English learning log

Final exams (military service ...)

2013. november 13. - polly graph

Examiner:      Good morning!  Take a seat, please.

                   How are you feeling at the moment?

                   How did you feel this morning when you woke up?

                   What will you miss most now that you’re leaving school?

                   Would you stay one more year?  Why (not)?


Now I’m going to ask you a few questions.  If you can’t understand me, I can repeat the question once.  Let’s get started.



Is being a soldier compulsory in your country? 

It isn’t compulsory but it was used to be.  Earlier most men joined the armed forces for 1 or 2 years after their 18th birthday.  Now nobody has to do this and those who want to become a soldier have to pass exams.  Their salary is high and they get other bonuses too.

Why does your country have an army? 

Probably it’s the usual thing in every country, I mean, almost every country has an army.  We don’t have a huge army but maybe it would be enough if we had to defend our country.  I hope there will be no war here so we won’t have the opportunity to use it.

How can countries prevent conflicts when other nations are not trying to bring peace?

Well it’s a really difficult question.  I think nobody knows the answer to this because we still have wars in the world.  In my opinion they could ask the United Nations for help, after all, this organization was created with this end in view.

If you were the partner of a soldier who had just been sent to fight in a war, what would you include in his luggage? 

I would definitely include a picture of us in his luggage.  I think family background is really important and a photo could give him strength in the hard times.  What else? Mmmm I would pack tinned food, clothes, soap, a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, a razor, a comb, a mobile phone maybe, although I don’t think he could use it, and I think money.  I hope I won’t be in this situation, this would be very difficult.

Would you fight for another country other than your own? 

Well, if I lived in that country and I loved it just as my own, then my answer would be yes, I think.  As I see it, the main point is how much you love that country, and I can imagine loving another country more than your mother country.


I see.  Now let’s move on to the next topic, which is dangers in your home.



What do you need to do if you cut your finger preparing a food?

If this happens you need to clean the cut and after that you should put on a bandage to it.  But the treatment depends on how serious the injury is.  If your finger is still bleeding in spite of the fact that it was bandaged up, maybe it’s better if you call the ambulance.


What is the most dangerous thing in your home for a child?  How can it be made less dangerous?

I think the most dangerous thing in my home is the kitchen, because there are lots of dangerous things there, for instance lots of knives, forks, or sharp things, which can injure children.  So we must to separate the kitchen from the other part of the house, and make sure children don’t spend time there unattended.


What could you say to someone who is frightened when there’s a power cut?

Well, it really depends on how serious the situation is.  But I guess it is always possible to find some candles and make some light with that.  S I think I would say something like:  Don’t worry!  Don’t be afraid!  Everything’s going to be fine etc… I don’t know that what else I could say…


What dangers can be found in the kitchen that can cause accidents?

Well, there are many dangerous objects in the kitchen like knives, the oven, the microwave or the blender.  You can cut your hand, set fire to something or just blow up something like food or a machine.  Once I arrived home and I saw my mother and my sister were cleaning the kitchen, because everything was black.  After that they told me what had happened before: my sister had left the oil on the fire and the kitchen burnt down.


What are some essential things you would need in your house in order to be prepared for a disaster?

Well, it is a good question, let me think.  The first I thing is a fire extinguisher.  If I make a mistake in the kitchen, than a first aid box with all the necessary things, then candles to have something to light with instead of lamps...  What else?  A mobile phone so that you can call for help...  and of course chocolate. I think these are a must.


Well, I see.  Now, let’s change the topic.  We’re going to talk about children.



What are the positive or negative things about being a child?

Well, I always say that I don’t want to grow up, because I love being a child.  If you’re a child then you can do more things than an adult.  You don’t have too much responsibility, you have more free time, you have more opportunities to have fun (in some ways), so you can enjoy your life more.  However, there are some disadvantages too.  For example: when someone doesn’t let you do something because they say “No, you’re too young for that!” – well, that can be really annoying.


What makes a family, genetics or environment? Why?

I think both of these things have an effect on a person.  But my opinion is that the environment can form one’s personality better.  For example if a nice, affectionate and helpful family adopt a child, who was born in a poor and chaotic family, then they can bring up the child as an honest person.  However, they should adopt the child very early, because if the child live too ling under the effect a bad environment, you won’t be able to change the influence of that.


What are some of the reasons people choose to adopt?

In my opinion, the main reason why people choose to adopt is that they can’t have children of their own, maybe because of some disease.  So they decide to go to an orphanage and adopt children, or at least I think that’s how it works.  But I have also heard about


In an overpopulated world, should people be free to have as many children as they want?

I think nobody has the right to determine how many children a family can have.  But if a country is overpopulated, maybe the parliament shouldn't give any support to those families who have more than 3 children.  And then the parents will think it over whether to have more children in the circumstances they are in.  Therefore, I think just rich families will have as many children they want.


Would you want to adopt a boy or a girl? Why?

There is no easy way to answer this question.  If I was to become a mother, I would prefer a girl, because a girl is more sensitive and shows her feelings, but on the other hand a boy is more independent and curious.  If I had the chance, at first I would say I want a boy, but after that definitely a girl.


Thank you, that’s the end of the first part of the test.




Now look at this situation.  You can study the sheet for half a minute.  When you are ready, start a conversation with me.  I am your father.


Your father has been offered a job in another town.  If he accepts the job, you will have to move there and change schools, which you don’t want to do.  Discuss this with your father.  Consider the following:


Ø                               you’d lose your friends

Ø                               you have one year left at school

Ø                               your mother would need to find a job

Ø                               you love this place








-         Dad, why do you want to change your job?

-         Because my salary will be much higher there.

-         Yeah, I understand that, but I’ll lose all my friends.  You know I’ve only one more year at school.  Can’t you just wait one more year?  It has always been difficult for me to make new friends and if I move to another town I won’t be able to keep in touch with my friends from this school.

-         Oh, come on.  You’ll love that place, and you can always chat with your friends on the Internet or skype them.

-         And what about mum?  If we move away, she’ll have to find a new job.  You know she loves her job and she has just been promoted.  And I think we have enough money, you don’t need to earn more.

-         I talked this through with your mum and she has agreed.

-         And is it nice there?  You know we always said it’s best to live somewhere with lots of green space, and not among skyscrapers with no forests or parks.

-         I’m sorry honey, but we will have to move to New York.  We can’t help it.

-         Oh, okay then.  ­Can I get a webcam?

-         Of course you can!


Thank you, that’s the end of the second part of the test.




In the last part of the test, you will compare and contrast some pictures.  Now you have half a minute to look at these pictures and the prompts below them.  When you are ready, you will have three minutes to talk.


The pictures below show a pet and its owner dressed in rather unusual ways.  Compare and contrast them, including the following points:







Ø       things you can express with the way you dress

Ø       the importance of following trends

Ø       reasons for and against putting clothes on animals

Ø       your impressions about the owner based on the pictures

I think the way you dress says a lot about your personality.  Let’s take the example of the woman in the second picture.  She’s wearing all sorts of bright colours, yellow high-heels, pink tights and there is some yellow and some pink in her dress, too.  She gives the impression of being cheerful and optimistic maybe.

If you want to follow trends, it will take some time and some money, and I guess not everyone wants to put so much effort into what they wear.  Also, some people simply hate shopping, so they are probably quite happy with the clothes they have and wear them as long as possible.

I really don’t like the first picture, the one about the dog. I think it is cruel to dress your dog up like that, I mean it has no way of telling you that it doesn’t like what you’re doing.  The dog in the picture must be a very peaceful dog, because it didn’t really seems to be bothered by the fact that it’s wearing this tight sweater.

But I would never do something like this to my dog, I think it is humiliating.  I mean your dog is your best friend, and you wouldn’t normally make fun of your best friend simply for the sake of a good picture or to make some other friends laugh.  So I’m not sure the cheerful lady is a good dog owner, and maybe she should have something like a fish, which needs less care.


Thank you, that’s the end of your test.





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