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Thread: Pre-interview English test

  1. #1
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    Default Pre-interview English test

    Hi guys and girls,

    I've been accepted for an interview. Just a bit worried about the pre-interview test, there doesn't seem to be any info floating around that I can find, and it seems most people aren't worried about it. My spelling kind of sucks, so I'm quite worried...

    The only info I've found is from a blog, "English Language test – I’m rather ashamed to admit that there were one or two words I’d never seen before in my life on this test. The activities included determining which word had a different meaning from the rest of the group, describing differences grammatical structures and correcting errors in a written text – just the sort of thing required when on the job."

    I guess I'm most worried about the correcting errors part, as my spelling isn't great. And I'm a bit shaky on the capitalization (this word I just had to spell check) rules. Otherwise I love teaching and writing but have relied on spell check for far too long. So any information from previous JET's on the kind of level I should expect would be great. I'm brushing up my spelling but years of negligence and a maths based degree means it's only starting to bite me in the ass now. If it helps I'm applying from the U.K.

    Arigatou gozaimasu and good luck to everyone who has an interview coming up. SO much to prepare!

  2. #2
    Comrade therealwindycity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pre-interview English test

    Congratulations on your interview! From what I recall, people last year said that the English test is pretty much no problem unless you're not a native English speaker. It's not really designed to weed out people who make common spelling/grammar mistakes

  3. #3
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pre-interview English test

    it wasnt anything special when I did it. Its just on a sheet of A4 you get given on a clipboard in the waiting room before your interview. keeps everyone quiet and handing out the forms gives the ex jet in the room something to do.
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  4. #4
    Perpetually confused. johnny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pre-interview English test

    I didn't get one at all. Strange.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Teach them something new?? Are you mad? All you do in Japan is rehash the same stuff over and over for 15 years. Hello song, what do you like sports? and fruit basket. The holy trinity of English education.

  5. #5
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pre-interview English test

    The english test is specific to the uk only.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Pre-interview English test

    Wow thanks guys. It was really making me sweat! My dyslexic friend was trying to brush up on her grammar aswell. Ok, well I might still try and learn the Oxford dictionary off by heart, but at least I feel a lot better about it. Now just gotta worry about everything else arigatou.

    P.S. Thanks for the congrats, on my ancient iPhone so scared it might have a hernia (typo?) if I try anything fancy like quotes.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Pre-interview English test

    Just had mine yesterday, it's honestly nothing to be too worried about. Try to be concise and quick though, I didn't quite finish it in the 5 minutes allotted. I believe I'm quite a fast writer/thinker as well so I can see other people definitely having some issues. It's nothing to panic about (or even think too hard about) as long as you're a native English speaker. There was only one word I didn't know and not knowing it didn't actually matter with the format of the test.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Pre-interview English test

    Don't they ask you to turn up 30 mins early to take the test? That's what my letter said idk. I was fine when I found out I'd gotten an interview but as it gets closer I'm getting so nervous.. I wonder how important the grammar test is / why they do it

  9. #9

    Default Re: Pre-interview English test

    Quote Originally Posted by buh View Post
    Don't they ask you to turn up 30 mins early to take the test? That's what my letter said idk. I was fine when I found out I'd gotten an interview but as it gets closer I'm getting so nervous.. I wonder how important the grammar test is / why they do it
    Yep, and I turned up 15 minutes earlier than that. Your interview slot is the time that you will be taken to your interviewers but they want to make sure they have time for you to take the English test and sort all the clerical stuff. It's just good practice to turn up a little bit earlier than you're told anyway, especially since that's basically the unwritten rule in Japan (as far as I know). Plus the Embassy is actually quite interesting, there was a nice display about Natsume Soseki there which I spent a few minutes browsing.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Pre-interview English test

    Ohh ok. I'll turn up earlier then since I'm gonna be in London way too early anyway. Thanks Illuria!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Pre-interview English test

    Does anyone know if this test actually has much influence on whether we get picked or not? I thought most of it was fine but there were some strange words I'd never heard of and I had to guess a few things.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Pre-interview English test

    To be brutally honest for anyone who has passed an undergraduate course (barring dyslexia or some other factor that they would of course take into account) the test should be no problem. If you had trouble you probably shouldn't be an English teacher.


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  13. #13
    Senior Moment Antonath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pre-interview English test

    I don't know when Jiggit took the test, but when I interviewed five years back, the test was a mix of easy questions and gotchas that might catch the average person out. I wouldn't worry if a couple of things made you scratch your head.
    ...because Japan.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Pre-interview English test

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    To be brutally honest for anyone who has passed an undergraduate course (barring dyslexia or some other factor that they would of course take into account) the test should be no problem. If you had trouble you probably shouldn't be an English teacher.


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    Absolute nonsense, the fact that I don't recognise a couple of obscure words out of the hundreds of thousands in the English language has nothing to do with my ability to teach English as a second language.

  15. #15
    Senior Member zero's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pre-interview English test

    Quote Originally Posted by Oli0 View Post
    Absolute nonsense, the fact that I don't recognise a couple of obscure words out of the hundreds of thousands in the English language has nothing to do with my ability to teach English as a second language.
    Absolute nonsense. The fact that you think any of those words are "obscure" indicates you do not have a good knowledge of your own language and therefore will struggle to teach it as a foreign language in Japan.

  16. #16
    Senior Moment Antonath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pre-interview English test

    Careful now.
    ...because Japan.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Pre-interview English test

    I'm so glad Zero's back.
    いいみで

  18. #18

    Default Re: Pre-interview English test

    Quote Originally Posted by zero View Post
    Absolute nonsense. The fact that you think any of those words are "obscure" indicates you do not have a good knowledge of your own language and therefore will struggle to teach it as a foreign language in Japan.
    You don't even know which words I am referring to. You don't need to know the dictionary back to front in order to teach English as a second language (or indeed as a first language). I can only assume you enjoy winding up strangers on the Internet (which can be fun, in fairness).

  19. #19

    Default Re: Pre-interview English test

    Quote Originally Posted by Oli0 View Post
    You don't even know which words I am referring to. You don't need to know the dictionary back to front in order to teach English as a second language (or indeed as a first language). I can only assume you enjoy winding up strangers on the Internet (which can be fun, in fairness).
    Care to share the words with us, if you can remember them? I'm willing to believe you but when I took it none of the words were particularly obscure.

    And tbh I've heard quite a few ALTs complaining that their teachers ask them questions about grammar problems that they can't answer. So they just make something up about "polite English" or regional English differences. This is actually damaging the students' education if the JTEs believe them and teach it that way. That's why I think being able to pass a basic English test is important.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Pre-interview English test

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    Care to share the words with us, if you can remember them? I'm willing to believe you but when I took it none of the words were particularly obscure.

    And tbh I've heard quite a few ALTs complaining that their teachers ask them questions about grammar problems that they can't answer. So they just make something up about "polite English" or regional English differences. This is actually damaging the students' education if the JTEs believe them and teach it that way. That's why I think being able to pass a basic English test is important.
    Though I can't speak for Oli0, I did read an account where the person listed "ubiquitous" as being an obscure word used in one of these tests... I wonder if this isn't one of those situations where certain words which are fairly common in literature are seen as more obscure by people who don't read as much?
    Last edited by spman2099; January 24th, 2014 at 15:06.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    They're gonna burn you inside a giant wicker anpanman.

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