I took the TOEIC L&R Test today. It was stressful, but a great learning experience nonetheless. And once it's finished, it always feels great.
I'm at McDonald's near JR Suidobashi Station, a five-minute walk where the test took place. As I look over the people walking out of the Korakuen Stadium, I am looking back on the test.
The test today has left me with two impressions. One is that this test is a marathon, an ultimate test of mental endurance. I have always had this feeling about the test, but I renew that feeling. It requires me to switch from one situation to another in listening. It's mentally very fatiguing. I prepared myself for this aspect for the test by reading out loud different passages fast one after another during commute. I think it helped. I felt less tired after the listening section.
The Reading section was a whole new ball game. I was impressed with the way they ask the questions. They are all very good questions, in my opinion, in that you must read everything very carefully. It's very difficult for you to pick and choose to read only some parts of a passage to get to the right answer to each question. Also, you need to have the ability to visualize the context and content of each passage quickly and accurately if you want to retain what you understand as you read on. This ability cannot be cultivated over night. Preferably you should have a habit of reading for fun, not for getting a good score for the test, because it would allow you to get accustomed to enjoying reading for a long time.
Overall, the text was challenging, but authentic, and educational. As I answered the questions, I was analyzing the test in the back of my head, and thought that the test required a good knowledge of paraphrases, because correct answer choices are often paraphrases of what is said in narrations and what is written in passages. As a teacher I really want to come up with some good activities to help my students read and understand there paraphrases in the test. I already have some good activities, but I hope to make them better, and create something new as well.
This marks the last of the two test scheduled for the year. With it done, I feel relieved. I would like to review all of my self-training, and write my new year's resolution soon. You can read it in BizCom's first email magazine of Year 2018.