Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Not the Thanksgiving gift I wanted

Nobody likes taking language tests at FSI.

Or if they do, they also like bidding. And waiting.

I don't think that person exists.

Language testing is always exhausting, even if you are decent at the language, because the instructor is pushing to see the limits of your abilities. And they are always stressful, even if the results don't matter.

And they always matter, just not always officially.

Sometimes it is just that you really want to impress your teacher, or you really want to know that you have been making as much progress as you think you have. And sometimes, it matters in terms of when you can go to post.

So though some of the stress can be self-imposed, it is always stressful nonetheless.

And today, I found out we are getting an EXTRA language test.


So instead of one progress test and one final test, we will have two progress tests. The first will be around Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Talk about getting a turkey.


meganloves10 said...

Thanks for listing my blog on your blog. I have noticed a lot of new traffic and it's fun to have new visitors. Good luck with your tests! Hopefully the stress won't give you indigestion!
Take Care!

tenandsoprano said...

Hi! Thanks for including my blog on your list of Foreign Service blogs, even though I'm more of a homebody now. I have noticed a lot of traffic coming from your site. It's fun to have new visitors.

Good luck with your tests. I hope the stress doesn't give you indigestion!
Take Care!

Diplogeek said...

Oh Lord, I hope they don't do that to us in Chinese. Just the twenty-five minute one-on-one sessions are enough to give me hives as it is. It doesn't help that I still have the lingering horror of my fail-fest of a Japanese test lurking in the back of my mind.

That said, the advantage of two progress tests is that you have two opportunities to see exactly where you are in relation to where you need to go. Out of curiosity, if you get the score you need in a progress test, do you need to take a final test, or are these totally off the record (in the sense that they're unofficial)?

Donna said...

I still remember doing the Russian test over the phone with two FSI teachers a few years back. It was only about 20 minutes, probably, but it was agonizing. The questions kept getting harder and harder and harder - I don't think I could explain how social security works in English, let alone Russian. So I'm feeling your pain over here.

Digger said...

I don't think they count, and I have never been in a position to have my score be good enough on a progress test to even ask the question! It certainly won't be here, since I need (and want) a 3/3 (yay language incentive pay!).