Friday, March 21, 2008

I guess you could say I am fluent

In the run up to my entrance exams at Tokyo University I had to deal with all manor of paperwork at a time when I would have much preferred to actually have been studying. I eventually finished all the application documents and took them over to the administration office only to be told that I needed to include my TOEFL score.

Now for those who dont know, TOEFL stands for Test Of English as a Foreign Language, and due to the F component I naturally assumed that it wouldn't apply to me. I pointed this out to the people at the office, who agreed that my taking it would be completely pointless, but continued to insist that I take it. Bureaucracy.

Ok, so I looked into taking the test (and how to pay the $170 it cost) and found out that I had missed the application deadline to have my test results back before my entrance exams, so went back to tell the office that I couldn't get the results in time. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but their response was that because I am a native speaker my results don't really matter that much... relief, I just saved $170 I thought... but it just matters that I can show I took the test. What? They want me to take the test even though they won't get the results in time?? Apparently.

So I take the test, it wasn't actually all that easy and felt horribly artificial. Moreover it is a completely inappropriate test of English language ability for average Japanese people which is what it is used for. I sadly didn't get a full score, but considering my speling it is lucky that I only lost one make in the essay section. So I am now able to Prove that I speak mostly correct English.

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