Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Speaking Test October 2011- Beginning Tuesday 11 October 2011

"All the best!" I wish to all MUET candidates who are doing the MUET Speaking Test on Tuesday (today). I hope you will all be at your very best, your very best as though you are going for an interview.

Please do not panic! Nobody can help you if you panic as you are defeating yourselves by doing so. (Could be half the battle is lost if you panic, or worse still all the battle is lost.)

Task A
For Task A if you are assigned to be 'candidate A' with a given task, to speak for two minutes, on the topic of "The biggest problem faced by young people nowadays is financial problem". If candidate B has the task of speaking about the social problems faced by young people then both candidates (yes, all candidates) have to stick to the tasks assigned to them. They cannot, according to their whims and fancies, change their topics as they like. In task A you have to adhere to the topic/task assigned to you. Otherwise you might end up in trouble.

During the Task A presentations candidates are encouraged to jot down the other candidates' points so that you can use those points in Task B, the group discussion or the "group interaction" as some writers like to call it.

What can you say if the situation is, for example "Your club is giving a talk to young people.  Suggest a topic for the talk for this group. Being one of the candidates you have to suggest a topic such as "How to Manage Stress. Why is it suitable?" or "Time management. Elaborate" or "Keep away from crimes. Discuss.

 For the How to manage stress situation, would you start by telling "live a healthy lifestyle"? That would not be right as that is more on How to Prevent Stress. (i.e. Before stress strikes you, one of the measures for prevention is by leading a healthy lifestyle). "How to manage stress" wants you to discuss what should you do when and as you are having or experiencing a stress. 

Practice is of utmost importance because the test itself itself could be a stressful situation. With enough practice you would have the experience of thinking in this kind of situation where you are under stress. In simulations of the actual speaking test the candidates can experience working or performing under pressure and limitations such as time constraints.

Do not forget the next sentence or phrase that says "Why is it suitable" or "Elaborate" or "Discuss" or "Explain". Failing to do that could be a very terrible mistake and a horrible loss in marks on your part. You would be talking about something that is out of the topic, maybe completely out of topic. In the example above, if you fail to realise this additional instruction - that could lead you to discuss how to manage stress vis-a-vis your task that is you have to justify that the topic itself is suitable for this group of young people.

Task B
In task B you can change your stance on the topic or situation given. That is you can use what the other candidates were saying in their individual presentation added with your own ideas and points. This is when the notes that you have made on all the other candidates' points in task A come in handy.

As usual, you are given two minutes for preparation and then ten minutes for your group discussion. For the discussion, anybody can start first. As usual while doing the discussion nobody should be dominating the discussion. The others have their rights for the time to voice their views and contribute to the discussion.

Thanks for your time. I wish you all the best. Do not panic!!!

p. s. For some actual Speaking 800/2 test questions/situations/instructions you can go to this page here.