31 Oct 2004
Two week ago I had to do the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and I needed a band score of 5 (out of 9) at least to be allowed to live to New Zealand.
From 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM I found myself in exactly the same state of mind like 22 years ago on high school.
These days I was under the impression that I enough mastered reading and writing in English, but on the other hand I was very concerned about the oral test. So, in the lunch break prior to this spoken part, I sneaked to a bar and gluttonously gulped down two glasses of port for the purpose of the indispensable overconfidence.
But after the examiner ignored my offered hand, I instantly became sixteen again.
The monologue about my work went fine, however the story suddenly was a lot shorter than I had practised at home in front of the mirror.
While my brains were feverishly searching for another few well-turned sentences, the examiner asked me to the most impressive letter in my life …. I got one minute time to think about it en I thanked Whatever that I knew my reply after a few seconds already. I would tell him about the enthusiastic email of Simon Fisher, a gallery owner recently sent me. I that way I could turn the conversation to the subject that I was familiar with.
Happily I started to rave en tried to spice up my story with some interesting gestures en sweet ladylike voice inflections, but being realistic; in my desperation I noticed I used some weird words. But okay … I threw in my most disarming glance.
I wasn’t quite ready with my show when the examiner asked something very complicated about ‘the future of the written word’. I picked up some words as “ministry, professors and academics” and I asked him to repeat his question. The long-expected black-out kicked in and my brains frozen. Probably the examiner saw this happen too and reckoned the interview as finished.
On my way back to the train station I was relieved this bad day was ended en mopishly I hoped I would get a more easy-going person if I got re-examinated.
Today I got the IELTS-envelope in my mailbox.
My score was a 6,5 ! And for conversation a 7 !!!
For 2 days I euphorically shouted out loud: “How is this possible?! How is this possible?!”