The day of the exam

Following on from my previous post, these are the scenarios that I still vividly remember about taking the IPA Cert Exam in London some years ago:

1. how I spent one hour on one question when I should be spending 30 minutes on it: I had a lot to say on that question and didn’t want to ‘waste’ my materials;
2. then I panicked seeing that I only had 1.5 hours for the remaining 4 questions;
3. I felt like an idiot when Professor John Wells dictated syllables made up of sounds from the International Phonetic Alphabet to us (these are not necessarily English phonemes; the International Phonetic Alphabet contains major sounds from all human languages), and I could hardly grasp those sounds even though he said each syllable 5 times;
4. I had lunch in the UCL Student Canteen after the morning papers and the UCL students next to me were all having some serious discussion on academic matters throughout their entire lunch; something I had never seen in Hong Kong;
5. how nervous I was while waiting for my turn for the oral exam; and
6. I had to take a stroll of one hour on UCL campus to calm myself down when it was all over.


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