As a form 6 student, I am not exempted from taking the MUET exams. I know a lot of people dread it, but I’m just glad to have English classes in between my other boring subjects. So today, I had my Speaking Test and I was in the last group of the morning batch. That, is a relief ’cause my group mates and I had the time to practice, while waiting for our turn.
I was really surprised–in a good way–how my group mates were so diligent in practicing topic after topic and even though we couldn’t know for sure whether our points were spot on, the main thing we wanted to achieve was to actually create a discussion in our Task B, rather than an individual performance of our own opinions, and I think we did that. I know for most people they have the problem of not being able to fully use up the 10 minutes in the discussion rounds, but oddly for us, we had the problem of not being able to fully express ourselves within the time given. But with practice, we gradually got better and I’m really thankful for having such hardworking friends who didn’t mind nonstop practicing for 2 hours. Really, they’re the best group mates I could ever ask for 🙂
I guess to whoever reading this and if you’re taking MUET as well, I suggest for the Speaking part of it, you really have to cooperate with your group mates because Task B is where marks get deducted. My MUET teacher showed us a video of a group of actors doing their Speaking Test and we could see how the examiners placed their scores on the candidates. At Task A, they usually get high marks, one guy even had a high Band 5, but his marks were decreased in the group rounds, to a low Band 5, so were the other candidates. I know perhaps private candidates don’t know who they are up against, but if you’re like me, you know who your group mates are, I suggest you get as much practice with them as possible. It really helps.
When I got into the exam hall (or room) I asked one of the examiners whether she could inform me if there were only 10 seconds left in my Task A, so you know, I could be more prepared. But she said I should just talk and not worry about the time ’cause she would inform me when the time was up. Of course she would. That’s what she was supposed to do. But I wanted to have a clear sense of time so that I could talk accordingly, and make a solid conclusion when it was close to the 2-minute mark. Then I remembered my teacher saying how some examiners would direct their stopwatches to the candidates so we could see the time. And so, I asked if she could do the same thing. She seemed a little surprised by my request, and also a little hesitant, saying how she needed to look at the time as well, but she didn’t reject it. Since there were 2 examiners with us, she suggested both of them to place their stopwatches facing forward so each of them could look across, at the other person’s stopwatch, instead of their own. And so, it was settled. We got to see the time while speaking. That was really a huge plus for us.
The question that we got–while I don’t remember specifically–went something like this:
A good education can make an impact on students. Which of these makes the most impact on students?
(i) Develop students’ self-confidence
(ii) Develop students’ communication skills
(iii) Develop students’ critical thinking
(iv) Develop students’ leadership skills
If you’ve done a lot of past year questions before, you would realize this question is derived from one of the past year papers. I can’t remember which, but I’m certain I’ve done it before. Unfortunately, it was a long time ago and I didn’t look through the points before the exams, so the points I said was mostly blabber. Blabber that makes sense, sort of, I guess. I was Candidate A and I totally went blank the second I saw self-confidence ’cause I wasn’t sure how to relate it to education. I simply crapped about science and history and whatnot. Even though I don’t know whether my points were relevant, I’m happy I was able to make full use of the 2 minutes for my Task A. For Task B, I think we did well. How well, I can’t tell, but yeah, well.
The rest of the three papers: Listening, Reading and Writing will be held on the 20th, and I’m having mixed feelings about it.