For the first time Cuba will be the site of two English exams needed for admission to most universities in the United States, according to a report this Wednesday in the Wall Street Journal.
Four Cuban students will take the Test of English as a Foreign Language in Havana on Saturday, June 27. The qualification is a world standard for the admission of non-Anglophone students to universities in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, among other countries.
The organization providing the test, the Educational Testing Service, has also announced plans to offer the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), an entrance exam required by many American universities for admission to graduate studies, despite the logistical obstacles stemming from the lack of technological infrastructure and financing in the country. This latter test will be given in October.
According to José Santiago, head of the GRE exam for the Educational Testing Service, this testing schedule reflects the interests of American universities in enrolling Cuban students after the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Washington and Havana.
For now, no additional testing dates are scheduled on the Island. “There are still many issues to resolve,” explains Santiago, adding that he is working with two Cuban universities to turn their computer classrooms into sites for the official exams.
Students who want to take the tests confront several obstacles, including paying by credit card and the poor quality of the equipment for the listening tests.