Hey guys, it’s Steve from Asian Boss. There are a number of internationally recognised tests, that assess English language proficiency for non-native English speakers. One of the most popular tests, is called the international english language testing system, or IELTS Every year more than 2 million people from all around the world, take the IELTS test to either, get into universities, get work experience, or meet the immigration requirements of most English speaking countries. Now given that the test is for non-native English speakers, you would think that they ask fairly simple questions like, where are you from? or do you like cats? So we thought it would be fun to test native English speakers, if they could actually answer some of the questions that we pulled out from the IELTS test. Here is how they went. The following questions were extracted from the writing module of the past IELTS test. Should developing countries concentrate on improving industrial skills for economical gain, or should they promote educational reform first? That’s a tough one. Can you read it to me one more time? Ok, so…
It was like economics vs… It was like more industry or more education in developing countries. Ok, well I agree with you then in the aspect that… F*** the aspect that, That’s fine. no, no, no, in the aspect that um… Safety standards are important when it comes to building people’s homes, who should be responsible for enforcing strict building codes, industrial government bodies or private industry? I really don’t know much about it. Just generally? Do you understand what I’m saying? I understand what your saying, yeah… yeah Is that something you can answer easily? No… not without thought. I’m thinking government bodies, I think as opposed to private? Are you sure? I’m not quite sure, I’m not quite sure on that question. Waste management is becoming an increasingly difficult problem to solve amongst world’s cities, do you think that the current process of landfills should be reformed, or should governments encourage different methods for citizens to increase sustainability? To be honest I don’t really know because I’ve only really been to a few cities, so I don’t really, I can’t say, I’m not a expert on waste disposals, so I don’t know.
OK, to be honest I can’t really remember the question. different methods to increase sustainability… That one, say that one again. Sustainability? Sustainability! What? Um… I think they should actually… look at different ways to manage waste but it’s not an easy question to answer. Would you be surprised to know that, the question that I just asked you, is actually for IELTS, which is a test for non-native English speakers? Oh really… Oh wow… How do you feel about that? It’s a bit ridiculous. It’s a little bit too difficult I reckon, yeah, it’s a little bit ridiculous actually. I feel bad for them, they’re not gonna get in. My comment, Yes, I believe it’s very hard for non-English speaking people to comment, or to answer these questions.
Extremely complicated questions, and things that you know, even I would struggle to answer that. You know, I had to get you to ask me that twice. If English was my second or third language, I had to feel like I was drowning with those questions, you know. Pretty difficult, very difficult. Because first you have to think about the question, and then you would have to try to translate the question, and then you had to translate the context. It’s a bit of… setting them up to fail. I’m, like, fairly well educated but I had to process what you said. Do you think it’s fair then? No, that’s absolutely unfair. I don’t think they’re really relevant to what their gonna be focused on, when they come to immigrate to another English speaking country at all. Do you think this is helpful for everyday conversation for example? No, no way. How did you find these IELTS questions? Let us know what you think and share this video with your friends..