Top 3 most challenging O’Levels English Oral Questions with sample response (Syllabus 1184)

What are the top 3 most challenging G3 English Oral Questions and themes? Check out these oral questions and their sample response

Are you taking your O’Levels this year? Looking for English Oral Questions  with answers(New Syllabus 1184) to practise? It is that time of the year again! English Oral season is here! We snooped around asked our Sec 3 and Sec 4 students what are the top 3 most feared oral questions for them.

Facing challenging oral interaction questions can be intimidating, but with the right preparation and mindset, you can navigate them successfully. At The Learning Space, our team of English tutors and teachers will be able to help you improve your oral and English. Get an English Tutor to help you with your G3 or G2 English today! 

In this blog, we will be breaking down the three most feared oral theme/questions and offering clear, thoughtful strategies for responding. Let us equip you with the tools to handle these situations with confidence.

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Most Feared Oral Topic – Ranked Number 3: Music or Performing Arts related Oral Question 

Students may find music or performing arts oral questions difficult to answer for several reasons. Firstly, although most people listen to some form of music or watch some form of Performing Arts, not all of us practise or are well acquainted with both. In addition to this, topics pertaining to Performing arts or Music,  often deal with abstract concepts such as emotions, aesthetics, and artistic expression which some students will find unfamiliar due to limited exposure and experience. 

Having said this, let’s try out a question:

Planned Response Questions

(Students are shown a video of a child learning and playing violin / learning a musical instrument). 

Music – Theme Oral Question 2:

Planned Response Question: Would you enjoy this activity?

Why or why not?

Suggested approach: 

Students must take a stand and decide if they are inclined to try out this activity or not. Student should relate to the image and briefly describe why they will be keen and provide an example to substantiate their view. Take for instance, candidates who are not keen on taking part in this activity will share that “No, I would definitely not be keen to pursue an activity as such (insert description).” 

On the flip side, some candidates may embrace the idea of learning music and they can share that although music is not a core subject in school, they feel strongly that it is of paramount importance to a child’s education. They can substantiate how exposure to music can enable children to be creative and how learning rhythm and tone help to develop language skills. 


Music – Theme Oral Question 2:

Who do you think was watching this and what were they thinking?”

This Planned Response question appeared in a similar form for last year’s 2023 Day One English Oral Planned Response. In this context, we see two elderly people playing the guitar and singing (as buskers). Candidates must put themselves in the shoes of the audience and share how they will react to a scene like this. Some candidates may say that they feel that these elderly performers are very courageous and how they admire them.

They should also share their perspective and encounters similar to this scenario. To clinched a distinction in their response, candidates must be able to use strong vocabulary and provide a well considered perspective to enhance the depth of their response. If you are having problems with your oral, do watch our youtube videos for more oral practices or reach out to our team for a 1 to 1 English Tuition. Let our experienced and qualified teachers lead you to your distinction. 

Most Feared Oral Topic – Ranked Number 2: Heritage and Traditions

Most challenging Oral Topic Ranked 2: Heritage and Traditions

Tradition and Heritage – Theme Oral Question 2:

G3 English Oral Spoken Interaction Question related to tradition:

These questions are targeted to enable students to explore the connection between their heritage and its ongoing relevance in modern society that they are currently living in. It encourages them to think critically about how the past shapes the present and to identify specific examples that illustrate this influence. Suprisingly, the topic of heritage did not ranked top as some students expressed that they feel that they could relate their own personal family experiences and just ‘cook up a story’ as opposed to more abstract topics like performing arts or music.


Students shared that they still fear this topic because they may not have comprehensive knowledge about their own cultural or national heritage, making it difficult to provide detailed and accurate responses or that they may not have had enough opportunities to engage with cultural traditions or historical sites, limiting their ability to draw from their own personal life experiences.

a) Can you describe a cultural tradition from your heritage that has been passed down through generations in your family? How do you think preserving such traditions impacts your community and personal identity?”

Suggested approach (Student’s response) 

Personally, one cultural tradition that has been passed down through generations in my family is the celebration of the Lunar New Year. Every year, my family and I come together to honour this tradition with a series of rituals and festivities that have been practiced by our grandparents and their ancestors. Being Hokkien, the most important day of the Lunar New Year is on the 9th Day which we as Hokkien termed as the Birthday of the Heaven God (天宫)My mom would buy sugar canes from the wet market for prayers. My family would then “Phai Thien Kong” which literally means “praying the Heaven God by offering the sugar cane. This day is especially important to Hokkiens because they believe it is the birthday of the Jade Emperor (Thien Kong) who protected the ancestors of Hokkien people from ruthless army in ancient China. During the massacre, all of the Hokkien people hid in a sugarcane plantation on the 8th – 9th days of Lunar New Year, coinciding with the Thien Kong or Jade Emperor’s birthday. This is why the Hokkien people offer thanksgiving prayers to him on this day.


Since I was young, I dutifully join in the prayers with my family as we pray in unison hoping for a good year ahead. On a personal level, traditions help shape who I am. They give me a sense of roots and heritage, helping me understand where I come from such as my Hokkien culture. In this modern world where social media is so pervasive,  teenagers like myself find ourselves influenced by what’s trending on tiktok and we don’t really know our roots due to the influence of other culture on social media. Tradition is a bridge for me to remember what values are important to my family and community. By participating in these traditions, I feel like I’m carrying on the legacy of those who came before me, which can be pretty powerful. 

Most challenging Oral Topic Ranked 1: Arts and Culture

One of the “killer” oral questions was an Arts and Culture question in 2018. The question appeared in Spoken Interaction “Are you interested in history? Why, or why not?” In the same year, on another day, students were asked about Arts and Culture again. This time round the question was “Tell me about the kinds of pictures or posters you would like to have in your school. “Some people believe that studying art at school is a waste of time. What do you think?

Most students found that they were dumbfounded by these questions types and felt that it was hard to expand their answers. 

Arts- Theme Oral Question 2:

a) Are you interested in visiting art galleries and museums? Why, or why not?

b) Some people say that no one should have to pay to go to art galleries and museums. What do you think?

Suggested approach for Qn a)

As a teenager, I find visiting art galleries and museums incredibly fascinating for several reasons. Firstly, these places offer a unique opportunity to explore different cultures and time periods through art. Walking through an art gallery or museum feels like traveling back in time or stepping into another world. It’s amazing to see how artists from different eras and regions express their experiences and emotions through their work. Another reason I enjoy visiting these places is the inspiration they provide. As someone who loves to draw and paint, seeing masterpieces up close is incredibly motivating. It’s one thing to see a famous painting in a textbook or online, but experiencing it in person is entirely different. You can appreciate the texture, colors, and details that aren’t always visible in pictures. (insert a personal example) Being a students taking Arts as an O’level subject, it inspires me and pushes me to improve my own skills and experiment with new techniques.

 Oral interaction exams can be a nerve-wrecking experience, often leaving students anxious about what questions might be thrown their way. In this blog, we have identified the top three most dreaded oral interaction questions and provide you with practical strategies to tackle them confidently.

By understanding these questions and preparing your responses, you can transform your fear into an opportunity to shine and impress your oral examiner. All the best for O’levels! 

At The Learning Space, our team of English tutors and teachers will be able to help you improve your oral and English. Get an English Tutor to help you with your G3 or G2 English today! 



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