[Letter to the editor]Toefl operator tests students’ patience

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[Letter to the editor]Toefl operator tests students’ patience

As a senior in high school getting ready to submit applications to universities this July, I know that to apply to certain universities, a Toefl score of 110 or more is required. There has been a “Toefl crisis” in Korea and I would like to point out the three incredibly wrong things about the ETS (Educational Testing Service).
First is the lack of Toefl centers. ETS had announced there will be 70,000 more seats available in 2007. But it isn’t happening and there are many who don’t have time to wait. Most of us need the scores before July. It takes more than two weeks to see scores online, and more than a month to receive report cards by mail. The ETS must make sure everyone can register.
Secondly, ETS is doing a slapdash job on scoring the speaking and writing sections. Eun Jung, also a senior, has taken the Toefl twice. Her first time, she was very nervous and barely said a word on the speaking section. Was it ETS generosity that got Eun Jung a score of 26/30? I think not. Was ETS being nice when it gave Tae Bin a 28/30 on his speaking when he coughed the whole time? I don’t think so. I also don’t think it was pity that caused ETS to give an essay that Ji Hyun admitted was incomplete and off-topic a 29/30, whereas Mi Kyung, who wrote everything requested and completed the essay, received a 22/30.
On its Web site, ETS calls itself a nonprofit organization. The current fee to take the Toefl is $170 (about 164,000 won). There are students who can’t afford to take the test because of the expensive fee. A special paper-based test has been arranged for Korea and Japan on June 3 for $140. It used to be $90. How can the people taking that test accept that ETS is “nonprofit?”
Students in Korea who need more 24 hours in a day to study and maintain our health spend day and night at the computer, desperately trying to grab a test seat. ETS must find a better solution to this nonsense.
Yoona Emmelyne Kim,
senior at Jamsin High School
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