All done! Oddly, despite having done three exams yesterday I was more nervous today for the two remaining. The listening was done first, in the booths via the computer with headphones. It wasn’t actually too difficult but I found it hard to concentrate. The test lasted half an hour. For my Basic A2 Level the passages were played twice but for the B1 level of the Chinese students (now our new friends!) and the B2 level of my son, they were only played once. Of course no dictionaries, although our Chinese friends had to be reminded to put them away.
For the speaking test, I sat with a lovely silver-haired gentleman who actually smiled! He asked me my first question – how long had I been learning Russian and why did I start – and – well – cue me indulging my passion for languages, son’s move to St Petersburg, fascination with motion verbs, comparison with German and French… and I was away! I realised we were actually having a conversation rather than an exam,and I wondered when the exam would begin. Was this the warm up? He asked me why I wasn’t doing the B1 level exam (First certificate) instead, so I felt quite encouraged.He then asked me about where I lived and when he informed me he hadn’t visited Preston, I followed my advice of years to students – ask the examiner a question! I asked him where he had visited – Birmingham – which happened to be near my own place of birth. City of the strange accent, I said. A few minutes later, just as I was getting into it, he put his marksheet away, told me that was Basic level done, and said to come back tomorrow for the results!
Which indeed we shall. Watch this space….
That sounds like it went well. Congratulations!
Obviously you wouldn’t get an examiner entering into a conversation like that in an English-as-a-foreign-language Cambridge examination, because it would make the procedure impossible to standardise.