Part 1 – Introduction & Interview
[This part of the test begins with the examiner introducing himself or herself and checking the candidate’s identification. It then continues as an interview. In the interview, the examiner asks the candidate about his/her home, work or studies and other familiar topics.]
Q. When you go shopping, do you prefer to pay for things in cash or by card? [Why?]
Answer: I prefer to pay for things either by a debit card or credit card when shopping primarily because it is more convenient to carry cards than carrying loads of cash in the wallet or pockets. Besides, I am not always sure if I am carrying enough, in case of using hard cash to pay, with me when going for shopping. But, when I carry a card, I can feel secure that I would have enough money to pay for my shopping.
Q. Do you ever save money to buy special things? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: Yes, I do have to save up money to buy some special things when they are expensive because I am not exactly one of those people with “huge income”, which would allow me to buy special and expensive things randomly. Besides, I am not really very good at money management, and therefore, I don’t always have money readily available when going to buy any special things.
Q. Would you ever take a job which had low pay? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: Depending on what is considered to be “low pay”, I think I wouldn’t mind going for a job with “low pay” if I feel that I have better job security and room for improvements there. Besides, I wouldn’t mind also if it is flexible with my holidays and vacation time.
Q. Would winning a lot of money make a big difference to your life? [Why/Why]
Answer: Yes, winning a lot of money would certainly make a big difference to my life because it would allow me to buy some tangible assets like a big house and a nice car. Besides, it would also significantly improve the quality of my life while allowing me to travel some beautiful lands which I have always wanted to visit.
Part 2 – Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card
[The topic for your talk will be written on a card which the examiner will hand over to you. Read it carefully and then make some brief notes.]
Describe an interesting discussion you had as part of your work or studies.
You should say:
- what the subject of the discussion was
- who you discussed the subject with
- what opinions were expressed
and explain why you found the discussion interesting.
[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]
[Examiner: All right? Remember you have one to two minutes for this, so don’t worry if I stop you. I’ll tell you when the time is up. Can you start speaking now, please?]
My English communication teacher at junior college was a very dynamic person, and he always liked to engage us in discussing different kinds of topics during his class period. Today, I would like to talk about one such discussion, in which I took part as a part of completing my class assignments, and the subject of the discussion was whether or not more technology should be used in the elementary classes in order to teach students.
I discussed the subject not only with my other fellow students in my class but also with other students from other classes. We even interviewed a few guardians outside of my college who happened to be really interested in the subject as well. Interestingly, most of the participants in the discussion maintained that using any more technology, than what is already being used, would prove out to be counter-productive for students in the class as it would limit the students’ abilities to learn from their “environments”. They also said that depending overly on technology in the classrooms would discourage students from taking part in the regular “social interactions” which are very important to ensure better cognitive development. On the other hand, a few participants also opined that using more and more technology in the classrooms was the only way forward in order to prepare the students for the challenges of the real world.
Anyway, I found the subject to be really interesting primarily because it allowed me to revisit the issue in a more practical manner. After all, in this day and age, we just can’t ignore the role of technologies in our lives whether at schools or workplaces. I found the discussion to be interesting also because it allowed me the opportunity to learn and talk about some other “upcoming” technologies which, if implemented properly, would change our life completely inside the home as well as outside. But that’s another story for another day.
Part 3 – Detailed discussion:
Discussion topic: “Discussing problems with others”
Q. Why is it good to discuss problems with other people?
Answer: It is good to discuss problems with other people mainly because it allows us to release our built-up tensions and express our feelings which, in turn, suddenly make problems seem “easier”. Besides, discussing problems with other people opens the door for many different ideas, views and solutions to the problems instead of just one or only a few solutions. Finally, it also allows us to be knowledgeable about other possible problems and their solutions which may come handy in future.
Q. Do you think that it’s better to talk to friends and not family about problems?
Answer: No, I think that it is better to talk to friends and also families about our problems primarily because the more people we talk to, the greater is the chances to get ideas and solution suggestions. However, if I may add here, the family seems to be the people with whom we spend most of our times more often than not, and therefore, they would be more emotionally attached to us. And because of this additional emotional attachment, the family would probably have more sympathy for us and our situation than friends. But, again, while I have nothing against talking about problems with our friends, we should also talk about them with our families as well.
Q. Is it always a good idea to tell lots of people about a problem?
Answer: In my humble opinion, it is not always a good idea to tell a lot of people about a problem primarily because it would “belittle” us in the eyes of those people. Besides, not everybody is equipped with enough wisdom, experience and intellectual capacity to understand the nature of our problems and then prescribe the appropriate solutions. Finally, it takes a lot of time and energy to discuss our problems with a lot of people which actually, instead, could have been used to find solutions on our own.
Discussion topic: “Communication skills at work”
Q. Which communication skills are most important when taking part in meetings with colleagues?
Answer: When taking part in meeting with colleagues, one of the most important communication skills should be to explain everything in precise terms without becoming impatient and agitated. Besides, one should also be able to listen to others’ points of views and ideas. Then, one should also make enough effort to make the colleagues know that what, being communicated, is relevant to them. Finally, one should also offer constructive criticism in order to build and earn trust.
Q. What are the possible effects of poor written communication skills at work?
Answer: Possible effects of poor communication skills, be it written or verbal, at work can lead to lack of team cohesion, unclear and confusing messaging, wasted time and resources, damaged relationships, low employee morale, higher turnover rates, lost revenue and even physical and psychological injuries. And once these effects are accumulated over the times, they can bring down an entire company or organization. A simple message that leaves scopes for ambiguity can be devastating when shared with the team or the superiors in an office environment. It can also create distrusts and confusions.
Q. What do you think will be the future impact of technology on communication in the workplace?
Answer: In the future, we will see a number of impacts of technology on communication which may include near-constant access to upper management staffs. It is also possible every staff in a company will get to see in real-time when one particular employee does some important research works for the benefit of the company. Finally, at the future workplaces, there probably be no need for formal email or paper-based communication as there might be a “common company messenger service” on which anybody can leave messages for anybody without allowing others to be able to see it.
Working in a multinational company where people from different countries and cultures work together will become more manageable as technology will make communication easier by offering accurate translation service. Finally, employees will be able to convert any kind of information to useful data with the help of technology.