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BEC Oral Examinations Model paper (Vantage)

Part One: Phase I

I: Good morning/afternoon. I’m … and this is my colleague …. S/he’s just going to listen to us.

Could I have your mark sheets, please? (To A) What’s your name? Where are you from?

I: Thank you. (To B) And you? I: Thanks. Do you work or are you a student, B? I: (What do you do? What do you study?)

I: What about you, A? (What do you do? What do you study?) I: What do you like most about your job/studies, A? I: (Why?)

I: What about you, B?

Phase II

Communications --

I: Do you like communicating with other people by letter, phone or e-mail? Why?

Well, it depends. Usually, I prefer letter, phone or e-mail because it is cost-effective. I mean these forms allow us to communicate with each other where and when we want to. But telecommunicating sometimes makes you feel isolated and out of touch, leading to demotivation and less productivity.

I: Do you think companies should be able to contact their staff outside working hours? Why or why not?

Employment --

I: Do you think interviews are the best methods of judging applicants’ suitability for a job?

I: How do you prefer to prepare for an interview?

I: How do you prefer to deal with stress before and during an interview?

Business meeting—

I: Do you prefer to have a lot of things planned for each week?

I: Do you think it’s essential to arrive on time for business meetings?

I: Do you think that colleagues should have regular meetings with each other?

I: Do you think business people will have fewer face-to-face meetings in the future?

Market research—

I: Are you always willing to complete market research questionnaires? I: why do you think market research is useful for companies?

I: How reliable do you think information from market research is?

I: How important do you think it is to train people who conduct market research?

Business consultants—

I: Do you think it’s a good idea for companies to use business consultants?

I: What do you think could be one advantage of working as a self-employed business consultant?

I: Do you think the use of consultants will increase in the future?

I: Do you think you need a lot of business experience to be a consultant?

Managing Change—

I: Are you someone who enjoys change, or do you prefer things to stay the same?

I: What kinds of problems do you think companies can experience when they make changes?

I: What do you think companies should do to avoid problems when introducing changes?

I: Do you think companies need to keep changing?

Part Two:

Now in this part of the test, you are going to be asked to give a short talk. You have to choose one of the topics from the three topics on this card and then talk about it for one minute. You also have one minute to prepare your ideas. After you have finished, your partner will be invited to ask you a question. Are you clear? You can start to prepare now.

A WHAT IS IMPORTANT WHEN…? Setting prices for new products

? Production costs ? Competitors’ prices ? ?

B WHAT IS IMPORTANT WHEN…?

Setting prices for new products

? Production costs ? Competitors’ prices ? ?

C WHAT IS IMPORTANT WHEN…? Setting prices for new products

? Production costs ? Competitors’ prices ? ?

A WHAT IS IMPORTANT WHEN…?

Writing a newspaper advertisement for a job vacancy

? Description of the work

? Experience needed by applicants ? ?

B WHAT IS IMPORTANT WHEN…? Delegating work to others

? Clear instructions

? Choice of person for the task ? ?

C WHAT IS IMPORTANT WHEN…? Designing a company website

? Type of information to include ? Different language version ? ?

A WHAT IS IMPORTANT WHEN…? Ordering goods online

? Efficient website ? Delivery time ? ?

B WHAT IS IMPORTANT WHEN…?

Deciding whether to work for a competitor company

? Culture of competitor company ? Prospects of competitor company ? ?

C WHAT IS IMPORTANT WHEN…?

Writing a press release

? Focusing on key points

? Attracting the right media interest ? ?

A WHAT IS IMPORTANT WHEN…? Organising staff meetings

? Deciding an agenda ? Making preparations ?

B WHAT IS IMPORTANT WHEN…? Selecting team leaders

? Communicating skills ? Length of service ? ?

C WHAT IS IMPORTANT WHEN

Choosing the best medium for an advertisement

? Type of product or service ? Target customers ? ?

Part Three:

In this part of the test, you will have a discussion together. This is your card. You have 30 seconds to look at it and then about 3 minutes to discuss the topic with your partner. After that, you will answer some questions related to the topic. Are you clear? You can start now.

Video conferencing

The company you work for is concerned about the amount of time staff spend traveling to meetings in other branches of the company, and is looking at alternatives. You have been asked to make recommendations about introducing video conferencing.

Discuss the situation together, and decide:

? What the company needs to know about the meetings that take place at present ? What the advantages and disadvantages of video conferencing might be

Would you prefer to have meetings face to face or through video conferencing? Why?

In what other ways do you think a company could reduce the need for traveling to meetings? Why?

Do you think the time spent traveling to meetings is always time wasted? Why? Or Why not?

Seminars for Students

You company has been asked to deliver a series of one-day seminars to a group of business students to help them prepare for working in a large company: You have been asked to help with planning the seminars. Discuss the situation together, and decide:

? What kinds of information it would be useful to know about the students ? What the most useful topics would be.

What other preparations might the company need to make for the seminars? How do you think students can benefit from seminars like this? Why?

What advantages are there for companies of offering working experience to students? Why?

Sales Managers Conference

Your company is organizing a conference for the sales managers working in its offices around the world.

You have been asked to help plan the conference Discuss the situation together, and decide:

? What information you will need to send to the sales managers before the

conference

? What activities you could organize to help people to get to know each other

better.

Do you think a company benefits from holding conferences for its employees? Why? Or Why not?

Do you think you would enjoy going to a conference? Why or Why not? How important is location to the success of a conference? Why or Why not?

Work Experience Programme

The Manufacturing company you work for has decided to offer a two-week work experience programme for a small group of students from a local business college. You have been asked to help with the preparations for this programme. Discuss the situation together, and decide:

? What kinds of work experience the company might offer ? How the participants should be selected.

What other preparations would the company need to make before receiving work experience students? Why?

What are the advantages to a company of offering a work experience programme to business students? Why?

What do you think is the most useful kind of work experience for business students? Why?

English Language Training

You company is planning to offer 30 hours of English language training to employees. You have been asked to help with the planning and organization of the traning. Discuss the situation together, and decide:

? How to encourage employers to take part in the training. ? What kind of schedule would be suitable for the training.

What practical preparations would be necessary before running a foreign language course for employees? Why?

What are the advantages of learning a foreign language with work colleagues? Are there any other foreign languages you would like to learn? Why or Why not?