Aereal, at your service


My name is Alex, and I’m from… well, let it remain a mystery for a while :wink:
I’ve found this brilliant web site too late to learn anything considerable, however it seems that people benefit largely from this community! In fact, I even managed to pop in a quick essay and see it rated :slight_smile:

well, I’ve just returned from the iBT testing, have no scores yet - only impressions :slight_smile:

if any of You needs help I’ll happily share my experience, though here are surely plenty of people cleverer than me :slight_smile:

Take care!

Hi Alex, welcome to our community, as you know it’s never too late to learn something considerable. I see you are a fan of smilies. Have you seen the simlie thread started by Amy a couple of days ago?
As for your iBT test session – what did it feel like? What do you think your score will be?

Talk to you soon,

TOEIC listening, photographs: The transporter[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Alex!

Well, you certainly do sound enthusiastic. :smiley:

Judging from what you wrote, I’d say your chances for a good score on the iBT are bright. Good luck!

Now, don’t keep everyone in suspense too long. Tell us a little more about yourself.


Thanks Torsten, Amy!

I’ve just plugged in my $0.5 coin into the smilies thread :slight_smile:

About my iBT - i was slightly confused in the beginning with the first reading passage (a long one) with only 20 minutes available, and I made a major mistake that started reading the entire text without reading the questions first. Actually, the questions there are designed in such a way, that you can read the passage and answer them simultaneously. I believe there will be two or three errors in this part :frowning:
The next two passages were combined with 40 minutes available, and, I hope, they answers are correct - I have even got some spare minutes in the end to review some…

Listening section was also something awful - roughly the half of the recordings was pretty easy, while some questions in the others asked about the details that i simply didn’t pay attention while listening :frowning: thus, the answers appeared to be ambiguous… note taking didn’t help in this case, because I remembered well what i have jotted down while had certain difficulties to recall anything else :slight_smile: so, the listening for “basic idea” and “main details” does not always help…

In the speaking section i really don’t remember what i have said, and what it was about, however I remember that on the 4th or 5th question, where I had to listen to a conversation and talk about:

  1. problem being discussed
  2. two possible solutions
  3. choose a solution I prefer
    I spend the whole time discussing the problem and the first (bad) solution, while I had only 4 seconds left to identify the second solution and indicate that i prefer it… so tried to plug in some information in these 4 seconds, but am not sure it was effective :slight_smile: so the only hope, is that the rater will understand that if I was able to speak so much about the problem and one of the solutions - I am also capable of speaking about the solution I prefer… or he will not…

Finally, the writing section was OK - I have written both essays twice as long as it is needed for “effective reply”, for I have read in GRE prearation book, that statistically, the longer the essay - the better :slight_smile:
however, in the independent task I have initially chosen the certain position on the issue (the students must choose the subjects based on their interests, rather than their further career opportunities), while in the concluding paragraph i wrote something like: “i’d like to emphasize, that both options are to be considered thoroughly in order to come up with an effective decision”. However, throughout the essay I have prooved my initial position and combined it smoothly with the final sentence :slight_smile: the the conclusion is logical… but if one only reads the introduction paragraph and the conclusions - he will notice the flaw :slight_smile:

To sum up, I expect the following minimums:

  1. reading: 85%
  2. listening: 60%
  3. speaking: 60%
  4. writing: 90%

this will probably result in the score of minimum 90 out of 120… so, bye-bye MIT…

P.S. i was preparing for the listening section by downloading tons of free podcasts from Scientific American ( and National Geographic (, and that did help much. Of course, the pace in TOEFL is slower and the voices are clearer, but it is good to be prepared for the worst circumstances! Besides, these podcasts are very interesting by themselves, so go ahead!

Hi Alex, many thanks for sharing your iBT experiences with us, it’s always good to get some information ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’. You achieved an excellent command of the English language and many users of this forum would be interested in hearing more about your techniques. When and why did you start learning English? Also, what subjects are you going to study and where?

Speak to you soon,

TOEIC listening, photographs: Construction in progress[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Torsten, thanks for nice words!

I started to learn English pretty early, because my mother was an English specialist (she works at school now)… but the main “breakthrough” was when i had to make a presentation on the EU student conference in 2001… indeed, you can’t make me learn something unless I understand that it is necessary, therefore the answer to “why did I started learning English?” is straightforward :wink:
by the way, the same was with German - I was involved in student exchange (lasting a couple of weeks) program and learned the basic structure and grammar of the language withing a month… off-topic here, but, I think, German is the most beautiful and interesting language!

I’ve obtained my bachelor of science degree in physics (theoretical physics) recently, and am now filling up the applications for different universities in USA, such as New York University and/or MIT (the latter has the TOEFL threshold that i don’t think I overcame yesterday…).
Generally I want to continue studying Physics: either astrophysics or, maybe, some engineering stuff - with close ties to experiments (I have good experience in computer simulation for applications in EM processes and nanotechnology, so that may help…). Also, I plan to obtain some management skill, however these are yet vague plans, and everything will become more clear once I’m admitted in this or that school…

Thanks for attention!

Well you could go MBA/MS-Engineering

or do the PhD in Engineering first and then go after the MBA.

or just say “bleep it” and go for the MBA… and quickly become CEO of Dow Chemical.


The future’s so bright, you gotta wear shades!

Hello guys and girls!!!

my TOEFL is 113 of 120!!!

reading 30
listening 27
speaking 26
writing 30

GOOD LUCK TO ALL OF YOU!!! learn english - it is great :slight_smile:

congratulations, aereal

Congratulations on such a great score, Alex – I’m really happy for you! If I had a hat, I’d doff it to you!

Now you can kick back and relax, at least for Christmas.


Roast some chestnuts, or something, and start munching.

…followed by Festivus and the Feats of Strength.


I miss Seinfeld.

thanks prezbucky!

Grazias Conchita! If You tell me when Your birthday is - maybe i’ll manage to present you a big, BIG hat!!! (oh, no, no, not just for doffing it to me, but rather as a small gift!)

take care :wink:

“crunch a bunch of munchies for me please” :wink:
i’m indeed going to roast some nuts in the evening! poor guys have been lying somewhere in the darkness of the wardrobe for several month…

By the way, Conchita, can you recommend me some free online resource to easily “learn” Spanish? :slight_smile: at least to understand some basic stuff

How did you get such a good score in reading section? What was your trick, where did you practice for it?
Thanks and merry christmas

luck! that is, my fast guesses in the first passage turned out to be right. And after that i understood that if not going directly to the questions one’ll run out of time… that helped

Already making good resolutions for the New Year, are you? For English speakers, sites like the BBC and, for example, offer good free Spanish lessons: … essons.htm

?Mucha suerte!/Good luck!

Hablo espanol de vez en cuando (muy lento).


Ojala que hablo bueno! (crud, or do I use the subjuntivo for “hablar”?)

I just can’t type it, since I can’t figure out how to apply the freaking tilde or accent above applicable letters.


?Buen chico! (good boy!)

?Ojal? (que) hablara bien! (I wish I could speak well) – you need the imperfect subjunctive here.

To familiarize yourself with the ‘tilde’, read, read and read! Meanwhile, you can check the rules here: