[The examiner asks the candidate about him/herself, his/her home, work or studies and other familiar topics.]
Topic – Neighbors:
Q. How well do you know the people who live next door to you?
A. I am a firm believer in having a good relationship with my neighbors who are living next door to me, and I know them well enough to enjoy a cup of coffee or a drink with them in their living areas while watching a nice comedy movie or game with them once in a while.
Q. How often do you see them? [Why/Why not?]
A. I see my neighbors mostly during the weekends because that’s when we usually meet and talk while washing or cleaning our front yards. Besides, it is during the weekends that we usually hit the outdoors sometimes together in order to get some physical exercises, such as running and stretching, at a local park nearby.
Q. What kinds of problem do people sometimes have with their neighbors?
A. Unfortunately, not all people are considerate enough about their neighbors’ plights and preferences. As a result, people have to deal with common problems like noises at late night, sounds of loud music regularly, vehicles parked on the front lawn and barking of the lousy pet animals, no matter how much disturbing they may sound.
Q. How do you think neighbors can help each other?
A. Neighbors can help each other in many ways, if they are really keen to do so, by visiting each other on a regular basis to check how they are doing during their bad times, watching over each other’s houses when somebody is gone temporarily, and picking up their “deliveries” for them in their absence. Our neighbors become more important than our own relatives over time and they can come to our rescue whenever we are in big or small troubles. Finally, they can share our joys and sorrows as true friends.
[The topic for your talk will be written on a card which the examiner will hand you. Read it carefully and then make some brief notes.]
Describe a friend of your family you remember from your childhood.
You should say:
and explain why you remember this person.
[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you’re going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]
Model Answer 1:
I find most survey questions to be interesting because of the way they are worded. But, when it actually comes to give my opinion on them, I always try to stay away from them for some obvious reasons. But, today, I would like to about an occasion when I felt that letting my opinion to be heard was important.
The survey, I took part in, involved collecting opinions on whether public smoking should have been criminalized or not, and one could just say either “yes” or “no” when giving his or opinion on this issue.
Anyway, I found the survey, organized by a famous national NGO of my country, to be an important one because I also considered public smoking to be a serious problem for the city in which I was living in back then. In fact, in its introduction of the survey, the NGO concluded with various statistics that almost 80% of the adult males in my home city were a smoker. The NGO also mentioned how smoking had led to a gradual increase in the number of people who were becoming affected by respiratory problems one way or another.
Even more dangerous was the fact that many high school going students were becoming addicted to smoking when attending their schools. So, all in all, it was a dangerous trend for the people of my home city as far as their health was concerned. By the way, I was asked to take part in the survey, primarily because I fell in the category of non-smoking people who had graduated from a university, and my response in the survey was that I wanted public smoking to be criminalized.
Anyway, I felt really great about giving my opinion in the survey as it would help my city to raise some kind of awareness against public smoking. I also felt glad that this survey would go a long way to saving our city government in its health costs which could then be used to address other problems in my city. So, all in all, it was a great feeling for me.
Sample Answer 2:
The survey I recall very clearly that I participated in was the one conducted in our university. I was a student of 7th semester then and I actively participated in University debate team. Our team did well in different contents and then our university administration took this seriously. As part of their initiatives, they conducted a survey to gather information what can be done to make the team even better. As far as I recall, it was Friday evening and after reaching the 6th floor of our university debate team room, I heard that we will have a session in the auditorium. We left the room and went to the auditorium. I was amazed to notice some of the high-level administrative officials in the hall and then learned that they would be discussing the debate team we have.
They congratulated us and promised that they would help the team and the association every way possible so that we can practice and do even better in the future. As part of the discussion, the debate team members, trainers and associated members were asked to take part in a survey. After I got the survey papers and pen, I found that that was a questionnaire of 2 pages and there were approximately 20 questions there. Most of the questions were multiple choices but there were 5-6 questions that asked to write our comments or thoughts. The topic of the survey was (as far as remember): “How initiatives can be taken and what improvements can be done to make our university debate team even better”. As a debate team member and an active debater, I was naturally asked to participate in the survey to express my opinion.
I mostly express what should be done to make the debate team a good one, appreciated the university authority’s help so far and specifically mentioned what are the difficulties we have faced and what are the steps that should be taken to eradicate this issues. I was excited that the upper administration was taking notice on our debate team and when they conducted the survey, I felt really good and kind of honored to be the part of the team. I have been involved in the debate team for about 2 years and with very little help from the university fund and administration we started doing better and after the session and survey, I felt it was worthy to be the part of the extra curriculum activities.
The overall experience was good and that’s why I still remember this survey; even after I took part in many different marketing and online surveys, this one was special to me.
Tips for answering this Cue Card Question:
People are usually asked to give their opinions in a questionnaire or survey when they are a part of a team and the authority feels that the team members’ opinions are needed to bring positive change. Also a marketing executive or marketing representative can ask you to volunteer in their survey to give your opinion on their products or survey. The government runs some survey among people to know the overall opinion of the countrymen. Sometimes you would be asked to give your opinion by a radio, television channel about an issue or on their program quality. You should be able to talk about one such survey or questionnaire you were asked or requested to take part. The questionnaire can be both in written and verbal form.
For this cue card, first say a survey you have taken part and mention when it was, what was the survey, who conducted it and whether you have given written answer to the questionnaire or verbally. Some surveys ask people to give survey takers identity while some conduct it anonymously. Mention what type of survey you took.
You should try to talk about a survey that has some value like a survey conducted by the local authority to make the area a better place rather than the random marketing surveys.
For the second question “why you were asked to give your opinions” say why the survey conductor asked you to participate in it. If it was a marketing survey say that you were randomly picked. If this is a survey conducted by the local administration, say they conducted the survey among the local people and you were one of them. Being a part of a team sometimes may require you to take part of the survey and if you talk about such a survey, mention that you were asked to take part of this survey because of your involvement in the team.
For the question “what opinions you gave”, you do not need to talk about the questions asked in the survey and the exact answers you gave. Try to give an overview of the things which were asked and a summary of the opinion and answer you gave.
If the survey was an important one for the team authority, mention that you felt really proud to be able to let the authority know your thinking. If this was a marketing survey, mention that you felt well to let them know your idea about their products or services. If this was your first survey mention that you were very excited to be able to gain a new experience as you have never taken part in such a survey. Give some reason why the survey was important and finally say that it was important for you to give your thinking and you felt really good for being able to do so.
Q. What do you think makes someone a good friend to a whole family?
A. Becoming a friend to a singular individual is relatively easy, but becoming a good friend to the whole family of that individual is rather difficult as it involves understanding each and every member of that family differently. Anyway, one can be a good friend to a whole family if he/she is passionate about standing by them and helping them during the time of their needs, such as sickness and stress, no matter how difficult they may be. Besides, he/she has to be really respectful to the beliefs and views of that family, no matter how different they are from his/her own views and opinions if he/she wants to become a good friend of them.
Q. Do you think we meet different kinds of friends at different stages of our lives? In what ways are these types of friend different?
A. Yes, I do think that we tend to meet different kinds of friends with different kinds of personalities and traits at different stages of our lives. For example, when we are children, our friends are usually ‘care-free” with no particular roles and responsibilities to worry about in general. When we become young adults and ready to begin our careers, we meet friends who are more serious about their lives and career than any other things in life. Then, as we grow older and become parents, we tend to become more friendly with those people who are usually family-oriented and serious about raising their children. We change with our age and our expectations from our friends may vary as we grow and it is quite natural that we meet different types of friends in different stages of our life.
Q. How easy is it to make friends with people from a different age group?
A. In my opinion, it is not really easy to make friends with people from a different age group as it involves keeping up with different kinds of personalities and priorities most of the time, if not always. For example, a mature and family person in his mid 40’s will find it really difficult to keep up with the more upbeat and “adventurous” personalities of a young adult, in his mid 20’s, who is living his “dream life”. So, again, it would require a lot of compromising and understanding if anyone wants to befriend somebody from different age categories.
Influence of friends:
Q. Do you think it is possible to be friends with someone if you never meet them in person? Is this real friendship?
A. It all depends on how someone defines “real friendship”. But, in my humble opinion, it is not really possible to become a real friend with someone if I never meet him or her in person. Of course, it helps just to talk to someone in order to find out if we share the same interests, but without the opportunity to actually carry forward the friendship in real-life situations, I don’t really see how a ‘meaningful friendship’ is born and grow over time.
Q. What kind of influence can friends have on our lives?
A. Friends can have a tremendous influence on our lives by shaping our views and opinions of this world and the things around us more often than not. In fact, sometimes, things like what we eat, what movies we watch, what type of music we listen to, how we like to dress, or what kinds of lifestyles we choose to live are determined one way or another by our friends. Therefore, it is absolutely important that we choose our friends carefully as they not only help us build our lives, but also destroy them.
Q. How important would you say it is to have friends from different cultures?
A. I would say that it is very important to have friends from different cultures and backgrounds as they would help us open our eyes and minds to many of the diversities of our world. And, the more respect and appreciation we have for people of different cultures and backgrounds, the easier will it become for us to free this world from prejudice, hatred and animosities that have only divided us more and more for centuries.