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View Full Version : 620 in Nov 2003 and some experiences of mine



trungthanh
11-16-2003, 07:13 AM
Dear TMians
I've just taken my first TOEFL test at HaNoi Hilton Opera yesterday. Speaking to that challenge, firstly I would like to express my appreciations to all of you- TMians, those who help me so much during my short period of preparation. Without you, I would have had no confidence to take the test.:cool:
A million thanks to Erin Billy. Your magic site, your useful learning resources, your advises and so on are very useful for me.[goodjob]
Also thanks a lot to Hippo, Hsenrogen, Phuong, An min, Moonseeker, Vvaan, Fortune, Wood and many others. How lucky I am to have a chance of exchanging my views with you as well as learning from you.[goodjob]
In fact, my working on the test was not as good as I had expected, but I think it is acceptable anyway, considering my shortage of preparation.
The first part of test, as usual, is TWE. The TWE topic is a bit easy: "Which do you prefer? To have a roommate of your choice in the dormitory or to have one assigned by the college" so luckily I have no difficulty to complete my essay in 25 minute and spend the rest 5 to review and remove grammatical errors. However, I myself still prefer a harder but having more spaces for imagine one that the topic mentioned above because in the kind of my topic, there is no place for new idea but only some common thinking, for example: "I prefer having a roommate of my choice because he can help me in education, communication and accommodation blah blah ...".[xx(]. That may lead readers to being boring and consequently lead to a limited essay's score. For that reason, I must send my thanks to God if my essay's could have reached to 5.

So my estimation is 5 for the essay.:o

My second and also hardest challenge is listening comprehension. Surprisingly there are not only 50, but 70 questions. 20 of which will never be scored, I guess. I went ahead easily in the first 20 short-conversation talks, but then made a terrible mistake: I filled my 21st answer in the 22nd column.:( That happened continually with 3 or 4 next questions till I realized the problem. It goes without saying that my disaster started from there. When I spent my time for the correction, at least 5 or 6 dialogs was spoken and I even had no time to take a look at the answer choices when listen to them. Fortunately, I finally found my balance again at some last short-conver questions, but I doubt if those last questions will be counted on the valid 50 LC questions. So my friend, please pay careful attention to correctly checked on the answer column you should check. That's my "bone and blood" experience:(
The longer-conver was likely a bit easier for me, inspite the fact that there is a strange dialog came from radio broadcasting, not from daily conversation.
The final part: long-talks is also conquerable except only one that I could not figure out how to answer its 4 questions although I can fully understand it. That because the long-talk required me to remember some very detail things that I couldn't notice.
Due to my poor performance in LC, I only hope that I made wrong answers only in the range of 8-12 questions. It might be even worse, depending on which questions will be scored, and which will be not.
So my LC points might be 38-42 which can be converted to 55-58 points, a shame for me:(

The SC & WE part was only a piece of cake if we well grasped all these useful resources posted in this site by Erin and others.
My estimation for this part is 36-38, which can be converted to 62-68 points.

Reading Comprehension was also more easy that I had expected. Just hope that I did not make any silly mistakes:o
My estimation for this part is 44-47, which can be converted to 60-64 points.

In sum, my total points might be 177-190 points, and the total score range might be 590-633. A humble score:o, which may resulted from the fact that I have only more than 2 months for preparation with no intensive ESL course.

And here is some of my PBT experience, hope that it might be helpful to you:
1. Preparation:
Of course, Testmagic is one of the best places for TOEFL preparation. In fact, I nearly have no time to attend a ESL course to improve my English, so I count mostly on TestMagic. All of my preparation resources: the Longman prep-book, the ETS prep kits, the Grammar explanation,etc was reccommened by Erin Billy (Thanks again, Erin! You are very kind-hearted). In my opinion, some ESL courses may bring you not very much help, excluding the fact that they might force you to learn English. The most important part is depended on your practice at home. So practice, practice and practice!:)
To prepare for LC, I tried some real TOEFL tests from the ETS prep book, and listened to some radio-cast on web, including NPR and VOANews (not VOA specials). In fact, I have no time to listen radio-cast at home, so I did it during my work in the office:D No boss can force me to take my headphone off at that time :D
All of my Structure and Written Expression resources came from this site, especially the Grammar forum and some Grammar Explanation from Erin. You will find every needed thing for Structure part here.
I have nothing to say about Reading C and TWE preparation, because I infact nearly have no preparation for the two parts. That's because my job, in spite of the fact that it now is stretching me to the utmost with work pressures, required me to read and write so much. So IMHO, to prepare for RC and TWE, you should read and write in English frequently.
2. Other stuffs:
I do not know how to prepare for a CBT test, as well as a PBT outside my country. So this part is dedicated only for those who one to take a test in VietNam
If you plan to take a TOEFL test in Vietnam, you should register it as soon as possible. Generally, it may take 2-3 weeks for a offline-registration form to travel from VietNam to US. Furthermore, ETS may need at least 2-4 weeks to do all registration procedures for you and send back your admisstion ticket, which also required 2-3 weeks to return to oyou. So if you plan to register off-line by mail, you should safely do it at least 2.5 - 3 months beforehand. I do not reccomend you to register online from VietNam, especially if the registration deadline will be due in 1 or 2 weeks, because I have seen many cases in which my friends got troubles with online registration even ETS accept them at registration time. In case you register online, be sure to contact ETS frequently to check your registration status. ETS rarely tell you about that without a request from you.
Furthermore, you should visit TOEFL official site (www.toefl.org) frequently and download the TOEFL bulletin soon. Read that bulletin carefully and you will find many useful thing to prepare for your test.
One thing needed extended consideration from Vietnamese test take is the name order problem. please write your name in the registration EXACTLY in the order as it appeared in your identification card or passport. DO NOT write your name in the following order: First name Given name Middle name even ETS registration form told you so. Your name in the registration form will appear in your TOEFL score report later.
I myself had encountered this problem and although I corrected it in the test center, now I can't be sure in which order my name will be printed in the TOEFL score report. So please be careful, my friends!
3. During the test:
My first advice is that, of course, take it easy. Let's imagine that you are sitting comfortable in your room to take a practice excercise from the ETS prep-kit.
Secondly, the sound system, the seats, the lights and all other stuffs are pretty good so there no use worrying about that. That feel that you are at your home.
Thirdly, pay attention on the instruction from the speaker and do not break the seal of the test book until you are told to do so. Otherwise you will be considered as cheater and will be force to drop out of the test immediately. Two unlucky guys in my test room did that and they were not allowed to continue the test.[xx(]. Also during the test, you should not turn your page beforehand or you will be considered as cheater to. I don't think that reading some questions earlier in a nervous mind can help much.
Fourthly, there are several supervisors walking around you during the test, and they may stop beside you, tell you to complete some neccessary information or even check if you bring any illegal stuffs in to the test room.[xx(] So you should get used with it beforehand so that it could not affect your performance, especially in the Listening Comprehension test.
Fifthly, as I mentioned earlier, try to check correctly in the answer column. The gap between two column is too small and you might easily have mistake, so be careful!
Sixthly, in both LC and RC, try to read answer choice before you start to hear or read the part. That will help you to help a rough picture about what you will hear or read, and accordingly you can pay more attention on the needed information.
That is all I can remember at this time. I will add more information later.
Hope that you will get a better result than I did yesterday.
Good luck to you!

trungthanh
11-16-2003, 08:04 AM
I will post my real score right after I get it. But I don't know how long it takes for ETS to issue score and send that to my country.
Do you guys have any experience about that?
Could I get information about my score earlier, by such services as get-scores-by-phone or the like?
Thank you very much!

crossline
11-16-2003, 10:48 AM
congratulation!

[bounce][bounce][bounce]

trungthanh
11-17-2003, 05:58 AM
Originally posted by crossline

congratulation!

[bounce][bounce][bounce]



Thank you very much![goodjob]
In fact I did not really please with my performance, but I should forget it now and prepare for new challenges.
By the way, have you planned to take the TOEFL test, and when? I think that you should take it before June 2004, because we can not see what changes could be made by ETS since then.
677 to you!

Erin
11-17-2003, 06:34 AM
WOW!! Your post is like a chapter in a book! :p

It's great to read your test experiences, and I'm so happy to hear that you studied so diligently and have given us such detailed notes about how to study. You're really helping a lot of other people by sharing your experiences! :)

So, congrats on finishing, and let's hope for high scores! [goodjob]

BTW, have you ever heard the expression "break a leg"? My aunt (who's an actor), told me when I was little that actors say this to each other before a performance. The reason they say this is that they don't want to "jinx" the performance by saying "hope you give a great performance." So instead, they just say the opposite of what they really mean. Interesting, huh?

trungthanh
11-17-2003, 10:38 AM
I just can't find any adequate word to express my appreciation and admiration to you! So I think the great results of all guys here can do it for me[goodjob]
Again, <font face="Arial"> a million thanks to you!</font id="Arial">
BTW, do you know which kind of question ETS usually uses as experiments in a 70-questions Listening Comprehension part? Are those experimental questions usually easy, medium or difficult? Are they placed in a row or intermingled with other normal ones?


Originally posted by Erin Billy


BTW, have you ever heard the expression "break a leg"? My aunt (who's an actor), told me when I was little that actors say this to each other before a performance. The reason they say this is that they don't want to "jinx" the performance by saying "hope you give a great performance." So instead, they just say the opposite of what they really mean. Interesting, huh?

Yeah, I've heard it, and as far as I know, it is an idiom commonly used in spoken English to wish someone to be success.
However, I have not understood why they use "break a leg" for that meaning, until today when you told me that very interesting expression.:) Thank you!:cool:

And future test takers, <font face="Arial">break a leg!</font id="Arial">

Hippo
11-17-2003, 01:20 PM
Hi, Trungthanh!

First, congratulations on having done the test! [bounce]

Second, it's great to hear from you. I'm pleased to know that I helped you a bit to prepare yourself for the test. :)

I don't wish you to break the leg , because the health is not a thing to make jokes on ;-), but I wish you neither fluff nor plume which is the word by word translation of the russian equivalent of "good luck"(i'm pretty sure it has a similar roots with "break a leg"). :)

Let's wait for the result...

Hippo [bounce]

trungleha
11-18-2003, 11:42 PM
Dude, are you sure that 20 out of 70 questions on Listening Section were experimental and therefore will not be scored? I've never heard of such a thing before.

T.

Erin
11-19-2003, 12:59 AM
It's hard to say which questions are experimental, but there could be as many as one third. And it's difficult to figure out which questions are the experimental ones. Many of the experimental questions look just like the regular questions. Finally, if I had to guess, I'd say that many experimental questions were placed closely together (but not all).

That's a long listening test!

trungleha
11-19-2003, 01:48 AM
Yep, I know it is almost impossible for test takers to figure out which ones are experimental during the test. However, what struck me most was that the TOEFL given on Nov 15 had experimental questions. Did they solely appear in the listening section?

Although I think that the test was quite a breeze, I was in a rush during the writing and reading sections. That said, I had no time to go over the essay and answers of which I was not so sure. Moreover, the test was also strenuous, as I hadn't prepared for taking it until 1 or 2 P.M.

T.

trungthanh
11-19-2003, 09:46 AM
Originally posted by Hippo

Hi, Trungthanh!

First, congratulations on having done the test! [bounce]

Second, it's great to hear from you. I'm pleased to know that I helped you a bit to prepare yourself for the test. :)

I don't wish you to break the leg , because the health is not a thing to make jokes on ;-), but I wish you neither fluff nor plume which is the word by word translation of the russian equivalent of "good luck"(i'm pretty sure it has a similar roots with "break a leg"). :)

Let's wait for the result...

Hippo [bounce]


Hi Hippo,
Thank you and the same wishes to you:)
When will you take your test? I bet that you will get a great score, according to your contributions in this forum.
PS: It's interesting for me to know one more nice way to wish for luck from you:cool:


Originally posted by trungleha


Yep, I know it is almost impossible for test takers to figure out which ones are experimental during the test. However, what struck me most was that the TOEFL given on Nov 15 had experimental questions.

Hi trungleha,
So we are in the same boat!;)


Originally posted by trungleha


Dude, are you sure that 20 out of 70 questions on Listening Section were experimental and therefore will not be scored? I've never heard of such a thing before.

Of course, I can't be fully sure about it. However, if you take notice at the bulletin, you may find something like this state: "The testbook may include some experimental question that will never be scored". Furthermore, according to the score convert table in the ETS prep-kit, a standard TOEFL test has only 50 LC, 40 S&W and 50 RC questions.
Also, don't be too serious about the fact that you was in a rush in doing the Reading and Writing. Many others felt that too. And becase you conquer the test as if it was only a breeze, I believe that you did it very well:)
PS: I wonder why you call me "Dude":D Do I really look like this?

trungthanh
01-12-2004, 12:44 PM
Dear all,

After long long waiting time, today I got my score from ETS. And here it is:
Listening: 59 (~43/50)
Structure: 65 (~38/40)
Reading: 62 (~46/50)
Total score: 620
TWE: only 4.0 :( (I was very disappointed for that!)

Again, many many thanks to you, Erin Billy, I just can't find any adequate word to praise your wonderful website[goodjob]
Also, many many thanks to all of my friends here: Hippo, Hsenrogen, Phuong, An min, Moonseeker, Vvaan, Fortune, Wood, Fortune and many others.[goodjob]

677 2 U all!:cool:

Fortune
01-13-2004, 11:36 AM
Hello Trung Thanh,

your scores are very good, your essay score though a little bit low, is not that important for your PBT test. I know a person (nick muaxuan68 in Testmagic forum) whose TOEFL scores is 643 with essay score of 3.0 get admission to the post graduate in the USA with full financial aid and GRE waive.

Good luck for your applications./

trungthanh
01-13-2004, 01:53 PM
Hi Fortune,
Thanks for comforting me with the distinguished case of muaxuan68. I've read some of her posts but unfortunately did not have a chance to talk to her. How outstanding she is! Right?:)
Yes, I'm now not sad about my TWE score anymore. But it indeed taught me a lesson about the so-called over-estimation:o

Originally posted by Fortune


Good luck for your applications./

Thanks a lot for your wish. I wish all the best fortunes to you, too.
trungthanh

Moonseeker
01-14-2004, 09:36 PM
Originally posted by trungthanh

Dear all,

After long long waiting time, today I got my score from ETS. And here it is:
Listening: 59 (~43/50)
Structure: 65 (~38/40)
Reading: 62 (~46/50)
Total score: 620
TWE: only 4.0 :( (I was very disappointed for that!)

Again, many many thanks to you, Erin Billy, I just can't find any adequate word to praise your wonderful website[goodjob]
Also, many many thanks to all of my friends here: Hippo, Hsenrogen, Phuong, An min, Moonseeker, Vvaan, Fortune, Wood, Fortune and many others.[goodjob]

677 2 U all!:cool:


Congratulation!.
It sounds very good. Your score is what I really wanna get.
So hope to see you getting an admission letter to a leading US University soon.
Why not you take the GRE exam. It's worth to challenge.
And then you can apply for scholarships such as VEF fellowship. I think you can get it with flying colors.
Once again I wish you all the best in 2004.

trungthanh
01-15-2004, 11:56 AM
Originally posted by Moonseeker

Congratulation!.
It sounds very good. Your score is what I really wanna get.
So hope to see you getting an admission letter to a leading US University soon.
Why not you take the GRE exam. It's worth to challenge.
And then you can apply for scholarships such as VEF fellowship. I think you can get it with flying colors.
Once again I wish you all the best in 2004.

Thanks a lot for your very nice wishes:)
I strongly believe that you can get even a much better score than me, considering all efforts you made here[goodjob]
Also thanks for your suggestion. Yes, the GRE is indeed a very tough challenge, and even have not thought about it, but I will try it with all of you and with the help of all TMians here, I think that we can do something :cool:
All the best to you in the coming Lunar New Year:)

Hippo
01-20-2004, 06:41 PM
Hi Trungthanh!

I'm glad to see your post here! Congratulation on your very good scores!

Don't be confused with the essay score. This score is quite a subjective estimation of the one's knowledge.

I wish you to get the admission to the University of your dream. I'm sure you are a very bright student.

Best regards,
Just Hippo ;-)

swetak28
01-20-2004, 08:22 PM
hey Trungthanh

Congrats on your score.....

[banana]

trungthanh
01-27-2004, 03:26 AM
Once again thank U all for your wishes! U made me shy:o and happy:)

To Hippo:
Dear pals, I will never forget anything you helped me in this wonderful forum. I don't know whether you have taken a TOEFL test or not, but I believe that a 300 CBT score is surely within your reach[goodjob], because I saw your excellent efforts and abilities here.
Wish your dreams will come true.