TOEFL before admission: What about IT?

I finally submitted my application to University of Virginia for the Darden MBA program class of 2008 in October 2005. It was indeed a relief for me considering the fact that I had to quickly do my GMAT (oops… I had a mere 650 score. Not bad for my application afterall. I will be sharing my experience soon) and that I had to write like 7 application essays (4 for Darden MBA and 3 for Stanford MBA) at the same time. Moreover, I always get home around 9.30pm in the evening which really put me in a very tight schedule. I ensured that the whole application was tight as I cant imagine wasting the 140USD application I paid through a friend’s credit card. It is not that the amount is that much but the stress I went through before I could get someone to pay the fee on my behalf is enormous 🙁

And the first mail came in. When I saw that the sender is from Darden Admission Committee, I knew there was definitely a problem as I didnt expect to hear from them until first week in December when the status of my application would be announced. My suppossed Account Officer sent me a mail in which she asked me to send her my TOEFL score as the admission committee had just discovered that I didnt submit any TOEFL score with my MBA application. The implication? I might have to write the TOEFL exam within stipulated time or forfeit my application (I cant even imagine this not with all the sleepless nite I had putting up the whole application together). I therefore sent her a mail explaining that the official language in Nigeria is English Language and based on this I should be qualified for a TOEFL Waiver. I thought the mail will do the magic only to receive a mail now from the Assistant Director of Admission viz:

Dear Emmanuel,
Thank you for your interest in the Darden School MBA program. I will need more information from you before I feel comfortable offering you a TOEFL waiver. Please send to me your GMAT score with the verbal percentile and AWA score. Do you conduct business in English everyday?

I look forward to hearing from you.


Hm… Imaging her asking me if I conduct business in English? However, this sets me thinking. Does it mean that Nigerians speak a different kind of English?. If NO, why do we have to do TOEFL then before we can be considered for any admission into US schools? This I dont actually understand. I have cases in which some of my friends were denied admission into US schools until they did the TOEFL. I know that English language is not only Nigeria’s official language, it is the only recognised language within the Education system. For instance, right from my KG to my university, I was taught in English Language. In fact, it took me some time before I could pick a second Language – Yoruba, which is even supposed to be my official language 😀

Anyway, I sent a very comprehensive mail to the assistant director of admission and she replied telling me that I had been given a TOEFL Waiver. But the question still remains why do I have to be given a TOEFL waiver when my supposed official language is English.