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Help regarding test taking, if you can get through the post!

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Help regarding test taking, if you can get through the post! #1 (permalink) Wed Dec 08, 2004 3:46 am   Help regarding test taking, if you can get through the post!


Hope and everyone's doing well - Torsten's probably sound asleep now. zzzzzzzzzzz.
Ming, my wife, took her TOEFL, AGAIN, today!! She's getting progressively worse on the listening part. That used to be her strong point, but now, structure and reading, and not writing yet wither, is going up.
I think now there may be an issue with confidence or something other than English, though she says she had no anxiety. Yes, she signed up after not doing so great on Saturday and took the exam today.
We have to wait on the written results. She scored a 217 on all but the written today, but last Saturday, she scored a 227 on the same; Reading, structure, listening. Usually it takes about 2 weeks to receive the written results. If she scores a 4 or better on the written for Saturday's exam, then she still wouldn't pass with the 215, "overall," she needs. Her best score, without the written, was 230, 4 on the written which apparently equals a 210 overall. That was in June I just learned.
Are you still with me? I'm not, I'm confused as h...zzzzz. I know it sounds as though I'm subtracting. All I know for now is - the overall score has to be 215.
Anyway, "4" is the best score, out of 6, she's scored on the written. I still don't know how the scoring works, and I'm wondering why I don't know now, but I'll learn tonight. Maybe someone here can tell me how scoring is done on the computer-based exam? My wife just isn't sure either.
I know, it's must be a secret code scoring system where they'll make her keep taking it because it's $130 a pop. *grin* It is a conundrum though.
Maybe a 4.5 or 5 on the written will get her the 215? This is ridiculous now.
Until this past weekend, I waited much too long to ask for help from this forum, but I did think all of those TOEFL help tools I got would work. She's just so bright and I took it for granted that there wouldn't be a problem, AND I probably didn't care about it nor how important it was for her. I was surprised when I found out, at the point she told me, that she had failed 4 times or so. She hid it from me and that doesn't matter.
Enough of my diatribe here. Why in the world is she getting worse on the listening part? Anyone? I know Torsten will wake up at some point, but anyone else still up? You North Americans are, right? Anyone in Europe that's a night owl?
Any possible answers, andecdotes, potions that I can go make? I do, err, did chemistry. I could still whip up something....I'm talking about whippin' up something for her now, and non-narcotic ;), Anything else, would be absolutely appreciated. I would love it, really.
I'm so frustrated (oh really?'re all saying) because she's feeling like a total loser and this is just an incredible "losing face" thing for her that's cultural. Maybe some of you know what I mean? No matter how much I console her, it won't help. Maybe the movie she's watching now will help.
And Torsten? I knew it was not such a good idea for her to take the exam again today. She's just starting to learn your teachings. She'll get it, but you know what?.....she signed up for the exam again for Dec. 15. This will be the last time to take it in order to get into DU for the winter quarter. I cannot stop the girl. I can, however, not let her stray one bit from what you said. Oh, you asked.....and the tapes are very boring accounting tapes that are just like the books on tape CD's/cassettes. They're boring to me, that is. At least one of the audio books is regarding tax law that pertains to general ledger?? Maybe? Very stimulating, for her I hope. And, I still need to respond to the dual languages she and I speak, also her writing first in Chinese, and such........more later. Thank you.
Must go now. Need to prepare if I may need to make a "potion" or something. Bye for now.

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Joined: 05 Dec 2004
Posts: 4
Location: Denver, CO

TOEFL preparation again #2 (permalink) Wed Dec 08, 2004 7:46 am   TOEFL preparation again

Dear Kenya,

First off thanks again for your openness. Sharing your experiences with us here on the forum enables lots of people to find a solution to their own situations because in most cases we have more a less the same difficulties. Take a look at this thread started by Samarat and you see what I mean.

Now Kenya, you wanted to whip somebody up to help your wife. To be honest, there actually is one person who should be wipped up by you all right and that is the guy or girl responsible for admission at DU (I take it that's Denver University?) From what you have told me about Ming's English it seems to me that the admission officier in question is a victim of the Peter Principle. They are incapable of using their common sense and stick strictly to the rules fixed in their handbooks instead. What exactly is that person at DU afraid of? That your wife won't be able to follow the lectures and take part in the seminars? You can tell that person (what is her/his name?) the following story a young German couple related to me last week: They are both from East Germany which means they learned English formally at school but never had a chance to actually practise their skills. The young (ha, they are both about my age ;-)) man used to work for an international IT company and 7 years ago he was faced with two options: Either he accepted to go to the States and work there or he got laid off.
So, he asked his wife what they should do and she said, let's move to the States and see how it works out, we can always return to Germany and look for jobs here. And off they went (or rather flew), the company covered all costs accrued by the move. The first days after their arrival in Silicon Valley went fine, there were lots of Germans living in their neighboorhood and then again, they didn't have to speak much English anyway.
Then, the weekend before Ralph (that's the young man's name) was to start his job and see his supervisor they decided to go to the movies. When they were sitting watching the film they didn't understand one single word and Ralph thought what the h... am I doing here? Last week when I met him and his wife he gave a talk about the venture capital situation in Silicon Valley and differences in human resource between German and American companies. He talked for about 45 almost non-stop, answering questions from IT executives and you know what? I had the opportunity to listen and check how many grammar mistakes he would make and believe it or not he made none. He had learned English to an extend where he uses idiomatic phrases without even thinking about them. The same holds true for his wife and of course their children who were born in California. All four are now bi-lingual, Ralph is working as the European manager of a US software company and all of his communication at work is in English.
This is just to show you that Ming should take it a bit easier here. Forget about scores, focus on the important thing - communication. Go to the university and speak to the guys in charge of admission. Find the person who knows a little bit about how to learn languages. Maybe, there is even somebody who learned a second language themselves. What exactly is that score of 215 all about? What does it matter if your wife has a score below that number? Will she fail at university? Did you fail when you were in Hong Kong because your Chinese language score was too low? Think about it. Put the TOEFL score into the right perspective and relax. Create an atmosphere of harmony and peace. Enjoy the little things around you. Take a short trip with your wife and speak about anything but the TOEFL. Prepare for the Christmas season instead for the TOEFL. Communicate with your wife in English but make sure she enjoys it. Come back and tell us how you are doing :).

TOEIC short conversations: A woman tells her friend how busy she is with her work
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