Saturday, September 16, 2006

My experiments with TOEFL - Day 3 & 4

I had a crash yesterday - it has been that kind of a week. I had slept by 2 or 3 every night. Actually i am not able to sleep earlier. To add to it, i had a morning appointment everyday which made me wake up by 8 on all days. I had a tough time on Thursday and a tougher time on Friday at work, trying to fight the sleep and a tired body. So i had nothing else in mind when i returned from work yesterday, but to hit the bed. Surprisingly, that was not to happen. I had to give some GMAT gyan to someone who's taking the test in a few days and then discuss the plans for the next 2 week with a friend. Then i had to think about the discussions i had with my mentor. I never got to finish the thought process as i cud not fight sleep anymore.

Speaking about the discussion i had with my mentor, i followed this up with a discussion with my junior most recommender, who happens to be a college Senior. We were never in the college in the same time, as he is exactly 4 yrs older than me. But still, we have a good rapport right from day one at office. He was my first lead and pretty instrumental in what i am today. Almost all of my early training was under him. Back to the discussion, he had some inputs about my career goals too, which i have to think about now.

Basically me and the three recommenders i have chosen are the lunch gang at work. We have lunch together everyday and lunch time discussions cover a wide area of topics from the corporate bull shit we have to put up with at work to the happenings in the Gulf to the origins and personal hobbies of each of us. So it is not surprising when these people come to me and say "I know what you want to do and this is not all. May be you should say more" or something like "This is not the entire thought process you went through before you chose your next career move". Makes more sense coming from them because much of the thought process involved them too :)

So i am back to square 1.1, thinking about whether the goals summary is complete or whether i have to add more. The goals, on a surface level, do not change much. That cannot happen :) but i am trying to see how far i want to go with these goals. I also have to consider the aspect of being realistic, which is what made me settle with my current goals. But when people who know you well come to u and say "I know you can achieve more and I know you want to achieve more", i have to think about that. I have already thought of a few things. I need to work more on them and give them better shape. I am planning to finish this activity by this weekend.

More on the TOEFL front. I took the powerprep test 1 today and the following are the scores:

Listening: 23
Structure/Writing: 13 - 30
Reading: 29
Total: 217 - 273

I really don't understand if the writing portion occupies so much of the second section! It says it is possible that i can score a 30, by which i understand that all my structure answers are correct. But if that is true, all the structure answers put together come up only to 13??? That sounds strange to me, or is this the normal thing?

I need to work more on the Listening part. I am not able to concentrate - I feel sleepy again. To make life difficult for myself, i forgot to bring my headfones from work. So i am having to listen to the listening exercises on my wall mounted speakers. So it is like sitting in a conference hall or a seminar, compared to the headfone experience, which wud be like a one-to-one talk. But still, i just need to concentrate. I totally missed a few questions and i had to guess. That wont happen on the test day for sure.

Apart from that minor issue, i think i am fine. I will take the next power prep test tomorrow and that will be it. I'll go to work on Monday and Tuesday is test day. Hope it all goes well. I also have plans to finalize a few essays by the next weekend. I must also follow up my recommenders and get their recos done. I wish i can finish them by this week too - i am trying to do that and have given myself the buffer of next week for it. Looks like the last lap is gonna be quite busy :)

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