Well-respected professors and tutors recently gave hot tips about the HKCEE oral English test to more than 150 students. Organised by Metro 997 Hit Radio, Intell Education and Optagon, the seminar aimed to give students practical help with spoken English. Optagon Asia-Pacific president Wong Chai-ling kicked off the seminar by pointing out some common grammatical mistakes. 'People often say 'it's your phone', instead of 'it's your call',' she said. Other common mistakes, she said, included saying 'double confirm' instead of 'reconfirm' and 'body check' rather than 'medical examination'. A graduate of Edinburgh Uni versity, Ms Wong said practice was the best way to improve one's English. She said the best way to improve one's exposure to English was to study abroad. Further tips came from English tutor Roger Lee Chung-wah, who has taught HKCEE English for six years. He stressed the importance of good posture, maintaining eye contact and speaking in an appropriate tone during the oral examination. He said that carefully reading the question and making the most of the six-minute preparation would help improve one's pronunciation, fluency and into nation. He said that students should always remember to remain polite during the conversation. Mr Lee said he thought that this year's oral exam would include questions about concerts, charity events and circus performances. He said that students should try to gain extra marks by initiating the conversation in Paper B. He said a good way to gain extra marks was to offer useful advice about the best way to organise activities. For example, suggesting bringing food and refreshments on a trip to avoid dehydration, would be a considered worthy of extra marks. Likewise, recommending having a first aid team on call in case of an accident would be praised. Fifth former Mak Yu-kwong, from Christian Alliance Cheng Wing Gee College, said he was worried about the 'tips for discussion' section in Paper B. He said he found it difficult to respond to the questions accurately and quickly. 'The tips are useful, but I don't think we have had enough practice at school. I will be very nervous about this section when it comes to exam time,' he said. To encourage students' improvement in English, Metro 997 Hit Radio and Optagon are holding a competition for students aged 12 to 18. The winners will be those who show the most significant improvement in their grades. Three students will be picked for an English course over the summer holidays in Britain worth $25,000. Call 2577-7222 for details.