High Stakes Exam.. be prepared


I wanted to share my venture when I took  an English exam, TOEFL-iBT. It was a challenge for me since this exam seems summative to me. It has a high stake value which equals to opening  a door for me to a new beginning but it needs preparation and here is my story.

I have been working in Saudi Arabia  for more than 10 years and we use Arabic language to communicate everyday and time to time with our patients. Nevertheless, English was also used to convey our concerns with staff and other healthcare providers. In short, longer time speaking in Arabic than English. I must admit I have to prepare not only my skills in English but how the exam goes. I was lucky to have a review materials, containing tips and other resources for preparation. One of them is using a planner. A weekly and/or  monthly plan that you can view from this link: https://www.ets.org/s/toefl/pdf/toefl_student_test_prep_planner.pdf, they also provide free sample questions, rubrics that you can review as guidelines and a practice test. There is also a detailed tips and information for understanding more about the test.

I prefer  scheduling my review since I have work in the hospital. But the problem, I wasn’t able to follow because most of the time there are circumstances that hinder my plans. I even tried practicing the test to have an idea but needs time to sit down and focus on it. This exam has 4 sections: Reading section, listening section, speaking section and the writing section. All of them are timed and covers the traditional objective multiple choice-type test and criterion-referenced tests.

Time came to take the scheduled  exam and I wasn’t able to pass the criterion references test, where you will answer the assessor impromptu. I learned that next time, I should prepare for a high stake examination like this because it is depressing to fail.

And from taking this EDS 113, I would prefer to give both traditional and non-traditional assessment having type I, II, III items or tasks and encourage the student to prepare especially on high value examination. I will include the objective type test to measure basic knowledge, criterion reference test to measure and practice their critical thinking and analysis.

I’m sure some of the students will favor on objective type and some will go for the open ended questions or non-traditional assessment. But I’m not sure if anyone will want to answer or to take the exam under time-pressured..but better to practice them beforehand thus it will help them practice discipline and  according to study, fosters a sense of cognitive closure, allowing to fully shift our focus onto subsequent tasks.








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