A Quick Update

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TOEFL Excellence Update


For those of you out there who are following things here at TOEFL Excellence, you may have noticed that I haven’t posted anything for a little while.

This is simply from being a bit overwhelmed with bureaucracy and with doing a lot of “Spring Cleaning” between all of the GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!  Websites.

But luckily, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  The technical problems with the software for the TOEFL Excellence Training System is finished, and now I have been able to get back on track with content.


Projections


It’s hard to give an “accurate” estimate on when the first downloadable package will be ready, and making promises on the internet that one can not or does not deliver is much more of an “un-forgiveable act” than in “real” life, but the first two parts of the three-part package are basically finished.  This package will be aimed at those people who are completely new to the TOEFL iBT Exam and need to know what the first steps that they need to take will be.  It will be for a free download, and I will keep you all updated as to it’s development.


In the mean-time, don’t forget to check out the other posts about The TOEFL iBT Exam, and about lots of other useful and entertaining subjects pertaining to learning English.


Get All Of It Here!!!


P.S.  I almost forgot…  If you haven’t already, do not forget to sign up for a discount on the TOEFL Excellence Training courses, when they do come out.  You can sign up Here.


Have An Excellent Day!

🙂

TEST-TAKER ISSUES #2 – FAULTY EQUIPMENT – Update!

So I heard back from ETS about the issue of faulty equipment, but unfortunately (however, not surprisingly) they did not answer my questions, but seemed to merely copy information from a FAQ page (not mine) about issues which were not related to my questions at all.

Below is the “conversation”…


My Message To Them…

Greetings,

I am writing today because I am an English teacher who helps people prepare for the TOEFL exam, and I recently had one person contact me saying that she was told that she needs to take the exam over again, because there was a problem with the microphone and so the speaking section answers could not be heard.

Can you please tell me what the proper course of action would be in this situation?

It seems that the testing center should be liable for giving that test-taker another exam and that they should pay for the registration, as well. However, this is not the first time that I have heard about problems with the equipment in the testing centers.

Is there a way to report those testing centers and to ensure that they do indeed compensate the test-taker with paying for that person to take the exam again.

Also, is there a service that they can use to report such problems?

I look forward to hearing back from you at your earliest convenience.

Have An Excellent Day,

Claude Cote


Their Response…

Dear Claude Cote,

Regarding your inquiry:

What if my test is rescheduled or if there is a problem at the test center?

If your test administration is canceled before you test, or your test cannot be scored or your scores are canceled due to a testing irregularity, you can select a different test date and you will not be charged the rescheduling fee.

If you arrive at the test center and find out that the test administration has been canceled by ETS, you can reschedule your test at no charge or receive a full refund of your test fee.

If you take the test and your scores are canceled by ETS, ETS will determine, at its sole discretion, whether or not you are eligible to re-test at no charge or to receive a refund.

If ETS cancels a test administration or cancels scores after you test, and you have incurred travel costs to get to the test center, you may be eligible for a refund of reasonable and documented travel expenses for yourself only within 30 days of your original test date. Refunds are in U.S. dollars. For more information on reimbursement, see Testing Policies.

If I experience technical problems at the test center, can I ask that my test be rescheduled?

In rare instances, technical problems may require late starts and/or rescheduling of the test. If such an event at the test center makes it necessary for you to cancel your test session, or if it is later determined that your scores could not be reported, you can choose to take the test again for free or receive a full refund of the original test fee.

We hope this information is helpful.


 

As you can see, they did give some vaguely similar information because it did mention something about refunds and about faulty equipment, but did not answer my questions at all.  Especially considering that I specifically ask HOW a person can get help…  not IF they can get help.

In addition the the message seems to have been written by…  no one…  no name, no person, no help.

We’ll see what they say to the response I sent asking them, once again, to answer the questions that I asked rather than simply (and anonymously) pasting useless information with no explanation about how to actually use that information.

I’ll keep you updated…

Have An Excellent Day!

😉


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 – Update! was originally published on TOEFL Excellence

Update! – TOEFL “Free-For-All”

TOEFL “Free-For-All” Page Updated!

…  Can’t really talk now…  busy creating “Excellence”.  But I just wanted to mention that the TOEFL “Free-For-ALL” Page, just got a necessary make-over…  not quite “finished” but it sure looks a lot better, and the information is much easier to find…

More coming soon!  (well, actually…  the only time that there ISN’T more being added is when I’m sleeping.) 😀

Have An Excellent Day…

P.S.  This post has nothing to to with April Fools Day…  none of my students are fools

😉


 

Update! – TOEFL “Free-For-All” was originally published on TOEFL Excellence

TOEFL Reading Section – Tip #1

TOEFL Reading Section Tip #1 – Dealing With Frustration

Over the weekend I have been trying to implement some ways for people to, not only be able to actually order the TOEFL Excellence Training Packages, but to also set up a crowd-funding campaign to start up the scholarship program for both training and registration for the TOEFL iBT Exam…

However, since I live in the farthest Eastern country in Eastern Europe…  nothing is easy.  PayPal doesn’t want to allow me to set up a payment system without a US bank account (or one in a country which I do not live in) – and with the crowd-funding site, there is a similar problem.

These are not permanent problems, just temporary obstacles…


And this reminded me of one of the best tips that I can give about The Reading Section of The TOEFL iBT Exam.


The Reading Section of The TOEFL iBT Exam is the only section where one can actually skip ahead to the next question and then go back to a previous one.  It is for this reason, that one should NEVER waste time on a question that they do not know the answer to, or that they are un-sure about.

Just like my temporary obstacle with setting up the payment gateways…  sometimes the answer is “not available” yet…

This can often-times be caused simply by the stress of taking an exam and working with a timer counting down continuously.


In The TOEFL Reading Section, there are 3 passages (on the normal version of the exam) and approx. 12-15 questions for each passage.  There are also, only 20/passage to complete this portion of the exam.

This means, that you have about 3-5 minutes to skim over the exam and an approx. average of only 1 minute for each question.  Some of them will take much less than that, but some will take much longer.

Additionally…

Another thing to take into consideration (which should also relieve some stress) is that you do not get a “0” (zero) on a question with a wrong answer.  You can only get a “0” (zero) on a question that you do not answer.

So if you spend too long on a question or task that is confusing – you may end up getting a zero on a number of other question that you knew the answer to, easily, but did not have time to answer.


Therefore…

When encountering a question that you do not know the answer to, just make a guess, or mark any answer randomly.  Then, make a note of which question that was on the paper that they provide for you to take notes.  After that, go on to the rest of the questions and finish them.  Finally, with the time that is left over, go back to the questions you were having difficulty with, and if you have time, you can review them.

But, if you do not have enough time to go back to those, at least you guessed or chose something…  Your guess may have been right.  If so, perfect!  Your guess may have been wrong.  No problem!  You will still get some credit for the question, and it is better than getting “zero”.

Just as all of the questions and tasks on The TOEFL Exam, this mimics real situations in Life.  Therefore… make a guess, move on, go back to it later, fix it if it needs to be fixed, if not – don’t worry.


…  And I’ll “see” you all again 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!


TOEFL Reading Section – Tip #1 was originally published on TOEFL Excellence

TOEFL Excellence Logo Contest

If You Can Design The Perfect “TOEFL Excellence” Logo, You Will Win…

Free One-On-One Lessons – Designed To Suit Your Specific TOEFL Needs

I am so busy with learning the software to actually put the TOEFL Excellence lessons on-line, that I have absolutely no time to also learn how to create a logo that looks good and suits the needs for the website.

For this contest, I need two different designs.

  1. A Banner Logo with just the words “TOEFL Excellence” (without the quotation marks)
  2. An Image Logo with just the word “TOEFL” and a unique design (without the quotation marks)

Both Logos should:

  • Look Professional
  • Be easily convertible to any size
  • Preferably not have any 3D reflections or shadows (but if you have excellent skills in this area, and you think you can impress me…  go for it!)

The Banner Logo should:

  • Only contain the words “TOEFL Excellence“(without the quotation marks)
  • Be easily convertible to any color

The Image Logo should:

  • Contain the word “TOEFL” (without the quotation marks) – and a unique design which somehow represents a “Global” theme
  • Be of equal (square) proportions (example:  250 x 250)

Submissions should be made in .jpg, .gif, & .png formats (all three) and should be submitted to:

cjamescote@givemesomeenglish.com

The winner will received specialized training, specific to his or her needs, towards obtaining the specific score that he or she needs on the TOEFL Exam.

!!! – Those entering this contest should have at least 6 months to 1 year of preparation time for the TOEFL exam. – !!!

Those who would like to enter the exam, but who don’t need any special training, may nominate a person of their choosing to receive the specialized training, or may allow me to choose the recipient for them.  The winner will also get a profile page (good for at least one year) showcasing 3 examples of their best work and up to three links to any on-line portfolios they have (as long as the work is not in any way “vulgar” or “un-suitable” for the audiences of this blog or any of the GiveMeSomeEnglish!!! websites.)

I look forward to seeing what you all have to offer!

-C.


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!

 

TOEFL Excellence Logo Contest was originally published on TOEFL Excellence

I Am Humbled And Amazed…

Wow!!!

So I was just giving some information to a gentleman in South Africa about The TOEFL Exam, when I realized that I did not have a email subscription box on this website.  So I quickly came over here to remedy the situation and discovered that on only the seventh day of this blog, it already has almost 1,200 followers!

That absolutely amazed me, and also made me realize just how important it is that I get this information out!

So, my sincere thanks to all of those people who have followed already.  Please share with anyone you know who may need help with the TOEFL (or with English in general) – and I’ll be back a little later today with another bit of helpful TOEFL information.

Have An Excellent Day!

😉

I Am Humbled And Amazed… was originally published on TOEFL Excellence

It Has Begun…

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The creation of the “TOEFL Excellence” Training course (by GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!) is well under-way.

This site is way for me to start disseminating some of the wonderful bits of helpful information that will be in, both the free lessons and in, the premium versions of the training course, and printed text-book.

I will do my best to put out bits of information every day, which is not a day-off or a holiday…  (we all need a rest right?)  Of course, I am a big fan of breaking rules…  even if they are my own.

This… (breaking the rules) is, of course, one of the core philosophies behind, and inspirations for the “TOEFL Excellence” Training courses – and this is the main reason why I am “breaking the rules” by giving you all, information that one may otherwise have to pay for…  (or at least do a lot of searching for.)

So…  we’ll see you tomorrow with the first bit…

-C.