Skill Review

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Chapter 1
Skill Review

01 Campus Life
W: Good morning. I was wondering if you could give me some
    information about the Credit-by-Exam system.
M: Yes, of course. What would you like to know?
W: Well, first of all, I’m not really sure what credit-by-exam means.
M: OK. It is basically a combination of the tests administered by the
    departments of this university, the College Level Examination
    program, and other nationally recognized credit-by-exam programs.
W: Right. I know it’s some kind of test, but I’m still not quite sure
    what exactly that means. Can you explain it in a little more detail?
M: The Credit-by-Exam system gives students a chance to take
    exams even if they are not registered in particular courses. For
    example, you want to take an exam in say, English composition,
    but you don’t want to take an English composition class. You
    register for credit-by-exam, and if you pass the exam, you get
    the credit. So, you can demonstrate competence attained by
    educational experience, rather than university instruction.
W: So, I can take various exams, even if I didn’t register for that
    course, or didn’t attend any of the classes or lectures, and I can
    still get credits for taking those tests?
M: That pretty much sums it up.
W: Now, is it possible to get credits for graduate courses? I’d kind
    of like to combine my undergraduate degree and a master’s
    degree at the same time, if that’s possible. If I could get my BA
    and an MA at the same time, that would be great.
M: It would certainly save a lot of time, but I’m afraid that this is
    only for certain undergraduate courses.
W: Oh, well.
M: And of course, I hope you realize that guest matriculants are
    not eligible for credits.
W: I’m sorry? Guest matriculants?
M: I mean students who have been admitted to the university
    through an external program, but are not actually registered as
    full-time permanent students of this university.
W: Exchange students and that kind of thing?
M: They would fall under that category, yes, and extended studies
    students, too.
W: I’m a little worried about how the credits would appear on my
    transcript. Will there be anything on my transcript to indicate
    that I did not actually attend classes? I’m afraid that might
    affect my chances of being accepted to a graduate program if
    I have not actually attended the classes.
M: There will be nothing to show the credits were earned under
    the Credit-by-Exam system, but I don’t think you need to worry.
    Each department has very strict eligibility criteria for students,
    and everyone taking a test is expected to have quite an extensive
    knowledge of the area to be tested. The credits you receive
    through testing are just as valid as credits received in the regular
    way. In any case, only a select few universities are being allowed
    to participate in the system, so academic standards are being
    tightly monitored.
W: Do you have a list of the courses for which students can receive
    credit by exam?
M: Yes. Why don’t you take this information package, take a look,
    and give me a call if you have any more questions?
W: Great. Thanks.

02 Communications

W:You are giving a talk in front of a group of people. You’ve
    assembled all the relevant facts. You’ve planned it well, and
    your delivery is strong, but your audience doesn’t respond or,
    even worse, they are giving you a negative response. What
    went wrong? Well, it is probably not what you are saying out
    loud that matters. The problem stems from what your body
    says, or in other words, your body language. By body language
    I mean things as simple as the way you stand, or, say, folding
    your arms across your chest. Body language includes the gestures
    and movements people make when they communicate. I can’t
    stress enough how important this is. All too often, people just
    don’t pay attention to their body language. If we go back to
    our earlier scenario of giving a talk for a moment, you might
    think you are communicating a clear message when you speak,
    but if your body is sending a different message, well, then your
    audience is just not going to react as you had hoped. You think
    you are a competent speaker, but if they see you slouching, not
    making eye contact, or pulling your earlobes, the audience will
    not feel confident that they can trust what you are saying. They
    may even stop listening.
    You know, we start to read each other’s body language from a
    very young age. Anytime we speak, the other person is checking
    our gestures and movements to see if they match what we are
    saying. You may not be aware of doing this, but we all do it. It
    comes naturally and is something we learn to do very well over
    time. If you think about your friends or your co-workers for
    example, after a while, you get to know their moods just by
    observing their body language or gestures. You know, your
    boss has a certain facial expression when he or she is upset, or
    maybe one of the guys in your office taps his fingers on his
    desk when he is feeling irritable.
    An effective communicator will use what he or she sees in
    other people and take advantage of it. Even more important,
    however, is knowing and understanding your own body language.
    If you can exert a certain degree of control over the messages
    given by your body, you will be able to manipulate the responses
    of other people. You need to be aware of what your body is
    saying if you hope to succeed. Let me ask you a question.
    When we meet people and talk to them, they receive information
    from us. What percentage of that information comes from
    what we say, I mean the words we use when we speak? Any
    guesses? Yes?
M(1): Umm, maybe 75%?

W: Good guess, but I’m afraid not. Anyone else?
M(2): I’d say about 50%.
W: Wrong again. Would you believe that just 10% of the information
    is in the words? That means that 90%, the vast majority of that
    information, is in our gestures, our expressions, our tone of voice,
    and --- well, all of the other stuff.
    Now, I’d like to give you some examples of body language that
    you might like to consider in your daily life. We don’t have much
    time, so I’ll focus on just a few aspects. Remember, I’m just giving
    you an introduction here. I’m sure you’ll recognize a lot of these
    as things you often do yourself.
    Eye contact. How do you feel when you are talking to
    someone, and they make very little or no eye contact? You feel
    they are disinterested, don’t you? Or what if they make too
   much and they seem to be staring? Either way, you are not
    going to form a very good impression of that person.
    Most of us do it all the time, but folding your arms across your
    body is very negative. It says “don’t approach me, don’t come
    any closer.” That is not something you want to say at a job
    interview. Hold your body upright, keep it open and relaxed,
    and align yourself to place your body face to face with the
    other person. Then, they’ll think you are honest and truthful.
    So, make a mental note to check your body language to make
    sure your body is saying the same thing as your mouth. With
    practice, you can send the desired message every time.

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