Oh dear me, the Spanish Exam for Beginner 2 was mind blowing. I dragged myself out of the bed just hours before the exam, having a fever of 38°C. Oops, that was no good. My body ached (still does) and I have these non-work related appointments coming into my mobile phone’s Gmail application as I was trying my last ditch effort to memorize as many Spanish words and phrases as possible. I think nothing really entered my head at the last minute of studying, even at my heightened mental power with the help of BRANDS Chicken Essence.
Leveling up to Beginner 2 is easy as there is no exam at the end of Beginner 1. Our beloved Spanish teacher Anna remains vague on what the exam is like and got the whole class hopelessly guessing. OK, she did hint to us that we have to work hard on …
- Describe our families, our cities, and our home.
- Able to understand and give street directions.
- Able to describe objects and where they are.
- Describe what we like and don’t like to do in our pastimes as well as what our day-to-day life is like.
- Able to … duh as it sounds … converse in Spanish.
I think I have too many theories for my own good. People in general panic when they come face to face with exam. I do too but I had a theory that I used to calm everybody around me, including me. You see, Beginner 2 is level 2 of 20. If Las Lilas School fails too many students at such an early stage, think of the potential loss of income! How many would retake the entire course of 10 lessons just to pass level 2? I wouldn’t.
It is rather strange that the exam is smacked right into the Christmas holiday period. Most of our classmates have been holidaying overseas. So Cynthia and I have missed our last Wednesday’s lesson – the supposed day of exam during our Bandung trip – and instead, we took up today’s slot.
We were expecting the Director to appear as the independent examiner and instead, there came a lovely lady from Peru (I have another theory on ladies who speak Spanish as first language). We were expecting one hour of revision and then one hour of oral exam like what Anna has told us but instead, we had …
- Listening Test
- Written Test
- Oral Test
- Reading Test (too bad it didn’t happen as it is my strength in a larger scheme of work)
I had a splitting headache when I was pulled into a room for my oral test. Gosh! Okay, Mamy – the Spanish teacher from Peru – is very friendly, which is good. Conversing in Spanish is my weakest subject. I struggled so hard and fortunately Mamy has been very encouraging. She asked me what I like and don’t like to do in my past time (thanks Anna!) and I said … me gusta comer … (means I like to eat) and I paused. That got her laughing and I continued … las tapas (some kind of Spanish food). Everyone laughs when they hear me saying me gusta comer las tapas. A lovely piece of icebreaker.
Then she asked me (I think) what my home is like, what kind of furniture I have inside, what I do in my daily life, and that is! End of oral test! I seriously don’t have a lot of high hope on that test. I really need to work on the Spanish grammar.
Written test was OK. Fortunately, I did 12 lessons worth of Spanish exercise (a separate book from the text book) over the weekends. Our Spanish teacher Anna is not that into drilling us on exercise. And I bet most of us in our class have not been working hard on those exercise, except Cynthia of course. Many of the examination questions came straight from the exercise book. I did a lot of brutal memorization over the weeks and it helped. To give you an idea, I would keep writing Monday to Sunday in Spanish non-stop till I get it. I take every hobby of mine very serious, Spanish included.
Oh, and we needed to write a mini-essay about our daily life (40 words). That too went OK.
Listening test was OK too. Two Spanish people on tape asking each other about the time. The conversation is fast and furious but Mamy was kind enough to pause between each conversation and to replay it again. I asked if we could listen to it again. Mamy looked at our answers and smiled, you all should go home now.
One student from the Monday class (Cynthia and I are from the Wednesday class) asked when the class for the next level will start. Mamy said, let’s see if you can pass first.
Oh gosh, I really hope that Cynthia and I will pass this exam.
PS. I was at Vivocity’s Coffee Bean studying for my Spanish exam while waiting for Cynthia to finish her facial. Right in front of me was a “No Studying” sign. It takes time to finish drinking a regular cup of coffee right?