarily against Level 4 contestants. 

Presentation Time Limits: 2-4 minutes; total time allotted is 10 minutes, including set-up and take-down of visuals

The contestant gives a prepared presentation on a current topic based upon a provided picture prompt. The picture will be posted on the website by Dec. 1. He/she may use notes that will be submitted to the judges after their presentation (max. 10 bullet points, max. 5 words/bullet). The presentation must compare cultural perspectives between German-speaking countries and student’s own region. The presentation may be accompanied by a visual component (presentation on a laptop or tablet, picture cards, poster, photo story, etc.), but the visuals cannot include any words. If the visual component is electronic, the contestant must bring all necessary equipment. No data projector or any other equipment will be supplied in the contest room, and contestants should not expect that there will be wi-fi access.

Submission Process:

  1. Record yourself (or have someone record you) giving your presentation.  You may do as many “takes” as you want until you’re satisfied with the result, but the submitted recording must be a single continuous unedited take, not a spliced-together compilation of the best parts of multiple takes. (See rules above regarding use of visuals.)
  2. If notes were used, hold the note card(s) up to the camera for at least 5 seconds (each) at the end of the presentation so that the judges can get a good look at it (them). The time it takes to display the note cards does not count toward the time limit.
  3. Upload the video of your presentation to YouTube or Vimeo.
  4. Create a single Word document or Google Doc with your nameyour school, an image (or images) of your “visual component” if you used one, and a hyperlink to your YouTube/Vimeo recording. **If you are concerned about privacy and want to password-protect your video, include the password with the hyperlink in the document.
  5. Convert this document to a PDF file and upload it according to the instructions provided. Do NOT upload the video itself; the judges will access your video via the link that you include on the document.

2022 Picture

Photo credit: dpa (Deutsche Presse-Agentur)

Pair Discussion
Entry Limit:  Two entries (pairs) per school (Level 3 only)

Discussion time:  3 minutes (not including a 30-second reflection time)

A pair of contestants draws a topic instructing them to plan something (trip, purchase, celebration, etc.) Both are expected to make suggestions and voice opinions, to agree or disagree, and to make alternative suggestions. At the end of the discussion, they must come to an agreement. The topics will pertain to the daily life of teenagers. No contestant pairs will have the same topic. From the time the topic is drawn, the contestants may take up to 30 seconds to read the topic and gather their thoughts, but they may not speak to each other during this time. At the end of the 30 seconds, the contestants have 3 minutes to role-play the situation. Contestants will be judged independently of one another. Both scores will be added together for their team score.

Click here for tips and sample videos of Pair Discussion.

Sight Reading

Entry Limit: Two contestants per level, per school:  Levels 1, 2, 3, & 4

Time Limits:  up to 1 minute preparation time plus 2 minutes to read the piece to judges

The contestant will receive a copy of a prose piece that he/she has never seen before.  The contestant may look at the prose for up to 1 minute before reading it for the judges.  Contestants then have 2 minutes to read aloud the prose selection.  The judges will stop the contestant after 2 minutes, regardless of how far he/she has read into the selection.

Study Tips:

  1. The piece may be an actual piece of literature, prose or poetry, or it may come from authentic cultural sources.
  2. Students will use a copy that will be in a sheet protector. (Students cannot mark up the piece.)
  3. Students WILL receive the piece back from the judges along with their critique sheets.

Possible elements found within the selections (selections may include, but are not limited to):

  • Level 1: ordinals, numbers, umlauts, level 1 vocabulary
  • Level 2: elements from Level 1 + dates, complex dates, more unfamiliar words
  • Level 3/4: elements from Levels 1 & 2 + abbreviations, dialogue, greater length, more difficult passages