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# My toefl exam conditions

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Intern
Joined: 07 Mar 2010
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07 Mar 2010, 17:09
Hi,
I took the toefl yesterday and I'm completely disappointed with the conditions, place and administration of the center.

I arrived more than 30 minutes early, and as soon I fulfilled the registration, the administration man walked me to my place and I started the test immediately. The problem is, everyone else started the exam, took their break, and finished at different times. It was almost impossible to concentrate with people going in and out of the room, and having to hear others saying their responses in different sections of the test. I found this extremely distracting and annoying.

I would like to know if these are normal and regular conditions for test taking because I'm considering complaining to the administration about the problem.

I will appreciate if you share your experience taking the test.

I demand a quiet and appropriate environment to demonstrate my English skills.
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Re: My toefl exam conditions [#permalink]

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07 Mar 2010, 21:15
Hi Rakito3,

Where are you located? Where did you take the test?

I am based in Japan and took the test in Tokyo and they were very well organized as far as I was concerned.
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Re: My toefl exam conditions [#permalink]

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07 Mar 2010, 21:22
Scrat wrote:
Hi Rakito3,

Where are you located? Where did you take the test?

I am based in Japan and took the test in Tokyo and they were very well organized as far as I was concerned.

Scrat, where are u in Tokyo right now? Are you currently studying for GMAT as well or already done with it?
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Re: My toefl exam conditions [#permalink]

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07 Mar 2010, 21:31
I live and work in central Tokyo.
and yes, I am currently studying for GMAT - recently started.
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Re: My toefl exam conditions [#permalink]

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07 Mar 2010, 22:21
I had a similar experience with my GMAT and I know that people around me were taking other exams and at different times and with different lengths, so they were coming in/out, typing, moving around, sneezing, etc.

I pushed ear plugs as much as I could into my ears (practice may be required if you never used those) and was able to focus and zone everything else out.
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Re: My toefl exam conditions [#permalink]

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07 Mar 2010, 23:02
From my TOEFL experience it was the same situation: people started at different times, different tests. We had over-the- ear headphones, so I used those and pushed them tight to filter out outside noise, because I forgot to bring my earplugs. I think complaining is not going to help.
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Re: My toefl exam conditions [#permalink]

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07 Mar 2010, 23:29
The testing centre was so unorganised!!! My test started almost 2 hours late. Only 5 people had this problem in my centre as other started their test on time. SO when I was on reading section others were SPEAKING. which was very distracting!! And about 15 students were cramped in one room. I cud see other test takers' monitor.
My score suffered miserbly coz of this. I screwed my reading section while other sections i did very well...
I had to eventually retake (an exam like TOEFL which doesnt even require studying) coz my score ws nt meeting the minimum required....
Next test I managed to gt a score more than the required minimum. I took another centre. But it was better organised. I cud hear others responses, but it did not disturb as I was also on the same section and we were separated by a good distance
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Re: My toefl exam conditions [#permalink]

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08 Mar 2010, 05:29
I took the exam in New Castle, DE - USA
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Re: My toefl exam conditions [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2010, 03:35
I think this is common practice in most of the venues. I had mine in one of the best centers in town (eastern europe - some american firm) and there were all these guys coming in and out all the time with the breaks and all.
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Re: My toefl exam conditions [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2010, 07:11
lonewolf wrote:
Scrat wrote:
Hi Rakito3,

Where are you located? Where did you take the test?

I am based in Japan and took the test in Tokyo and they were very well organized as far as I was concerned.

Scrat, where are u in Tokyo right now? Are you currently studying for GMAT as well or already done with it?

i took the test in New Castle, DE - USA
But..good news I got 91, i dont have to take it again and have that horrible experience again
Thanks everyone
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Re: My toefl exam conditions [#permalink]

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23 Dec 2010, 13:16
Last week i took TOEFL iBT , in Sofia, Bulgaria. The name of the center is "SS Cyril and Methodius Foundation". Don't you ever go there. You'd better go to another city if you are from Bulgaria. Back in 2005 or 2006 i took the old TOEFL in other test center/ Fullbright/ and the room was nicely organized.

The exam started like 40 min later, and the environment was very distracting. I am not going to complain about the noise that the participants in the room made.

The problem was that after the start, the two proctors started talking at such level that i couldn't focus at 100% After that one of them left.

Than, all of a sudden, two girls entered the room-they weren't participants in the exam,they just chatted 2-3 minutes with the proctor and then left I was going back and forth to correct my wrong answers, so I left 1-2 qs unanswered, no more time left for them.

Then two other guys came and started talking with the proctor... in my 10 min brake i saw that they were doing some work that was absolutely not related to the exam. for $180 they should at least give us good environment. My scores during the preparation was around 100 points and above./reding 90%, listening 90%+, speking 80%, Writing 75-80%/, but now I expect less than 90 points because of the conditions. I need at least 90 points or I am going to retake it. Now I sent the same feedback to ETS, and in 2-3 weeks they said there will be some response for my case. If they do not do anything, I will go to the local CUTOMER DEFENCE Comission, and they will do their job. Did anyone of you had situation like mine, did you infrorm ETS , and what did the do about it. Thanks Current Student Joined: 12 Apr 2010 Posts: 459 Location: Spain Schools: Chicago (Booth) - Class of 2013 GMAT 1: 740 Q50 V40 WE: Information Technology (Investment Banking) Followers: 37 Kudos [?]: 336 [0], given: 151 Re: My toefl exam conditions [#permalink] ### Show Tags 23 Dec 2010, 16:08 I had a similiar experience with the exam conditions: earplugs-during-toefl-98966.html#p763990 Intern Joined: 29 Oct 2011 Posts: 1 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0 Re: My toefl exam conditions [#permalink] ### Show Tags 29 Oct 2011, 11:51 Todor wrote: Last week i took TOEFL iBT , in Sofia, Bulgaria. The name of the center is "SS Cyril and Methodius Foundation". Don't you ever go there. You'd better go to another city if you are from Bulgaria. Back in 2005 or 2006 i took the old TOEFL in other test center/ Fullbright/ and the room was nicely organized. The exam started like 40 min later, and the environment was very distracting. I am not going to complain about the noise that the participants in the room made. The problem was that after the start, the two proctors started talking at such level that i couldn't focus at 100% After that one of them left. Than, all of a sudden, two girls entered the room-they weren't participants in the exam,they just chatted 2-3 minutes with the proctor and then left I was going back and forth to correct my wrong answers, so I left 1-2 qs unanswered, no more time left for them. Then two other guys came and started talking with the proctor... in my 10 min brake i saw that they were doing some work that was absolutely not related to the exam. for$180 they should at least give us good environment. My scores during the preparation was around 100 points and above./reding 90%, listening 90%+, speking 80%, Writing 75-80%/, but now I expect less than 90 points because of the conditions. I need at least 90 points or I am going to retake it.

Now I sent the same feedback to ETS, and in 2-3 weeks they said there will be some response for my case. If they do not do anything, I will go to the local CUTOMER DEFENCE Comission, and they will do their job. Did anyone of you had situation like mine, did you infrorm ETS , and what did the do about it.

Thanks

Last edited by anjas on 29 Oct 2011, 12:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My toefl exam conditions [#permalink]

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29 Oct 2011, 12:14
anjas wrote:
Todor wrote:
Last week i took TOEFL iBT , in Sofia, Bulgaria. The name of the center is "SS Cyril and Methodius Foundation". Don't you ever go there. You'd better go to another city if you are from Bulgaria. Back in 2005 or 2006 i took the old TOEFL in other test center/ Fullbright/ and the room was nicely organized.

The exam started like 40 min later, and the environment was very distracting. I am not going to complain about the noise that the participants in the room made.

The problem was that after the start, the two proctors started talking at such level that i couldn't focus at 100% After that one of them left.

Than, all of a sudden, two girls entered the room-they weren't participants in the exam,they just chatted 2-3 minutes with the proctor and then left I was going back and forth to correct my wrong answers, so I left 1-2 qs unanswered, no more time left for them.

Then two other guys came and started talking with the proctor... in my 10 min brake i saw that they were doing some work that was absolutely not related to the exam. for \$180 they should at least give us good environment. My scores during the preparation was around 100 points and above./reding 90%, listening 90%+, speking 80%, Writing 75-80%/, but now I expect less than 90 points because of the conditions. I need at least 90 points or I am going to retake it.

Now I sent the same feedback to ETS, and in 2-3 weeks they said there will be some response for my case. If they do not do anything, I will go to the local CUTOMER DEFENCE Comission, and they will do their job. Did anyone of you had situation like mine, did you infrorm ETS , and what did the do about it.

Thanks

Hi there! I did the test at the same place in Sofia and it was, nicely put, awful! Apart from the things you mentioned, the exam started a lot later and it was extremely hot there.
So did you get any answers from ETS, because I am sure going to complain, just to see if it is worth the trouble, since I don't really see any improvements since you wrote your comment ???

Yes! It is going to pay off.
Here is the story.
I didn't cancel my score at the end of the exam. I sent them a mail right after the exam and I am 100% that at least one more person sent mail too. They replied that it will take 2-3 weeks to look at my case. Meanwhile, I received the official score report. After that I got an offer for free test. I didn't take the offer, fortunately, my score was enough.

Good luck

this is what they wrote wrote me:
We are writing to you regarding the TOEFL iBT exam you had taken on December 18, 2010. Please accept our apologies for the problems that you encountered during your test and for the delay in responding to your inquiry.

The test center staff did file an Examinee Incident Report (EIR) about the technical problem you described.

We do understand that test takers react to such events in different ways. As a result, you were provided with the opportunity to cancel the test at the end of the test if you felt the technical problems were too disruptive. You did not exercise that option but elected to receive your scores.

Nevertheless, due to the problem you described, as a one time exception, we would like to offer you the option to receive a voucher for a free test. Because your scores were reported to several designated institutions, we cannot cancel the December, 2010 scores. In the future, should a problem occur during testing, please inform the test center administrator so that the incident is reported.

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Re: My toefl exam conditions [#permalink]

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08 Nov 2011, 11:54
rakito3 wrote:
Hi,
I took the toefl yesterday and I'm completely disappointed with the conditions, place and administration of the center.

I arrived more than 30 minutes early, and as soon I fulfilled the registration, the administration man walked me to my place and I started the test immediately. The problem is, everyone else started the exam, took their break, and finished at different times. It was almost impossible to concentrate with people going in and out of the room, and having to hear others saying their responses in different sections of the test. I found this extremely distracting and annoying.

I would like to know if these are normal and regular conditions for test taking because I'm considering complaining to the administration about the problem.

I will appreciate if you share your experience taking the test.

I demand a quiet and appropriate environment to demonstrate my English skills.

Yes my friend. unfortunately this is quite normal and happens almost in every test center. It is indeed distracting and I believe that ETS must change this situation especially in case of students with different long format exams. It is not fair for one to have listenign long format and other reading long format.

I hope they change it soon.
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Re: My toefl exam conditions [#permalink]

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15 Nov 2011, 02:14
I can say that it’s very important to organize your time efficiently to reach your target score. my first toefl was 72 and after 3 months I was able to score 84. Therefore I think it’s important to have strategy in your study, by the wayin speaking section I scored 23.
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Re: My toefl exam conditions [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2011, 10:52
rockyrock wrote:
I can say that it’s very important to organize your time efficiently to reach your target score. my first toefl was 72 and after 3 months I was able to score 84. Therefore I think it’s important to have strategy in your study, by the wayin speaking section I scored 23.

Indeed strategy is important but the fact that the test evaluation is not equal to every test taker is a bit concerning. I think they should cancel the long formats especially in different sections as of Reading and Listening to make a better and more fair evaluation atmosphere.
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Re: My toefl exam conditions [#permalink]

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22 Mar 2014, 10:42
I can beat you all, my center was not really disorganized, but look a this list of problems:
1. Broken or noisy chairs.
2. Broken keyboards.
3. The door of the classroom was always open next to the refreshment machine, and for the looks of it, there were some problems with the machine that we all heard.
4. The headphones were of the regular kind, so they didn't blocked the sound and they were wear out and didn't fixed. (At least they let me use my earplugs).
5. They weren't extra pencils, and the sharpener was electric, so, the receptionist had to go to another office to try to make less noise (didn't help a lot thought).
6. I think the section were I suffered the most because of the noise was the reading, because of the noise from all the chairs at the same time.

I had just taken my GMAT, and the different in the conditions between them, just made more angry. My advise, embrace your anger like Hulk , and just use it to motivate you.

It was at Montreal, metro Guy-Concordia.
Re: My toefl exam conditions   [#permalink] 22 Mar 2014, 10:42
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# My toefl exam conditions

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