Long Nguyen, Etsegenet Gerawork, Firew Abirham, and Nebiat Mekkonnen wait to begin the Test of English as a Foreign Language that was given in a Montgomery County schools testing center.
For the first time the Educational Testing Service has given students the opportunity to take the TOEFL in a location sponsored by Montgomery County Public Schools.
TOEFL, which is short for “Test of English as a Foreign Language” is required by some schools for international students who take the SAT. Montgomery County has taken this action to offer the TOEFL test here to help students get into colleges.
Previously TOEFL wasn’t given in a location near Montgomery County Schools. Students, especially the ESOL students, faced a lot of problems regarding the exam because the centers were all in different places or towns. “One of the major problems ESOL students encountered was finding a seat at a testing place. The seats filled up very quickly,” Ms. Mena, Blair’s TOEFL prep teacher said.
Registering for the exam was difficult for ESOL students. “You might have to register five months ahead of time,” Ms. Mena said. “A lot of students could not take it because of that.”
For the first test sponsored by Montgomery County Public Schools, only current and former ESOL students were allowed to take it, so getting a seat was easy.
In the future it will be easier, too, now that Montgomery County Schools have started to sponsor these TOEFL exams. “Now we are guaranteed at least 150 seats for the ESOL students,” Ms Mena said.
Because of the work of Montgomery County Schools, many Blair students have taken the TOEFL exam for the first time. For some it was easy, but for most it wasn’t. “It was easier than the SAT,” Cindy Solis a senior at Blair said. “We could concentrate in this exam better than the SAT.”