TEFLAS stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language for Advanced Study. It’s a pretty long name for a exam which is modeled after TOEFL, but it’s easier than TOFEL. There are only four sessions: conversation skills, connected discourse, structure, and reading skills.
All students attending the Ph.D and M.A courses and lecturers have to take this exam. The university lecturers and Ph.D students have already taken the first batch and the exam included listening session. So, I expected the second exam to be like the former one and even bought a TOEFL preparation book. It was all a waste because the exam was totally easier than TOEFL and there was no listening session. I shouldn’t have wasted 8000 kyats 😦
Before the exam, we have to attend the preparation course at the university. We had to attend from 9 am to 2:30 pm. We have to take the mock tests from 9:00 to 11:00. Then, our papers are peer-corrected when the teacher reads out from the answer key. Sometimes, the answer key is wrong, but we still have to mark as it was on the paper because it can only be corrected during the feedback session. Lunch time is for an hour and feedback session is for two hours. The time table is actually from 1:00 to 3:00 pm, but we were all bored to death in class so we get to leave after 2:30 pm. I wish we can leave earlier, but it’s against the school rules 😦 We had to take three mock tests during the preparation course and I think I did well on all of them, although I couldn’t get all correct answers.
All the M.A (English) have to attend in M.A I classroom while the other M.A majors are put in another room. It’s a good idea to separate the English majors from other majors because the explanation will take too long if all of us are together in one room. Actually, the teachers hardly explain back unless they are asked. So, we had a lot of free time with nothing to do except to read, study, or chitchat.
However, the actual test is a little difficult than the mock tests so I think I made a lot of mistakes on it. I was surprised to see my former Japanese teacher taking the exam with us. He is an experienced teacher, but he didn’t have a M.A degree because UFL hardly have M.A courses for other majors until this year. Still, it’s weird to be taking the same exam with him. Eight years ago, I took Japanese classes in the evening for 9 months and he was our main teacher. I stopped attending it only when he stopped teaching. I was already falling behind in class with all those kanji and it was worse when the other teachers taught mainly in Japanese, hardly explaining in Myanmar.
Now that TEFLAS is over, we have to continue our regular classes and the first semester exam is on the 17th next month. Among the four subjects, two of them are unseen so I only have to study for the other two subjects. So far, the Linguistics teacher has given us some hints so we can prepare ahead for his subject. Even then, the notes are too long to study 😦 Some of the handwritten notes are like 5-6 pages long and we only get 2 hours to answer all the questions 😦
After the exam, our class is going on a trip and I am quite looking forward to it and the short break before the classes resume in December.