Center Exams Again

What is it with these Center Exams? I wrote about them last year.

I said that they weren’t very well constructed and that for a test for such high stakes (students higher education and careers beyond) that it is an outrage that people carry on as if nothing is really happening to the students and parents involved.

Here is a problem of the English test. See if you can answer it. There is only one correct answer.

Choose the word which gets the most stress (the word that gets pronounced the loudest) from among the red, italicized words in the conversation.

Explanation: Maya is shopping with Jeff, who has recently arrived in Japan. (original in Japanese)

Maya: Here comes our train. It’s not too crowded.

Jeff: Do the trains get any worse than this?

Maya: Oh, yes. During the morning rush hour they’re twice as bad.

Jeff: I can’t imagine a train being more crowded than this. Where I’m from, we can always get a seat.

Maya: You are lucky, but you’ll have to get used to the crowds here. How do you get to school? Do you take the train?

Jeff: No, I walk to school.

1. a. get b. any c. worse d. than

2. a. they’re b. twice c. as d. bad

3. a. we b. can c. always d. get

4. a. I b. walk c. to d. school

As for the “correct answers,” you got me. I looked in the newspaper this morning in Sundays 読売新聞 (Yomiuri Shinbun) at the correct answers. The answer number 3 is c.

I think this questions 1 and 3 are impossible to answer with any degree of certainty. And is even one question potetially significant? Sure. If your score is 499 and your university of choise requires a 500, and you have chosen the incorrect answer for this question, it is very significant.

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