FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Enrollment Questions:
How do I apply for the TOEFL Preparation course?
How far in advance should I apply?
Does Terra Nova have any entry requirements?
How much should I pay for the TOEFL Preparation course?
When should I pay my tuition fees?
What should I do if I do not meet the entry requirements?
When can I start my preparation for the TOEFL iBT?


Syllabus Questions:
What is the target audience of the TOEFL Preparation course?
What are the schedule and duration of the TOEFL Preparation course?
Is there any difference in the syllabus between the fall and the spring semesters?
Will I have to purchase any books?
Will I study grammar and vocabulary?
Will I practice model TOEFL iBT tests?
Will my TOEFL Instructor speak Romanian or Russian?
Will my TOEFL Instructor check my TOEFL iBT essays?
Will the TOEFL Preparation course help me understand American life and Americans better?
Will I get a certificate when I complete my studies?


School Questions:
What type of educational institution is Terra Nova?
How is Terra Nova different from other English schools?
Is TOEFL Preparation the only course taught at Terra Nova?
What qualifications does Terra Nova's TOEFL Instructor have?
Where is the school located? Is it close to public transportation?
What is the classroom like?
What kind of library does Terra Nova have?
Can I visit Terra Nova to talk to the TOEFL Instructor?
What are your average class sizes?
Will I get assistance with TOEFL iBT registration in case I need it?
Will I get assistance with admission to U.S. colleges and universities in case I need it?


Answers:

How do I apply for the TOEFL Preparation course?

All our students are enrolled on an FCFS (first-come, first-served) basis, taking into account the level of their proficiency in the English language (determined by the evaluation test and during the interview) as well as such important admission criteria as academic and personal achievements, duties and responsibilities, interpersonal skills, extracurricular activities, travel experiences, and interests, among others. Please note that no single factor, attribute, or characteristic is used to determine admission.

First, all our prospective students must fill out the application form and send it along with all supporting documents by e-mail directly to Terra Nova. There is no application fee for the TOEFL Preparation course. After the application documents have been received and carefully considered by the TOEFL instructor, the applicant will be invited to take an English proficiency evaluation test consisting of a short written grammar and vocabulary exercise and an oral interview, which is offered free of charge and obligation. The testing of our new students is carried out every Saturday. Our prospective students can also take the evaluation test by appointment. There is no testing during the summer break and when official public holidays are observed in the Republic of Moldova or in the United States.

How far in advance should I apply?

Please consider the fact that the enrollment in our TOEFL Preparation course is very competitive and you may wish to apply at least several months in advance. All our students are enrolled on an FCFS (first-come, first-served) basis, taking into account the level of their proficiency in English as well as a number of important admission criteria, such as academic and personal achievements, duties and responsibilities, interpersonal skills, extracurricular activities, travel experiences, and interests, among others.

Does Terra Nova have any entry requirements?

Enrollment in the TOEFL Preparation course is limited to students who already have a minimum TOEFL iBT score of 65 or an equivalent level of academic English (upper-intermediate to advanced). Prior to enrollment, all our prospective students must pass an English proficiency evaluation test consisting of a short written grammar and vocabulary exercise and an oral interview, which is offered free of charge and obligation. Exceptions to this policy are at the discretion of the TOEFL instructor.

How much should I pay for the TOEFL Preparation course?

It is one of the policies of Terra Nova to keep our tuition fees at a reasonable level. The tuition fee for the TOEFL Preparation course is set at U.S. $300. The fee INCLUDES the cost of provided handouts and other supporting materials, the cost of TOEFL iBT essay checking (Terra Nova is the only place in Chișinău where students' essays are regularly checked; students can submit for checking as many essays as they want), the cost of out-of-class counseling sessions with the instructor, and the cost of 2 textbooks. There is NO APPLICATION FEE for the TOEFL Preparation course. Our school offers several types of discounts. Students who have previously studied at Terra Nova have a discount of 10%. If more members of the same family study at the school, everyone has a discount of 5%. Groups of more than 5 people are offered a discount of 5% for each member. Groups of more than 10 people are offered a discount of 10% for each member. The total discount sum for each person cannot exceed 15%.

When should I pay my tuition fees?

In comparison with all other English schools in Moldova, our students do not need to pay the tuition fees prior to or at the time of their enrollment. We give our students 2 weeks to decide if they want to take our TOEFL Preparation course or not. However, the tuition must be paid in full at the end of the 2-week period.

What should I do if I do not meet the entry requirements?

Our TOEFL Preparation course is designed for upper-intermediate and advanced English students. Prior to enrollment, all prospective students should pass an English proficiency evaluation test consisting of a short written grammar and vocabulary exercise and an oral interview. If the level of a prospective student is lower than that required for taking the course, the student is given recommendations on how to improve the general level of his or her English or a particular language skill.

When can I start my preparation for the TOEFL iBT?

We have two academic sessions, or semesters, in an academic year. The duration of each semester is 3.5 months (15 weeks / 90 hours / 120 academic hours), which is an optimal period of time for adequate TOEFL iBT preparation.

Terra Nova accepts applications on an ongoing basis. However, the application process is highly competitive because there are a limited number of enrollment spaces. Thus, all prospective students are strongly advised to submit their applications and supporting materials well in advance of the application deadline.

2016/2017 ACADEMIC YEAR
FALL SEMESTER: September 19, 2016 - January 1, 2017 (3.5 months / 15 weeks / 90 hours)
SPRING SEMESTER: January 30, 2017 - May 14, 2017 (3.5 months / 15 weeks / 90 hours)


Complete applications must be submitted at least three days before the beginning of classes. The school reserves the right to close the application process before the deadline if need be.

What is the target audience of the TOEFL Preparation course?

Our TOEFL Preparation course is designed specifically for upper-intermediate- to advanced-level non-native English speakers. This unique, comprehensive study program not only focuses on the skills that you need to score well on the TOEFL iBT, but also helps you understand academic English better, perfect your grammar- and style-related accuracy, significantly enrich your vocabulary, polish up your listening and speaking skills, improve your reading speed and comprehension, develop your writing skills, and increase your knowledge of the United States. In other words, our unique TOEFL iBT preparation program is an amalgam of TOEFL iBT preparation, advanced English language skills acquisition, and American studies.

What are the schedule and duration of the TOEFL Preparation course?

Our academic year is divided into 2 academic sessions, or semesters. The duration of each semester is 3.5 months (15 weeks / 90 hours / 120 academic hours), which is an optimal period of time for thorough TOEFL iBT preparation. However, some of our students choose to take both semesters for thorough TOEFL preparation since the teaching materials used in the fall semester are different from those used in the spring semester. While our course textbooks in the fall semester are based on Cambridge TOEFL iBT preparation materials, the books and handouts used in the spring semester are based entirely on Barron's TOEFL iBT preparation materials.

Our TOEFL Preparation course is taught either 3 times per week - on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays - or 2 times per week - on Tuesdays and Thursdays or on Saturdays and Sundays. The duration of the class is either 2 hours (if there are 3 meetings per week) and 3 hours (if there are 2 meetings per week). The break is optional.

Terra Nova accepts applications on an ongoing basis. However, the application process is highly competitive because there are a limited number of enrollment spaces. Thus, all prospective students are strongly advised to submit their applications and supporting materials well in advance of the application deadline, which is usually 3 days before the start of the semester.

2016/2017 ACADEMIC YEAR
FALL SEMESTER: September 19, 2016 - January 1, 2017 (3.5 months / 15 weeks / 90 hours)
SPRING SEMESTER: January 30, 2017 - May 14, 2017 (3.5 months / 15 weeks / 90 hours)


We are offering 8 sections (groups) in the fall semester (TOEFL 1 meeting from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on M.W.F.; TOEFL 2 meeting from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on M.W.F.; TOEFL 3 meeting from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on M.W.F.; TOEFL 4 meeting from 9:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Tu.Th.; TOEFL 5 meeting from 3:00 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. on Tu.Th.; TOEFL 6 meeting from 6:30 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. on Tu.Th.; TOEFL 7 meeting from 9:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Sat.Sun.; and TOEFL 8 meeting from 12:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. on Sat.Sun.). The fall semester starts on September 19, 2016 (for TOEFL 1, 2, and 3), September 20, 2016 (for TOEFL 4, 5, and 6), and September 24, 2016 (for TOEFL 7 and 8). It ends on December 29, 2016 (for TOEFL 4, 5, and 6), December 30, 2016 (for TOEFL 1, 2, and 3), and January 1, 2017 (for TOEFL 7 and 8).

We are offering 8 sections (groups) in the spring semester (TOEFL 1 meeting from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on M.W.F.; TOEFL 2 meeting from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on M.W.F.; TOEFL 3 meeting from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on M.W.F.; TOEFL 4 meeting from 9:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Tu.Th.; TOEFL 5 meeting from 3:00 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. on Tu.Th.; TOEFL 6 meeting from 6:30 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. on Tu.Th.; TOEFL 7 meeting from 9:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Sat.Sun.; and TOEFL 8 meeting from 12:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. on Sat.Sun.). The spring semester starts on January 30, 2017 (for TOEFL 1, 2, and 3), January 31, 2017 (for TOEFL 4, 5, and 6), and February 4, 2017 (for TOEFL 7 and 8). It ends on May 11, 2017 (for TOEFL 4, 5, and 6), May 12, 2017 (for TOEFL 1, 2, and 3), and May 14, 2017 (for TOEFL 7 and 8).

We do our best to provide fixed section times, and we make every effort to keep all offered section times open, but since we cannot predict how students will enroll in sections, we sometimes have to open sections due to high enrollment or close class section times due to low enrollment. To prepare yourself against the latter possibility, we suggest that you keep in mind several section times in case a section that you would like to enroll in closes.

Is there any difference in the syllabus between the fall and the spring semesters?

Our academic year is divided into 2 academic sessions, or semesters. Even though most of our students choose to attend our TOEFL Preparation course only once, some decide to study for two semesters. Some of the teaching materials that are used in the two semesters are different. In both semesters, we use a variety of authentic TOEFL test preparation materials created by ETS, including free sample questions, practice tests, interactive skill-building programs, and detailed tips and information for understanding more about the test. However, while the TOEFL iBT component of the syllabus taught in the fall semester includes practice tests from the latest edition of Cambridge TOEFL iBT Preparation Guide, published by Cambridge University Press, our TOEFL iBT preparation materials used in the spring semester include practice tests from the latest edition of Barron's TOEFL iBT Preparation Guide and other materials developed by Barron's Educational Series.

Will I have to purchase any books?

In the fall semester, the course textbooks are (1) TOEFL iBT (based on ETS and Cambridge TOEFL iBT preparation materials and materials developed by the TOEFL instructor) and (2) Grammar, Style, and Vocabulary Review (written by the TOEFL instructor).

In the spring semester, the course textbooks are (1) TOEFL iBT (based on ETS and Barron's TOEFL iBT preparation materials and materials developed by the TOEFL instructor) and (2) Grammar, Style, and Vocabulary Review (written by the TOEFL instructor).

You do not need to purchase any books. Your tuition (U.S. $300) INCLUDES the cost of your textbooks and other didactic materials.

Will I study grammar and vocabulary?

Yes, you will - you cannot have success on the TOEFL iBT without a very good knowledge of advanced grammar and vocabulary. But the way the studying of grammatical structures and lexical units is approached at Terra Nova is very different from that in a general English course.

Will I practice model TOEFL iBT tests?

Practicing model TOEFL iBT tests borrowed from Barron's TOEFL iBT, Cambridge Preparation for the TOEFL iBT, McGraw-Hill's TOEFL iBT (The Official Guide to the TOEFL iBT), Longman Preparation Course for the TOEFL iBT, Delta's Key to the TOEFL iBT, Princeton's Cracking the TOEFL iBT, Kaplan's TOEFL iBT, and other excellent TOEFL iBT preparation guides is crucial for success on the actual TOEFL iBT. During each step in your TOEFL iBT preparation course, our TOEFL instructor will familiarize you with the TOEFL iBT structure, format, and test content. You will take realistic practice tests with actual TOEFL iBT questions to measure your progress. You will explore each question type in detail and learn critical test taking strategies, which will help you "crack" the TOEFL iBT code. Our single goal is to make you an expert in the TOEFL iBT and to give you the confidence and skills you need to achieve your target score.

During the last 2 months of each semester, our TOEFL instructor administers 3 TOEFL iBT simulations, which closely resemble the actual TOEFL iBT, in order to evaluate the overall progress of the students. By taking our TOEFL iBT simulations, our students can experience the real TOEFL iBT atmosphere, evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, and estimate the level of their preparedness for taking the actual TOEFL iBT. All our students are encouraged to participate in the TOEFL iBT simulations before taking the actual TOEFL iBT. Upon passing the TOEFL iBT simulations successfully (with a total TOEFL score exceeding 100), Terra Nova issues a document certifying the completion of the TOEFL Preparation course by the student. The certificate is signed by the director of the school and bears the official stamp, contact information, and the logo of Terra Nova.

Will my TOEFL Instructor speak Romanian or Russian?

No, he will not. At Terra Nova, we have a strict English-only policy. While our students are in class or participate in school activities or events, they must speak English and ONLY English. Writing, reading, speaking, or listening to any language other than English are not permitted. Our strict English-only policy promotes a serious studying atmosphere, facilitates learning test-taking strategies, and accelerates the process of acquiring advanced English language skills.

Will my TOEFL Instructor check my TOEFL iBT essays?

Believe it or not, Terra Nova is the only place in Chișinău where students' essays are regularly checked. Our students can submit as many essays for checking as they want. They can either bring their essays to our office on any Saturday or send them by electronic mail to get feedback on their writing. Your TOEFL instructor will correct your grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors, will help you with idea flow, logic, word choice, and sentence structure, will correct your formatting style, and will leave comments and feedback that, if you choose to address, can drastically help improve your writing skills. Our essay correction service is available 24/7. It does not matter if it is a holiday, 2 a.m. in the morning, or a weekend. We are here, ready to help you with your essays any time of the day or night.

Will the TOEFL Preparation course help me understand American life and Americans better?

While preparing for the TOEFL iBT, which is an American English test, our students explore American history, geography, politics and government, health care, education, legal rights and responsibilities, consumer behavior, social customs and values, etc. Our course books are full of interesting facts about many different facets of living in the U.S. Sometimes the TOEFL instructor invites guest speakers from the U.S. and other English-speaking countries. Our TOEFL Preparation course helps our students understand American life and Americans better and avoid many cultural problems while in the U.S.

Will I get a certificate when I complete my studies?

Upon passing 3 TOEFL iBT simulations successfully (with a total TOEFL iBT score exceeding 100), Terra Nova issues a document certifying the completion of the TOEFL Preparation course by the student. The certificate is signed by the director of the school and bears the official stamp, contact information, and the logo of Terra Nova.

What type of educational institution is Terra Nova?

Terra Nova is a private educational institution providing advanced English language studies. It is the only specialized TOEFL preparation center in the Republic of Moldova. Founded in September 1998, Terra Nova began its journey with only 10 students and a mission to provide intensive TOEFL preparation and advanced English education of high quality. At present, Terra Nova boasts an annual enrollment of more than 100 students. Different courses used to be taught at Terra Nova. In 2005, when the TOEFL iBT was introduced, the school decided to focus on teaching only one course, TOEFL Preparation.

How is Terra Nova different from other English schools?

Many English schools exist in Chișinău, about half a dozen of them offering TOEFL preparation classes. Some of those schools are well known in the city as a result of their incessant aggressive advertising campaigns. They boast of their high enrollments and earnings. They teach everybody, from beginners to advanced students, and everything, from English for Kids to Business English. According to an old proverb, the big fish eat up the small... This is not our case! Why do people choose Terra Nova? Why do they prefer our small and highly specialized school to those versatile linguistic monsters? Our students give many cogent reasons for having enrolled in our school to prepare for the TOEFL iBT with us. Read about "OUR STRENGTHS" (the link is in the left frame on this page) to understand what makes Terra Nova different from other English schools existing in Chișinău.

Is TOEFL Preparation the only course taught at Terra Nova?

Yes, it is. Different courses used to be taught at Terra Nova. In 2005, when the TOEFL iBT was introduced, the school decided to focus on teaching only one course, TOEFL Preparation.

What qualifications does Terra Nova's TOEFL Instructor have?

Our TOEFL Instructor has native English speaker competence. His considerable American experience is perfectly blended with his broad educational and professional backgrounds, which is extremely important to any TOEFL instructor. In 1996, he received a research assistantship to be able to study at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, USA. In the summer of 1997, while a student at Purdue, he interned at the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, Portland, OR, USA. In May 1998, he successfully completed his graduate program and got his master's degree from Purdue's Department of Forestry and Natural Resources. In August-December 2001, he did research on natural resource management, policy, and conservation issues, conducted research trips to Hawaii, Colorado, and Ohio, and attended classes at the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management of the College of Natural Resources at the University of California at Berkeley, CA, USA. Since then, he has participated in a number of programs and projects sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State. He regularly exchanges experience with American ESL and TOEFL instructors teaching students whose native language is not English. Thus, during his visit to the United States in the summer of 2008, he met with ESL and TOEFL instructors in Hawaii, Florida, and NYC. He also attended a seminar organized by ETS (Educational Testing Service). During his trip to the United States in the summer of 2010, he met with ESL and TOEFL instructors in Indiana, Ohio, and New York, and with professors and admissions officers from Purdue University (West Lafayette, Indiana). In August 2012, he met with ESL teachers in Massachusetts and Georgia. Between June 1 and July 31, 2012, he volunteered at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, located in the U.S. State of Hawai'i on the island of Hawai'i, working with the Division of Interpretation in the Kilauea Visitor Center and the Thomas A. Jaggar Museum, orienting visitors to the park and its resources, presenting talks, and leading guided hikes for visitors along some of the park's main trails. In the summer of 2014, he visited Ohio, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. In the summer of 2016, he visited New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New York, and Texas. Our TOEFL instructor has extensive English teaching experience. Since 1998, he has been preparing students of different ages and cultural and linguistic backgrounds for taking the TOEFL. Enthusiastic and creative, he will also help YOU master English!

Where is the school located? Is it close to public transportation?

Our school is located in the very heart of Rîșcani Sector, Chișinău, at the intersection of Moscova Boulevard and Miron Costin Street. Our close neighbors are the largest Rîșcani branch of Moldova Agroindbank, the Rîșcani Sector Civil Registration Office, Max Fitness (a fitness center), Marks (a shopping center), Giant (a bicycle retail and service store), branches of FinComBank, Moldindconbank, Victoriabank, and Mobiasbancă, Jardi (a convenience store), La Plăcinte (a fast-food restaurant), Linella (a convenience store), Foișor (a fast-food restaurant), Jar Pizza (a fast-food restaurant), Furshet (a supermarket), MoldMart (a supermarket), Camelia (a retailer of consumer electronics), a Rîșcani branch of StarNet (an Internet service provider), and Andy's Pizza (a fast-food restaurant). The Soviet-Afghan War Memorial is located right across Moscova Boulevard. A McDonald's restaurant, a KFC restaurant, a Tucano Coffee outlet, Soiuz (a shopping center), and a Green Hills supermarket are situated only one block from the center. Shopping... Restaurants... The best of old and new Chișinău is within walking distance! Trackless trolley, bus, and minibus lines are minutes away. We are near everything!

What is the classroom like?

We have a well-equipped classroom, which is crucial for efficient TOEFL iBT preparation. The room is fully air-conditioned. There is always potable water (cold and hot) in the office, and so are complimentary tea, coffee, and Bucuria candy. We make every effort to create a homey atmosphere in our school, which, we believe, is one of the keys to fruitful acquisition of advanced English language skills and efficient TOEFL iBT preparation.

What kind of library does Terra Nova have?

Terra Nova has an excellent library of audio and video materials, including an impressive collection of movies (in English, with English subtitles). The movies and other audio and video materials can be copied for non-profit educational purposes only. Our students can copy one or two movies at a time onto their USB flash drives or DVD disks. We do not charge our students for copying audio and video materials.

Terra Nova has a small library of books and periodicals. All our students can check out one or two books at a time. Most books have a two-week lending (circulation) period and may be renewed for an additional one week. Reference books (such as encyclopedias or dictionaries) circulate overnight only. They may be picked up at the end of the day and returned the next morning before the classes begin. Magazines circulate for one week. We do not charge our students for borrowing books and periodicals.

Terra Nova boasts a comprehensive collection of TOEFL-related computer programs. The TOEFL-related computer programs can be copied for non-profit educational purposes only. Our students can copy only one computer program at a time onto their USB flash drives or DVD disks. We do not charge our students for copying TOEFL-related computer programs.

Can I visit Terra Nova to talk to the TOEFL Instructor?

If you have any questions about Terra Nova, our TOEFL Preparation course, our TOEFL Instructor, or the TOEFL iBT, stop by our office. The best day for visiting our school is Saturday. Please call our TOEFL instructor at 079581561 to set up an appointment. Please note that our school is closed when official public holidays are observed in the Republic of Moldova or in the United States.

What are your average class sizes?

In spite of the fact that the admission process at Terra Nova is rigorous and highly competitive, we have a relatively low student-teacher ratio, which does not exceed 11 students per class. Since English is learned with practice, it is only natural that the smaller the classes are, the more rapidly your language abilities will improve. Likewise, for fruitful TOEFL iBT preparation, it is very important that the class size be as small as possible.

Will I get assistance with TOEFL iBT registration in case I need it?

Registering for the TOEFL iBT is not really difficult. The official TOEFL iBT website provides online registration, which is the easiest way to register, and payment by credit/debit card (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, or Discover cards), which is the easiest method of payment for the test. If you want to avoid potential registration problems and if you do not have one of the aforementioned credit/debit cards, Terra Nova can register you for the TOEFL iBT for a small additional fee of U.S. $10.

Will I get assistance with admission to U.S. colleges and universities in case I need it?

Every day our students ask us tens of questions about admission to U.S. colleges and universities: "What is the structure of U.S. higher education?", "What is the difference between a college and a university? What is a community college?", "Where can I find a searchable list of United States institutions of higher education?", "What is the difference between undergraduate and graduate degrees?", "How many universities should I apply to?", "Which colleges and universities are the best? Is there a way to tell?", "What are the requirements for admission to U.S. colleges and universities?", "What documents must I submit for admission?", "Which standardized tests will I be required to take?", "When are the university application deadlines?", "How much does it cost to study in the U.S.?", "Is it possible to study in the U.S. free of charge?", "What type of visa do I need to become an academic student in the United States?", etc. Our TOEFL Instructor will provide you with information about applying to U.S. colleges and universities, answer all of your questions about admission, and give you valuable recommendations on your application documents, including your CV, transcripts, cover or motivation letters, essays, recommendation letters, etc.