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Are they seriously asking me to take the TOEFL?

  1. Oct 16, 2007 #1
    I've been browsing physics department websites lately, and some of them say that they require TOEFL scores from ALL international applicants (Texas A&M, for example: http://www.physics.tamu.edu/academics/faqapplicant.html#17 ) . This seems to me to be absurd and somewhat insulting for people who come from countries like the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, where the native language is English.

    Do you think schools will actually reject applicants from these countries if they do not present TOEFL scores? I am wondering whether, even if departments know better, the school's graduate division might use this as a money-grab, cashing in the applicant's check then rejecting him or her on this technicality.

    I am not going to take the TOEFL, should I risk it and still apply to these schools? I'm already putting in my S.O.P. that I've tutored colloquial American English to an ESL student...

    Have any people from English-speaking countries ever run into problems because they didn't take the TOEFL?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 16, 2007 #2
    It's easier to just require that everyone takes the test than to be responsible for choosing where to draw the line for each case. It should be a cakewalk for you to pass, and the one test applies to any American school you're applying to. The bar is set really low if some of the international TAs I've had are any measure.

    I think that for most places, refusing to do something this simple and non-intrusive will make them think twice about admitting you. When they admit you as a grad student, they're also generally hiring you as a TA, and no one is going to want an employee that can't do simple things just because they're required. But who knows, maybe you can get it waived.
  4. Oct 16, 2007 #3


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    If English is your native language, then there's no way they're going to ask you to do a "Test of English as a Foreign Language!"
  5. Oct 16, 2007 #4
    You should probably contact the schools in question instead of just browsing the website.
  6. Oct 16, 2007 #5
    Yea, because application fees are a big source of income for physics departments? GRE's are a bigger waste of money and you seem to be accepting enough of that.

    In the last couple of threads you've demonstrated a lot of outrage. You are going to need to get over your adverse reaction to bureaucratic challenges if you are going to make it in grad school - it is filled to the brim with outrageous bureaucracy. Deal with these issues calmly, without emotion and in an organized fashion and they'll fall by the wayside.

    Start now.
  7. Oct 16, 2007 #6
    I spent 1300+ USD for application to grad school......... GRE + GRE subject + apps fee......... And yes I am poor and school is for rich ppl only
  8. Oct 24, 2007 #7
    I was born in Germany, went to HS in the US then did my undergrad at a US school. Every Grad school I applied to "required" that I take the TOFEL. I never took it and got excepted into every program I applied to just fine. I suppose some schools might be more strict about this rule, so if your worried give the dept. a call or just take it.
  9. Oct 25, 2007 #8
    i had to take the toefl when i i spent my entire life in Australia ( born and bred ), when applying for UMICH - its easy but I know what you mean - feels very demeaning when we have to take a test to see if we can understand the basics of the only language we know.
  10. Oct 25, 2007 #9
    Universities in Texas tends to have unreasonable policies, requirements, and attitudes toward students. This is my experience when I was in Texas. The only good schools in Texas are UT Austin and rice. Why bother to look at other schools if you have to travel that far.
  11. Oct 25, 2007 #10


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    It shouldn't be too hard, just replace 'eh' with 'y-all' and you should be ok in texas!

    Presumably it's logically impossible for an English applicant to take TOEFL?
  12. Oct 25, 2007 #11
    And the usage of double negative. I can't believe my teacher is saying that in school.
  13. Oct 25, 2007 #12
    You forgot Baylor, Tech, Southwestern, TCU, and maybe a few more, but meh, at least you mention mine.

    Anyway, the bigger the university, the more bureaucracy you'll have to face. They'll generally make exceptions, but it'll take a long time to speak to someone who actual knows what's going on.
  14. Oct 25, 2007 #13
    [sarcasm]Way to make a stand![/sarcasm]

    Seriously, you should save your outrage. It's an admission policy, and you ignore it at your peril. More than likely, if you apply without meeting all of their requirements it will be like taking the money you pay in admission fees and lighting it on fire.
  15. Oct 25, 2007 #14
    None of them ranks within 50 in Science. Why even bother to go there if once is coming from Australia. Baylor and southwestern are alrite when you are med major. BUt this is physics forum.
  16. Oct 25, 2007 #15


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    Note that the OP never actually says where he's from.
  17. Oct 25, 2007 #16
    Yea, according to his profile, he's coming from Canada. Besides, there is a lot more to an graduate degree than simply ranking, which actually tell you very little about the university. I don't really care to argue about it though.

    I was merely saying that it probably is possible for him to get around taking the TOEFL, but it might take a bit of work. If the university doesn't want to work with you, it probably isn't the right place for you.
  18. Oct 26, 2007 #17
    Sorry about the Australia part, I was answering some other question for an australian..... i think thats why it got to my head.
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