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May 10, 2005

That was hard!

My BlackBerry buzzed at 5:38 on Friday...

"Hard! Lots of new content from the new outline ... A bunch of people hung around to complain. I don't feel good about it at all!"

That was my co-worker's answer to my question: "How was the [CAE] test?"

I'm really eager to talk with her more, but frankly I'm a little surprised that she said there was so much content from the new outline. Conventional wisdom was that the CAE Commission wouldn't have enough time to write a bunch of questions based on the new content outline between the approval of the outline and the May exam. Maybe they pulled it off?

I remember exiting the test and thinking there were a few -- but not a lot of -- questions that didn't seem to fit the content outline. Perhaps the "new" questions were creeping in even before the content outline was officially implemented.

In any case, I don't think my co-worker should worry too much. Or anyone who just took the test, for that matter. I've only known one person who left the exam and felt like they'd definitely passed. The most prepared person I know from the December 2004 exam was with me in the CAE Study Course, and immediately after the exam she reported:

"I feel pretty good about it, but am not sure if it is more that I am glad it is over or that I really did well!"

The CAE exam is so squishy, I don't understand how anyone can truly know they've passed when they walk out of the testing location.

I also think it's humorous how much complaining there is about the exam. You can actually "challenge" the exam questions right there on the exam, during the exam. If you think the question stinks or has more than one right answer, you can write your challenge in the test booklet to let the CAE commission know about it. I guess if they get enough challenges they'll consider throwing out the question. At least challenging the question might actually produce a result, but complaining about it afterwards is pretty much fruitless, unless your only goal is to vent some steam. Which, I suspect, was my co-worker's intent.

Anyway, best of luck to all my readers who just completed the exam. Now comes the waiting.

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