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flounder
09-06-2003, 05:32 AM
Hi,

Just gave my TOEFL yesterday. Coming from Pakistan, I am almost a native speaker, having received all my 16 years of education in English, and having served on editorial positions in school and college magazines.
I desparately wanted a perfect score, but fate had it that I messed up on two questions in the easiest section, i.e. Reading Comprehension. I couldn't believe my luck when I saw the score. I continued to stare at the screen, literally, for 2-3 minutes.

While I would have loved an upper limit of 300, I guess 293 will do for now. The essay topic was pretty easy, one that I have dealt with extensively during my position as Editor of my college magazine, and the 6 / 6 was almost expected.

Impressions:
Taking a cautious approach, I chose to reach the test center an hour before the reporting time. However luck was not meant to be on my side. The test started an hour late even after its due time. The headphones had a lot of echo. I got them changed once, only to find another one with the same problem. Since the voice itself was audible, I chose to quit fussing and take my chances with it. The listening section was a breeze. It made use of some slang like 'you rock' and stuff. If you watch English movies and CNN, and have been taking your college lectures in English medium of communication, you will have no difficulty in dealing with this section.

Structure was surprisingly simple. The questions on TestMagic were far more challenging and difficult. I hadn't bothered to learn all those grammatical constructs and all. But if you are a native speaker, these comes intuitively and naturally to you. If you are not familiar with grammar, I'd suggest that you practice the questions and grammar from TestMagic and complement your learning from a good Grammar book.

Reading Comprehension was simple, and it came as a shock for me to learn that I had two questions wrong from this section. I had almost 30 minutes to spare here. I guess it was the long wait before the test began that unnerved me. I continuously got fits of ennui (boredom) throughout RC and might have just dropped my guard and concentration a little. Keep your concentration up at all times. VERY IMPORTANT.

Essay was again easy. The topic was one that I was quite comfortable with. Also, it was one of the 150 topics that I had gone through the day before. I'd suggest that if you are comfortable with your structure and listening, you spare the last day of prep to the essay. Just get the whole list of topics and print it. Go through the topics, and even if you just spend 3-4 minutes on each topic, it will help. The ideas will be fresh when you sit in the exam. I personally liked all the topics, but that might be due to my interest in in literary things and essay writing. The topics give one quite some food for thought.

Some Questions:
1. Do I need to give my TOEFL again and get that 300, or is it not worth the effort and expense? Would it make any difference on my grad school applications? My planned major in MS/Ph.D in Computer Science / Engineering.

2. While my next milestone to cross is giving GRE (Oct 15), I don't want to take any chances. I am considering applying to Europe also. Can anyone suggest some suitable universities that only accept TOEFL for MS/PhD admissions.

Finally, I would like to pay a lofty tribute to TestMagic. My TOEFL score was solely due to those hectic visits to the site (I registered the test with only 3 three days of prep ahead of me).

Regards,
Ali

zulfinho
09-06-2003, 10:37 AM
Salam Ali,

I think your score is great! I'm going to give my TOEFL next week, your tips are really helpful. Don't spend to much effort on TOEFL. Give more attention to GRE, especially AGRE, if you're preparing for Ph.D. admissions.

Just my 2 cents,

Wassalam,
Zulfikar

flounder
09-06-2003, 02:20 PM
Originally posted by zulfinho

Salam Ali,

I think your score is great! I'm going to give my TOEFL next week, your tips are really helpful. Don't spend to much effort on TOEFL. Give more attention to GRE, especially AGRE, if you're preparing for Ph.D. admissions.

Just my 2 cents,

Wassalam,
Zulfikar


Salaamz,
Thank you for your kind advice. All the best with your TOEFL. Its a breeze. Just stay chill and avoid silly mistakes. Recheck your RC questions. Theres plenty of time, and one should make use of it, even if I didn't hehe.

Good luck
Ali

kirting
09-06-2003, 03:40 PM
Hi! Flounder,

Congratulations!!!

I think you have got a very good score. IMO, don't spend too much time on Toefl now. You should concentrate on preparing for the GRE. Because your toefl score is high enough to go to any university. As you want to apply for MS/Ph.D, the score of GRE is more important.

Well, i am not a native speaker. So i do find it difficult to get a high score, especially in the listening and reading parts. And i will take the exam in two weeks. Lucky me!!

Best wishes,
Kirting

karimo
09-08-2003, 05:29 AM
Hi there, I had the exact same experience as you and the exact same score, even the exact same surprise at the comprehension result. Today I got my result 293 (30L/30St/28Comp) and my advice is to accept your score. Most universities won't really see the difference between 293 and 300. Some schools even convert your score to PBT equivalent using ranges not exact scores in which case your score (if it turns out to be 293) is in the highest bracket. Just forget about TOEFL and concentrate on the curse called GRE.

flounder
09-17-2003, 10:23 AM
Originally posted by kirting

Hi! Flounder,

Congratulations!!!

I think you have got a very good score. IMO, don't spend too much time on Toefl now. You should concentrate on preparing for the GRE. Because your toefl score is high enough to go to any university. As you want to apply for MS/Ph.D, the score of GRE is more important.

Well, i am not a native speaker. So i do find it difficult to get a high score, especially in the listening and reading parts. And i will take the exam in two weeks. Lucky me!!

Best wishes,
Kirting


Hi Kirting,

Hope you are doing nicely. Sorry about the late post. I kind of didn't visit the link till just now. Thanks a lot for your kind regards. Yup, nowadays concentrating on GRE. 15 Oct is d day :) hehe. So whens your TOEFL? Just relax and don't lose your concentration in the listening section. You'd do just fine. Close your eyes while listening. It helps, and yes do not let your imagination wander off by paying too much attention to the pictures.

Lemme know how you do ok :)

Regards,
Cheers and best of luck
Ali

flounder
09-17-2003, 10:25 AM
Originally posted by karimo

Hi there, I had the exact same experience as you and the exact same score, even the exact same surprise at the comprehension result. Today I got my result 293 (30L/30St/28Comp) and my advice is to accept your score. Most universities won't really see the difference between 293 and 300. Some schools even convert your score to PBT equivalent using ranges not exact scores in which case your score (if it turns out to be 293) is in the highest bracket. Just forget about TOEFL and concentrate on the curse called GRE.


Hi Karimo

:)
Waow. What a pleasant coincidence. hehehe
Yea 293 is good enough. GRE sucks :). Give it on Oct 15. So what are you upto next?

Regards,
Ali

MoizManji
10-12-2003, 01:37 AM
WOW man... 6 on TWE... thats my dream also... but I havent recieved my score sheet as yet to know how much I got :(

Still, great job Ali

-- Moiz Manji

flounder
10-14-2003, 11:46 AM
Originally posted by MoizManji

WOW man... 6 on TWE... thats my dream also... but I havent recieved my score sheet as yet to know how much I got :(

Still, great job Ali

-- Moiz Manji


Hi Moiz,

Thanks yaar. Don't worry. It will be alright. By the way, it takes a little while before the score card comes all the way to Pakistan, even upto 4-6 weeks. So if spending $10 is not a problem, you can call up ETS and get your scores. The number is given on the TOEFL site (toefl.org).

Good luck. Where are you applying?

Regards,
Ali

MoizManji
10-14-2003, 01:10 PM
Originally posted by flounder


Originally posted by MoizManji

WOW man... 6 on TWE... thats my dream also... but I havent recieved my score sheet as yet to know how much I got :(

Still, great job Ali

-- Moiz Manji


Hi Moiz,

Thanks yaar. Don't worry. It will be alright. By the way, it takes a little while before the score card comes all the way to Pakistan, even upto 4-6 weeks. So if spending $10 is not a problem, you can call up ETS and get your scores. The number is given on the TOEFL site (toefl.org).

Good luck. Where are you applying?

Regards,
Ali


Hmmm.... 10$ should not b a major problem considering thqat I already spend 130 for the test but, at first I thought I could wait for the result... didnt want to hear the bad news too soon.... want to enjoy some time with the 'MAX 290' thingy :D. Also, I thought it would b a good test to check my patience... and so, everything went well except after 11th October when result sheet didnt come.

Now, I guess i'll just wait as spending $10 now would b follish... I could bu a complete season of 'Friends' with that amount of money in Pakistan [bounce]

Anyways,, thanx for the help.... i

-- Moiz Manji