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jollyrodger
June 30th, 2012, 11:54
Hello,

I received an email today from Interac Training with a password and link to the training site. I am able to enter the site but am unable to enroll in the courses. Has anyone else experienced any problems with this?

Yarantoikenbai
July 1st, 2012, 19:53
I had that problem, too. However, when I logged in again later that night, the courses were available for me to do.

Some of the questions were quite annoying; putting commands into minimal language and actions was really hard. Good luck, hopefully the other ones will be more interesting!

pika
July 2nd, 2012, 00:36
When I first logged in I didn't have access to the assignments, but I just logged in today and I do now. Login again and see if things have corrected themselves; otherwise, e-mail Interac and let them know your technical problems.

Has anyone taken the JCAT test yet? I'm curious to know how difficult it is to get intermediate-high. I want that Japanese-speaking-ability bonus! Lol.

pika
July 2nd, 2012, 00:36
Ugh, "JCAT test" is redundant. I meant just "JCAT".

Yarantoikenbai
July 2nd, 2012, 17:54
Took a practice test whilst I'm waiting for the JCAT people to verify my information for registration.

A bit worried; it seemed really hard. It's been over a year since I finished university, so I'm afraid that I'll struggle with some of the readings. However, since they also use it to test up to JLPT1 level, I assume that it must have JLPT1 type questions in there.

Good luck to us all, I'll update when I've taken the test.

Junipe
July 3rd, 2012, 00:41
Took a practice test whilst I'm waiting for the JCAT people to verify my information for registration.

A bit worried; it seemed really hard. It's been over a year since I finished university, so I'm afraid that I'll struggle with some of the readings. However, since they also use it to test up to JLPT1 level, I assume that it must have JLPT1 type questions in there.

Good luck to us all, I'll update when I've taken the test.

The test is hard because it differs from the tests that you're used to taking -- it dynamically adjusts the difficulty level of the questions to determine your skill level. This also allows it to test all skill levels at once, something that isn't possible on a paper test. So, if you can answer easy questions in Japanese, it'll give you a few of those to make sure you can do them and then start giving you medium questions with a few hard questions sprinkled in to see where the upper limits of your ability are.

There's a variety of different difficulty knobs the test can tune as you take it -- time to answer the question, writing things in hiragana vs kanji w/ furigana vs straight kanji, giving you a picture vs a video vs no picture for audio sections, and the level of vocab, among others.

Because the test is adaptive, unless you are a rockstar at the Japanese language, it will probably always remain hard, even as your Japanese ability increases.

pika
July 3rd, 2012, 10:15
Took a practice test whilst I'm waiting for the JCAT people to verify my information for registration.

A bit worried; it seemed really hard. It's been over a year since I finished university, so I'm afraid that I'll struggle with some of the readings. However, since they also use it to test up to JLPT1 level, I assume that it must have JLPT1 type questions in there.

Good luck to us all, I'll update when I've taken the test.

My registration didn't go through. I got this e-mail:

"Your request has been rejected.
Please let us know the full name of your affiliation.
Please let us know the full name of your department/section.
If you have no affiliation, write the name of the school you graduated from.
Please register again.
登録(とうろく)ができませんでした。
所属(しょぞく)の正式名称(せいしきめいしょう)をお知(し)らせください。
学部(がくぶ)・部署(ぶしょ)の正式名称(せいしきめいしょう)をお知(し)らせください。
所属(しょぞく)がないときは卒業(そつぎょう)した学校(がっこう)を書(か)いてください。
もういちど登録(とうろく)してください。
J-CAT.ORG <mail@j-cat.org>

名前: (redacted)
メールアドレス: (redacted)
母語: English
所属: "Interac"
学部・部署: (not required)"

I tried putting Interac in without the quotes and leaving the last entry blank, but first it said I needed to fill in 学部・部署, so I put "N/A", and it didn't accept it, so I put exactly "(not required)" (but without quotes), then it said Interac was wrong, so I tried using the quotes (as it was written on the PDF document explaining how to register).

Anyone else had better luck with this?

pika
July 3rd, 2012, 10:33
Nevermind! Just put ALT under the last entry, ignore the instructions on the document. Also, don't use quotes when entering Interac. Idk why it didn't let me enter it without them before and why it allowed me to submit a registration request after I added them.

I tried the sample questions. They were really hard for me as well. Confounded kanji! Lol.

Yarantoikenbai
July 3rd, 2012, 18:13
JCAT was hard. Very hard.

I have the N2 and I only scored 199 (which puts me ONE point under Intermediate-Advanced.)

I'm sending them my N2 certificate along with the JCAT score, and asking them to take into consideration the fact that I have been out of lessons and working full-time for over a year now, and to consider a follow up phone interview anyway. Fingers crossed.

pika
July 7th, 2012, 08:53
I only scored 151. :(

Goodbye 5,000 yen Japanese proficiency bonus.

Oh well, it doesn't really matter. I just can't wait to get a placement!

Yarantoikenbai
July 7th, 2012, 18:21
I'm not sure what level you need for the proficiency bonus; is it definitely intermediate-advanced? Noone ever mentioned it to me.

The test is really really hard, I know that they have to do things fairly, but the fact that it was timed worked hugely against me. I'd have scored much much higher if I had time to think about things. Oh well. I'm just hoping for the best.

pika
July 8th, 2012, 13:32
Your score is so close to the intermediate-advanced that there's a good chance they'll let you do the phone screening to get the bonus. I'm assuming since they mentioned that if you scored that much or higher it would be verified by the phone test, which others had mentioned is how they evaluate employees for the bonus, that if you do not meet that score you're disqualified from the bonus.

I've never heard/read about the JCAT being part of the Interac matriculation process before, so maybe they initiated it to reduce the amount of teachers who get the Japanese proficiency bonus? I don't know. Maybe it is just for better teacher/school pairing and they'll still let employees who score intermediate try for the bonus.

PoseidonCubed
July 9th, 2012, 03:41
I found the test pretty difficult and ended up finishing in the N4 level. The combination of the timer and rather random usage of hiragana/kanji kind of threw me off. Not trying to make any excuses though, as I am also very, very rusty.

tairygreen
July 10th, 2012, 11:14
Aside from the JCAT, which I didn't take, has anyone taken the other quizzes? One is entitled "Define and Translate" followed by "Short Answer". Apparently, we have another grammar quiz as well. Has anyone taken that yet?

Yarantoikenbai
July 10th, 2012, 19:07
^ Yes.

Unfortunately, I took them after a wickedly horrible day at work and some of my answers were curt to say the least. Make sure you type in the things exactly as they are in the handbook for the definition test. For example: home room teacher vs homeroom teacher. The former is incorrect for the test.

With regards to the short answer, there are some really daft questions there. Some make you think a lot, though. How to reduce some directions to the bare minimum. One of the questions wanted you to reduce "What does that mean in Japanese?" I seriously had NO idea how to do it without resorting to using Japanese itself.

I haven't seen the grammar test yet, I'll have a look and let you know.

PoseidonCubed
July 11th, 2012, 04:54
Just finished with the grammar test. It definitely makes you put on your thinking cap at times, similar to the short answer questions from the first two parts.

It's not bad, though. I don't think they expect you to be an Oxford professor or anything with the answers...just mostly seeing how comfortable you are with responding to questions from students and, most importantly, explaining why.

Yarantoikenbai
July 11th, 2012, 07:26
Grammar test was hard. Think I put too much thought into it; I didn't manage to finish some questions. The ones I did finish properly were quite thorough, though. Definitely think I'll need a review on some grammar before going.

Sugoi
July 14th, 2012, 05:38
Yeah I'm with you on that, it would seem my grammar sucks! have some homework to do I think.