Wednesday, September 13, 2006

My experiments with TOEFL - Day 1

This is the first in a series of posts i intend to make as i prepare for my TOEFL test on Tuesday. The title has experiments in it coz i have never know someone who'd take a test worth 140 USD in a week. I am being told left, right and center that the test is really easy and with all the GMAT preps, i shud be in a position to do well. But still, this is like taking a joy ride over a week. Literally speaking, i am throwing in 140 USD over 7 days in a bid to make me completely eligible to apply to the school(s) i want to. That's like spending 1000 INR everyday for a week and i have never done that. The only time i remember spending so much money so soon was when i get caught in a shopping spree. And yeah, i havent given myself the freedom of indulging in shopping for quite some time now. In fact, almost 6 months. I last shopped heavily in Feb coz that's when i decided on my heavy priced plans and i needed to save money :) Well, it's been worth it really!!!

All i cud do for TOEFL today was to muse over "buying a prep book - should i??? should i not???" Okay - i am one of those people who want to know everything there is to know about something i am doing/gonna do. This includes simple stuff like going to the tailor to get my dresses stitched. I carefully noticed all the places he made measurements, came back home, thought about what kind of fitting i wud like to have in such and such places and gave him exact details when i go to him. My younger brother standing next to me wud give me this "Do u do this to show the world u r intelligent" kinda look. But that's me. I just want to know stuff.

So for someone like this, having booked a test before even knowing much about it is itself a HUGE deviation. So when the Kellogg folks told me i have no choice and since this is busy season, I had to jump on to the ETS site and book a comfortable date when it was available. I had to take this test, whether i knew about it or not! But i did one thing before i booked the test. I asked a person who had taken the test "How long do u think is required to prepare for TOEFL?" Prompt came the reply "One day". Now i made comparisons and this person was definitely a lot better than me in English. So i said to myself "Two days at most!"

Having booked the test, i had spent the whole of yesterday investigating about the test and trying to figure out if i can get some material to start off with. This test appears to be given less importance compared to GMAT, and this amuses me really coz ppl who appear for both GMAT and GRE have to appear for TOEFL and hence there shud be as much, if not more, info about TOEFL on the net as there is on GMAT. Unfortunately, i dint find a lot of new information about the test from anywhere outside the ETS site. The ETS brochures were of some help as well. Probably i am not looking in the right places, but i tried some 25 to 30 pages listed by numerous string combinations on Google.

Having said all that, now i know enough about TOEFL. I am less fidgety now, atleast on that front, and have actually started worrying about preparations. This is where my musing (the one mentioned in line 1) takes over. Finally, i decided that i would take a practice test and based on my performance decide whether I'd need more material. So i came back home and started taking these questions from the TOEFL sampler, available for free from ETS. This is how i performed:

Listening : 24 correct 3 wrong
Structure: 20 correct 0 wrong
Reading: 17 correct 3 wrong

Not bad for the first day i would say, a day where i woke up by 8 in the morning and had to fight sleep for the latter part of the test. Now i am a lot more confident and if i work thru the weekend, i must be in good shape on Tuesday. Now i am glad that i dint book a date on the week after next coz (1) i wouldn't have been able to sustain this intensity for so long and (2) it would have become boring.

I have 5 more days to go for the test. When i look back at GMAT, i spent the last 5 days with loads of tests and less preps. I guess i am into that mode straight away here. I am trying to gather material. No luck as yet. I am planning to take the two full length PowerPrep tests during the weekend and then do some preps if i get material. Else i will do the famous re-install PowerPrep stuff and take one more test on Monday. On Tuesday, the guys at ETS will have a test ready for me :)


scipio said...

Chill man!
TOEFL shud be a breeze thru 4 ya...

Iday said...

hope so..

-tvu said...

Good luck!

Iday said...

Thanks man.
So - what did u decide abt the schools?
Any changes???