links for 2007-12-21

TOEFL iBT Prerequisite

I recently registered for the TOEFL again. Anal-retentive ETS only stocks its TOEFL scores for 2 years. Why, may I ask, does my English deteriorate so much after a couple years of a perfect score? Money-loving land lubbers if you ask me… but that is a topic for another day.

Here’s what you’re presented when you seek to create a username and password at the TOEFL site to register for an exam:

Important User Name and Password Information
User names must be between 6 and 16 characters long and may contain both letters and numbers. The user name may NOT contain any special characters like !, $, #, % or +.

Passwords must be a minimum of 8 characters in length. The maximum is 16 characters. For added security, they must also contain three of the following four character categories:
English uppercase characters (A through Z)
English lowercase characters (a through z)
Numeric characters (0 through 9)
Special characters (for example, !, $, #, %)
Examples of allowable passwords are:

Your password is case-sensitive. For example, "H!tTh3M@rK" is not equal to "h!TtH3m@Rk".
Only English characters are allowed and your password cannot contain your user name, first/given name, or last/family name.

Let’s see: A username must be between six and sixteen chars long. Check. Cannot contain special chars. Check. Passwords must be a min of 8 chars long. Check. Max is 16… Check. They must contain three of four character categories…. what is this my bank vault?

Or think of this another way: a reading comprehension test even before the exam starts. Can we applaud and bring the roof down already?