Posted by: Chris | March 27, 2010

On behavioral patterns of English ants

Took my TOEFL test today. (What a coincidence that ‘toefl’ sounds pretty close to the German word ‘Teufel’, which means devil.) 

I bought this thick volume of IBT (internet based test) a few weeks in advance and had sworn to work it through until the day of my actual test. As a matter of fact, I only got to complete only approximately the half of it; not because the exercises were too difficult but simply because I had been a bit more preoccupied with reading, listening to the news on TV and online as well as blogging and working on my screenplay (I have switched to writing solely in English since I took my last and final archaeology exam).

The test consisted of four sections (reading, listening, speaking and writing) and had to be dealt within four hours. I was presented a number of academic texts and excerpts of lectures and had to either answer some multiple choice questions, summarize the main facts or give my own opinion about them.

All in all, I didn’t find the test particularly difficult at all, but the time issue bothered me a little. Usually, at the university, I’m one of the first to hand in my test (after proofreading, that is), deliberately discarding the remaining time. That’s not to say that my exams in archaeology are easy,  on the contrary. However, at this English proficiency test, though I was working very fast, I had not even a minute left to revise my answers before I got confronted with the next question.

However, I was lucky to get excerpts from at least some topics I was well familiar with, them being the works of the Hungarian composer Béla Bartók (I won two musical contests playing his Romanian folk dances on the piano a couple of years ago), the use of the mise-en-scène in Hollywood films of the 1950s (film studies = my first major), the decipherment process of the Rosetta Stone (archaeology = my second major, lol!), the finding and identification of some peculiar clay vessels which resembled 2.200 years old ritualistic scroll cylinders found in Seleucia (archaeology again, lol!) and the play patterns of dog/wolf pups (I’m afraid my granny’s boxer will never grow up), Romanticism art (the art major at school did pay off in at least some way) … to name a few.

In the end, it went okay and I think I should fulfill the requirements needed for my future plans. They said I could grab my results online in about 2-3 weeks.


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