In this part, the examiner asks you about yourself, your home, work or studies and other familiar topics.
What subjects are you studying?
I’m studying computer science at Hunan University. It’s an undergraduate major, and it usually takes four years to earn the degree. I feel happy being enrolled in this program, because coding is one thing, I’m passionate about. Plus, I think I have a knack for it since my math is good.
Well, frankly speaking. I am studying many subjects in my school. Like advanced mathematics. economics. accounting. something like that. Accounting is my favorite course. coz I like that teacher, he is such a knowledgeable person. But advanced math is my least favorite class.
I’m studying for a Bachelor’s degree in Tsinghua University, specializing in the field of Math Studies.
Do you like your subject?
Yes, I do like my subject. But you know… there will always be parts you like and parts you don’t like. For example, the field training is very interesting, but the theoretical courses are about as fun as watching paint dry because some abstract concepts are quite difficult to understand.
Honestly, I don’t. I am halfway through my college career. But reality struck me when the material we learned in class was much more difficult and the assignments weren’t fun. I’m thinking about changing my own major now.
Why did you choose to study that subject?
Well, as for the reasons why I decided to study computer science, I think the main one is that I have lots of passion in that field. I always enjoy studying and researching things about it, and I’ve noticed that since I was still in high school. So, I told myself that if I went to a college, I would take computer science.
I chose math because I liked it in high school. I was always strong in math and science, so it seemed like a natural progression. Also, I did some research on career opportunities, and it seemed to be a subject with a promising future.
Is it very interesting?
I study literature, so I get to read tons of different books. It’s really interesting to see how many different perspectives are out there. Plus, storytelling is a really big part of culture, I like reading books from other countries and learning about the culture there. It’s definitely expanded my horizons.
Absolutely. I find computer science really stimulating. Imagine creating something useful just using codes and numbers. It requires a good level of imagination and quite a good level of number skills, critical thinking and logic skills as well as a keen ability to solve problems.
Do you prefer to study in the morning or in the afternoon?
I think it’s good to study in the morning. You have to wake up earlier, but when you get through the work, you have the rest of the day off. And the afternoon is usually a better time of day to enjoy yourself. So, it’s best to get studying over with as early as possible.
I am not a morning person, I’m afraid. But to be honest, studying in the afternoon is even worse. I get really sleepy from one to four in the afternoon. So, actually, my brain is at its best in the evening. It works better then. I can stay sharp even until very late at night.
Are you looking forward to working?
Yes, I am. I’ve been studying as a student for almost 16 years of my life. I really expect to have a proper job after graduating from college. It will be a huge change of lifestyle and I will be able to support myself financially, which will make my parents proud as well. I can’t wait to find a good job.
Part 2 In this part, 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.
Describe a person who solved a problem in a smart way
You should say:
Who this person is
What the problem was
How he/she solved it
And explain why you think he/she did it in a smart way
When it comes to someone who solves problems in a clever way, the first one that comes to mind is an 80-year-old lady I saw on social media.
I watched a video of a reporter interviewing the lady. She said she has had a great liking for paper- cutting since she was a kid. And she still goes to a senior college for a paper-cutting course. But as she gets older, she finds that there are less and less young people who take an interest in this art form, and we are losing the culture of paper-cutting.
In order to change the situation, she came up with the idea of promoting the folk art on social media. She cuts paper into comics that tell traditional Chinese stories and creates videos of them.
You can see how she has presented many storylines through paper cuttings. She even bound them into a book form and got them published. Most importantly, she really made it work! Her story and artwork have already been covered by foreign media and now she is an authentic internet celebrity in China. Since her videos went viral, tons of young people have become interested in the art of paper-cutting.
It’s definitely a brilliant idea. She successfully took advantage of the media trend. I was amazed by how creative she is for her age. Actually, although she’s in her 80s, she’s still learning new things and improving her skills every day. She is such a great to young people like me and role model definitely earns my admiration.
Part 3 In this part, the examiner asks you a few more detailed questions about the same topic.
Do you think children are born smart or they learn to become smart?
I think that there is a very interesting debate about nature vs. nurture. The central question of this debate is whether children are born with their personality and skills, or if they develop into these traits. Personally, I suppose that it is a combination of both. Some people are born naturally gifted with a high level of intelligence, whereas others have learning disabilities that may affect their intelligence. Nonetheless, any child can become more intelligent with the proper supports and education.
How do children become smart at school?
It seems to me that children usually become smart at school by applying themselves and being open to learning new things. They have to work hard at a subject in order to master it. That requires doing all the homework and persevering even when it gets hard. But they also have to adapt to new material and ways of learning. For example, their teacher might teach them something using a hands-on method. So, they have to learn how to work with that method in order to get smarter.
Why are some people well-rounded and others only good at one thing?
Being well-rounded or being good at one thing depends on your personality, as well as the amount of effort you put into different aspects of your life. Some people find one thing that they are good at and throw all of their effort into that one thing, becoming experts. Others do not have one passion, but rather prefer to develop many different talents. Either way, most people tend to focus on things they are good at rather than things they struggle with.
Why does modern society need talents of all kinds?
Well, modern society needs talents of all kinds because that is the best way to have a healthy workforce and consequently a healthy society. If everyone was good at science and became doctors, then no one would become an author or a teacher or a business person. It is much better to have a multi-talented society so that everyone can contribute something different. We need just as many artists as we need accountants.
Do you think clever people are bad at some things? What things can clever people be bad at?
I think that everybody has weaknesses, no matter how smart or clever they are. But when it comes to what clever people in particular might struggle with, it really depends on what they’re clever at. For instance, someone who’s really quick with numbers might have a hard time writing a good essay, and vice versa. Or someone who’s very smart and has a quick with might be bad at being empathetic. There are different ways to measure intelligence.