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Shanghai Student Tops in World TOEFL Scores

Zhao Zheng, an undergraduate at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, said it never occurred to her that she would get the world's top score in TOEFL.

The fourth-year law student received 677 points in the TOEFL test in August. Her score for writing was the highest of the six parts.

It is very rare to see double full marks achieved by Chinese students in both TOEFL's total score and the written part, according to Li Weiping, secretary of Shanghai Education International Exchange Association, a veteran overseas study application official.

"I was confident, but never expected to achieve the highest score before taking the test," said Zhao, adding that the key to her success was continuous participation in various tests and exams.

The graduate from a key high school in Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi Province, had already passed the national College English Test (Band Four) before she entered university in 2001. The English ability test was a prerequisite for university graduates.

Through the inspiration of her fellow students, she thought up the idea of sitting for more demanding certificate tests.

"Students always talk about how tough it is to pass the Advanced Interpretation Certificate test. That made me curious and eager to have a try," Zhao said.

She soon formed a self-learning coalition with fellow classmates who were also eager to prove their foreign language ability through various tests.

"The small learning group functions like an impetus for every member. This keeps us motivated to keep up with each other in taking the various exams," Zhao said.

During her university life, Zhao and her study mates kept busy in taking various English tests, such as Test for English Majors, English Language Testing System and TOEFL.

She passed all of them without special training courses.

"We all enjoyed the learning process," Zhao said. "Learning English and sitting for different exams provided me with a good platform to learn about the outside world. This will be helpful for my profession knowledge improvement."

(eastday.com November 12, 2004)


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