Wednesday, January 04, 2012

TOEFL scores

This is my first attempt at using a blogging app for the iPad.  Let's see how it goes....

Over the last few weeks, I've received several emails from foreign students who are would-be applicants to Rice graduate programs, asking me whether I'll be looking for students next year.  In these same emails, the students point out that their TOEFL scores fall below Rice's official cutoff of 90, and ask if they can get in anyway.  For some I know that cutoffs like this seem unfair - that only physics ability should matter in terms of getting into a grad program.  However, we don't set these things just to be arbitrary.  Historically, students who cannot meet that language test criterion have a very hard time - they can't generally be put in front of undergrads to teach, they have difficulty in communicating with their instructors, and often the language barrier is sufficiently severe that there is a tendency to hang out with other students who speak their native language rather than to speak English (a situation that can prolong rather than address the issue).  I have enormous respect for someone motivated and bright enough to go abroad to a foreign country for grad school in a non-native language - I couldn't have done it - but the language rules are there for rational reasons.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Even though you're argument is good, in practice, many students who meet the minimum scores in their TOEFL still cannot communicate appropriately enough to teach a class but they are still accepted into graduate programs in the US. Either they are cheating on their TOEFLs or the cutoff score is not high enough. Either way, those students that manage to get in go on to do a miserable job when they are TAs, tend to join research groups with profs that are from their same country and therefore speak their native language (or that have many students from their country). And most of these students will do just fine once they finish their PhDs.

I am not saying that students with even lower scores should get necessarily accepted, but to argue that Universities or individual departments are setting the cutoff for the reasons you mentioned is just not true in practice.

K-19 said...

I agree with anonymous - most students who do have the scores also don't have the English skills necessary for graduate school. I wonder if people have done studies between the TOEFL score v. actual English skills measured in person and not by the testing company.

Doug Natelson said...

Anon, K-19 - I hear what you're saying. If anything, we'd do a better educational service for our undergrad (and grad) students in the long run if we raised the TOEFL cutoff, also factored in the GRE verbal, and frankly did interviews. However, *not* having some kind of cutoff would be very bad.

Two other points. First, I'm not trying to single out foreign students per se - I'm often ashamed and embarrassed at the English proficiency of some native-born English-speakers! Poor writing skills and poor grammar abound. Second, it's interesting to see that there now seems to be (based on my anecdotal observations) much better consistency between TOEFL and GRE verbal scores than back in the days of old testing styles (say a decade ago, when sometimes you'd see someone with a poor TOEFL and a perfect verbal, or vice versa - things that would really make you wonder about integrity of the exam process).

Igor Fridman said...

This is an important issue. At my institution, I have heard stories of Profs who supervise students in their own native language. When facing a committee, these students have major issues. Furthermore, I have personally witnessed a TA in a laboratory course instructing undergraduates students in his own language. I don't know if this kind of thing is simply overlooked or tolerated here, but it should not be.

grumpy said...

I think cutoffs are reasonable.

However I fail to see why, in any isolated instance, it's wrong for students/profs/TAs to communicate in languages other than english.

Obviously scientists need to bcome well versed in english in order to interact with the international community, but just because you study at a US institution doesn't mean you have to *exclusively* communicate in english does it?

TOEFL Test said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TOEFL Test said...

I am afraid the situation is as you mentioned. Students with weak knowledge of English will face a lot of difficulties in their learning process. I, as a foreign student in UH, encourage foreign students to work on their language skills with the use of websites and books such as www.test-toefl.com to come to class fully prepared instead of looking for a kind of TOEFL waiver or entering with low grades.

Anonymous said...

"often the language barrier is sufficiently severe that there is a tendency to hang out with other students who speak their native language rather than to speak English (a situation that can prolong rather than address the issue)"

I would posit that this may not be a particularly useful argument, as pretty much anyone anywhere reverts to their native language when possible since it makes non-technical communications more efficient in so many situations. Rice's physics department was balkanized into Chinese and other to a large extent when I was there.

toefl score said...

nice and interesting post about toefl score

nancy john said...

Good post about TOEIC it is very useful for students

http://www.toefl-preparation.net//2010/10/what-istoeic.html

Anonymous said...

Good post about TOEFL it is very useful for students

http://www.english-for-test.com/2012/09/reading-knowledge.html

sohan ku said...

Packers and Movers in Mumbai
Packers and Movers in Pune
Packers and Movers in Chennai
Packers and Movers in hyderabad
Packers and Movers in Mumbai
Packers and Movers in Bangalore
Packers and Movers in Delhi
Packers and Movers in Gurgaon
Packers and Movers Noida
Packers and Movers Faridabad
Packers and Movers Ghaziabad
Packers and Movers India

Get Packers said...

Packers and Movers Delhi
Packers and Movers Gurgaon
Packers and Movers Hyderabad
Packers and Movers Bangalore
Packers and Movers Mumbai
Packers and Movers Pune

Packers and Movers Noida
Packers and Movers Faridabad
Packers and Movers Ghaziabad
Packers and Movers Dwarka (Delhi)
Packers and Movers Chennai
Packers and Movers Goa
Packers and Movers Cochin
Packers and Movers Coimbatore
Packers and Movers Marathahalli
Packers and Movers Mangalore
Packers and Movers Mysore
Packers and Movers Navi Mumbai
Packers and Movers Thane
Packers and Movers Nagpur
Packers and Movers Nashik

Get Packers said...

Packers and Movers Airoli
Packers and Movers Hadapsar Pune
Packers and Movers Chandigarh
Packers and Movers Mohali
Packers and Movers Panchkula
Packers and Movers Ludhiana
Packers and Movers Jalandhar
Packers and Movers Amritsar
Packers and Movers Panipat
Packers and Movers Bathinda
Packers and Movers Patiala
Packers and Movers Karnal
Packers and Movers Ahmedabad
Packers and Movers Gandhinagar
Packers and Movers Vadodara
Packers and Movers Surat
Packers and Movers Rajkot
Packers and Movers Gandhidham
Packers and Movers Jamnagar
Packers and Movers Bhopal

Get Packers said...

Packers and Movers Indore
Packers and Movers Raipur
Packers and Movers Lucknow
Packers and Movers Allahabad
Packers and Movers Meerut
Packers and Movers Kanpur
Packers and Movers Agra
Packers and Movers Varanasi
Packers and Movers Kolkata
Packers and Movers Jaipur
Packers and Movers Jodhpur
Packers and Movers Bhubaneswar
Packers and Movers Dehradun
Packers and Movers Patna
Packers and Movers Ajmer
Packers and Movers Bikaner
Packers and Movers Shimla

Get Packers said...

http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-uttam-nagar.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-east-delhi.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-west-delhi.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-north-delhi.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-south-delhi.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-central-delhi.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-mayur-vihar.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-south-extension.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-patparganj.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-preet-vihar.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-shahdara.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-janakpuri.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-punjabi-bagh.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-chandni-chowk.html

Get Packers said...

http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-vasant-kunj.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-civil-lines.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-model-town.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-pitampura.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-chanakyapuri.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-greater-kailash.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-lajpat-nagar.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-mehrauli.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-nehru-place.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-safdarjung.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-connaught-place.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-karol-bagh.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-pragati-maidan.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-pratap-nagar.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-rohini-sector-1.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-rohini-sector-2.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-rohini-sector-3.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-rohini-sector-4.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-rohini-sector-5.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-rohini-sector-6.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-rohini-sector-7.html

Get Packers said...

http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-rohini-sector-8.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-rohini-sector-9.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-rohini-sector-10.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-rohini-sector-11.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-rohini-sector-12.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-rohini-sector-13.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-rohini-sector-14.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-rohini-sector-15.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-rohini-sector-16.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-rohini-sector-17.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-rohini-sector-18.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-rohini-sector-19.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-delhi/packers-and-movers-rohini-sector-20.html

http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-1.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-2.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-3.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-4.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-5.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-6.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-7.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-8.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-9.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-10.html

Get Packers said...

http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-11.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-12.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-13.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-14.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-15.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-16.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-17.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-18.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-19.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-20.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-21.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-22.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-23.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-24.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-25.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-26.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-27.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-28.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-29.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-30.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-31.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-32.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-33.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-34.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-35.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-36.html

Get Packers said...

http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-37.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-38.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-39.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-40.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-41.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-42.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-43.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-44.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-45.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-46.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-47.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-48.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-49.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-50.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-51.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-52.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-53.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-54.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-55.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-56.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-57.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-58.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-59.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-60.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-61.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-62.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-63.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-faridabad/packers-and-movers-faridabad-sector-64.html

Get Packers said...

http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-1.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-2.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-3.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-4.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-5.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-6.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-7.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-8.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-9.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-10.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-11.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-12.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-13.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-14.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-15.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-16.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-17.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-18.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-19.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-20.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-21.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-22.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-23.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-24.html

Get Packers said...

http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-1.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-2.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-3.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-4.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-5.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-6.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-7.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-8.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-9.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-10.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-11.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-12.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-13.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-14.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-15.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-16.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-17.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-18.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-19.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-20.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-21.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-22.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-23.html
http://getpackers.com/packers-and-movers-dwarka-delhi/packers-and-movers-dwarka-sector-24.html

hari sh said...

The post was unbelievably amazing. Nice movers’ tips are well written. Thanks a lot for sharing it. packers and movers marathahalli . packers and movers bangalore packers and movers hyderabad

mahesh babu said...

it's really awesome and meaningful. it's really cool blog. Linking is very useful thing. you have really helped lots of people who visit blog and provide them useful information. movers and packers in jaipur .

Jackman Smith said...

Packers and Movers Hyderabad or Movers and Packers Hyderabad

Packers and Movers Bangalore or Movers and Packers Bangalore

Packers and Movers Chennai or Movers and Packers Chennai

Packers and Movers Pune or Movers and Packers Pune

Packers and Movers Mumbai or Movers and Packers Mumbai

Packers and Movers Delhi or Movers and Packers Delhi

Packers and Movers Gurgaon or Movers and Packers Gurgaon

Jackman Smith said...

Packers and Movers in Hyderabad or Movers and Packers Hyderabad
Packers and Movers in Bangalore or Movers and Packers Bangalore
Packers and Movers in Chennai or Movers and Packers in Chennai
Packers and Movers in Pune or Movers and Packers Pune
Packers and Movers in Mumbai or Movers and Packers Mumbai
Packers and Movers in Delhi or Movers and Packers Delhi
Packers and Movers in Gurgaon or Movers and Packers Gurgaon

Ramana narayan said...

This is a really good read for me. Must agree that this is one of the coolest Article I ever saw. Thanks for posting this useful information. packers and movers bangalore packers and movers marathahalli packers and movers hsr layout packers and movers btm layout packers and movers bommanahalli packers and movers whitefield packers and movers koramangala packers and movers jp nagar