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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 2005- » 2005 (March-April) » Archive through April 03, 2005 » Bad Proficiency Tests... « Previous Next »

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Fear_na_mbróg
Member
Username: Fear_na_mbróg

Post Number: 479
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 08:36 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Those proficiency tests at transparent.com are a load a crap. I don't consider myself to be fluent in English -- I consider myself to be of the highest proficiency in both spoken, written, colloquial, formal, informal...

I speak English.

I would expect to get 100% in the English proficiency test, or perhaps if there was the odd word that wasn't in my vocabulary, that score may dip as low as 99%.

Anyway... when taking the proficiency test for Irish, there was one question which asked you to pick out the dodgy word in a sentence like the following:

... gur fhearr ...

"gur" and "fhearr" were among the choices. I myself chose "gur", thinking it should be replaced with:

gurbh fhearr

but then of course I could've picked "fhearr", thinking it should've been:

gur fearr

So basically it was just a crap question. I wanted to confirm my suspicions if all the tests were so crap, and so I took the English one, expecting to get 100%. Well I believe the following question gives a good impression of just how well-thought out these tests are:

6. Who is ____________ , Marina or Sachiko?
A. tallest
B. tall
C. taller
D. the tallest

No less than 4 perfectly valid answers:

A) Who is tallest, Marina or Sachiko?
B) Who is tall, Marina or Sachiko?
C) Who is taller, Marina or Sachiko?
D) Who is the tallest, Marina or Sachiko?

If I had only the choice of picking one answer, I'd choose D, but then again there's nothing wrong with the other ones, they could very well be the right answer in certain contexts.

Another example:

11. The company will upgrade _________ computer information systems next month.
A. there
B. their
C. it's
D. its

Some people refer to "a company" as singular, others refer to it as plural. For instance:

Microsoft have issued a statement.

Microsoft has resumed market research.

But again, if I had to pick one, I'd choose D: "its"

And again:

12. Cheryl likes apples, _________ she does not like oranges.
A. so
B. for
C. but
D. or


I'll let yous know how I get on with the English test.

(Yes, I said "yous"!)

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Fear_na_mbróg
Member
Username: Fear_na_mbróg

Post Number: 480
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 09:00 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Here's my results:
******************

You are at the Advanced level.
You scored 144 points out of 150.

You scored 96% overall.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PART I: Grammar
You scored 43 points out of 45.

You scored 95% on this section.

Question 1 pick is a -- answer is c
Question 6 pick is d -- answer is c



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PART II: Grammar
You scored 45 points out of 45.

Congratulations! You had a perfect score!



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PART III: Vocabulary
You scored 26 points out of 30.

You scored 86% on this section.

Question 10 pick is a -- answer is b



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PART IV: Reading Comprehension
You scored 30 points out of 30.

Congratulations! You had a perfect score!


Here's the questions I got wrong:

1. Juan___________ in the library this morning.
A. is study
B. studying
C. is studying
D. are studying

I chose A instead of C... simply because I was rushing.

6. Who is ____________ , Marina or Sachiko?
A. tallest
B. tall
C. taller
D. the tallest

I chose D here, which is a valid answer. Consider the following context:

Mark: There's a good few tall people on that team.
James: They're all over six foot tall; Marina and Sachiko are over 7 foot!
Mark: Who is the tallest, Marina or Sachiko?

Some may have said "taller" there, but if you think of it in the context of the whole team, then "the tallest" is valid.

10. Many cultures have special ceremonies to celebrate a person's _________ of passage into adulthood.
A. right
B. rite
C. writ
D. write

Okay, I'll admit defeat on this one... but as I said my vocabulary would be the only thing that'd trip me up.

Anyway, in summation, I don't think these tests are up to much.

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Natalie
Member
Username: Natalie

Post Number: 113
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 04:15 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Though I have no comment on the proficiency tests,I got curious and decided to take the English one. I got 93% and am apparently lacking in Grammar (but only Part I....naturally). Apparently "each of the Olympic athletes has been training for monthes, even years" rather than each of them have been training. Silly me (sarcasm included).

Anyway, though I sadly did not do as well in the test of my first language (which makes me wonder about the English essay I have due), I still think the Irish one isn't that bad of an idea. I don't expect the test to be perfect...just to give an idea of how I'm progressing. Anyway, that's all I have to say.

Natalie

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Maidhc Ó G.
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 205.188.116.136
Posted on Friday, March 25, 2005 - 12:04 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

English only 100%. Irish, OUCH!! 46% overall with the help of a dictionary. Ironically, I did best on the part I had least confidence in - reading comp (60%).
Tiocfaidh mé ar ais chuig a iarradh arís.

Maidhc.

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Duine
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 149.157.1.122
Posted on Friday, March 25, 2005 - 04:12 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Hey it's not the Leaving Cert.It's just a bit of internet fun. More constructive than looking at porn I suppose.

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Lughaidh
Member
Username: Lughaidh

Post Number: 227
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Friday, March 25, 2005 - 05:41 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Do you mean that Maidhc looks at....? :-D

A Mhaidhc, goitse! tá ceist agam ort! ;-)

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Maidhc Ó G.
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 205.188.116.136
Posted on Friday, March 25, 2005 - 10:23 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Fan bomaite!! Níl críochnaithe orm féin mise fós! :-P
LOL!

Maidhc. ;-)

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James
Member
Username: James

Post Number: 167
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, March 28, 2005 - 04:53 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

It's not uncommon for a native speaker of any language to score poorly on these types of tests. I routinely scored better on the Department of Defense Spanish proficiency test than did the native speakers. Does this mean that I speak better Spanish than the guys who grew up in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, El Salvador etc? Of course not...it means I have a better grasp of the academic aspects of the language. If you stop and think about it, this makes a bit of sense.

They speak what sounds right to them. What they hear and have heard in daily speech. I speak what was drilled into my head and reinforced by numerous tests and exams. So what...I can pass a test...wow. (Sarcasm intended). Who is it that can communicate better? It's the native speaker, of course.

Same situation at play here...no harm, no foul...it's a gauge of one's academic comprehension, not an evaluation of one's ability to communicate.

Le meas,

James



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