- I finished my written test around 4.00 pm and I had the speaking session on the same day, and I am grateful that it was on the same day, I can’t have afforded another leave at work. By the way, right after my written test the chats were posted on the notice board for the speaking sessions, with examiners name, time and room number, and we were asked to check the notice board. I had my test in room 3 (which was sponsored by British Airways) with Mr. Peter Gordon and it was about at 4:45pm so I hardly had time to think a while over it, I hadn’t had eaten anything since morning and I was starving like anything and the heat was adding to the worse, just got myself a sandwich and some juice. And it did help me a lot, by this time I was too much tired, and my self-confidence was shaking a bit, had gases problem due to starving since morning, I suppose.
Well I was waiting outside the room for my turn, (I was 20 minutes earlier) I have seen other candidates taking the test in other room, and they were almost sweating and almost everyone coming out of the rooms were taking a long breath. This just added to some nervousness, I did asked them how the test was, few of them (whom I suppose was able to use English efficiently) said its nothing but few general questions from environment questions to sports, and few others (whom I suppose were that good English users) were apprehensive over the questions asked, swearing “what kind of a questions is how to control pollution?” well I was apprehensive over all of it by this time, but just decided to be positive and optimist, whatever happens, happens. I just needed to be cool, and as it happened I was just thinking about all of it, suddenly one of the organiser (some staff at the British council) asked me “are you nervous?” and I just replied “nah..” and gave a huge smile I don’t know what made me answer that, but I did felt confident.
Well it was my turn… the examiner called me inside, he was sitting on a chair and there was a table before him, few papers and few files… and a tape recorder which I suppose is of 1980’s as I happens to have a look at the counter on the tape recorder which were used in 1980’s well the examiner I knew his name as I saw it at the notice board, was I suppose in his 40’s or 50’s, but absolutely British, with looks and English accent. We stood from his seat shook hand with me and introduced himself and the tape recorded was “pause” by this time, and now he started recording, The first question he asked me is, “I can see your name here, Mr. Ahmed Imran (surname was first in the list) what can I call you” I just replied “Imran” he underlined Imran on his list.
Peter: Well Imran can I see your identity please
Imran: Sure… hold on a second… (Took out my work permit, and handled over him… I don’t think he got even a word of it, as not a single word on it is in English he just returned it back saying thank you)
Peter: so from where are you Imran?
Peter: which part of India?
Imran: Hyderabad, in the south…
Peter: ooh.. Hyderabad… so Imran what do you do?
Peter: I mean do you work or study?
Imran: I work… full time
Peter: ooh I see… what do you work as?
Imran: Import & Export Manager
Peter: ooh… so you are a manager (smiles)… and what does your job involves?
Imran: It’s about importing and exporting the goods, it involves various aspects of purchasing and selling but in an international market… from checking the prices, currency values, warehouse stocks, quality, customs, tracking shipments beside others.
Peter: what sector is it?
Peter: ooh… and what do you like most about your job?
Imran: I think it’s the responsibility… I think I like bossing around people... (smiles) but overall I like the commitment and seriousness involved.
Peter: and what do you dislike about your job?
Imran: the amount of work… on many occasions I have to work 12 hours and day… and in peak seasons I have to work 7 days a week…
Peter: What do you do in your free time?
Imran: to be honest I don’t get any free time… I would just be busy with work or other activities…
Peter: if you get free time what will you do?
Imran: I would prefer to go to a movie… or watch TV… or hang out with friends… or just stay at home and read a novel… but earlier when I was in India I use to participate in games and sports.
Peter: what kind of sports?
Imran: I use to play Cricket, Volleyball or table tennis… or snooker, I use to play snooker a lot though… but I think I am an active athlete…
(I think I forgot couple of questions between here, as I don’t remember how to talk lead to movies)
Peter: I know you can’t see movies a lot in Saudi Arabia… but in India, what do you think people would prefer to go to cinema (British word for movie theater is cinema) or watch movies at home?
Imran: I think cinema…
Imran: Well I didn’t say that they completely watch all the movies at cinema, but I think they prefer movies in cinema than at home… it would be like going out… and watch with friends… at home they do watch often, I suppose.
Peter: If you were given a chance to act in movies? Will you? (I think he asked this to consider weather to give me cue card to think of him as some university professor and to make me ask him questions)
Imran: No (smile)
Imran: I think I can’t do well in role playing, (smiles) I can’t pretend to be someone I am not.
Peter: (I don’t remember his exact question here but he was asking me about the entertainment available in India for adults and children)
Imran: I don’t remember my answer either; but I just came to quick conclusion that, they have to watch what is shown, there isn’t much of a choice to watch, both for adults or children.
(I think I am missing couple of questions here)
Peter: (he gave me a card) here you have questions and you have to talk for about 1 to 2 minutes on this, you will have one minute to think about your answers, you can make points and write them on a paper, here is a paper and a pencil.
(The tape recorder was stopped)
Imran: (I took card it had three questions, 1. What is your favorite TV program? 2. Who should watch that TV program? 3. What is your opinion on that TV program?) I don’t need to write down points I can go right away (smiles)
Peter: ah… (smiles) (he was organising the papers on his table by this time) well wait I have to put down this papers in the files, as they are very confidential I have to take care of them. (he is finished and he switch the recorder on)
Imran: Well my favorite TV program is called “Friends” is a type of comedy series; it was running for about 5 years or more now… (peter looking at me with smiles) well its about few high school friends who are in their 30’s now, it’s a mix of comedy, humor, emotions and it about how friends cope with each others individual personalities… here each one of them have different personalities, it shows how they still can be friends when one is dumb and one is always teasing and making fun of others…
Peter: (still looking at me with smiles…)
Imran: (looking at the card) And about the second question… emm… who should watch that TV program… Well I think everyone who loves comedy and humor and everyone out there who have friends, maybe I watch it more because I love my relationship with my friends… and now I think I am watching it more maybe cause I miss them and just to remind me that I do have friends back home…
Peter: how often do you watch it?
Imran: pardon (I didn’t clearly hear him… I was busy talking… or I think I didn’t expect him to say anything… or I think I was getting off track… so he just asked me that to bring sense to my talk)
Peter: how often do you watch it? (I think he repeated the question)
Imran: well in India I use to watch once a week…
Peter: in India? (I think he was surprised)
Imran: yeah we have cable networks there…
Imran: and now I watch it almost daily…
Peter: I see
Imran: And about my opinion on it… I think it’s very well portrayed, the screenplay is fine… you are still in with the actual theme of the story even if every episode differs in the subject… acting is good…. And the humor is just perfect… overall I think it’s the best.
Peter: Who is your favorite character? (I think this was just a casual question, as his head was bend down, and wasn’t looking at me, or might have been writing something)
Imran: Monica (with a smile)
Peter: (with a smile) Why?
Imran: I think its just a personal preference… and I think a bit as I see my fiancйe in her… with looks and habits (smiles)
Peter: well mine is Fiebie (smiles) (not sure about the Febie spelling here… Febie is another character in the program) (well he made me clear that his question was more casual, and I did well in answering causally to his casual question)
Peter: (don’t remember exact words of his question but he was asking about should children be shown TV, he wanted me to talk about the effects of children watching TV)
Imran: well… yes… in my personally opinion… children should be shown TV only with choice… and monitoring what they actually watch… it effect their personality… as what they watch… is what that influence them and what they think about… and what they want to be… (I don’t think I answered well to this questions, as well as I think I could have, I was hesitating a bit, I don’t know why maybe I wasn’t prepared)
Peter: One last question Imran, what you think about the critics about watching TV, many are critical about watching TV of weather people should watch TV or not.
Imran: Well yeah… like I mentioned before… as it effects a child’s personality it is often a subject of criticism, and other than that, I think the reasons vary… and one of them being religious.
Peter: thank you Imran…
Imran: Thank you sir.
(He switched off the tape recorder)
I left the room, and I suppose I gave the exam in only under 10 minutes, there weren’t any more questions I think was left to be asked. I wasn’t that nervous during the test as much as I was at the beginning, I think I was nervous in the beginning of the test as I was unaware of the environment inside, but once I was in I felt better, he was a very nice personality and helping me, not to get nervous, asking me casual question making sure of weather he should ask this question or not, and smiling between. On my way back I realized that all of the other examiners were doing the same, I peaked though a window into another room… and I think they are trained for that… and my personal opinion… they are the best. There isn’t any reason to be nervous about the speaking session, as they are not going to eat you, but would be always helping you in your test, and it doesn’t matter in which accent you talk to them. Regards, Imran Ahmed.
- Let me explain my experiece in the speaking test. Initially I had been asked to explain about myself, native place and the place where I am settled currently. Then the topic progressed to things of interest in that place. Of course, you will be asked about what is your general opinion about the place. It may take some 4-5 minutes for this session.
(Interestingly, the examiner is curious enough to observe your hands as your explanations progress. Probably he may be observing your body language. The examiner will switch on the tape recorder and will make sure that it is functioning normal. One more point about the examiner, he was not a foreigner. His accent is similar to mine. Absolutely no problem in understanding the questions.)
Next phase of the test; he asked me about my shopping practices. Who in your house is doing it. Do you enjoy that etc. This may take 2-3 minutes.
After this I have been asked about the animals’ common to my place, their uses and stuffs related with that. 3-4 minutes for this session too.
Final session. I have been given a card that contains the following question. Describe equipment which you bought recently and found to be very useful. I have been given 1 minute to think about this topic, also provided with a paper and pencil to scribble the points. I described about and MP3 player, which I bought very recently. Discussions pertaining to this topic progressed to technological advances of our society, future trends in technology and finally he asked me about my opinion about the future of technological advance after 50 years. I feel I have answered all these questions quite well. Duration - 4-5 minutes
(Please note that, all these questions are based on a question paper the examiner possess. He will refer to that very frequently. Moreover, he is very specific about the time. I suppose, the entire session lasted about 15 minutes. )
And I scored just 7 in this session.
Hope I have explained too much about the exam. Sometimes I feel that as my problem with exams. I am obsessed, and that can spoil the show. So my advice is; be confident, but don't be over confident. Speak very fluently and practice to speak spontaneously. Practicing with some of your friends or participate in debates will certainly improve your skills. I feel this will help you not in IELTS alone, but in your real life also.
- About the speaking section it depands on the person luck but its to check ur fluency n how improvised u r bcoz u have to speak none shop even though u r lil bit deviating from path. but nothing to worry bcoz its just general Qns like:
They ask bout ur town??
What do u love in ur town??
What is that u dont love in ur town??
who is ur best friend?
Why is he ur best friend??
When did u meet him n how long u have been ??
Ok what kind of people u like to be friend with ??
What kind of people u dont like to be with??
Whom would u choose best friend or family??
Thats it n no needs to be tensed hope u dont have anyother doubts....
- Speaking : Small Introduction About Pets in my
country.What type of work being got done from them? Do u agree or not
Transportation system in your city. How would you like to improve.
Cue Card: Describe any type of song or piece of music?when your
heard it.what was it about and why you liked it?
Elicitation:Were you exposed to music in childhood?What is difference in fast music and traditional / cultural music? Should the traditional / cultural music be preserved? Where does the pop / fast music come from? What is the effect on young generation? Should they be exposed to traditional / cultural music?
- Нам назначили на 15:10. Что тут сказать. Мило поболтали в течение 14 минут. Мне попалась тема «Опишите какого-нибудь знакомого ребенка». Жене – «What seasons are there in your country».
- (принимала молодая дружелюбно настроенная native, все вопросы строго по бумажке, никаких монологов и домашних заготовок - ответы только по теме, одно-два предложения; все время отмечала что то на бумажке под столом)
1. как зовут, откуда, какая основная промышленность, где в основном живут люди в городах или сельской местности
2. карточка "Talk about recent travel you have made:
- where did you travel
- what kind of transport did you use
- why do you remember it
3. в продожение темы говорили о транспорте (какой самый популярный, почему, как отличаются теперешние путешествия от того что было раньше, перспективы развития, как влияет транспорт на экологию, что правительство делает для ее улучшения)
- Speaking: любимая песня (музыка), нац. музыка, что любит молодежь и тд.