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God works in mysterious ways

Power wer and Water University of Technology (PWUT) Department of Electrical Engineering Faculty of Engineering

It was but yesterday I thought ht myself a fragment quivering without rhythm in the sphere of life. Now I know that I am the he sphere, and all life in rhythmic fragments moves es within me. (Sand and Foam, 1926) Gibran Kahlil Gibran

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.::Morteza.Shabanzadeh@Gmail.com::. .::Morteza.Shabanzadeh@Gmail.com::. .::Morteza.Shabanzadeh@Gmail.com::.

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.::Morteza.Shabanzadeh@Gmail.com::. .::Morteza.Shabanzadeh@Gmail.com::. .::Morteza.Shabanzadeh@Gmail.com::.

Summary of PBT

Task Reading Listening Structure Writing

Description Approx. time 5 passages, 50 questions 30-40 minutes 20 Short questions or 30 Long questions 55 minutes 15 questions(Part-1) or 25 questions(Part-2) 25 minutes 1 Essay 30 minutes

Summary of iBT

Task Reading Listening BREAK Speaking Writing

Description Approx. time 3–5 passages, each containing 12–14 questions 60–100 minutes 6–9 passages, each containing 5–6 questions 40–90 minutes 10 minutes 6 tasks and 6 questions 20 minutes 2 tasks and 2 questions 55 minutes

8 © 2010 PWUT and Morteza Sha’ban Zadeh

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TOEFL .::Morteza.Shabanzadeh@Gmail.com::.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (or TOEFL, pronounced "toe-full") evaluates the ability of an individual to use and understand English in an academic setting. The TOEFL test is a registered trademark of Educational Testing Service (ETS) and is administered worldwide. The test was first administered in 1964 and has since been taken by more than 23 million students. It sometimes is an admission requirement for non-native English speakers at many Englishspeaking colleges and universities. Additionally, institutions such as government agencies, licensing bodies, businesses, or scholarship programs may require this test. A TOEFL score is valid for two years and then will no longer be officially reported since a candidate's language proficiency could have significantly changed since the date of the test. Colleges and universities usually consider only the most recent TOEFL score. .::Morteza.Shabanzadeh@Gmail.com::. .::Morteza.Shabanzadeh@Gmail.com::. .::Morteza.Shabanzadeh@Gmail.com::.

Internet-based Test (iBT) Since its introduction in late 2005, the Internet-Based Test (iBT) has progressively replaced both the Computer-Based (CBT) and Paper-Based (PBT) tests, although paper-based testing is still used in select areas. The iBT has been introduced in phases, with the United States, Canada, France, Germany, and Italy in 2005 and the rest of the world in 2006, with test centers added regularly. The CBT was discontinued in September 2006 and these scores are no longer valid. Although initially, the demand for test seats was higher than availability, and candidates had to wait for months, it is now possible to take the test within one to four weeks in most countries. The four-hour test consists of four sections, each measuring one of the basic language skills (while some tasks require integrating multiple skills) and all tasks focus on language used in an academic, higher-education environment. Note-taking is allowed during the iBT. The test cannot be taken more than once a week. 1. Reading The Reading section consists of 3â&#x20AC;&#x201C;5 passages, each approximately 700 words in length and questions about the passages. The passages are on academic topics; they are the kind of material that might be found in an undergraduate university textbook. Passages require understanding of rhetorical functions such as cause-effect, comparecontrast and argumentation. Students answer questions about main ideas, details, inferences, essential information, sentence insertion, vocabulary, rhetorical purpose and overall ideas. New types of questions in the iBT require filling out tables or completing summaries. Prior knowledge of the subject under discussion is not necessary to come to the correct answer.

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2. Listening The Listening section consists of 6 passages, 3â&#x20AC;&#x201C;5 minutes in length and questions about the passages. These passages include 2 student conversations and 4 academic lectures or discussions. A conversation involves 2 speakers, a student and either a professor or a campus service provider. A lecture is a self-contained portion of an academic lecture, which may involve student participation and does not assume specialized background knowledge in the subject area. Each conversation and lecture stimulus is heard only once. Test takers may take notes while they listen and they may refer to their notes when they answer the questions. Each conversation is associated with 5 questions and each lecture with 6. The questions are meant to measure the ability to understand main ideas, important details, implications, relationships between ideas, organization of information, speaker purpose and speaker attitude. 3. Speaking The Speaking section consists of 6 tasks, 2 independent tasks and 4 integrated tasks. In the 2 independent tasks, test takers answer opinion questions on familiar topics. They are evaluated on their ability to speak spontaneously and convey their ideas clearly and coherently. In 2 of the integrated tasks, test takers read a short passage, listen to an academic course lecture or a conversation about campus life and answer a question by combining appropriate information from the text and the talk. In the 2 remaining integrated tasks, test takers listen to an academic course lecture or a conversation about campus life and then respond to a question about what they heard. In the integrated tasks, test takers are evaluated on their ability to appropriately synthesize and effectively convey information from the reading and listening material. Test takers may take notes as they read and listen and may use their notes to help prepare their responses. Test takers are given a short preparation time before they have to begin speaking. 4. Writing The Writing section measures a test taker's ability to write in an academic setting and consists of 2 tasks, 1 integrated task and 1 independent task. In the integrated task, test takers read a passage on an academic topic and then listen to a speaker discuss the same topic. The test taker will then write a summary about the important points in the listening passage and explain how these relate to the key points of the reading passage. In the independent task, test takers must write an essay that states, explains and supports their opinion on an issue, supporting their opinions or choices, rather than simply listing personal preferences or choices.

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Summary of iBT Task

Description Approx. time READING 3–5 passages, each containing 12–14 questions 60–100 minutes LISTENING 6–9 passages, each containing 5–6 questions 60–90 minutes BREAK 10 minutes SPEAKING 6 tasks and 6 questions 20 minutes WRITING 2 tasks and 2 questions 55 minutes It should be noted that one of the sections of the test will include extra, uncounted material. ETS includes extra material in order to pilot test questions for future test forms. When testtakers are given a longer section, they should give equal effort to all of the questions because they do not know which question will count and which will be considered extra. For example, if there are four reading passages instead of three, then three of those passages will count and one of the passages will not be counted. Any of the four passages could be the uncounted one. .::Morteza.Shabanzadeh@Gmail.com::. .::Morteza.Shabanzadeh@Gmail.com::. .::Morteza.Shabanzadeh@Gmail.com::.

Paper-based Test (PBT) In areas where the internet-based test is not available, a paper-based test (PBT) is given. Test takers must register in advance either online or by using the registration form provided in the Supplemental Paper TOEFL Bulletin. They should register in advance of the given deadlines to ensure a place because the test centers have limited seating and may fill up early. Tests are administered on fixed dates 6 times each year. The test is 3 hours long and all test sections can be taken on the same day. Students can take the test as many times as they wish. However, colleges and universities usually consider only the most recent score. 1. Listening (30–40 minutes) The Listening section consists of 3 parts. The first one contains 30 questions about short conversations. The second part has 8 questions about longer conversations. The last part asks 12 questions about lectures or talks. 2. Structure and Written Expression (25 minutes) The Structure and Written Expression section has 15 exercises of completing sentences correctly and 25 exercises of identifying errors. 3. Reading Comprehension (55 minutes) The Reading Comprehension section has 50 questions about reading passages. 4. Writing (30 minutes) The Writing section is one essay with 250–300 words in average.

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Test scores Internet-based Test (iBT) The iBT version of the TOEFL test is scored on a scale of 0 to 120 points. Each of the four sections (Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing) receives a scaled score from 0 to 30. The scaled scores from the four sections are added together to determine the total score. Each speaking question is initially given a score of 0 to 4, and each writing question is initially given a score of 0 to 5. These scores are converted to scaled scores of 0 to 30.

Paper-based Test (PBT) The final PBT score ranges between 310 and 677 and is based on three sub scores: Listening (31–68), Structure (31–68), and Reading (31–67). Unlike the CBT, the score of the Writing section (referred to as the Test of Written English, TWE) is not part of the final score; instead, it is reported separately on a scale of 0–6. The score test takers receive on the Listening, Structure and Reading parts of the TOEFL test is not the percentage of correct answers. The score is converted to take into account the fact that some tests are more difficult than others. The converted scores correct these differences. Therefore, the converted score is a more accurate reflection of the ability than the correct answer score is.

Most colleges use TOEFL scores as only one factor in their admission process. A sampling of required TOEFL admissions scores shows that a total score of 74.2 for undergraduate admissions and 82.6 for graduate admissions may be required. It is recommended that students check with their prospective institutions directly to understand TOEFL admissions requirements. ETS has released tables to convert between iBT, CBT and PBT scores. .::Morteza.Shabanzadeh@Gmail.com::. .::Morteza.Shabanzadeh@Gmail.com::. .::Morteza.Shabanzadeh@Gmail.com::.

The beauty of the day is not only in what you see, but in what other men see. / /# %&C 5 / 4 # FU] z %, . /# 7/ < 5 4 # 20# Gibran Kahlil Gibran

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IELTS .::Morteza.Shabanzadeh@Gmail.com::.

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IELTS (pronounced /aɪ.ɛlts/) or 'International English Language Testing System', is an international standardized test of English language proficiency. It is jointly managed by University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, the British Council and IDP Education Pty Ltd, and was established in 1989. There are two versions of the IELTS: 1) Academic Version 2) General Training Version. The Academic Version is intended for those who want to enroll in universities and other institutions of higher education and for professionals such as medical doctors and nurses who want to study or practice in an English-speaking country. The General Training Version is intended for those planning to undertake non-academic training or to gain work experience, or for immigration purposes.

It is generally acknowledged that the reading and writing tests for the Academic Version are more difficult than those for the General Training Version, due to the differences in the level of intellectual and academic rigor between the two versions. IELTS is accepted by most Australian, British, Canadian, Irish, New Zealand and South African academic institutions, over 2000 academic institutions in the United States, and various professional organizations. It is also a requirement for immigration to Australia and Canada. An IELTS result or Test Report Form (TRF) is valid for two years.

18 © 2010 PWUT and Morteza Sha’ban Zadeh

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The IELTS incorporates the following features: A variety of accents and writing styles presented in text materials in order to minimize linguistic bias. IELTS tests the ability to listen, read, write and speak in English. Band scores used for each language sub-skill (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking). The Band Scale ranges from 0 ("Did not attempt the test") to 9 ("Expert User"). The speaking module - a key component of IELTS - is conducted in the form of a one-to-one interview with an examiner. The examiner assesses the candidate as he or she is speaking, but the speaking session is also recorded for monitoring as well as remarking in case of an appeal against the banding given. IELTS test structure

All candidates must complete four Modules - Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking to obtain a band score, which is shown on the IELTS Test Report Form (TRF). All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking Modules, while the Reading and Writing Modules differ depending on whether the candidate is taking the Academic or General Training Versions of the Test. The total test duration is around 2 hours and 45 minutes for Listening, Reading and Writing modules. Listening: 40 minutes, 30 minutes for which a recording is played centrally and additional 10 minutes for transferring answers onto the OMR answer sheet. Reading: 60 minutes. Writing: 60 minutes.

(N.B.: No additional time is given for transfer of answers in Reading and Writing modules) The first three modules - Listening, Reading and Writing (always in that order) - are completed in one day, and in fact are taken with no break in between. The Speaking Module may be taken, at the discretion of the test center, in the period seven days before or after the other Modules. The tests are designed to cover the full range of ability from non-user to expert user. .::Morteza.Shabanzadeh@Gmail.com::.

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Band scale

IELTS is scored on a nine-band scale, with each band corresponding to a specified competence in English. Overall Band Scores are reported to the nearest half band. The following rounding convention applies: if the average across the four skills ends in 0.25, it is rounded up to the next half band, and if it ends in 0.75, it is rounded up to the next whole band. The nine bands are described as follows: 9: Expert User

Has fully operational command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding. 8: Very Good User

Has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriacies. Misunderstandings may occur in unfamiliar situations. Handles complex detailed argumentation well. 7: Good User

Has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning. 6: Competent User

Has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations. 5: Modest user

Has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic communication in own field. 4: Limited User

Basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Have frequent problems in using complex language. 3: Extremely Limited User

Conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. 2: Intermittent User

No real communication is possible except for the most basic information using isolated words or short formulae in familiar situations and to meet immediate needs. 1: Non User

Essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words. 0: Did not attempt the test

No assessable information provided at all.

20 Š 2010 PWUT and Morteza Shaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ban Zadeh

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www.ParsBook.org

GRE .::Morteza.Shabanzadeh@Gmail.com::.

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Graduate Record Examination .::Morteza.Shabanzadeh@Gmail.com::.

The Graduate Record Examination or GRE is a commercially-run standardized test that is an admission requirement for many graduate schools in the United States and in other English-speaking countries. Created and administered by Educational Testing Service (or ETS) in 1949, the exam measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills that have been acquired over a long period of time and that are not related to any specific field of study. In the United States, Canada, and many other countries, the GRE General Test is offered as a computer-based exam administered by select qualified testing centers; however, paper-based exams are offered in areas of the world where computer-based testing is not available. In the graduate school admissions process, the level of emphasis that is placed upon GRE scores varies widely between schools and between departments within schools. The importance of a GRE score can range from being a mere admission formality to an important selection factor. Critics of the GRE have argued that the exam format is so rigid that it effectively tests only how well a student can conform to a standardized test taking procedure. ETS responded by announcing plans in 2006 to radically redesign the test structure starting in the fall of 2007; however, the company has since announced, "Plans for launching an entirely new test all at once were dropped, and ETS decided to introduce new question types and improvements gradually over time." The new questions have been gradually introduced since November 2007. In the United States and Canada, the cost of the general test is $160 as of March 2010, although ETS will reduce the fee under certain circumstances. They are promoting financial aid to those GRE applicants who prove economic hardship. ETS erases all test records that are older than 5 years, although graduate program policies on the admittance of scores older than 5 years will vary. Structure The exam consists of four sections. The first section is a writing section, while the other three are multiple-choice style. One of the multiple choice style exams will test verbal skills, another will test quantitative skills and a third exam will be an experimental section that is not included in the reported score. Test takers do not know which of the three multiple-choice sections the experimental section is. The entire test procedure takes about 4 hours. 1) Verbal section

The verbal section consists of analogies, completions, and reading comprehension passages. Multiple-choice response sections are graded on a scale of 200-800, in 10-point increments. This section primarily tests vocabulary, and average scores in this section are substantially lower than those in the quantitative section. In a typical examination, this section may consist of 30 questions, and 30 minutes may be allotted for it.

23 Š 2010 PWUT and Morteza Shaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ban Zadeh

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www.ParsBook.org

2) Quantitative section

The quantitative section, the other multiple-choice section, consists of problem solving and quantitative comparison questions that test high-school level mathematics. Multiple-choice response sections are graded on a scale of 200-800, in 10-point increments. In a typical examination, this section may consist of 28 questions, and test takers may be given 45 minutes to complete the section. This section typically includes 14 quantitative comparison questions, 10 discrete quantitative questions (multiple-choice) and 4 data interpretation questions. 3) Analytical Writing section

The analytical writing section consists of two different essays, an "issue task" and an "argument task". The writing section is graded on a scale of 0-6, in half-point increments. The essays are written on a computer using a word processing program specifically designed by ETS. The program allows only basic computer functions and does not contain a spellchecker or other advanced features. Each essay is scored by at least two readers on a six-point holistic scale. If the two scores are within one point, the average of the scores is taken. If the two scores differ by more than a point, a third reader examines the response. Issue task

The test taker will be able to choose between two topics upon which to write an essay. The time allowed for this essay is 45 minutes. Issue topics are selected from a pool of questions. Argument task

The test taker will be given an "argument" and will be asked to write an essay that critiques the argument. Test takers are asked to consider the argument's logic and to make suggestions about how to improve the logic of the argument. The time allotted for this essay is 30 minutes. Arguments are selected from a pool of topics. 4) Experimental section

The experimental section, which can be either a verbal, quantitative, or analytical writing task, contains new questions that ETS is considering for future use. Although the experimental section does not count toward the test-takers score, it is unidentified and appears identical to the real (scored) part of the test. As test takers have no clear way of knowing which section is experimental, they are forced to complete this section. This section does not appear on all GRE examinations. Scoring Computerized adaptive testing

The common (Verbal and Quantitative) multiple-choice portions of the exam currently use Computer-Adaptive Testing (CAT) methods that automatically change the difficulty of questions as the test taker proceeds with the exam, depending on the number of correct or incorrect answers that are given. The test taker is not allowed to go back and change the answers to previous questions, and some type of answer must be given before the next question is presented.

24 Š 2010 PWUT and Morteza Shaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ban Zadeh

www.ParsBook.org


www.ParsBook.org

The first question that is given in a multiple-choice section is considered to be an "average level" question that half of the GRE test takers will answer correctly. If the question is answered correctly, then subsequent questions become more difficult. If the question is answered incorrectly, then subsequent questions become easier, until a question is answered correctly. This approach to administration yields scores that are of similar accuracy while using approximately half as many items. However, this effect is moderated with the GRE because it has a fixed length; true CATs are variable length, where the test will stop itself once it has zeroed in on a candidate's ability level. The actual scoring of the test is done with Item Response Theory (IRT). While CAT is associated with IRT, IRT is actually used to score non-CAT exams. The GRE subject tests, which are administered in the traditional paper-and-pencil format, use the same IRT scoring algorithm. The difference that CAT provides is that items are dynamically selected so that the test taker only sees items of appropriate difficulty. Besides the psychometric benefits, this has the added benefit of not wasting the examinee's time by administering items that are far too hard or easy. This occurs in fixedform testing. An examinee can miss one or more questions on a multiple-choice section and still receive a perfect score of 800. Likewise, even if no question is answered correctly, ‘200’ is the lowest score possible. Scaled score percentiles

The percentiles of the current test are as follows: Scaled score 800 780 760 740 720 700 680 660 640 620 600 580 560 540 520 500 480 460 440 420 400 380 360 340 320 300 280 260 240 220 200 mean

Verbal Reasoning % 99 99 99 99 98 97 96 94 92 89 86 82 77 72 67 62 57 52 46 40 35 29 24 19 13 8 5 2 1 0 0 457

Quantitative Reasoning % 94 89 85 80 75 71 66 62 57 52 48 44 39 35 31 28 24 21 18 16 13 11 9 7 6 4 3 2 1 0 0 586

25 © 2010 PWUT and Morteza Sha’ban Zadeh

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Analytical Writing score 6 5.5 5 4.5 4 3.5 3 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 mean

Writing % 98 92 81 63 41 23 10 3 1 0 0 0 3.9

5 N.B. : Comparisons for Intended Graduate Major are "limited to those who earned their college degrees up to two years prior to the test date." 5 N.B. : ETS provides no score data for "non-traditional" students who have been out of school more than two years, although its own report "RR-99-16" indicated that 22% of all test takers in 1996 were over the age of 30. GRE Subject Tests In addition to the General Test, there are also eight GRE Subject Tests testing knowledge in the specific areas of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Literature in English, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology. .::Morteza.Shabanzadeh@Gmail.com::.

.::Morteza.Shabanzadeh@Gmail.com::.

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GMAT (Graduate Management Aptitude Test) .::Morteza.Shabanzadeh@Gmail.com::.

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References and Some Useful U Websites: 1) http://www.applyabroad.orgg 2) http://www.ets.org 3) http://www.usnews.com 4) http://college.openlearningcenter.com center.com 5) http://www.english-test.nett 6) http://www.webometrics.info nfo 7) http://gredownloads.blogspot.com pot.com 8) http://picture-dictionary.blogspot.com ogspot.com 9) http://killthegre.blogspot.com om 10) http://www.number2.com 11) http://www.englishteacherjohn rjohn.com 12) http://www.testpreppractice ce.net 13) http://www.crack-gre-test--prep.com 14) http://www.irantalent.com m 15) http://www.americanrhetoric.com oric.com .::Morteza.Shabanzadeh@Gmail.com::.

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