April 4, 2012

SFI test - explanation


So in continuation of the previous previous post, here is more information on the SFI test. What I did was a standard national SFI test for C level. If you ever had any TOEFL, IELTS or similar, you should know what to expect. There is a listening part of 30 minutes for this level. Two reading parts each of 5o minutes. Writing of 45 minutes and apparently no speaking for C-level.

Listening was ok. I thought it would be worse. People we heard in this exercise spoke relatively slowly and with a good pronunciation that leaves you with just the basic understanding of words. There is a dialog, answering machine, people speaking about what they do and so on… All the stuff you know by now, so don’t worry. Next is reading. That was even easier I think since 99% of answers are in the text. By the way, there is only one real text per test (so 2 in total) that you should read and the rest are ads, cards, letters, tables and such short stuff. Usually you connect a picture with a title, or short explanation text with a letter… And there are also charts that you should read and answer the questions underneath. But again, it is really basic!

I think that the main reason why this was so easy (though I am sure I made a mistake or two) is that in “normal” school this would be level A2 I think. Or in best case B1. SFI – Swedish for immigrants is here just to get you started. If you really wish to learn the language you should progress to SAS as soon as possible. And even that is on the level of high school or gymnasium. In any case, it is a great start if you can make yourself study. I must admit I spend 1% of my time working for SFI and that is not enough. They just provide you with information, but the rest is up to you! Work it out!

We had a break of one week between the parts. So, today was the writing/speaking day. I still don't know the results of the previous two parts and it is making me nervous...

Speaking: they said we don't really have to do it since they know from the lessons how much we can or cannot do. I personally dislike it since the amount of stuff I say during the class is not equal to the amount of stuff I can and do say outside of it, but... That is the way it is. Writing took 45 minutes and you have to write an A4 page about a topic they chose. I had to write about a party I attended or held. The goal is to answer questions written in the introductory part of the test. For example: why did you hold a party, where was it, when, what did you do there, how do you feel about it and so on. In order to get a good grade, you should try to answer all of these questions in a natural way (don't make it as points in the text).

Also, while we were discussing the approach to the writing, friends and I decided upon: write as much as you can and as long as you can. If there are mistakes, it still shows that you tried and that you have a vocabulary, but might miss some grammar lessons. If you write too little and than even that is wrong, you are going to have some problems. Also, my advice is to ask for a piece of paper to write everything on and then just rewrite to the exam paper it after you finish.

So, now I am waiting for the results... And luckily, weather is great: sunny, warm and simply gorgeous! One must learn to appreciate this type of weather when in Sweden since it can easily snow the next day. And what better way to spend your days than searching for a perfect sushi place or taking pictures in front of graffiti?

One of the cheapest places for sushi is in the pass from Nordstan (Brunnsparken) to Kungsportsplatsen - Kompassen. Somewhere in the middle of it there is a street cutting the line of shops (either Drottninggatan or Kyrkogatan) and you will see this great but small sushi restaurant. The picture up is from a place at Axel Dahlströms Torg and the lower one is from this Kompassen.

And the other thing I am doing is visiting the buildings for my thesis. Though it ends more in me taking pictures of my friend and her doing the same for me than in the "serious" work of an architect. That is something I do once I am inside the house, but outside, with all this sun I just cannot act like a grown-up.

Kisses from the sunny Göteborg,