Friday, December 22, 2006
(Just for your info, IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System and the highest band score is 9, so, you better be damn proud of me!)
Now I want to tell you on how my test went last Saturday 16th Dec 2006. It's stated in the exam slip that all participants must arrived before 8am. So, I planned to wake up early and start my journey to British Council at exactly 7.15am. Unfortunately, Han and I woke up at 7.00am and I was so panic because it's already late. I didn't took my shower, just brushed my teeth, wash my face, sprayed Angel by Thierry Mugler, put on a pair of jeans and t-shirt, powdered my face, made the Herbalife drinks to go and all the while, nagging to Han for not waking up earlier to the sound of the alarm.. sorry hunney.. I was in a total wreck.. yup, when i panicked, I panicked, big time! nothing can calm me down. Han was worried because I look so blurr when he tried to give me the directions to BC. So, in the end, he grabbed his wallet, keys and drove me there, leaving Amin sound asleep all by himself at home. Oh, we are so not good parents. And throughout the journey, I was not thinking much of the exam, but more about Amin actually. Worried that if anything happened to us on the road, then nobody knows about Amin at home. Gasp! I was constantly praying for safe journey at that time and determined to make a copy of all the apartment keys to give to my parents later.
Anyway, we arrived at 7.45am, thank god no traffic on Saturday morning, and there's plenty of people there waiting for the guard to let them use the lift to 2nd Floor, that's where the examination hall is. Exactly at 8am, the guard let us in and people started to line up to enter the room. An A4 sized envelope was given to each of us to put our valuables (wallets. purses, handphones, carkeys, housekeys etc) which the envelope than sealed and written with names on it, placed in a cupboard inside the examination hall. Other bags, files, helmets and umbrellas can be simply put lying on the floor outside the room.
We were then searched by the staffs and scanned with metal detector (just like at the airports) before entering the room and the IELTS started with listening test at about 8.45am. It's a good thing that I bought the RM80 specimen tutorial sample earlier because there's a CD for the listening test sample and I already had a good idea of what I'll be expecting - a very pure British accent. The audio system was very good but still have to be very focused and listen very carefully in order not to miss any points. There were about 40 questions with about 4 to 5 listening conversations.
(I got 8.5 out of 9.0 for this Listening test - Very Good User : Has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriacies. Misunderstandings may occur in unfamiliar situations. Handles complex detailed argumentation well)
Next was the reading test and no breaks were given in between. It's all about reading and answering the questions. Same thing, about 40 questions for 4 passages. It's not that easy but it was o.k for me. The passages was very lengthy and the multiple choice answers were all not similar to the wordings in the passages. You kinda like have to make your own summary of understandings and it was pretty confusing for me.
(I also got 8.5 for this Reading test)
Then we move straight to the essay part which I had to do two(2) essays in one hour. Wow.. and double WOW when I had a 'writers block' at that time. I can't think! I had no idea of what sentences to use, what points should I put in, and heck, I was frozen even at the beginning because I didn't know how to start the essay! I only had the idea coming to me during the last 15 minutes where I had to put the paper side by side and simultaneously trying to complete essay 1, and essay 2. No, I'm not using both hands to write, but I was switching from one essay to another from lines to lines. This was a nightmare. My first essay was to do a summary and comparison from 2 graphs given (sounds easy but it's not, trust me, the graphs were about the UK citizenship applicants from 1976 to 2006) and the second essay was to discuss 'happiness due to economic success'. What the hell was that? Until today, I actually don't understand what it means by economic success, but to tell you the truth, during my exam, I was writing my essay based on my points related to 'financial success'. Yup, but I didn't use the word financial though, I kept using the 'economic' terms but of course, anybody can tell that I was relating it to money.. haha..
(So, no wonder I got 6 for my Writing test - Competent User : Has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations)
We had a long lunch break afterwards as my speaking test scheduled at about 3.55pm. I met Lynn there, she took the same exam too and her speaking test was at 3.25pm, so, we went for lunch together. It was great seeing her! We talked on and on and on about what we were planning to do. She's trying to apply for Masters in journalism. Yeah, that girl has what it takes. Anyway, we went to KLCC to eat and did our Zuhur prayers at Aquaria's praying room, less crowded. Then we head back to BC and it was already time for the listening test. They just estimated the time and I actually was called in at 3.20pm. I was interviewed by a British lady named Patricia. She had this very pure British accent and I have to admit that I was having a bit of a problem trying to understand her questions. But she can tell it just by looking at my facial expressions. Whenever I raised my eyebrows she would quickly repeat the questions in slower motion. Alhamdulillah, I was able to think fast and prevent myself from repeating the same points over and over again. The first topic was about photographs and photography, and the second was about our childhood home, environment, and parental values. It was a very challenging conversations I have ever had because I needed to get all the key points out in perfect sentences with correct grammar and pronunciation (this conversation was recorded for marking purposes). It became harder because Patricia did not get involved in the conversation at all as she only read the questions and look at the stop watch and will remain silent until it was time to move on to the next question, if I ended my speaking earlier than the time given, but when I exceeded the time, she just let me keep talking on and on and on.. which made my brains frantically searching for fresh points! It was a great relief when she said "Thank you. That's the end of your speaking test" and switched off the recorder.
(I got 8 for my Speaking test, yeah.. Way to go,girl! Not bad at all for somebody who had trouble understanding the British accent)
Alright.. wow, time flies.. It's already almost a month since my last entry.. I have been busy haven't I. Like I've said before in my previous entry, I've been busy completing my Masters application process. I have submitted about 2 applications (where the IELTS test score will be sent directly by BC to the respective universities - as requested by them which costs me RM20 per address - damn expensive) and today in process of completing another 3. One of the application requested for the thesis proposal paper which I have absolutely no idea of what to do my research on. I guess the IELTS test score might arrive sooner than my application if I couldn't come up with the project paper by today. Oh my.. I better stop blogging and finish up this report.. Wish me luck!