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Madrid 2018 Part 1A. The problem with the Práctico

Madrid 2018 Part 1A -Práctico had three parts, just as in previous years.

This is truly a continuation of  the previous post on Oposiciones Profesores Inglés Part 1A

Madrid 2018 Part 1A: 3 parts

Finally, there are other Autonomous Regions which include listening, text analysis of sorts and translations. Such is the case in Madrid. Since I do have the carbon copies or the pictures of the carbon copies of some of my candidates, I will briefly comment on each of the 3 parts.

One striking fact is the small number of candidates who got a 5 out of 10 in this part. In panel 1 only 7 people got 5 or over. Many were “saved” by the topic. Why was that? I can only speak based on the exam copies I have seen. And, at this moment, I only have three pages of the exam.


There have always been complaints about the listening: too much background noise,  sound quality deficient or dependent on seat location, the speaker or speakers going at unusual speed…you name it.

In previous exams in Madrid, sometimes you had multiple choice questions, while others there were open-ended questions.  Some other times you had to fill in some gaps. The questions were usually five or six, until 2016 when there were 15 multiple choice questions. There had always been a summary too. Until this year, when you had to fill in 4 gaps and you had to answer 8 questions. No summary.

What has been going on in Madrid means that you need to be prepared for anything, as far as the listening is concerned. Click To Tweet

The complaints this year had to do with the beginning of the listening. At least one of the panels started playing it and they thought there was something wrong with the audio. It was the clicking of the keyboard. So they re-started it again to then realise that it was part of the audio.

Some people found it hard to have to focus on filling the gaps and answering questions at the same time. In any case, since I only have the “answers” given by some of the candidates but not the actual questions, it’s difficult for me to say anything.  I have found some very different answers, to be honest. The only exception is question number 2,  of the second part, which is”keyboard”. No idea whether you were penalised for wrong answers. I guess that misspelt words or grammatical mistakes had an influence.

Text Analysis

Since I don’t have the second page of the text yet, there are questions I cannot comment on yet. The answers given by different candidates are not enough.

Having said that, I did notice that there were some pictures on the first page. That should have served as contextual evidence. It would have helped you at least with the question related to Whipsnade. Yes, there were 16 questions. More the reason to be brief in your answers.

Those who did the Poppies Foundation Course either in 2016-17 or 2017-18 should have known at least one of the answers because we covered that specific expression in one of the texts. I am not going to say which one. You can guess. They should also know the phonetic transcription of words like “charisma”.

Having read some of the answers, I feel the importance of being brief in your replies. Or at least, get to the point and show your command of the language.

My impression is that candidates did not always pay full attention to what they were reading. Time pressure, no doubt. Yet, we have often spoken about the importance of reading carefully, paying special attention to what and how you write. And always revise, revise, revise. Re-read what you write. Always.


The translations were not long. Consideration of register and location in time and place of the two texts was essential here. Also the contextual elements and the problems presented by the source when rendering the version in the target language. This helps you see that one of the texts was set in the 19th century and the other in a newspaper environment.

One question for reflection. Consider text with words such as The Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post, El País or El Mundo. Would you have translated them as Los Tiempos, El Guardián, El Correo de Washington, The Country or The World? Always essential to re-read the translations to make sure that the rendered version reads “natural” in the target language.

Preparación Oposiciones Profesores Inglés +

Preparación Oposiciones Profesores Inglés

Final Conclusions on Part 1A

Tips for future candidates

Do not panic about time. Do your very best when you write and always re-read what you’ve written before handing in your exam. Pay attention to spelling and structural mistakes.

2 questions to the corresponding panel members

  1. Why isn’t there open access to the specific assessment criteria, exam contents and expected answers? This would make the existence of an open, fair competition possible.
  2. Why is there such a diversity in the scores among panels?

and a request

If you have been a member of a board or panel, would you mind telling us your views and experiences on the matter? What, in your opinion, should be done to foster fairness and clarity in the final scores among the different panels?

If you do not want your name to appear, you can always send me your comments and I will publish them without your name. Although, to be honest, I don’t see why we need to fear.

Next, I’ll be wanting cover the second part of the exam, so you can also send me your views on this part.

And you may also be interested in reading or commenting on Oposiciones Profesores Inglés Part 1B. Should it change?

Apasionada de la lengua inglesa y sus múltiples matices, mi objetivo es ayudarte en la preparación de la oposición a profesores de inglés y contribuir a que la escuela pública ofrezca la enseñanza de calidad –de y en lengua inglesa– que nuestros alumnos necesitan en el s. XXI

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