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Thread: toefl speaking section is no good!

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Thumbs down toefl speaking section is no good!

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    I would like to express my disappointment from ETS and their Toefl exam.
    I took the exam few months ago and I had a very low score on the speaking section and I decided to request a rescore for that section for which I had to pay them $60.
    I was confident that I was underrated and after the rescore I got even lower score. Now I donít know if they are doing this just because they are trying not to encourage other people to go for the rescore or I really did badly on my exam but it seems to me that they have all the authority to do whatever they want. They already are a monopolist in the area so I believe that they do not spend too much time to worry about such cases and they can do whatever they please.
    From the very beginning I did not believe in the rescore at all because even if they did underrate me in the first place they would not give me much different score after the rescore because if they do so they will discredit their own people and the organizationís professionalism.
    So my advice is not to go for the rescore because believe me itís a waste of money and nerves.
    Anyway the speaking section is really useless and this is not only my opinion. I speak good English and still scored the lowest result at that section. How is that possible, I do not know. Something is not right but would they do anything about it, I really doubt it. They shouldnít get too worry cause as I said they are monopolist in the area and it has to become a really big incident to get in trouble.
    Thatís it, they show inability to evaluate student well but who cares itís a good business anyway.

  2. #2
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    I do agree with you that your English is good. But the speaking section in the TOEFL does not really measure your English fluency. I am not sure how long did you practice for the exam and also I don't know how did you practice for it, but I think you need to practice on the speaking prompts that can come in the real exam. Also you need to time yourself. I think the most effective strategy is to think fast and speak slow.
    Anyway, good luck in your next exam.

  3. #3
    Within my grasp! fpgeetaker's Avatar
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    Hi Googles123,
    I agree with you. You are not the only one who complains ETS. There are lots of victims of ETS including me. I do not want to make a comment on the quality of the test. What I am upset is that their raters. They are unqualified, unstandardized and irresponsible although ETS claims that there are 4 raters who rate our responses at the time. Sometimes, I did not do well but they give me the higher score than I had expected. Sometimes I did very good but they turn me down by a very low score. They make me question about myself. I lose trust in myself. Finally, I draw a bitter lesson that dealing with ETS is more risky than going to Las Vegas. It is painful to let our destiny on other people's hands. Because of my career, I still keep going. ETS is making big money from people like me. I have no choice because this is the only organnization who can certify my English ability. I am like a poor sitting duck.

    Please be reminded that I am not a lazy one. I got very good scores in other parts of the test except the Speaking part. I do not just complain and do nothing. I keep practicing English every single day. People around me see my improvement except ETS.

  4. #4
    TOEFL Corey TOEFL Corey's Avatar
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    I can completely empathize with your situation and the frustration that it's causing. This test can be such a headache for so many hard-working students.

    However, I have to respectfully disagree with your overall assessment that the rescoring is a complete waste of time and money. I have had several students over the past few years reach a 26 or above AFTER rescoring (and I'm sure they were quite happy to avoid going through the entire test yet again; furthermore, I think when the rescoring does result in a higher score they refund the $60, but I could be mistaken about that part).

    In many cases, though, it doesn't add any points to the score (or actually yields a lower score). For that reason, I usually recommend rescoring only to those students who are extremely close (like a 24).

    In any event, best of luck to all of you, and don't lose hope!

  5. #5
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    All,
    I would like to express my opinion toward TOEFL as well. Many of us are victims who keep taking the test repeatably. I do not say I am good at it; otherwise, I will pass by now. I believe 6-task speaking section should not be used to assess English speaking capability. How can you judge people from 45-60 seconds responding? I was a foreign pharmacist. Patients are important. You can not just talk to patients for 45 seconds and then tell them to leave. Patients should receive a clear and correct message from us. Considering time is important makes me believe that we concern about money rather than patients. For this reason, I would rather speak to a person. You can express your idea physically and verbally. I do not understand why the Board of Pharmacy accepts only TOEFL. I would assume it may be a business deal for quite out loud. Well, I guess many people have to continue taking more tests until they pass.

  6. #6
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    Fpgeetaker,

    I want to thank you for your valuable tips regarding the writing part of the Toefl IBT. I followed your strategies that you posted and got 28 in the writing. My writing used to be bad before I read your posts. Nabp didn't leave as much choice other than keep fighting with the Toefl ibt.

    Good luck

  7. #7
    Within my grasp! fpgeetaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khadija View Post
    Fpgeetaker,

    I want to thank you for your valuable tips regarding the writing part of the Toefl IBT. I followed your strategies that you posted and got 28 in the writing. My writing used to be bad before I read your posts. Nabp didn't leave as much choice other than keep fighting with the Toefl ibt.

    Good luck
    Hi Khadija,
    You're welcome. I did follow that pattern and I usually get 25-28 in the writing part. I do not think this score is the best, but it is more than enough to us. Unfortunately, I could not make 26 in the speaking part so far. If I did, I would be willing to share my tips. Good luck!

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    Eager! vienna77's Avatar
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    well... I'm having my iBT exam tomorrow.. any encouraging words or tips? I got the required scores bofore in the CBT TOEFL, but I couldn't get the required ones in the TSE after taking it 3 times,which was 50, so I'm doing it all over again and taking the iBT, I really hope that it will work this time, I did alot of practicing as well as paying alot of money for that TOEFL exam, even more than what I've already paid for the FPGEE and the tickets to USA together!!!!!

  9. #9
    Eager! vienna77's Avatar
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    well... I'm having my exam tomorrow, the iBT.. any encouraging tips?

  10. #10
    Eager!
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    Just be confident. Try to speak clearly without hesitation even if you don't have strong reasons.

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