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. What would you like to change in your daily routine?
Answer: I would like to wake up early in the morning each day. I usually wake up at around 9.00 am and that’s mainly because I am late to go to bed each night. So I want to sleep before 11.30 at night and wake up before 6.30 in the morning. And I would like this one aspect to be changed from my current daily routine.
Q. Are all your days the same?
Answer: Not really. For me, a day-off is quite different from a busy working day from many different perspectives. Apart from that different circumstances and events make the days different from each other. While Sunday is the day to spend time with my family members, meet my friends and play with them in the evening, I have a really tight schedule on a weekday.
Q. Tell me about your typical weekday and your typical weekend.
Answer: On a typical weekday, I have to wake up a bit early and revise my university lessons and then I rush to the university campus to attend the lecture. At around 2.00 pm I eat my lunch in the cafeteria and spent the whole evening in the library. After I return home at around 7.00 pm, I spent my time in my study room and have my dinner with my family members at around 9.00 pm. I watch the news on TV for an hour and then get back to my room. I read a storybook for a while and at around 1.00 am I go to bed.
On the contrary, on a typical weekend, I wake up late and take my breakfast in the TV room while surfing the TV channels. I go shopping with my father at around 11.30 am and eat my lunch with my family members. I either take a nap or play computer games afterwards at noon and in the evening I meet my friends. At night I watch a movie and eat my dinner late than usual. I surf the internet and watch TV sometimes at night.
Q. What is the balance of work/ study and free time in your normal day?
Answer: On a typical weekday, I have to put more emphasis on my studies, classes and assignments. But that does not mean that I am absolutely occupied and do not have free time to enjoy with friends and family. On a really busy day, I might do some exceptions to that. But I always try to have a balance between my academic and personal life.
Each day I do some exercises and have discussions with my parents. On my way to university, I read a storybook or a magazine. Sometimes, I help my mum on some household works at night and I make time to watch TV, browse the internet and read novels. So I would say my daily routine is kind of balanced and I am satisfied with that.
PART 2- Cue Card/Candidate Task Card
Describe something you own which is very important to you.
You should say:
- where you got it from
- how long you have had it
- what you use it for
and explain why it is so important to you.
Model Answer 1:
Not sure, how much of an “importance” one should attach to owning a “motorcycle” on a scale of “owning important things”, but I consider my motorcycle to be very important to me because I have always felt like it is a “part of me” since the day I bought it, or “owned” it for hundreds of reasons, seriously.
I have always loved riding a motorcycle since my early childhood, and even wanted to “own” one since then, but my parents didn’t quite feel comfortable with the “adrenaline rush” or a “pre-teen” boy like me. So, I had to wait for at least another 10 years or so before I could actually “own” my “dream” two-wheeled “road warrior”, courtesy to the goodwill of my parents who didn’t hesitate to spend a “handsome” amount of cash to “spoil” their university-going, only “male” child.
Anyway, since then, I have been “driving” (more like “torturing”) my shiny black motorcycle for almost 5 years, without any major complain, in order to travel back and forth from my home to work, visiting my families and friends who are living far away from me, and carrying my younger sisters occasionally to the nearby shopping mall. I also take the help of my “ever-dependable” vehicle to run for different kinds of errands frequently in order to help my family. Finally, if I don’t mention how I drag my “roadster” to take me to a lake, by weathering very “rough” road conditions sometimes, against its will so that I can do some “fishing”, I would not do a complete injustice on my motorcycle.
My motorcycle is very important to me mainly because of the “versatilities” and flexibilities, it provides, in taking me to different destinations in different kinds of weather conditions. It is important to me also because it saves me a lot in my travel cost, considering how frequently I travel to different places. Finally, the “cool” feeling of walking into a restaurant or an upscale office, with a helmet under my arm while also having a “swagger” at the same time, is just “unbeatable” and “priceless”.
Sample Answer 2:
The desktop computer I own is very important to me. I spend almost 6-7 hours on this computer which is even higher than the time I spend with my friends! My father bought me this computer 3 years ago when I got admitted to the university. I have done some configuration upgrades, but the main parts of the computer have remained almost the same as they were when I purchased it.
I browse the internet on this computer and thus get lots of help related to my studies and assignments. I maintain social networking, update my blogs, play video games, watch movies, listen to music, learn and practice the graphics designing and programming and many more things on this computer. This computer has become an inevitable part of my life and I can hardly think of a day without this computer. The references and helps I get from the internet regarding my studies are unmatched. This saves a lot of time and helps me do better in the exams as well.
This computer is the main source of information and entertainment for me. I send important emails and check incoming emails which help me do important communications. Every time I am confused about something, I just search it online. The result is gratifying and it helps me learn more. In short, this is the most necessary tool that I own.
Rounding off questions:
Q. Is it valuable in terms of money?
Answer: Indirectly, yes, it saves money and it has a resell value. Let’s say, if I sell this computer right away, I can get a good sum of money. Besides, the knowledge I can gather from using it is priceless. If I use an internet cafe to send and check my emails, play games or download something, it would cost me. However, owning this computer saves me this amount.
Q. Would it be easy to replace?
Answer: If you ask me if I can get a new computer, or perhaps a laptop, and replace the existing one, I would say, it’s doable for me. However, if you tell me not to use it any longer, I am sure it would make my life harder!
PART 3 – Detailed Discussion
How values can change
Q. What kind of possessions show status in your country?
Answer: Well, in my country a big house in a posh area, expensive and latest cars, the latest electronic gadgets, expensive furniture at home and similar earthy ownership are often considered to be the possessions of high status. Apart from that, a top position in a well-known company, social influence and power and exposure to media are a few other things that people often consider as symbols of high status.
Q. Do you think it was different for your grandparents?
Answer: I believe it was not much different during my grandparent’s generation; the electronic gadgets would be the latest addition, though. During my grandparent’s era, the symbols of status were land ownership, political influence, big houses, and expensive cars – which were quite similar as they are today. I guess the so-called status symbols are quite materialistic in our society and that’s why it was not much different for my grandparent’s time as well.
The consumer society
Q. Modern society is often called ‘materialistic’. Why do you think this is?
Answer: This is mainly because of our inclination towards worldly success and competition to possess more than we need. The globalisation has also affected our mentality to possess more and more than ever before. We constantly compete with others and put too much emphasis on our status in society. The old ways of traditional life and values have declined alarmingly in our society and we are following the trend without giving much consideration. The decay in our “family bonding” and “patriotic feelings” are also making us more materialistic. We feel proud to have luxury cars, smartphones and powerful parents while we think very less about the people who are struggling to meet their basic human needs. This mentality is like a virus that is spreading rapidly in our society and the unsatisfiable competition among us is making it even worse.
Q. Do you think consumerism is “a positive” or “a negative” development?
Answer: The concept of consumerism causes a materialistic belief that “the more materials acquired by an individual, the better”. It does imply that we are placing an increased value and necessity on material possessions. In my opinion, this is a negative development. While millions of people are starving every day around the world, others are opting for the latest smartphones and expensive cars every now and then. The waste disposal has already become a huge issue and the increased usage of electronic devices are increasing the world temperature which is dangerous for the world. The consumerism also makes people more materialistic and thus they forget the tradition and value of their society.
The consumer market
Q. What is the role of advertising?
Answer: The true role of advertising is to promote a product or service among potential consumers or to promote brand awareness among them. Advertising is particularly important to establish the brand reputation in the market and to allure people to purchase a product or to enlist to a service offered. Adverts from non-profit organisations and the government often aim to create awareness on important issues among people.
Q. How do you think the Internet will affect buying patterns in the future?
Answer: The Internet has already established its supremacy in the consumer market and a lot of people nowadays purchase products or services online. The e-commerce is booming and it is not far away when people would absolutely rely on online shopping than the conventional marketplace or shops. The e-commerce websites are ever increasing and people no longer need to go to a shopping mall to purchase the products they require. The advancement in Internet technology will capture a major share of all trades and shopping done by consumers in the near future.