A week with overwhelming blessings

It started out Sunday evening, I am feeling something different without telling my husband first of my suspicion I took the pregnancy test. After a year from my miscarriage we are finally having one again. Hopefully, this time it will get through and that our baby will be healthy and my pregnancy will be safe as well. As compared to last year, this pregnancy is not as hard at the moment in terms of symptoms. I remember last year, before I even know I was pregnant I was having chest pain, chest tightness, upset stomach, palpitations, etc. Unlike now, what I feel different is that I feel hot. Even if I just took a bath, I feel as if I have a fever. Well that is way tolerable in comparison to what I had last year. This has been in my prayers after I had miscarriage last year, that the next pregnancy would be easier, safe and that the baby will be healthy. Thank God!

Secondly, Wednesday this week, I got my result from taking the pharmacy technician test. I took it as a back-up plan in case I would not find a job as an intern pharmacist. The test was quite easy, I got an average score of 831 with the score range from 650-900. I studied a week for this and I am really happy that one hurdle has been passed through.

Last but definitely not the least, I sit in for the TOEFL iBT last May 30, 2008 in Ontario, CA. This is my first attempt for the test and I was very anxious since the requirement for the National Pharmacy Board is too high in some areas for instance in a scale of 30 we need 26 for the speaking which is around 89%. This has been the waterloo of most pharmacist intern. Thankfully, I was able to meet all the requirements and I will be able to start to work as an intern already. There are several materials that I used for this exam. I wouldn’t personally recommend it for everybody because that is just how I react when I am stressed. Books are my security blanket. To mention some of what I have are Barrons 12 ed. TOEFL iBT this is helpful as a practice test, Princeton’s TOEFL iBT is more of techniques which I will highly recommend, another is the ets official guide since it is from the test takers themselves this is good view of what is to be expected for the test, and Longmans speaking guide focused more on the speaking section. Although I have this books, I never had a chance to read everything. Well not because of time constraints, it was more of I am lazy to do so. I had two months to prepare for the test but in most days I would only put 2-4 hours a day. I think if 3 weeks of 8 hours study would be enough to prepare for this test. The reason why I had two months is because that was the only date available in our location. There are a lot of people taking the test so depending on the area one should schedule the test months ahead. Also, I studied how to type faster since in our country in the Philippines we didn’t have this subject to improve our skill. It is important to learn this since for the writing section the time is limited, it is already hard to compose an essay that is why it would be an advantage to learn how to type faster. I underestimated the reading the section, that is why after mt exam that is the area that I was worried about. During the practice test, I would often get a high score and I would even have spare time after each passage. This was totally different during the actual test. In the reading section, since this was the first area of test there were a lot of distraction since some of the test takers are just being seated and they are making noise as they test their microphone. This should be taken into consideration since I would often practice in a quiet environment. For all those taking this test, just practice a lot and put a lot prayers cause that always makes a difference and it has always been the key for me. With all these blessings, it is really pouring this summer in CA! it is now time to look forward to our future as God has set everything for us. It is through his guidance that we will be able to achieve what seem to be impossible dreams. God is very good:)

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  1. Hi abby,I happen to stumble on this website and like you I am also a pharmacist as I passed the FPGEE last year, but now I am struggling to pass the TOEFL :((. Since I read that you have already cleared that. So, maybe I can ask some tips on how you deliver your response? is it on a normal voice? and also how did you organize your answers? did you really paraphrase everything? and regarding the academic part of speaking how did you answer those? Are you really practicing regularly eventhough it is just 3-4 hours a day? hope to hear from you soon as I really need those advices.Thanks again

  2. Hi Menchie! keep being positive your time will come. Here are some tips that I hope will be of valuable use for you.The important key I think is delivery since I didn’t get to finish answering in the aloted time all of the speaking question. I was always cut-off but I feel that I was able to convey the message to the rater.You don’t have to shout or speak loud or even talk fast. I just talked in my normal tone and normal pace. The typical pattern of my answer is…first make a choice, for instance choose or state an opinion then why you make this choice, followed by an example.I will site an example but different from the exact question that was asked but nevertheless I used the same pattern I used in the test.1. What is your favorite TV show? Discuss the reason for choosing this.There are a lot of TV shows that I really like but one of my most loved is Crime Scene Investigation. The reason for choosing this is that it is very informative since it gives you a plot on how crimes happen, it is full of suspense in such a way that they run after the fugitive and finally it is mind-boggling since I get confuse on who the real culprit will be. Also, by watching this it helped me release my stress.To be able to come up with an answer like this, you really need to practice. You are right I only practice for a short time each day but make use of it and focus on your weakness which is speaking for me.For the technique on how to go about this I suggest you use Princetons Review. This book focus more on the technique on how you should answer each question. I changed some of the words for example” most favorite”…you can use most loved, best liked. There are other example mentioned in princetons too or Barrons Review. I can’t remember where I read it since I sold my books already. Try to paraphrase as much as you can and change some of the words that will give them an idea that your vocabulary is not limited. Instead of frequently saying, the lecturer you can say the speaker or teacher or professor. I did not paraphrase everything, there was one question which I repeated what was asked but this is just one. As I was answering the questions I felt like I answered more informally meaning I am getting comfortable that I feel like I was just talking to my husband and answering him in a simple way of conversing English. My husband grew up here in USA and he would tell me that I speak weird since I would use some words not commonly use here. As I practiced I used the simplest words but the essence of your sentence should be intact.In my opinion as long as you deliver your speech in such a way that anybody from here will understand what you are trying to say then there is no way that you will fail. By using recorder you can gauge yourself on how far you have been improving from your previous practice.I really wish you the best and hope this helps!

  3. thanks abby,maybe I should really get starting on doing something about my situation. I would say that I am not really practicing I am just taking chances everytime, but it doesnt feel good anymore after taking the test for so many times now. Doing practice on speaking sounds weird to me that is why I would just only rely on mental practice I mean I will try to answer it by thinking alone. Anyways thanks again.

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