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王白水

白水房

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A021 Six-Level Exam Bumpy Journey

Front row reminder: Today's article is a motivational piece.


Because I am interested in programming, I often read tutorial documents in English, report issues on GitHub, ask questions on Stack Overflow, and communicate various situations with server customer service by writing emails. Occasionally, I need to look up new words in the dictionary. I rarely use translation software and consider my English level to be not too bad.

But I have never passed the CET-6 (College English Test Band 6). Since my sophomore year, I scored the highest at 389 in the second semester of my sophomore year, but then my scores kept declining, with the lowest being over 270. At one point, I even missed the registration and lost the opportunity to take the exam. Later, I met my graduate advisor, who required us to pass the CET-6 before graduating from undergraduate.

To be honest, after taking the exam so many times and performing worse each time, I felt quite discouraged. I remembered what my English teacher, Mr. Shao, mentioned when I first entered university: passing the CET-6 doesn't prove anything, but failing it definitely proves something. Sometimes I would console myself by relying on my strong reading and writing abilities, but whenever I think of that statement, I know I am just a mediocre test-taker.

With this mindset and the push from my advisor, I decided to make a real effort! I will pass it sooner or later! In the first stage, I need to adjust my attitude and face it seriously. Before that exam, I simply memorized vocabulary and also listened to Mr. Li Duo Duo's New Concept English for a while (I can still recite Lesson 60). At first, I reviewed every day, but later I wasn't as dedicated. There was also a period of interruption for a month or half a month due to various reasons. I made a final push before the exam and scored 389, which brought me back to my initial level. What does this show? The CET-6 exam is not as difficult as it seems. I explained the situation to my teacher, and he suggested that I join a remedial class because exams follow a pattern, and understanding the pattern can greatly improve results.

The next time, I followed the same routine. I reviewed every day at the beginning, but then reduced the frequency. I reviewed more before the exam. Overall, I followed the pace of the remedial class, although sometimes I just went through the motions. After this exam, I felt that the questions were quite difficult, so I prepared myself for another attempt.

On August 24, 2023, at 11 o'clock in the morning, I was looking at my phone when suddenly a notification popped up: CET-6 scores were available for checking. This time, the CET-6 didn't play fair and caught me off guard, a veteran test-taker who had taken it four or five times! Without hesitation, I opened the score-checking page. And there it was, I passed with a score of 433.

Passing with a low score is nothing to boast about, but I want to share this experience with you: something that most people can do well, I have a high probability of being able to do well too, but in reality, I didn't. The main reasons are lack of commitment and failure to understand the strategies.

In the future, when encountering problems that are difficult to solve, I can analyze them from these two aspects. For example, in the final exams, if the duration of revision is insufficient and the key points are not studied, how can one pass? Another example is martial arts training. If I only practice for three days and do it aimlessly, how can I expect to improve?

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