Speaking exam is around the corner again.. some of you have taken this exam before and some are still virgins (hahahahhaha). What to expect? Well...
1. There will be not one, but 2 examiners at the table, and 4 candidates (ideally as total number of candidates for each session is 5 groups of 4 = 20) whom u can refer to as Candidate A, B C & D (NOT advised to use names, even if they are your friends). If you are the last or second last group and some candidates are absent, the examiners should divide the last 2 groups into 3 members each (3-3) instead of (4-2). If they don't do that, you have the right to request the 3-3 combination because the discussion will be more lively but always remember to ask politely.
2. For task A, expect to speak for a full 2 minutes, regardless of how many points you deliver (no deduction for number of points as MPM does not specify that you have to describe 3 points.) You just need to speak according to the topic confidently, fluently and accurately with good body language.
3. For task B, expect to speak for a full 10 minutes, regardless of if you manage to do a conclusion or not (last I heard, MPM does not require conclusions because natural conversations do not necessarily have conclusions but it is still nice to round up the discussion with a good conclusion). Do not dominate the discussion or on the other hand, do not also be a passenger with nothing to say. Ask your friends their opinions or help them end their sentences/ideas when they are stuck as this shows good management of discussion skills.
4. Smile, talk naturally (not robotic), crack some jokes and give creative ideas instead of boring predictable ones, laugh together and basically have a good time because the examiners are fed up of listening to the same old rubbish. If you make them laugh (in a good way), chances are they will be more willing to award better marks.
Let's analyse last year's speaking question. Here is a sample Band 6 scripts for task A.
Day 1, Session 1 Year End 2011 (not exact words)
People who give the most meaningful contribution to society
Good morning to the examinerS and my fellow candidateS. There are many people in this world who contribute meaningfully to society. Some sit in high positions while those who do menial tasks are no less worthy. Likewise, garbage collectors have a significant contribution to our society as not many would voluntarily do this 'stinky' but necessary job.
First and foremost, I think garbage collectors deserve merit because they are the ones who maintain the cleanliness of our neighbourhood. This is because, without them, there would be rubbish strewn around everywhere which is a sight for sore eyes. Moreover, the stench itself would cause unease among citizens who need to go about their daily business. For example, rotten food, soiled diapers and so on would be an unbearable sight if not collected and disposed of properly.
Secondly, garbage collectors should be held in high esteem as their job of maintaining the hygiene of society is a crucial one. This means that without them, diseases would spread rampantly. In addition, the overall health of society would suffer as garbage that is uncollected is an excellent breeding ground for bacteria and insects. For instance, piles of uncollected rubbish is the perfect place for dengue and malaria carrying mosquitos and many more.
Last but not least, a garbage collector's job is very meaningful to society because in this modern era, humans have managed to produce so much rubbish per day that without them, the sheer amount would drown the whole city in a week! Imagine how much plastic packaging each of us throws away within a day. Take for example all the empty plastic bottles, Maggi mee wrappers, plastic packaging from the supermarket and even paper products like cigarette boxes and newspapers among others.
In short, society would be seriously crippled if garbage collectors did not do their job. Therefore, I truly believe that garbage collectors provide a very meaningful contribution to today's society. Thank you.
So what do you think about this sample? What makes it a high band response?
Now it's your turn, you can try to write your sample script for Candidate B, C or D below and I'll tell you what band you may get. Happy speaking! :P