Test-Taker Issues #2 – Faulty Equipment

Faulty Equipment At The Testing Center


So for the last two-and-a-half days, I’ve been dealing with some rather frustrating technical difficulties which were caused by a third-party, but made it quite difficult for me to make any progress on The 3000 Most-Used Words in The English Language Guide, updating The TOEFL Testing Dates and Locations Pages, and a new project for The “TOEFL Free-For-ALL” – The Only TOEFL Vocabulary You Actually Need To Know.

So, a lot of stuff going on…  and then not being able to make any progress because of a problem which was not caused by me, is quite aggravating.

And this made me think about another issue that I have come across a few times since I’ve been helping people achieve Excellence on The TOEFL iBT Exam.  That problem being, faulty equipment at the testing center, causing test-takers to either not be able to hear the speaking parts due to noise in the room, poor headphones, or having their Speaking Section recordings completely messed up because of a bad microphone.

It is true that there is a chance to test the equipment at the beginning of the exam, before it actually starts, but that can not provide 100% assurance that the equipment will continue to function properly throughout the exam, or when everyone in the room is speaking at the same.


So, what to do?

Well, the first thing to do, is make sure that if you do not feel 100% confident that the equipment is working properly, raise your hand IMMEDIATELY and inform one of the people at the testing center…  it is, after-all, YOUR money that is being spent for this exam.

But…  What if your microphone fails and you don’t even know it; or if your headphones go out in the middle of the speaking part?

Or what it there is construction outside the window of the testing room and you can’t hear a damn thing?!?!

Well, for that, you will have to just wait for part two.  And this is not because I want to “leave you hanging’”, but because earlier today, I sent an email to the official organization that created and administers the exam, and we will have to see what kind of recourse a person can take in this situation.  I know that many people have complained about their support and customer service in the past, but let’s see if this is their moment to shine.

I will be back with more information about this as soon as I get it, and I’m planning on setting up a testing-center review board on the website, but I will need to actually have people talk to me about their experiences.

So that’s all for now…  But I’ll be back soon!


Remember:  If there are any words (or phrases) in this post that you do not know – look them up.  Though you do not need to waste time memorizing lists of vocabulary before taking The TOEFL Exam, it is always a good idea to look-up words that you do not know.  Even if you think you know them, you may be surprised, so if you see a word that you may “know” but can’t actually define or explain…  look it up!  I suggest Wikitionary.com

And if you have any questions, feel free to ask any time.

Have An Excellent Day!


Test-Taker Issues #2 – Faulty Equipment was originally published on TOEFL Excellence


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