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Give your opinion in a questionnaire or survey

IELTS Cue Card Question 26 With Model Answer: 

Describe a time when you were asked to give your opinion in a questionnaire or survey.

You should say: 
  • what the questionnaire/survey was about
  • why you were asked to give your opinions
  • what opinions you gave
and explain how you felt about giving your opinions in this questionnaire/ survey.

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you're going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Model Answer 1:
The questionnaire is one of the best ways to collect data on any specific issue to conduct a research work or improving the current situations. It helps to collect the real information by asking few similar questions and most of the time the information provided are proved accurate and correct.

Once I was interviewed by two people (a male and a female) from a local cell phone operator over the use of cell phone and the facilities I received from my subscribing company. One of the information collectors asked me different questions while the other one wrote down the answers. The survey was also about improving the network facilities, adjusting tariffs, providing free data or Wi-Fi service at any specific zone, allowing the subscribers to change their digits after their will or having any special number for use and more other issues related to the telecommunication sector.

I have been using Vodafone for about 15 consecutive years and thus I have turned into an important client for the company in my city. At first, I received a phone call from my cell phone operator that it wants to hear from me and accordingly after my approval, it will send a team for a semi-formal interview of mine. I agreed and set a calendar for the interview. But I had no idea that they are going to use a structured questionnaire to take my answers.

I provided positive feedback in favour of Vodafone which I have been using to communicate with everyone. They asked me about my basic information in the beginning and also promised to keep the information confidential. Then I said that Vodafone needs to set a few network towers in my area to provide a better signal as sometimes we are to experience sudden call drops. Besides, I also supported their initiative to reduce the tariffs and creating Wi-Fi zones in specific spots. Moreover, I supported their initiative to allow the users to get a special number after their demands and it will be helpful for the young generation users.

To be frank over the interview, when I was interviewed, I felt that I am special. Someone cares about my comment and works accordingly. It was a special experience for me although I had to think for a while before answering the questions. The most important issue of the survey was to gather opinion about the popularity of Vodafone in Patras in Western Greece region. Vodafone networks suddenly started unusual behaviours in the entire region and when the problem was solved, the cell phone operator wanted to justify its popularity and selected me as a respondent for the survey.

I was amazed at the questions that they have provided were simple and did not require much time to answer. Some of the questions were open-ended. However, it was truly an honour for me that a cell operator has asked me earlier for the interview and has sent people to meet me on the day I proposed. I take humble pride that my opinions will be reflected in policies of the cell operator in the coming days.

Model Answer 2: 
Recently I participated in a survey conducted by a local train agency in Kuala Lumpur. Since I am a regular passenger of their services, I was selected to express my opinions on their service and how that could be improved.

The selection process of the survey was interesting. The people engaged in the survey selected people randomly. They selected every 10th ticket holder from Kuala Lumpur station who bought their tickets in early hours of the day. I also came to know that the survey will run around the day and the gathered information will be analysed and used to improve the train services. I gave my opinions and also recommended. The interviewers also informed me that the statements I will deliver will be kept secret and only will be used for research purposes.

I was asked to provide my opinions about the overall conditions of the train service. As a large number of people use the train service here in Kuala Lumpur, it is impossible to take opinions from every one of them. So, the surveyors are following some methods and techniques in selecting the respondents. As per their selection method, I was selected to opine on the issue. In fact, they were conducting research on how the service quality could be improved and make the entire system more modernised and in such circumstances, it was important to get information from the commuters to know the real scenario. Such surveys help reveal the real information which could not be accessed or gathered without a survey.

I pointed out some of the specific issues about their train service. The top most important issue, that I figured, was the ticket price. In line with the modern world, the ticket price needs a decrease. The other countries are selling train tickets at a lower rate while Kuala Lumpur, the local train tickets are a bit more. Another important issue was comfortability. Presently, the issue of comfortability in train ride is under threat. A large number of people are riding on trains to reach their destinations but the majority of them appear uncivilised. They ride on a train, spit here and there which pollutes the internal environment. So, such issues should be brought under the scanner and people with such cases should be punished. Besides, the trains make late which causes schedule damage for the passengers. This is happening frequently in the present days. I suggested taking steps to eliminate such delays or at least make people aware of the delays through the public announcement in the stations. It will save their times and labour.

It was the very first experience of my life to get interviewed. There were two of them who took my interview. One of them asked me questions from a questionnaire while the second one recorded my speech. Both of them agreed with me in some points and said that they will inform the authority about the matters. In fact, they had no linked with the train company rather hired professionals for such large-scale surveys. However, I recommended some other steps like increasing the routes and issuing lower-priced tickets for students like me etc. It was a nice experience for me indeed.

Part 3 - Detail Discussion / Two-way discussion:

Asking Questions: 

Q. What kinds of organisations want to find out about people’s opinions? 
A. Surveys are mostly done to bring out the opinions of the commoners to reach any specific goal. The surveys generally are undertaken by research organisations, government bodies and agencies and other similar organisations engaged in different development activities. But a survey may be undertaken at any time by any sort of organisation based on the needs. So, it does not always point that the research agencies are liable for conducting surveys. It may happen that educational institutions are undertaking studies to compare the quality and standard of education in any certain geographical location, or any television channel is undergoing a research to know about its popularity in the state.

Q. Do you think that questionnaires or surveys are good ways of finding out people’s opinions?
A. To get a clear idea about any specific issue, the survey is one of the most effective tools. It helps to bring out the peoples’ opinions on any specific situation or matters. The survey questionnaires are designed in such an effective manner that all the necessary information is gathered within the shortest possible time. Moreover, the questions are not repeated in the paper so that the respondents do not feel bored by the repeated questions. Sometimes the questions are asked in a disguise of chatting and the answers are kept in notes to be filled up later if the respondent is seen busy. At the end of the survey, a clear image is discovered and thus, it is helpful to reflect people’s opinion on any specific issue.        

Q.  What reasons might people have for not wanting to give their opinions?
A.  Actually, people answer almost all the questions unless the questions appear to be harmful or too personal for them. When they find the questions illogical or unusual, they may not provide any specific or correct reply to the question. Sometimes the questionnaires may contain few confidential issues which may not be preferred by the people. So, when there are such secret or unusual questions, people try to keep away from the questions. Further, if the questionnaire asks to inform about something illegal, people may be reluctant in answering them lest they turn sufferer.

Questionnaires in schools: 

Q. Do you think it would be a good idea for schools to ask students their opinions about lessons?
A. Asking students about their lessons is a good idea for the educational institutions for the betterment of the students. When the students will be asked to provide their opinion on any specific issue or lesson, they will describe their problems with the lesson. It may happen that they are suggesting ways to make the lesson easier. It may seem weird to ask questions about any specific lesson to the students but it is the easiest way to help the students overcoming their lagging. If they discuss a tough lesson at the class with the teacher and set the way to learn the topic, I think it will be nicer for them.

Q. What would the advantages for schools be if they asked students their opinions?
A. When the teachers will allow their students to ask questions about any specific topic or lesson of any book or course, they will share the most difficult topic. Then the teachers in opinion with the students will set a standard way to teach the topic. As a result, the students will have a good score on the tests which will make the school or the institution more popular among the contemporary institutions or schools in the locality. Besides, it will help to raise the standard of education in the school which is considered as the best criteria by parents regarding admitting their kids to any school.

Q. Would there be any disadvantages in asking students’ opinions?
A. There are few disadvantages too. It should be taken care that the students are not exploiting the chance of taking their opinion. They should be made aware of the issue that the opinions are accepted only for overcoming any specific issues. It may also happen that the students turn reluctant to study at home as they are getting the answers in the class which has potential negative impacts on them in future. If such attempts are found, those should be taken care of in the very beginning.

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