Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL TOH-fəl) is a standardized test to measure the English language ability of non-native speakers wishing to enroll in English-speaking universities. The test is accepted by many English-speaking academic and professional institutions. TOEFL is one of the two major English-language tests in the world, the other being the IELTS.
A student shared his anguish, "I just got my TOEFL results back, and I got a perfect score! 667 on the paper based test! I was really happy, but then it hit me: my professors are assholes and my college sucks, I'll never get into a good international college.
I know this makes me sound like one of those people who blame others for their failures. But it isn't just me, it's the system. I go to a public college, it belongs to the federal government. It's great because it's where all the research grants go... but it sucks because it's where all the politics fall upon.
The teachers are public workers who can't be fired. Seriously, sounds ridiculous but it's true: unless they commit a crime, don't show up at all or do something really bad, they are protected by law and cannot be fired. So many of them just don't give a fraction of a fuck. Actually they really like to fuck students over. Not all of them of course, many are good teachers, but even some of the good ones fall under that. It's like a cultural academic thing, if your students aren't scared shitless of you, you don't get as much respect from your older peers. Also most of them are really old and since they refuse to retire, very few young professors have a chance to try out. It's a test you take, highest grade (curriculum counts too) gets hired with all the benefits of being a fuckup and not getting fired ever.
I study biology. It's hard. But no one ever gets A's. Rarely some get B+'s, but I haven't seen anyone get an A or even A- yet. It's my first semester but other students tell me it doesn't change much.
Here's how they evaluate: 2 multiple choice tests of up to 10 questions each, for the whole semester. It's very random and the correction is really arbitrary. Some make lots of mistakes and refuse to fix them even if you show them your answer is the same as the textbook. This happened to me in Biophysics, I got a 300 (!!) in a test and had a right answer worth 200 that they refused to change. There were 80 people asking for their tests to be reviewed for grades as low as and lower than mine. I'd have to get a lawyer to make them fix it. I'd rather just study hard and try to get a passable 600 with the final.
Out of the 8 classes I'm taking this semester, one has finished. Less than 10 people got a grade over 700. The highest one was 850. I got a 744. At least 50% of the class failed with scores below 500.
We work our asses off and get low grades. Teachers insist in not giving us papers or presentations for grading, normally they are obligatory but rarely count as grades. Just test scores.
It's one thing to be demanding, but if you are, you should create an environment that makes the students want to learn, not just freak out. It's like they get off on seeing us suffer. Some teachers even refuse to use or refer us to textbooks. I actually had one teacher that said we should study solely by his lectures, but he would often complain and call us out in class if we were "writing it down instead of paying attention". Our library was closed for 4 months this semester because of a workers strike. It recently reopened but the books are old and there aren't many. We have to photocopy or download books to study.
I could go on forever, but my point is: no matter how hard I study, I don't see myself getting a total average of over 70%. No good international college is going to accept me. I might as well just stay here, handle the frustration and focus on the research opportunities. I'm currently trying out for internships in Genetics and Immunology, with research grants. I hope I get them.
Now, we are having a massive public transport strike this week, and I've already had 3 finals rescheduled because of it. All 3 of them will be on the same day. We've also had many classes cancelled because of the world cup, police strikes (seriously), holidays and a couple of rainy days where the school flooded. None were replaced.
This is definitely going to hurt my grades."