Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

Tomorrow’s the day. Tomorrow is the day that I’m doing my TOEFL(Test Of English as a Foreign Language) exam. It’s a certificate I need to get into “Trinity College”:http://www.zefhemel.com/archives/2004/08/20/trinity-college. The computer-based “TOEFL”:http://www.ets.org/toefl/overview.html tests you on the following competences:
* Listening: measures the ability to understand English as it is spoken in North America.
* Structure: measures the ability to recognize language that is appropriate for standard written English.
* Reading: measures the ability to understand short passages that are similar in topic and style to academic texts used in North American colleges and universities.
* Writing: measures the ability to write in English on an assigned topic.

As I’ve been reading a lot of English in the past few years I’m sure that I pass the reading part. Considering I’ve seen about 7 out of the 10 Friends seasons and having no problems understanding the plot, I’m also sure listening comprehension is no problem. And considering that I’ve been writing a little in English here and there aswell, the writing part shouldn’t pose too much of a problem either. Better yet, all this was covered on my high-school English exam. So, why do I need this certificate? Because it’s a requirement. Most universities and international schools require TOEFL certification. And that’s great for the organization behind TOEFL, they can now ask €130 (roughly $110) for an exam. Isn’t that great?

So, am I nervous? Not really. There is one thing that might be a problem. In the Netherlands there’s only one place where I can take the exam. And that’s at CITO in Arnhem. It takes about 2.5 hours to get there by train. That wouldn’t be so bad, except if the exam starts at 9 a.m. and they make you be there half an hour in advance. Meaning that I would have to get up tomorrow at

*4.30 a.m.*

“Good morning sir.”

 — “Yah, good morning.”
“You look tired. You know it’s important to get enough sleep before taking such an important and overpriced exam, right?”

 — “I would, if *you* (*!#$#@#@ would let it start at a reasonable time so people wouldn’t have to get up in the middle of the night to come here.”

Let’s just hope that I don’t fall asleep during the four-hour lasting exam.