omg I'm kicking myself (TOEFL waiver)

<p>Oh my goodness.</p>

<p>I applied to three schools - NYU, USC and Texas at Austin - and most application instructions I've seen, with the exception of UW-Madison (and, I suppose UT-Austin), say that the school will waive the TOEFL for SAT CR over a certain score or when the student's main language of instruction has been English. I naively assumed I could get a waiver from UT-Austin, even though Singapore is not on the list of countries whose students get an automatic TOEFL waiver.</p>

<p>Now, I just called the UT international admissions office - they don't waive the TOEFL (from what I gather, no matter the circumstances), and if the TOEFL score doesn't come in the application will be taken to be incomplete. When admissions close on Jan 15, they'll start reviewing international applications and filling up the spaces - they'll review my application when it becomes complete.</p>

<p>The next testing date in Singapore is Feb 14. How much of a blow does this deal to my chances of admission?</p>

<p>The next testing date in Johor Bahru is Jan 24, and in Penang Jan 10 (still open, but really WAY too close). I'm surprised to find I'm actually considering this option, but I am - so. How much of a difference does it make to get the scores in when the adcoms are making the bulk of the decisions if the rest of the app is solid? I would imagine it's big enough to warrant trying to take the TOEFL as early as possible. I don't think UT-Austin even considers the application if everything isn't in. How long does it take for ETS to send TOEFL scores? (Edit: just found this info - 15 business days to get the score - around 3 weeks - then mailed to the schools.)</p>

<p>Or should I try to fight for a waiver? Has anyone done this with UT-Austin or UW-Madison or another large state school and succeeded? I'm not counting on this at all. I understand that they have problems with the huge number of applications as it is, let alone having to make exceptions for random people.</p>

<p>The other option is to simply let my application to UT-Austin slide. I am VERY nervous about doing this, because it essentially means everything hangs on an admission to NYU or USC (which I honestly think is very unlikely). (On the other hand, spending US$170 on a lost cause?) I'll have to talk it over with my parents, but what do you guys think?</p>

<p>Well, I can't edit the post now - but I caught my mum awake (it's 1:30 AM which explains why my first instinct was to come here instead of talking to parents) and she says she would rather I go for it (in Singapore, not in JB, lol - even I have to admit that was a half-baked idea cooked up in desperation) and stand a chance than not try and never find out and kick myself some more if I get rejected from the other two schools. </p>

<p>I'm very glad I've got supportive parents - US$170 isn't a small sum.</p>

<p>If any of you have any opinion on this, please feel free to post - maybe some international student in the future will make the same mistake and need advice. At least this cautionary tale will be floating around on the internet.</p>

<p>P.S. I also intend to send a letter to UT-Austin indicating my plans to take the TOEFL in Feb - it's the best I can do right now. At least it'll tell them I'm interested - not that it'll matter much to them, I fear.</p>

<p>Is Singapore the Feb 14 test date? Those scores would probably not reach UT Austin in time. They explicitly say that they don't accept January SAT scores, and your TOEFL scores would arrive even later than that!</p>

<p>yeah.. if you take the test in feb ur scores would come only in march!!!!</p>

<p>Yes, I realise that. Unfortunately, there's not much I can do now. My mum objects to me taking the test in Malaysia because I won't have a guide and she doesn't want me to go alone. This might be negotiable but I doubt it, unless a trusted family friend is available to go with me.</p>

<p>I've been advised by a student at UT-Austin to send in a letter of recommendation from my English teacher requesting an extension of the TOEFL deadline and asking them to begin consideration of my application before the TOEFL results come in. I hope that'll be a reasonable request, because I've got the scores from the SAT and junior college to back it up - it's not like I'm hiding something.</p>

<p>I'm zen now. It was an awful thing to overlook, but I'll just have to do what I can and hope for the best.</p>

<p>Actually if you can go to Penang, just take the test on Jan 10. It's not difficult and doesnt require any prior preparation if you speak English normally at school and do well for SAT.
But isnt English your first language? If it were me i'd fight for the waiver. Haha. TOEFL is a ridiculous waste of money and time.</p>

<p>I've cycled through the panic, then the zen, and now comes the slight indignation.</p>

<p>I can go to Penang or JB, money and time wise - it's finding my way around that my parents are worried about, and I don't disagree.</p>

<p>And yes, English IS my first language, which is why I'm now quite miffed. Far as I know, no one's ever gotten a TOEFL waiver from UT (maybe there's an exception buried somewhere in their archives that I don't know about). But there really is nothing in my application that suggests English might not be my first language. I think that buys me a bit of time, though, since there isn't really any doubt my TOEFL score will be satisfactory for them.</p>

<p>You and your parents are funny. You are worried about finding your way around a few hundred miles from home, but you are not concerned about your abilities to live on your own in a foreign country?</p>

<p>b@r!um: PM'ed you.</p>

<p>Wasn't there somewhere on the commonapp for you to indicate the language spoken at your home and/or your first language?
TOEFL is Test of English as a Foreign Language for non-native speakers. If it isnt a FL to you, and there's no indication on your application (like a Fail for English or dismal SAT CR/WR scores) that your command of English is subpar, I dont see why you should succumb to the unreasonable request of the school and waste your money.</p>

<p>I'd say call the admission office again and tell them that English is your first language! Or you can contact anyone you know who's at a UT and ask if they submitted toefl.</p>

<p>I don't remember if there was one on my Texas application, but the "issue" seems to be that I don't come from a country that speaks "only" English, never mind that it's an official language and blah.</p>

<p>I'll definitely call them again tonight and see if there's a way I can work around it. I did ask someone I know who's at UT who's from NJC, and he said he didn't know anyone with a TOEFL waiver. He took the TOEFL in late Jan, himself - mid-Feb might be pushing it, but my SAT scores and A Level transcript are sitting somewhere in Austin and I don't see why they shouldn't be able to make a decision because my TOEFL score isn't in. Still, I'm not expecting a waiver. We'll see how it goes.</p>

<p>Darius is an Indonesian, that could have been an issue. Good luck, girl.</p>

<p>If English is your first language, this should be a non issue. What is your SAT CR score?</p>

<p>I looked at your other posts and see you have a 760CR. It's hard to believe any school would want you to take TOEFL! Email them immediately explaining English is your first language and noting your score. This should not be a problem.</p>

<p>fiona_: That's a good point.</p>

<p>hmom: Yes, English is my first language. My SAT CR score is 760. I also have an A for A Level Literature in English, for which I could get English Lit credit in college! Which is why I'm surprised they're insisting on a TOEFL score.</p>

<p>An update - yesterday I called the UT GIAC (grad and int'l admissions center) again, and after running through the whole charade - yes, we need a TOEFL score, no, we don't give waivers, yes, a late score will jeopardize your chances, and an amusing remark that if there were other schools I was applying to that didn't require the TOEFL, I could go somewhere else first and transfer to UT - I got the number of the director of international admissions. Called last night, got voicemail, and left a long message that I remember as being slightly grovelly.</p>

<p>Called again today, got the director, who told me a couple of things that future international applicants to UT may want to know:</p>

<h1>1 UT accepts any TOEFL scores that come in before March. So an early Feb test is still acceptable. (How this fits in the rolling admissions process I don't know - the impression I got from GIAC is that they only start reviewing your file when all the scores are in, so if the class has already filled up, tough luck. OR, maybe they start reviewing all the files, they make their decisions, and if the missing TOEFL scores come in before March, an acceptance gets sent out. I'm not sure.)</h1>

<h1>2 When the applicant's SAT CR score is over 600, the director of international admissions will sometimes waive the TOEFL - it's a case by case thing.</h1>

<h1>3 This information cannot be found on the Be A Longhorn site because it's not an official or automatic process - you have to call in and ask.</h1>

<p>And #4 is my own conclusion: GIAC has (or appears to have) no power to make any decision about these things. If you're ever in a similar position, talk to the GIAC people, find out as much as you can, then request to talk to the director of international admissions. She's the one who can help you.</p>

<p>So, basically - I got a TOEFL waiver! I'm really relieved - ah, you know the rest, you've all been through this process as well :) I know I went slightly neurotic on the first couple of posts, so I'm very glad and thankful for the advice and support.</p>

<p>oh, and #5 - I've emailed GIAC twice through the "Contact Us" link on the UT website - once about recommendations, a few months ago, and recently about the TOEFL. I didn't get a reply to either message. If you need to know something, call them.</p>

<p>hey i am also in singapore and in the same situation with UT as you were previously.
when I call the UT GIAC it goes to this automated message asking me to pick one of the seven options. whom am I supposed to speak to regarding this?</p>


<p>ramhart08: Pick option 5, and a GIAC staff member will speak to you. (Austin is 14 hours behind Singapore, so call around 12 midnight to get someone to talk to; I'm not sure what happens if you call when no one's in the office.) Chances are the GIAC staff will tell you they can't grant waivers, so ask them to put you through to the director of international admissions.</p>

<p>On second thought, since I have the director's number, I'll PM it to you so you can call her directly.</p>

<p>I just imagined 50 applicants reading your post and all calling the director of international admissions now... Poor lady...</p>

<p>Lolz...In that case she will prepare an automated response from next year...."If you have called for TOEFL waiver....."</p>

<p>Found this thread after asking quite a number of graduate schools if they would grant this Singaporean a TOEFL waiver. And it turns out that some do, while some utterly refuse to. Frustrated. Anyone in a similar situation? PM me or something ^_^</p>