2017/02/04 In order not to make entrance examinations "scoring games" 入試を「点取りゲーム」にしないために

Working as an English teacher often gives me chances to meet students who desperately ask for classes focused not on English in itself but on how to get a good score on the entrance examination of a particular university. They are desperate because they don't have enough command of English to secure a good score. The classes for them must be about glossing over their inefficiency and taking as high a score as possible. And I hate this kind of lecture because I am allowed only to talk about mere techinique to get scores. This can lead the students to enter the university in spite of their deficiency in English, which would have prevented them from passing the examination if it had tested their academic abilities properly. That is, this lesson of scoring technique is detrimental to the institution of entrance examination. 

There are many cases where this kind of question is posed in the examination: an English sentence or passage is presented, with some parts of them underscored and labeled, for example, as (a) to (d). Students are told to identify which part is ungrammatical, illogical or unidiomatic. A student of mine, who is one of those in need for the devastating technique, told me that his teacher of another school instructed him to pay attention only to the words immediately before and after the underlined part. Of course I asked why. According to the student, the teacher said if you read the whole sentence or passage, you will run short of time and will never be able to complete the test. I hope it goes without saying that this student can seldom reach the correct answer with the correct reason. All he can do with the technique is to get the right anwere by chance.

It is clear that the university intended the examination to measure the reading speed of applicants as well as their knowledge of English grammar and idioms. If so, we teachers must, I think, instruct the stundets to tackle the examination head-on, not to circumvent it with techinique, for if they should do so, they will have difficulty in keeping up with English courses they will take in the university.