The Telegraph
Friday , July 18 , 2014
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TOEFL comes to town
Centre to hold 30 tests a year

Bhubaneswar, July 17: Anshul Jain, 25, an engineer wanting to pursue Masters of Science at a California-based university, had to go to Calcutta to take the test of English as a foreign language, popularly known as TOEFL. But for the likes of Anshul, the pain of travelling outside the state to take the test is now over.

The long-standing desire of Odias has been realised with the state’s first TOEFL centre launched at KIIT International School last month. Those who wish to enrol in US universities have to clear the English language proficiency test.

The four-hour online test examines one’s reading, listening, speaking and writing capabilities in English. While most of the courses in a foreign varsity demand a TOEFL or IELTS score, there are several others that do not require it.

Though there are hardly any coaching centres here to prepare students for TOEFL, the KIIT International School has made a start. The school has launched an internal training programme for both SAT and TOEFL and are planning to have an IELTS (international English language testing system) centre. Most of the universities in the UK want aspiring students to clear IELTS.

“It is a very easy test. Those who regularly watch English movies can easily crack it. It is just a qualifying test. The TOEFL score is of little significance until specified by a particular institute,” said Punyaslok Rath, an engineering student preparing for graduate management admission test (GMAT).

Anshul, who cracked the test by merely following tutorials on Youtube, agrees with Punyaslok.

Since its inception, the state’s only TOEFL centre has conducted four tests with one applicant appearing in each of the first three tests and 12 in the last one conducted on July 12. Principal Sanjay Suar, who is the charge of centre, said that about 1,000 applicants from Odisha took the TOEFL test every year.

The centre under him has three labs with each having a seating capacity of 24. The three centres will conduct approximately 30 tests a year depending on the preference of students. Before taking the test, a student can check it with the college he/she is applying to about the requirement of a TOEFL score.

“The students aspiring to join those universities will have an opportunity to take the examination in their own state that will save their journey time and reduce expenditure,” said Suar. The scores are valid for two years after the test date.

It took KIIT nearly eight months to get approval to be the first educational testing service (ETS) certified TOEFL iBT (internet-based test) centre after it went going through several stages of inspection. The ETS is a private non-profit educational testing and assessment organisation that administers TOEFL.

The KIIT International School has become the 36th TOEFL centre in India. As many as 9,000 colleges and universities of 130 countries, including Australia, Canada, UK and USA, recognises TOEFL as basic requirement to study in academic institutions of their countries.