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April 11, 2003

TOEFL Mix Up Hits Foreign Students

The Yomiuri Shimbun reported a few days back that some foreign students were not allowed to take university entrance examinations this spring because their TOEFL scores were not received during a specified period. Some 140 universities in Japan require applicants to submit the results of an English proficiency test. The applicants submit the name of their chosen school to the TOEFL headquarters in the US, who send out the documents a couple of weeks later. The problem was caused because the universities had not been informed of a change in the TOEFL mailing procedure and ignored documents received outside of their one-week application "window." Some schools also mistakenly asked applicants to provide their original TOEFL certificates, a problem if the student wants to apply to another school. The education ministry is investigating the complaints. From this spring, the ministry merged the General Examination for Foreign Students, including an English test, and Japanese Language Proficiency Test into a general exam, with the external English test as an separate requirement.

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