Dear Atul,First of all, thank you for your blog. It is very useful for selfstudy learner like me. I hope I can get high score as a “thank” to you. I took the speaking test today, in Tokyo, Japan. This is the first time I took Ielts test, so I share my experience to someone like me, not only list of questions, which they can get from anywhere in Ietls documents.
In the first part, the examiner asked me 3 topics: hometown, hanging out with friends, and taking photos, with lots of questions around these topics. It can be summarized in “what, when, how, why”. For example, what is your hometown? Do you think it is good place to live? and then why. Do you like hanging out with friends? who? How often? Do you like to go in group? Do you like taking photo? with who? How often? the Last time? Do you like taking photo of yourself?
It was like a normal chat with friends. It helps to calm me down, when I flew with the conversation stream and forgot it is a test. I have a problem when I get nervous, my voice is shaking, and I have tendency to speak louder and faster to hide it.
I forgot some tips, for example when he asked me Do you like taking photo of yourself? I said “No, I dont like” without expanding my answer. Then he asked Why. I got confused a bit, because I never think of it before, just I dont like to take photo of myself, that is only the matter of like or dislike. Sometime we do something in routine without any reason. Of course I didnot think that at that time. I paused for a while to think and just said “I dont know, I dont like it, selfie uhm…. I dont see any reason I like it”. I hope it is ok.
Then the second part, the topic I got is the occasion when someone make a lot of noise, with promt when, where, who. My answer was less than 2 min, because when I finished, the examiner is still paying attention. I feel award, and said “that’s all, is it short?” It is funny, isn’t it. He said Could you tell me more about it, for example, how long? Then I continued describing a bit more until he stopped me. I hope it was ok.
Then part 3 is the topic around Noise in city, the cause, the effect, why people cycling and listening music at the same time, what is the effect, why music is played at shops, supermarket? Which sectors with most noise, what are the solutions? I like this part because it is academic, I answered all, but I know he is there to evaluate my English, not my knowledge.
The experience I got from the first time I took Ielts exam were: The number of questions depend on the length of your answers. If I have short answer, he will ask more. The following question will be around Why, When, What, How, or How often. So if someone is preparing, think about a topic, and try to answer the same questions. You dont need to look for as many as topic as possible, just take some and imagine by yourself. Second is that the most important is to practice the responding ability. When I entered the room, I forgot all the tips, topics. So it is no use to remember those model answer, I think it is better to practice the responding ability, expanding vocabulary. The model answer will be for reference, not for remembering. I am a foreigner in Japan, so I see most of Japanese students try to read book in some minutes before entering the room. I dont think it helps. It is not the test of knowledge, which can be remember and practice in such a short time. So enjoy the moment watching people. I counted there were 34 people with 11 male, and 23 female, confirming my statement that Japanese female have higher education level than male. However, there is a gender discrimination in salary and job between female and male in Japan, leading to the high rate of singles in Japan. And the last thing is the interacts between me and the examiner. When I saw he was paying attention, I know I should continue. When I saw he lost the eye contact with me and looked down on his paper, I think to see the next question, I know my answer was enough. This is soft skill necessary in conversation. I also use body language, which I dont know it helps or not, but it is natural, because English is not my native language, and some times I need more method and tool to express my information and intention.
I think my fluency was ok. I am not sure about vocabulary because I tend to use common and simple word and structures, to quickly convey the information and express feeling or intention. It is also natural. I am not advanced enough to use complicated words or structure, it will cause me lost. The examiner spoke very slowly and clearly, indicating that he is there to test my speaking skill, not listening skill.
Before taking the test, I estimated my score is 7. I think my performance today was me as normal. So the result will be my actual level. I want to know I under- or overestimate myself.
Once again, thank you very much for all your effort in this blog. I am sorry for this very long comment.
All the best,
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