Yesterday I took a TOEFL iBT in Yokohama to see my English abilities.
First, I will explain the outline. The test was divided into 4 parts, reading, listening, speaking and writing. It began in the order of each test-taker's coming to the room, so the finish time differed from one taker to another. In any case, only ten-minute break was given between listening and speaking, so it was a little tough. It took four hours to finish all.
Second, I will describe what I learned from the test. I realized that the most important ability in this type of test is listening. In the listening section, I heard nine conversations, each one lasted for perhaps more than four minutes. I was not able to read the questions until the end of the test. So I had to remember everything
that came out of the speaker.
What's more, listening ability was needed for even speaking and writing. In the speaking section, I had to summarize what speakers said and talk into a recorder. In the writing section, I also had to summarize speakers' opinions and type them out. So as you can guess, without listening abilities, I couldn’t even answer those questions.
Plus, "absolute concentration" was needed till the end of the test. While I was taking a listening test, some started to take a speaking test. Their voice interrupted me despite the fact that I wore headsets.
One examinee who was sitting next to me, perhaps he was in junior high or so, spoke English "excessively" aloud. At that time, my headphones didn't protect me from hearing his voice. In fact, his speech came into my left ear directly. I tried to concentrate on my own test, but with no success.
All in all, the test motivated me to improve listening skills as well as "patience." (large lake)