[The examiner asks the candidate about him/herself, his/her home, work or studies and other familiar topics.]
Q. What’s your favorite color? [Why?]
Answer: My favorite color is “green” as I find it easy and soothing on my eyes. I also like this color because it is the color of the refreshing “nature” around us, and I just love “nature”. Finally, I like “green” because of “religious and spiritual” reasons.
Q. Do you like the same colors now as you did when you were younger? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: No, I don’t necessarily like the same colors as I did when I was younger mainly because I have grown older and my taste and preferences in many things, including “colors”, have changed significantly over the years. By the way, I used to love dark maroon when I was much younger.
Q. What can you learn about a person from the colors they like?
Answer: Well, I am not really a “personality reading expert” by the color a person likes, but people say that colors tell a great deal about the personality and mood of a person. For example, people, who like black, tend to be usually sensitive and artistic while those, who prefer “red”, just enjoy their lives to the fullest.
Q. Do any colors have a special meaning in your culture?
Answer: I don’t really think that colors have any special meaning in my culture except that women in my country prefer to wear “red” dresses during their wedding days. However, if the color we use in our national flag, then it would be a different story.
[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 song or a piece of music you like.
You should say:
and explain why you like it.
[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]
Sample Answer 1:
The song ‘High Hopes’ vocalized by David Gilmour of Pink Floyd music band is a piece of music I have always admired, and would perhaps listen to often for the rest of my life. Pink Floyd is famous for its progressive and psychedelic music and high-quality lyrics. And this particular song falls under the progressive rock genre, and was the 11th song on the album ‘Division Bell’.
I usually listen to this song on my laptop computer, and sometimes, on my MP3 player with a headphone attached to it. In fact, I am a great fan of Pink Floyd and most of their songs are on my favourite list. This song is specifically attractive for the great music composition, lyrics and theme.
This special song reminds us of our past, specifically young age, and compares how it was filled with possibilities and dreams. The background church bell music and the lyrics make an “out of the world illusion” that only people who have listened to it and enjoyed it would realize. Every time I listened to this song, I can feel my childhood, the sweet memory and the greener town I used to live in. This is the song that opens the horizon for me to visit my glorious childhood and teenage time. I love this song from the bottom of my heart.
This music puts me in a sad yet charming mood. I feel sad that the past days won’t be coming back and I won’t have that childhood charm anymore. On the other hand, this song gives me a genuine pleasure of the memories of my childhood and all the friends and people I knew then. It also inspires me to enjoy my present days as those days would become good memories someday.
Sample Answer 2:
I have always loved listening to music – good music that is – because I consider them to be the food for my heart and mind. Anyway, while I like to listen to music from all kinds of genre, I prefer soft rock the most, and today I would like to talk about one such music which I have loved since the day I heard it for the first time.
The song, I am talking about, is titled “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” which was sung in 1987 by the legendary singer Michael Jackson. It is actually a ballad duet of Michael Jackson and Siedah Garrett, and was the first single released from his seventh album, “Bad”. The song was written by Jackson, and co-produced by Jackson and Quincy Jones. Later, this song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, RB Singles and Adult Contemporary charts, making it the first in a string of 5 number-one single.
This song became so popular that Michael Jackson and Siedah Garrett recorded a Spanish as well as a French version of this song. Anyway, after listening to this song for the first time, I recorded it on audio cassette before almost 15 years ago and since then, hardly a week goes by when I don’t listen to this song at least once. This is such a piece of mild and soft music with such a great tune that every time I listen to it, I feel like I am taken to a world of dream where there is no sadness or cruelty.
This is one of my favorite pieces of music because the lyrics in this music are so easy to understand and follow. Besides, Michael Jackson seemed to have given all his heart and musical talent in order to make this song a success. On top of that, I also felt that he wanted to provide us with a very strong sense of heavenly appeal with this extraordinarily melodious song that he was here on earth to serve a very specific purpose, and that was to spread love instead of hatred and cruelty.
Similar Cue Card Topics
Your ability to talk about this Cue Card would enable you to talk about the following Cue Cards as well:
1. What would life be like without music?
Answer: Life without music would be quiet and dull. What would we do at parties besides eating and talking? That might as well be a meeting. Think about the best party you’ve ever been to, how vibrant and outgoing everyone was. Especially when everyone’s favorite jam came on. Music helps me focus on projects when the house is soundless. In the past, I would drive around town aimlessly at night with nothing but music and my thoughts. This helped my creativity tremendously.
2. Which is more important to you, music or TV?
Answer: Although television takes up a big chunk of my life, I could probably do without it. Music, on the other hand, is irreplaceable. I’m thinking to myself I could read the news & also read a novel that the blockbuster movie was adapted from. Consequentially, I cannot read a song. Novels are famously known for being better than their movie counterparts. There is no possible way to hear music in any other form. It all boils down to what can be replaced and what can’t.
3. What kind of music do you like?
Answer: I’ve always had an infatuation with music since I was a kid. My family likes to remind me of the time when I was two and I learned to say “Jackson! Jackson!” then hop around when his songs were played. Although my taste for music has evolved & diversified since then, music still holds a special place in my heart. I listen to all types of music, and I am open to new music. I also am a fan of classical music because it helps me concentrate and be more resourceful. The most common type of genre I listen to is Hip-Hop or Rap. I really feel that rappers recite more contemporary poetry.
4. What musical genre do you really hate? Why?
Answer: I hate some country music, specifically those that have been composed in the last couple of years. It has got to be the most depressing music genre available to the public. I cannot pinpoint the exact reason why I abhor country music, which is supposed to be is extremely patriotic! Most of the people, in my opinion, who listen to that type of music probably have never left the proximity of their area code. Music CEO’s realize that the native population are losing jobs to “foreigners” so country music artists use that and say locals should love pure nationalist emotions. It’s a clever way to be racist. Such music has a kind of twang that I do not like. It will never grow on me, and I try my hardest not to judge the people who listen to such music.
5. What do you think of music your parents listen to?
Answer: My father has the same affection, if not more, for music as me. While I was growing up I have fond memories of the family & there was always traditional or classical music playing during these moments. Although I don’t have any local music on my computer & never choose to listen to such music, I do like some of it. However, I am not crazy about some of today’s popular songs because they always seem to be furrowing their brows while griping about love.
6. Why do humans like music so much? And Why is music important to you?
Answer: Without looking up scientific facts why the human species is drawn to music, I can muse that music has been a part of humans since the existence of man. Cavemen created drums and hopped around to the beat while circling a fire. Music evokes a feeling in people and I think that it remains at its core. That is why humans appreciate music so much.
Music plays an important role in my life. Whatever emotion I am feeling or mood I am in, I pair it with music. Some people listen to Adele when they are sad or Pitbull when they are happy. Music is the soundtrack of my life. Certain songs come on and it teleports me back to a moment while I was listening to that same song, usually a happier time too.
7. What influence do you think music has on your life?
Answer: Music doesn’t influence me like it used to. When I was 12, I started listening to hip-hop and it slightly influenced the way I dressed and somewhat how I acted. Case in point, when I saw Dr Dre wearing a black fitted baseball hat, I always wore one. Now I am older and music doesn’t have that type of influence on me but some music does affect my behavior or mood. If I am listening to up-tempo music, it usually goes well with a party or my good music, whereas slower tempo music helps me relax and unwind.
8. What is the best time and place to listen to music?
Answer: That’s the beauty of music; you can almost always listen to music. I feel the best time to have music is in social gatherings like when you are with close friends and you create a soundtrack for that occasion. At the same time, a meeting where you are trying to work is not an appropriate time to listen to any kind of music; even white noise.
Music and young people:
Q. What kinds of music are popular with young people in your culture?
Answer: Young people in my culture these days usually like to listen to any kind of music which has a strong beat and “not-so” traditional lyrics. This types of music may include hard rock, pop, raps and other types whichever may appeal to their young and “restless” minds. Lately, they are listening to folk music also since they sound uniquely sweet and mellow by blending the tunes of western musical instruments with the local and traditional instruments perfectly.
Q. What do you think influences a young person’s taste in music?
Answer: A young person’s taste in music is influenced largely by what kind of lifestyles he/she chooses to live, and what kind of families and friends he/she has. For example, if a young person is very seriously career-oriented with introvert personality and spends much of his/her time at works, the chances are he/she would like to listen to some sweet and relaxing soft rock. In the same way, if a young person has a very upbeat personality and likes to hang out with his/her friends always, he or she will probably prefer to listen to hard rock type of music more than sweet and mellow folk music.
Q. How has technology affected the kinds of music popular with young people?
Answer: Modern technologies like the internet and satellite TV channels have tremendously affected the kinds of music that are gaining popularities among the young. In fact, with the help of these technologies, young people, along with everybody else, can listen to any kinds of music of their choices from any country at any time. The internet helps them to download any music and then share them with their friends on different social media networks. Smartphones also allow them to listen to their favorite music, be it on “YouTube” channels or FM radio stations, on the go.
Music and society:
Q. Tell me about any traditional music in your culture.
Answer: Folk music and country music usually fall into the category of traditional music in my culture. Both folk music and country songs use local musical instruments that are easy to play. Besides, the lyrics of both these type of music very beautifully reflect the natural beauty of my country as well as the joys and sorrows of its sons and daughters. In fact, some of our folk music is so unique and melodious in their sounds that they have been “copied” by the music industries of several other countries in the world.
Q. How important is it for a culture to have musical traditions?
Answer: Musical traditions of a country reflect the lifestyles, culture, religious & spiritual traditions and history of a country in a very authentic and appealing manner. Therefore, it is absolutely important for a country and its culture to preserve its musical traditions as best as possible. But, should we ever fail to have our own musical traditions, the chances are that some other kinds of “alien traditions” will make their “merry” ways into our culture and threaten to weaken, if not destroy, our “national identity”.
Q. Why do you think countries have national anthems or songs?
Answer: Countries have national anthems in order to be able to display their loves, gratitude and respect in a more formal and official way. The national anthem of a country is also used to bring solidarity and patriotism among its citizens which are absolutely necessary to strengthen a country economically, culturally and militarily. Finally, the national anthems also remind us about the histories of our countries as well as the “sacrifices” that were made in order to free/establish them in the past.