Yes, it was related to the IELTS that I had taken recently. You know? It’s sometimes better to be really serious about what you do, especially if *it’s got to do with your exams*? Well, this was what happened…
I registered for the IELTS exam to determine my proficiency of English; and the test entails 4 components – Listening, Reading, Writing and Reading. The first 3 can probably be done on your own whereas the last one is quite awkward to do it alone.
Trust me. I spent a week talking to myself at Starbucks. Thankfully, I record my own speech to evaluate on my own after answering the oral questions, which in a way, does not look like I am talking to The Invisible Man. Nonetheless, self-criticism is really bad for me because I devalue my own ability – but that’s another story for another day.
So eventually, I got a friend – let’s just call my friend FO, to help me. Now, FO teaches English and will definitely be the best critic of my spoken English. There’s this part in the oral component that required me to prepare a 2 minute speech on the spot, but it’s usually relating to personal experiences. This wasn’t that scary. What’s most frightening, however, is the change in topics in the section that followed it.
It’s what they call, a “discussion”. Meaning, the examiner asks me a question, and we engaging in a free flowing conversation. It could be anything like:
1. Where do you usually like to eat?
2. What kind of food do you usually enjoy?
3. Do you think attire plays a big part in determining where you are doing to eat?
1. How do you celebrate your birthday?
2. Do you receive gifts on your birthday?
3. Have you received clothes for your birthday before? And what kind of clothes do you like?
So, really, the direction of the “discussion” could really go anywhere. And here’s where I played the fool. Every time there was a practice question on clothes or shopping, I would never fail to talk about:
1. Being a fashionista
2. Liking safari “preens”
3. Liking leopard “preens” and zebra stripes
4. Liking the color “rad” and anything that shouts “boomz”
And then I will go on a rendition of Boom Boom Pow by Black Eyed Peas – this was such a bad move! And to top it all off, I did this for no less than 6 times for variants of the discussions that FO and I engaged.
Then the oral exam came. Everything came and went smoothly. I was asked about birthday parties, food and my favourite restaurants. Then the examiner went, “Alright. Now we are going to talk about something different. We are going to talk about clothes…”
You could imagine how my jaw nearly dropped! More importantly, I didn’t burst out laughing because that will almost immediately get me sent out with a failing result. In the end, I just spoke about shopping for casual and working attires, and how I shop only 4 times a year during sales (at G2000); unless my pants got wet (from the rain) and that I needed to get a new pair.
No “preens”. No “rad”. And definitely no “boomz”.
That was a close shave. I certainly don’t look forward to spending another $300 on it. Heh. Too bad the results are only valid for 2 years; but till then, “boomz”!