IGCSE French: Exam Preparation and Speaking Tips

The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) French exam assesses your language proficiency in listening, reading, writing, and speaking. It is an important qualification that can open up opportunities for further education and career prospects. In this article, we'll provide you with tips and strategies to help you prepare for the IGCSE French exam, with a focus on the speaking component.

 IGCSE French Exam Overview

The IGCSE French exam consists of different components, including:

1. Listening (Paper 1): 

You listen to audio recordings and answer questions based on them.

2. Reading and Writing (Paper 2): 

This paper includes reading comprehension questions and a writing task.

3. Speaking (Paper 3): 

In the speaking component, you engage in a conversation with an examiner, respond to questions, and give a presentation.

 Exam Preparation Tips

 1. Build Your Vocabulary:

- Expand your French vocabulary by regularly learning new words and phrases. Flashcards and language apps can be helpful for this.

 2. Practice Listening Skills:

- Listen to French podcasts, news broadcasts, or watch French films and TV shows. This will improve your listening skills and help you become accustomed to different accents and speech rates.

 3. Reading Comprehension:

- Practice reading French texts, including newspapers, magazines, and literature. Pay attention to comprehension questions, as this is a key part of Paper 2.

 4. Writing Practice:

- Write regularly in French to enhance your writing skills. Try to cover different types of writing, from essays to informal letters.

 5. Conversation Practice:

- Engage in conversations with native speakers or fellow learners. Language exchange partners or conversation classes can be beneficial.

 6. Mock Exams:

- Take mock exams to simulate the exam conditions. This will help you become more comfortable with the format and time constraints.

 7. Time Management:

- Learn to manage your time effectively during the exam. This is crucial for completing all sections.

 IGCSE French Speaking Tips

The speaking component (Paper 3) of the IGCSE French exam assesses your ability to communicate verbally in French. Here are some tips to help you perform well in this section:

 1. Be Confident:

- Confidence is key in the speaking exam. Even if you make minor mistakes, speak with confidence and clarity.

 2. Practice Speaking Aloud:

- Practice speaking French aloud to improve your pronunciation and fluency. You can read texts, practice dialogues, or describe pictures.

 3. Familiarize Yourself with Common Topics:

- The examiner may ask you questions about various topics, such as your hobbies, family, school, or future plans. Be prepared to discuss these common themes.

 4. Vocabulary and Phrases:

- Develop a good range of vocabulary and useful phrases related to the topics. This will help you answer questions more comprehensively.

 5. Stay Calm and Listen:

- Listen carefully to the examiner's questions or prompts. Take a moment to think about your response before speaking.

 6. Use Connectors and Transitions:

- Incorporate connectors and transitions (e.g., "de plus," "en outre," "en conclusion") to make your speech more structured and coherent.

 7. Presentation:

- If you are required to give a short presentation, prepare in advance. Create a structure with an introduction, main points, and a conclusion.

 8. Ask for Clarification:

- If you don't understand a question, it's acceptable to politely ask the examiner to repeat or clarify.

 9. Practice Timed Responses:

- Time yourself while practicing speaking responses to ensure you can provide coherent answers within the allocated time.

 10. Recording Practice:

- Record your spoken responses and listen to them. This can help you identify areas for improvement in pronunciation and fluency.


Preparing for the IGCSE French exam requires consistent practice, a strong foundation in the language, and specific strategies for each component. The speaking component can be particularly challenging, but with practice and confidence, you can perform well. Remember to familiarize yourself with common topics, build your vocabulary, and work on your pronunciation and fluency. With dedication and effort, you can excel in the IGCSE French exam and achieve your language learning goals. Bonne chance! (Good luck!)