Written by- Alankar, a BE fresher from Mumbai University. I had to appear for my toefl-ibt exam. The exam was scheduled on a weekend morning at 9 am in October. My uncle offered to drop me to my center at Sakinaka which is quite far from my place. Thanks to him for that otherwise I would never have been able to reach there in time.
So, I reached there at 8:30 with a lot of time to spare. I could not see anyone else there and I started wondering if I was at the right place. So I asked a few people to know exactly which building, floor etc. I asked uncle to move on and I entered the building only to find the exam center locked.
Luckily, after not too long they opened the gate and started calling in people to handover certain forms. I took the form and a hard pad and moved to one corner. The form was pretty easy to fill but still we are engineers and just can’t give up the habit of asking to check and looking into other people’s papers to copy. So I found a majority of people asking others what they had written in a particular column before they filled theirs.
Now after the forms were filled, we were asked to move to an adjoining cabin which gave a good view of the people filling up the forms. I say people (and not students) because there were entire families and khandaans who were accompanying the child as if he/she was leaving for US right then. In fact, those family members looked more worried and kept asking their wards to keep revising. They had lockers there for you to keep everything you were carrying (including hanky, watch everything) after a long wait, they finished with everyone’s forms and started calling out their names in groups of 3 to take them inside the exam hall.
Now, I had already taken my GRE and the exam room there was far smaller as compared to this one. The size of this room made me a little nervous. The first thought that came to mind was how would I be able to speak clearly in the speaking section with dozens of other voices around. Luckily,early arrival proved fruitful and I was able to start my test before many others and I thought I would also reach the speaking section before them too.
so I started with the first ( reading) section. Unfortunately I had practiced only one full length test and the format of reading section there was a little different and I messed up the time management and to add to my woes, the server went down and the test was stopped (yes it really happened!!!). The test was suspended for about 90 min before the whole morning procedure of seating students was done.
This was not the end of my woes. There were two ladies and a man to help test takers in case of doubts or difficulties. One of the ladies was wearing heel shoes which made an irritating tak-tak sound on the tiles when she walked and due to the nature of her job, she had to walk around the room all the
time till the last student had finished his test. I was among the first few to complete the test and left early as I was sick of sitting there all day. 20 days later, the hard work paid off and my online score card showed 103/120