09 June 2015

The Big Exam

It went well, I think I passed! Which means I might get my GCSE in August, like my tutor Jenny had predicted! And I know it's dangerous to make such statements before the results are in, but I just have a good feeling about this.

On a beautiful day I biked to the language centre, and went to the indicated room. It didn't look big enough! But this was only where we gathered. The language in there was Welsh; everybody was keen to get into the right mood for the exam. One man was worried; he was the only man! That would change, but in the end there were four women for every man in the lecture room. Weird!

After a while we were picked up and guided to where the written part would take place. We did the reading exercise, and the "fill the gaps"; after a toilet break we also did the listening test. I am certain I did the reading flawlessly; I didn't do so with the gaps. I at least got a plural wrong, and a conjunction of a preposition. Oh well. With the listening I was alright; there was a question which mentioned an interviewer, but I didn't recognise the word as such and guessed it meant "contemporary". Easy mistake! And there was a question where the answer clearly was "the new treatment for diabetes that was developed would not become generally available for another five years" (but then in Welsh) but I didn't know what "treatment" was and hadn't caught the word. I went for "medical stuff"; no idea how many points you get for that. But I'm confident about the rest.

After another toilet break we did the writing part. We had to choose from several topics for a 100 word text, and then fill in a form about our work of about 150 words. For the first part I nominated my neighbour for " best neighbour in Wales". A rather imaginary neighbour, that is; it's a language exercise, not an interview, and talking nonsense is encouraged. I bulshitted my way through the other task as well; it asked for what my job title was. I don't know what "postdoctoral research officer" is in Welsh so I went for "soldier". And what quite often happens when I do these writing exercises happened now too; within no time I was slagging off the Tories. It's good to have a theme!

Then it was lunchtime. I sat in the sun, on the grass in front of the building. And then it was time to go in for the oral part. We got a list of topics about which we would have to talk with an examiner. I picked the statement "learning another language is easy"; we got 20 minutes to prepare. Then we were called; I got an examiner I didn't previously know. She was nice! She started with some smalltalk to let me get used to her, and then we started. The actual examination conversation is recorded, like the one you have to do in April with a non-tutor.

We started talking about language learning, evidently; I have plenty to say about the topic. But after five minutes the "general" part started; she started asking me general questions. Stuff I couldn't prepare for, other than that you can see questions like "where do you work" and "when did you come to Wales" coming from a mile away. And I was aware of all sorts of hesitations, missing words, dodged yes/no questions, failed mutations, but altogether we had a nice chat! And then it was over.

Next week I have the next exam; the lower level one, but of which Jenny says it's actually harder; I think it will be fun! And then in August the results will come in...

1 comment:

Petra said...

:-) goed gedaan meissie!