Speaking Part 2 - Self Presentation

Take a look at an IELTS Speaking cue card below! There are four questions that you need to answer. Before answering the questions, you have one minute to prepare you speech (you can take a note using paper and pen given to you by the assessor). After that, you will be given two minutes to speak without any interruption.

Illustration for party

Describe a party that you have attended
You should say:

  • What party it was
  • Where the party was held
  • Who attended the party
And describe what you did in that party

Possible Answer:

I ever attended a wedding party, it was my cousin's wedding party. The party was quite so long ago, but I still remember most details of the party because it was very memorable. I thought the party was gonna be very fun, for most part at least. It was quite surprising because the party turned out to be very formal. It was very formal and traditional, and I had to behave almost all the time.

The party was held in a ballroom in the city. It was because there were so many people invited to the party. A large room was needed to accommodate the people. The entire ball room was full of decoration. I remember seeing a table full of food and beverage. I was particularly interested in that, I was a kid after all.

All family members were coming to the party, as well my cousin's friends. Some of them even came from other city. Among the guests, I saw several kids running around and laughing. I also saw some people who looked very formal with tuxedo and everything. I thought they were my cousin's colleagues.

It was a very traditional party, and there were a lot of ceremonies involved in the party. I was involved in some of the ceremonies, like when the bride and the groom were walking down the aisle and I walked behind them. Actually, I felt a little bit uncomfortable because I was so dressy at that time. The tradition requires me to wear some clothes that really restrict my movement. That was probably one of the serious parts of the party I was involved in. Although the party was quite formal, I also enjoyed the more fun things like eating the food and talking to some guests.

I went around to give my relatives a warm greeting. They were a little surprised to see me growing up so fast. They began asking about my school and everything. It was very nice talking to them, since we don't meet so often. They live in other cities, and this wedding party is the right moment to reunite with the family and distant relatives.

Speaking Part 3 - Two Way Discussion

Follow up questions

  • What are the differences between serious party and friendly party?
  • Why are some people late for parties intentionally?
  • Why do some people like party while others hate it?
  • What do we need to do to make a party more alive?
  • Will there be many more people to attend parties?

Possible Answer:

Q: What are the differences between serious party and friendly party?

A: Friendly party is far different from serious party for several reasons. First, friendly party is usually open for anyone. The people attending friendly usually wear casual clothes. The party is generally for fun only and the people are free to do anything they want, from talking with other guests to enjoying food, snack and beverages. The activities are not arranged based on strict schedule like that of most formal parties. There are usually games and singing and dancing. Te people do anything if they feel like doing it.

Serious party is quite contrary. The kind of guests being invited to serious party is usually important people such as colleagues and business partners. These people always wear formal attire and behave in a very formal manner. They don't discuss trivial thing but instead, talking about business. They may talk casually, but that's only for common decency before turning back to the main topic of business, networking or any other things alike. 

It is possible to have certain entertainment in serious party, like singing and dancing. However, the entertainment is usually that of classy type of entertainment. They have it merely for expressing their interest in art and culture, one of many good ways to show their social status.

Q: Why are some people late for parties intentionally?

A: Some people are coming late to parties on purpose, and I will try to explain why. This is really just a personal opinion, though. A significant number of people is simply not interested in some parts of the party that they regard as boring. This may include the opening speech and some other ceremonial things. People tend to love the eating-and-drinking or singing-and-dancing part of the party and decide to come late just to skip these uninteresting parts. 

Q: Why do some people like party while others hate it?

A: The fact that some pepole like party and some others hate it may be due to the different personality. Some people are very outgoing, they are talk active and really enjoy social engagement. Typical party goers will always try to spend some time around other people, even if it is only on the weekend. Nevertheless, there are some people who like being alone to spend their me time, instead of attending parties. These people are very introverted and don't like being in a crowd. They even avoid small talk because they deem it unnecessary.

Q: What do we need to do to make a party more alive?

A: A party can be alive if everyone is having fun. However, there are some people who are very shy even to start a small talk with other guests. To cheer up the party, the party holder needs to make sure that everyone is comfortable enough to talk, eat, dance and get along with other people. A good party holder usually walks around to say hi to their guests, at least. Even if they don't do it by themselves, they usually ask the MC to live up the party.

Q: Will there be many more people to attend parties?

A: In my personal opinion, there will be more and more people attending parties nowadays. This is due to several reasons. First of all, there is a tendency that people now are working harder. There is a higher standard of life and this has put a burden on most people shoulders. They really struggle to live by certain standard. The burden can only be reduced by means of entertainment. There are more people looking for entertainment, and party is a definitely a good way to lighten a little bit. 

Secondly, parties are now like primary necessity. This is due to the fact that  there is a considerable number of younger generations who prefer to have experience rather than buying material things like shoes or clothes. The growing number of clubs and cafes is a clear indication that 'parties will not end very soon'. Many businessmen are aware of this phenomenon, and they compete to provide the coziest place to party, whether it is the formal one like a wedding party or the more casual one like sweet seventeen party.

Tips for IELTS Speaking part 2 and 3

a. Focus on your explanation
There are some test takers who are too afraid to answer simply because they are not so sure about the validity of the information they are about to give. This is not good. 

In IELTS test, it is important to note that one thing that becomes the focus of the marking is the way you explain your ideas. Thinking before you speak is good, but do not take too much time thinking about what to say. This will result in a very long and painful pause, making your speech sound less spontaneous and less natural.

b. Give some real life examples
This will make it easier for you to justify your claim. Using personal experience as an example will also make it easier for you to remember some detailed information. In fact, giving real life examples is essential when you deal with topics which are quite abstract, like happiness, for example. Take a look at a question below:

Q: How would you define happiness?
A: Happiness is the state when someone feels contentment. This usually happens when someone achieves something in their life, or when they get something that they want.

That's a real definition of the word happiness, as well as some of the reasons why people feel happy. But if you use it to answer the question above, it would sound pretty much like a circular argument. It is quite inevitable that even with some reasons, the explanation is yet to be satisfactory. This kind of question usually needs a little personal touch. Now, pay attention to a sample answer below:

Happiness is a the state when someone really knows about their passion, turns it into real actions, successfully achieves their goal, shares it with their beloved ones and eventually finds the truest meaning in their life. 

The most common example would probably the kind of job that people have for living. Some jobs become some sort of real satisfaction. People who find their job to be something that they love tend to do anything wholeheartedly. They are committed to giving their best effort and this is often followed by other types of satisfaction such as prosperity, stability, as well as many other things like good social relationship at work. 

Moreover, happiness is usually quite contagious, and people who already feel such contentment will usually radiate positive vibe or even inspire other people to strive, achieve their goals, and feel the same contentment. Those who are able to do this will more likely be happy and live their life to the fullest.

The sample answer above may be too personal and emotional, but the concrete examples given by the speaker will make it easier for the assessor to understand the point of his/her explanation.

c. Improve your vocabulary score
This can easily be done by using wide range of vocabulary and maintain its accuracy. From the sample answer related to happiness above, you can see that the speaker uses several words whose meaning is actually the same with happiness, such as:
  • contentment
  • satisfaction

You can also paraphrase the word 'happiness' with these words:
  • Pleasure
  • Joy
  • Bliss
  • Peace of mind
It is important to note that you must not use the same word over and over again because it will reduce your score in lexical resource.

Other than some questions that have been listed above, there is also a possibility that the assessor will shift the topic and ask you these questions:

  • Describe a birthday party you have attended
  • Describe a party that you enjoyed
  • Describe a party that you have attended and you don't like
  • Describe a family event that you remember
  • Describe an occasion where you meet new people
  • Describe your experience of throwing a party

To read the complete sample answers for IELTS Speaking Section about party, click here 

Here are some other examples of IELTS cue card:


Di hari Jumat nan penuh berkah ini, saya kembali mengajar kelas TOEFL, setelah sekian lama berkecimpung dengan IELTS Preparation Class. It is a little bit nostalgic ngajar TOEFL ini, karena saya jadi teringat perjuangan semasa mahasiswa dulu. Mendapatkan skor at least 550 biar lulus (dulu jurusan Sastra Inggris, penjurusan Linguistik). Alhamdulillah tes pertama masuk kampus dapat 430 😁 

Karena hasil tes nan menyayat hati ini, timbullah motivasi untuk belajar lebih giat lagi. Tes kedua dapat 577 yang nganterin author sampek ke negara adidaya di suatu musim panas di tahun 2015. Ambil tes lagi yang ketiga buat syarat skripsi, dapat 583, mengantarkan author ke prosesi yudisium dan wisuda wkwk. Skor terakhir 593 mengantarkan author jadi guru Bahasa Inggris.

See? Hasil itu berbanding lurus dengan usaha dan waktu yang dihabiskan untuk berjuang. Jadi jangan pernah patah semangat kawan-kawan sekalian 👍

Cukup sekian dulu nostalgianya. Sekarang balik lagi ke substansi masalah yang mau kita bahas hari ini, Listening TOEFL part B dan part C. Mungkin sobat heran kenapa gak sekalian bahas part A nya Listening TOEFL. Well, part A ini sudah sering saya bahas sebelumnya, silahkan cek lagi di artikel berikut:

Nah, silahkan sobat cek penjelasan mengenai Listening part A di  artikel tersebut. Listening part A sendiri menjadi Listening yang paling mudah dikerjakan, karena jenis soal yang selalu sama dan predictable. Saking mudahnya sampai sobat bisa jawab soal-soal Listening part A sebelum audionya diputar.

Listening TOEFL part B

Nah, part B sama part C Listening ini gak bisa dikerjakan dengan cara yang sama dengan part A, karena beberapa alasan berikut:

  • Part B sama C ini completely random dan penuh kejutan
  • Part B sama C gak bisa dikerjakan pake rumus, sebagian besar pengerjaan mengandalkan kemampuan sobat memahami spoken English
  • Percakapan di Part B sama C Listening ini panjang banget. Terutama yang part C karena memang dalam bentuk monolog yang agak berbau-bau akademik gitu
Okay, sekarang mari kita coba lihat beberapa strategi yang digunakan untuk Listening part B. Perhatikan gambar berikut:

Catatan untuk kelas TOEFL pagi ini

Strategi diatas itu dilakukan sebelum dengerin audionya ya guys. Saya dapat contoh bagus dari buku Longman nih, yang cocok untuk menerapkan strategi diatas.

On the recording you hear 📢

Man       : Can I help you?

Woman  : I’m interested in opening an account.

Man       : Well, we have several different types of accounts: checking accounts, saving accounts, money market accounts, time deposit accounts.

Woman  : It’s a checking account that I am interested in.

Man      : I can help you with that. First, you have to fill out a form, and then I need to see some identification. That’s about all there is to it.

Woman : That sounds easy enough. Thanks for your help.

Excerpt taken from Phillips (2001)

Sebelum audio diputar, sobat dapat melihat opsi jawaban yang ada dan menarik beberapa kesimpulan. Perhatikan empat opsi jawaban yang diberikan di question booklet berikut:

On your test book you read:
       (A)   A checking account
       (B)   A savings account
       (C)   A money market account
       (D)   A time deposit account

Dari pilihan jawaban yang ada, sobat bisa mengetahui bahwa topik 
percakapan tersebut adalah: opening bank account. Dari opsi jawaban pula sobat dapat memprediksi pertanyaan apa yang akan muncul di audio. Berikut adalah beberapa kemungkinan pertanyaan yang muncul.

Contoh soal TOEFL Longman
Example from Longman

From all those five possibilities, it appears that possibility number 2 and 5 that appear in the test. The questions that appear in Longman recording are:

1. What type of account does the woman want?
2. What does the man need for her to show him?

See? The questions are mostly predictable, so don't just depend on your comprehension of what is being said or stated in the audio. Use the strategy so that you can do the test better.

Listening TOEFL part C

Lalu, bagaimana dengan Listening TOEFL part C? Sebenarnya, strategi pengerjaan Listening part C sama persis dengan strategi pengerjaan Listening part B. Yang membedakan adalah:

  • Part C adalah percakapan dalam bentuk monolog
  • Audio di part C lebih panjang lebar, jadi sobat harus benar-benar konsentrasi di part ini
  • Part C ini topiknya kaya academic gitu jadi mungkin ada beberapa technical terms yang harus sobat pahami.
Untuk mengerjakan part C, pahami beberapa point tambahan berikut ini:

Strategies for TOEFL Listening part C
Some other strategies for Listening part C

Untuk materi dan soal TOEFL yang lain dapat secara lengkap dibaca disini


Speaking Part 2 - Self Presentation

Take a look at an IELTS Speaking cue card below! There are four questions that you need to answer. Before answering the questions, you have one minute to prepare you speech (you can take a note using paper and pen given to you by the assessor). After that, you will be given two minutes to speak without any interruption.

IELTS Speaking
Illustration for Museum

Describe a museum that you have visited

You should say:

  • When you visited the museum
  • Describe the museum
  • How you felt after going there
and describe your experience of the visit

Possible Answer:
I have visited a number of museums, including those that are located in other countries. One of the most exciting experiences of going to a museum was a visit to The Holocaust Memorial Museum in New York City. I went to the museum back in 2015 when I was joining an exchange program in United States. Visiting museums was one of the tour plans, because one of the objectives of the program was to introduce the vibrant history of the country.

In general, the museum was a real big place to observe. It is even categorized to several sections due to the range of exhibition presented to visitors. One material that really attracted my attention was a remnant of the books burned by the Nazi during the war. Some books happen to survive and now give a very strong message to the people. The books were put inside a glass display case kind of thing. This really amazed me at that time. These books could be burned, but the idea will always be alive.

Besides the exhibition of some historical remnant from the past, the museum also has a library and a bookstore that sells books. One book that attracted my attention was a phenomenal book entitled Anne Frank, The Diary of A  Young Girl.

Not only is the display fascinating, the structure of the museum building was also astonishing. The building was apparently larger than I initially thought. This enables some display to be put in chronological order. The audience was invited to see the horror of the holocaust, as well as contemplating on how humanity could be so fragile at the time when tyranny takes hold.

After visiting the museum, I felt more enlightened and became more well-informed. As a person who lives in a sovereign country, I could still feel the sorrow of the holocaust victims, only by visiting the museum. Although I was a bit irritated by the cruelty of the war described in the museum, I managed to calm my self down and focus on the academic purpose of the visit.

I spent around an hour enjoying the exhibition. I was not going around the museum by myself. I went there with other Indonesian as well as American students. The presence of the American friends made the visit more fun because I could discuss some of the historical aspects with them. The visit ended when it was already the time for lunch. Because some students were not done watching the exhibition, I decided to wait them up while having coffee at a small bar on the first floor of the Museum.

Speaking Part 3 - Two way discussion

  • How often do you visit museums?
  • What type of museum is popular in your country?
  • What do you think of the importance of museum in the history?
  • What do you think of the heritage of a country?
  • Compare the museums nowadays and in the past
  • Have you ever been to a foreign museum?

Possible Answers:
Q: How often do you visit museums?

A: I do not visit museums very often, simply because museum is not a common way of finding an entertainment. I personally think that museums are more educational in nature. So far, I visited museum mostly for academic purpose like when I joined exchange program.

Strangely enough, I have visited more foreign museums than local museums. I visited The Holocaust Museum, African-American Museum, 9/11 Memorial Museum and The Henry Ford Museum. There are also some smaller museums that I visited, and all of them really give me a long lasting impression of the country. Even if I just stayed for several weeks in the US, it feels like I have gone through the entire national history an become part of it.

Q:What type of museum is popular in your country?

A: People in Indonesia, really like some kind of ethnographic museum that displays the richness of Indonesian culture and tradition. The museum exhibits many things, ranging from traditional clothes, traditional music instrument, and even some traditional weapons which are typical to certain Indonesian culture, like Mandau from Borneo or Keris from Javanese culture.

Q: What do you think of the importance of museum in the history?

A: Museum is one of the most essential parts of an effort to realize our national background. As a sovereign country that was once occupied by the Dutch colonials, Indonesia has tried to form a strong identity. Museum can give a better understanding of the national history and in turn, help the people to be more aware of who they are, what struggle they did in the past, and what bring them together as a nation. When people have an awareness of their national history and identity, it is more likely for them to be more nationalistic.

Q: What do you think of the heritage of a country?

A: Indonesia is a very diverse country with rich cultural heritage. People are coming from different ethnic background, each with their own language, culture, tradition, food, and other aspects of life that form someone's identity. From my own perspective, it is difficult to know all Indonesian cultures due to its diversity. One, for example, may not go to all 17.000 islands in Indonesia to enjoy and learn the traditional culture. Museum has helped the people to see many of these traditional culture through exhibitions. Nowadays, people do not have to go Madura island to know how Madurese traditional cloth looks like, they can simply visit the museum and learn all about Madurese tradition and culture.

Q: Compare the museums nowadays and in the past

A: In the past, museums are mostly dominated by the elite. It was more like a rare commodity that can only be enjoyed by the privileged few. Nowadays, museums are open for public and gain importance more as an educational institution. Furthermore, museums in the past were more conventional in nature. In the era of technology, museums have evolved and now involved sophisticated technology, especially in the form of multimedia.

Q: Have you ever been to a foreign museum?

A: Yes. As I told you earlier, I visited more foreign museums than the local museums. This is partly because I went to foreign countries mostly for the sake of education, so museums become the kind of place I visited a lot. In contrary, I enjoy more entertainment in my own country, so museums are definitely not my first choice. However, I have also visited some Indonesian museums, too. This includes my visit to Indonesian Constitutional Museum in Jakarta and The Museum of Surabaya.

Tips for Answering Cue Card Topic

a. Do not give short answers
The assessor is assessing your spoken English skill, and they need to know how precise is your grammar, how rich is your lexical resource, how good is your pronunciation, and how relevant and coherent is your ideas. All these criteria can only be assessed if you give comprehensive answer.

Develop your ideas by giving reason and example. In general, your response should be like this:


Now, let's see some of the examples of how a speaker develop his/her idea in IELTS Speaking part 2. Take a look at this example:

Have you ever been to a foreign museum?

Yes. As I told you earlier, I visited more foreign museums than the local museums

This is partly because I went to foreign countries mostly for the sake of education, so museums become the kind of place I visited a lot. In contrary, I enjoy more entertainment in my own country, so museums are definitely not my first priority. However, I have also visited some Indonesian museums, too

This includes my visit to Indonesian Constitutional Museum in Jakarta and The Museum of Surabaya.

b. Anticipate the unexpected

There are some questions that may go beyond your expectation. This could be an extremely abstract question, or a very technical question. Say, the question is about museum. You have to explain a museum, but you have no prior experience visiting a museum. This can be a problem.

In this case, you need to explain museum in a more general perspective. So, you are not explaining museums based on your personal experience, but rather by giving a general explanation about museums. You can start by telling the truth, like:

Honestly, I have never visited a museum.

and then you can proceed to explain museums from more general perspective:

But from what I read from books/from what I see in movies/from what I heard from my friends' stories, museums are place to display historical objects...

c. Be more prepared when the assessor decides to change the topic

There is a possibility that the assessor will change the subject of the conversation. You have to be prepared for this. If the initial discussion is about a museum, there are some other related topics that might be given to you, such as:

- Describe some of the most interesting places to visit in your country

-  Describe a place you would like to go

-  Describe a country you have never been to

-  Describe an interesting place you have ever visited

Here are some other examples of IELTS cue card


Pengajaran Konvensional
Selama ini, saya tidak hanya mengajar IELTS, namun juga TOEFL, general English dan academic writing. Sebagai seorang pengajar, saya selalu memberikan penjelasan yang terkesan rigid dan well-structured. Meski demikian, sebenarnya ada beberapa cara gokil yang bisa diterapkan dalam tes Bahasa Inggris, terutama jika anda akan mengambil tes TOEFL.


Ada apa dengan TOEFL?
TOEFL adalah tes yang dibuat dan disusun sedemikian rupa, sehingga ia menjadi jenis tes yang highly-standardized (pengecualian ada di jenis tes iBT dimana akan ada kejutan-kejutan yang menanti anda). Karena tes ini begitu terstandardisasi, ada tendensi bahwa TOEFL menjadi pretty much predictable. Jika anda perhatikan dengan seksama, anda akan menyadari bahwa:

Tes TOEFL selalu menggunakan jenis soal dan materi yang sama persis, hanya kalimatnya saja berbeda

Hal ini tentu saja membuat beberapa test takers menjadi sangat fokus menguasai aspek teoretis bahasa, dengan mengesampingkan performance. Hal ini tentu tidak terjadi pada tes IELTS yang melibatkan unsur human communication pada Speaking Sectionnya. Saking predictable nya tes TOEFL, anda hanya perlu memahami 34 skill pada part Listening, 60 skill pada part Grammar and Written Expression, serta 14 skill pada part Reading (silahkan cek kebenarannya di materi yang ada di buku Longman, you will see). Most of them are closed-question, kecuali pada part idiomatic expression.

Dengan demikian, anda tak perlu repot-repot mempertimbangkan kemungkinan-kemungkinan di luar skill tersebut. Hal ini berbeda dengan tes IELTS yang didominasi oleh open question.

Cara Pengerjaan Gokil ala Tes TOEFL

a.Eliminasi Dua Jawaban yang Pasti Salah

contoh 1: Kasus grammar and written expression
Perhatikan satu contoh yang saya kutip dari buku Longman berikut:

1. The North Pole ___________ a latitude of 90 degrees north
a. it has
b. is having
c. which is having
d. has

Satu hal lain yang perlu anda ketahui tentang tes TOEFL adalah penekanan yang berlebihan pada Subject dan Verb suatu kalimat. Jika anda cukup jeli memperhatikan masalah yang sering dimunculkan pada soal grammar serta solusi pengerjaanya, anda akan tahu bahwa sebagian besar pertanyaan grammar akan berkaitan dengan Verb. Sementara jenis kata lain seperti Preposition, Determiner, dan lain sebagainya hanya menjadi variasi alias pemanis saja di beberapa soal.

Nah, sekarang mari kita bahas contoh soal di atas. Jika anda adalah seorang veteran tes TOEFL yang sudah berkali-kali mencoba mengambil tes, makan anda akan menyadari bahwa jawaban a. it has dan jawaban c. which is having adaah pasti salah.

Hal ini tidak jauh-jauh dari faktor dominasi Subject dan Verb di soal grammar TOEFL. Setiap kali anda mengerjakan soal grammar, satu hal yang harus anda perhatikan pertama kali adalah Subject dan Verb. 

-Jika sebuah kalimat tidak memiliki Subject, bisa dipastikan bahwa kalimat itu salah

-Jika sebuah kalimat tidak memiliki Verb, bisa dipastikan bahwa kalimat itu salah

-Jika sebuah kalimat memiliki double Verb, bisa dipastikan bahwa kalimat itu juga salah

Lha, kok jadi serba salah?

Justru karena aturan yang rigid inilah anda akan sangat terbantu. Anda akan dapat dengan mudah mempersempit scope pencarian anda dan dengan demikian, menemukan jawaban yang paling tepat.

Pada soal diatas, dapat kita lihat bahwa soal tersebut sudah memiliki Subject, namun belum memiliki Verb. Karena Verb hukumnya 'fardhu' dalam sebuah kalimat, maka bisa dipastikan kita butuh sebuah Verb sebagai jawaban. Hanya Verb saja, gak perlu yang lain-lain, okay?

Jawaban a. itu salah karena ada pronoun "it" nya, padahal tadi kita cuma butuh Verb kan? Jawaban c. itu juga salah karena ada relative pronoun "which", lha ngapain coba, kan kalimatnya cuma satu klausa saja jadi gak perlu pake which segala.

Sekarang sisa dua opsi antara b. sama d. Untuk menentukan apakah jawabannya b. atau d. ini sobat harus agak flashback dikit mengenai bab Verb yang sudah saya jelaskan di artikel ini nih. Dikatakan bahwa ada aspect verb yang namanya simple. Verb jenis simple ini biasanya digunakan untuk jelasin sesuatu yang sifatnya habitual dan berulang serta menjelaskan suatu fakta umum. 

Kalau sobat perhatikan, fakta bahwa kutub utara ada di garis lintang 90 derajat utara itu adalah sebuah fakta umum, dan selalu terjadi demikian. Dari dulu yang namanya kutub ya ada disitu aja dan gak kemana-mana. Sampai kapanpun dia juga akan terus disitu. Karena hal tersebut adalah sebuah fakta umum, maka Verb yang paling tepat digunakan adalah Simple Present Tense "has" sehingga ntar kalimatnya jadi kaya gini:

The North Pole has a latitude of 90 degrees north, kutub utara berada di posisi 90 derajat utara.

b.Memprediksi Jawaban Hanya dengan Logical Assumption

contoh 2: soal grammar and written expression
Mari kita gunakan contoh soal Grammar Longman berikut ini:

Rubber _________ from vulcanized silicone with a high molecular weight is difficult to distinguish from natural rubber.

a. is produced 
b. producing
c. that produces
d. produced

Dalam beberapa jenis soal, memang kadang kita perlu mengartikan sebuah kalimat dan menentukan apakah kalimat tersebut masuk akal (atau tidak). Sebagai contoh, opsi b. dan c. pada soal di atas sangatlah tidak mungkin dipakai sebagai jawaban karena nanti kalimatnya jadi aneh. Iya, aneh. Coba sobat perhatikan terjemahan dari kalimat tersebut jika jawabanya dalah b. atau c.

Seolah-olah rubber lah yang 'memproduksi' sesuatu. Padahal rubber disini berfungsi sebagai object (silahkan sobat ingat lagi bab mengenai passive voice). Jawaban bagi pertanyaannya adalah d. produced, yang merupakan reduksi dari Adjective Clause 'which is produced'. Jawaban a. is produced kurang tepat karena tidak ada relative pronoun which yang ada pada klausa terikat pada kalimat tersebut.

Kata 'producing' adalah reduksi dari Adjective Clause that produces. Keduanya bukan jawaban bagi soal ini karena tidak dapat digunakan untuk kalimat pasif.

c.Memilih Jawaban yang Paling Aneh

Contoh 3: soal Listening Comprehension
atau lebih tepatnya, memilih jawaban yang paling berbeda. Fenomena ini biasanya terjadi pada saat Listening. Entah mengapa, masih ada saja test takers yang memilih jawaban yang bunyinya mirip atau sama dengan audio. Padahal, justru jawaban ini lah yang biasanya salah. Pada TOEFL, jawaban yang benar biasanya adalah jawaban yang suaranya paling berbeda, dan merupakan parafrasa. Perhatikan satu contoh soal Listening yang saya kutip dari buku Longman berikut:

Audio transcript
Man      : I'm tired just sitting here
Woman : Relax, I'm sure that the flight will depart real soon

What does the woman mean?

a. A few minutes ago, the flight departed
b. The fight will start in a while
c. They are frightened about the departure
d. The plane is going to take off soon

Bisa anda lihat bahwa jawaban a, b, dan c mengandung kata yang suaranya hampir sama, yakni flight, fight dan frightened. Dalam soal Listening TOEFL, jawaban yang seperti ini harus dihindari. Pilihlah jawaban yang paling berbeda dan mengandung parafrasa kata yang disebutkan di audio. Pada soal ini, parafrasa dari kata departed adalah take off.

d.Mengetahui Jawaban Listening bahkan sebelum Audio Diputar

Contoh 4: Soal Listening Comprehension
Ini adalah jenis strategi yang sering membuat orang tak habis pikir. Bagaimana bisa kita menjawab soal Listening sebelum mendengar audio? Kan jawabannya ada di audio?

Memang benar bahwa jawaban Listening selalu ada di audionya (ya iyalah 😒 bang, emang mau dimana lagi). Yang saya maksud menjawab pertanyaan disini hanyalah sebuah pendekatan saja, semacam prediksi gitu deh. Meskipun sudah pakai strategi ini, sobat tetap harus dengerin audio dong biar tahu jawaban pastinya apa. Oke, perhatikan contoh soal Listening berikut ini:

Audio transcript:
Woman : Did Jason say something nice about me?
Man     : He couldn't have said nicer thing

What does the man mean?

a. He said some terrible things
b. He didn't say anything nice
c. She didn't have any nice things
d. He said really wonderful things

Pada soal seperti ini, kita bisa dengan mudah memprediksi jawaban hanya dengan memberikan label pada setiap opsi. Inti dari percakapan di atas adalah apakah si Jason guy ini bilang hal-hal yang baik atau buruk tentang si woman. Sekarang, coba sobat perhatikan opsi a sampai d sekali lagi, dengan memperhatikan label yang diberikan pada setiap opsi.

a. He said some terrible things - berarti si Jason bilang yang jelek-jelek tentang si woman

b. He didn't say anything nice - berarti si Jason bilang yang jelek-jelek tentang si woman

c. She didn't have any nice things - berarti si Jason bilang yang jelek-jelek tentang si woman

d. He said really wonderful things - Si jason bilang yang baik-baik tentang si woman ini.

Tentu saja jawaban yang benar adalah d, dan ini sudah cukup obvious bahkan sebelum audio diputar. Kan gak mungkin kita jawab a, b atau c, karena inti dari ketiga jawaban tersebut adalah sama. Ya kali kita punya tiga jawaban. Ingat bahwa sobat hanya punya satu jawaban, jadi pilihlah opsi yang cuma ada satu dan beda dari yang lain.

e. Menjawab Soal Grammar Hanya dengan Berdasarkan Jenis Soalnya Saja

Contoh 5: soal grammar and written expression
Ini tipikal di soal yang memang sudah ada pakem dari sononya sih, kaya soal appositive misalnya. Jadi, soal appositive itu adalah soal yang di kalimatnya ada dua Subject yang merujuk ke satu entitas yang sama dan dipisahkan oleh dua koma. Perhatikan contoh soal grammar berikut ini:

Andy, ________________always gets perfect mark in the final exam

a. class champions
b. the student
c. student who
d. the class champion, 

Jawab soal ini gampang banget coy. Gak perlu rumus, gak perlu mikir, apalagi khawatir. Sobat bisa langsung lihat defnisi appositive aja, yakni:

Kalimatnya yang memiliki dua Subject yang merujuk ke satu entitas yang sama dan dipisahkan oleh dua koma

Nah, dari definisinya aja udah jelas kalo harus ada dua koma disitu. Ya pasti gak mungkin kita jawabnya milih opsi a, b, atau c. Kan kalo kita milih opsi ini ntar kalimatnya cuma punya satu koma, bukan appositive dong namanya. Kita langsung pilih aja opsi yang mengandung koma, yakni opsi d. Kalimat tersebut secara lengkap akan menjadi:

Andy, the class champion, always gets perfect mark in the final exam

Andy sama the class champion itu sebenarnya satu orang yang sama. Andy itu class champion itu.

Udah ah, saya udah pegel sama semua kegokilan ini. Jikalau sobat semua ada beberapa sample soal yang juga butuh tingkat kegokilan ekstra untuk menjawabnya, bisa langsung komen di bawah yes. Kalo sobat pada mau tanya juga gapapa. Atau mungkin mau kasih saran, request materi, atau apalah, silahkan tulis di kolom komentar di bawah ya.

Kalo sobat adalah pengunjung baru yang mau jalan-jalan cantik di blog saya, bisa cek materi TOEFL nyang sebelumnye disini nih 👇

Materi TOEFL

Materi lengkap TOEFL dapat sobat baca di artikel berikut 👇

Materi TOEFL (Complete)