In essence: the TOEFL tests your practical knowledge of American English the way it is used today in everyday situations in the US or as Americans would say it - “in America”.Right here you have your first major difference. America is a continent not a country, as many people in the world would correctly point out, following an overwhelmingly popular myth that American guys and girls are ignorant just because they don’t fit the Euro-centric concept of how to be a lady or a gentle-man, with the “much ado about nothing” attitude so contrary to American pragmatism and “put your money where your mouth is” approach. The best Universities in the World have been in the USA for quite awhile now, still are there, and judging by what’s going no matter where you go, they are here to stay. Just consider Harvard or MIT as the best and most known examples of higher education most achieved institutions.
“You Americans don’t even know the name of the country you live in if call it America”. I heard that countless times from people from overseas, as an American would say, or from abroad using the traditional term, and yet, again, strangers come to America the Beautiful to visit for a while but stay in this country forever, living and working just like any American resident, sometimes even illegally, what is unthinkable in most of the rest of the World.
For those who dare to question American ingenuity let me ask you the following question. How is it possible, then, that the most intellectually advanced companies are located in the USA? I will mention just a few of them like Microsoft and Apple Computers, Google or Boeing.
“You don’t go to the opera, you don’t speak foreign languages”. It is true, and quite often some Americans would get intimidated by this statement. Most of the times, they just shrug their shoulders, though. And there is a very good reason for that.
Americans have other pastimes including going to the movies, going out to eat on a frequent, regular and repetitive basis not just for big occasions like Christenings or Bar Mitzvahs or Weddings. Americans love to watch, paritcipate in and do sports, including the iconic and most American of them all – baseball - to start with. They go to the gym to exercise or work out more often than any other nation in the World. Americans speak the most important language on the Globe – American English. This is the real reason why they don’t need to know any other languages. The whole planet wants to learn and speak their mother tongue. There is a very good reason why you are reading this, and best of all, you know it better than me why you want to go to America – the country!
“When you get on the plane you don’t even wear a suit, just your sweats or jeans.” Yes, Americans are practical and pragmatic. They like to feel comfortable and have the courage to do that. And you know what? Who, do you think, is more relaxed when travelling and less tired at the end of the trip and at the final destination, a casual American or a suit wearing person?
Such is America, and I mean the country of the United States here, such are its citizens and residents – Americans, and such is TOEFL – the exam that tests the practical knowledge of modern day American English.
See ya …