Are you looking to improve your business English skills? Then TOEIC, the Test of English for International Communication, is for you! In this post, we’ll explain what the test is and why you should take it. Then, with the advice from one of our students here at Q Language, we’ll share some great tips on how to pass the TOEIC with flying colours.
What is TOEIC?
TOEIC is a global, standardised test used to assess the English skills needed in communication specifically for the workplace. It is a multiple-choice test based on real-life situations in an international work setting. It includes things like meetings, telephone conversations, emails, daily conversations, and travel.
The test is made up of two separate parts where the candidate can choose to do one or both parts depending on their individual needs or the needs of their company. The first includes the listening test (45 minutes, 100 questions) and reading test (75 minutes, 100 questions). The tests are typically done in a public test centre or institution. The second includes the speaking test (20 minutes, 11 questions) and writing test (60 minutes, 8 questions). Both speaking and writing tests can be done online or in a test centre.
If TOEIC is Too Tough, Consider TOEIC Bridge
Don’t despair if you are a beginner and feel TOEIC is too challenging for you as there is an easier alternative. TOEIC Bridge is a simpler version which lasts only 1 hour and is perfect as a starter test for beginner to intermediate learners. It also helps to show recruiters and employers that you are ready for success in the appropriate workplace level. Moreover, it establishes which areas need improvement.
What’s The Difference Between TOEFL & TOEIC?
You may also wonder what the difference is between TOEIC and TOEFL. Well, they are both popular exams taken by millions of learners each year. However, TOEFL (the Test of English as a Foreign Language) is preferred more by universities and institutions because it is suited to academic communication skills.
Simply put, TOIEC focuses on communication in English for working or business purposes, whereas TOEFL focuses on academic English for further studies in an international environment. Also, TOEIC is not a test where you ‘pass’ or ‘fail’. Rather, it depends on the score needed by the country in which you are applying to and the job requirements themselves.
What’s a Good TOEIC Score?
A TOEIC score of 900 points or more is considered the highest proficiency in professional English. If you achieve 900 or more points, you are well advised to include this on your CV as it will certainly help to make it stronger.
Yui, one of our students studying English here in Hong Kong, recently managed to achieve this exemplary accomplishment. In fact, she managed to score an incredible 960 in her final TOEIC exam.
To help you do the same, Yui kindly took the time to share some of her best tips and tricks. Here’s how she got herself well prepared to ace the TOEIC:
1. Set Your Baseline With a Mock TOEIC Test
To establish your base level and pinpoint your weaknesses, try taking a general mock test yourself before really getting to know TOEIC. This is the first thing I did as an experiment after deciding to take the exam. I did this because I wanted to assess my English proficiency level. I recommend it because you should be aware of your current level so that you can figure out which parts you should work on more and vice versa. You may be disappointed with the first result but no worries! I’m certain that TOEIC is the test that ANYBODY can get a high score in, therefore just believe in yourself and never give up.
2. Practice, Practice, Practice!
Practice a lot and get used to the test. To be satisfied with your result, you must take as many practice tests as you can. It is inevitable and a MUST-DO especially if you’re a beginner. Even if you’re pretty confident in English, you could stumble your way through some parts. Remember that the TOEIC lasts 2 hours with no break. You will need concentration, not to mention perseverance right till the end. I also suggest trying the listening parts at 2 X the speed, or even faster if you’re already accustomed to it. This really helps to make you less timid and more confident in the real test.
3. Reading Techniques
Find techniques that work for you and never leave blank answers. Previewing questions and predicting answers is always effective and helps you get clues beforehand. Skimming and scanning are also important reading techniques to learn. However, when it comes to TOEIC, perhaps unlike other English exams, you’d better make sure you read through all paragraphs and sentences. If you don’t, you could get marked down in trick questions.
Even if you don’t feel assured with your answers, do not waste time finding and thinking about the right answer. You will be pressed for time during the test, so don’t allow yourself to waste a minute. What’s more important is that you answer as many questions as possible to have a better chance at getting a high score.
Do not forget to check the time regularly as well and you should be careful not to get distracted along the way.
4. Brush up on Vocabulary & Grammar Skills
Brush up on your vocabulary and grammar skills for Part 5. If you find Part 5 (grammar & vocab) difficult, I suggest you review and go over grammar and vocabulary books. A TOEIC-exclusive book is more favourable as you may discover questions in the book that you’re likely to come across in a real test. Part 5 includes 30 questions and I personally tried to finish the part within 10 minutes at best so that I could set aside enough time for Part 6 and 7. Don’t let yourself spend too much time here and make mistakes in this part!
5. Immerse Yourself in English
Get exposure to English on a daily basis in a way that you find enjoyable. Lastly, and I can’t emphasise this enough, you should find your own way to immerse yourself in English as many times in a day as possible and
All things considered, I advise you to link your studies with your daily life since it will ultimately better enable you to commit yourself to studying English. To start, you could watch YouTube and Netflix and read magazines or whichever materials you are passionate about, of course all in English! Not only will it keep you motivated to stick at it, but it will lead you to great TOEIC success.
I hope you find my advice helpful and informative. I wish you luck in TOEIC.
Learn more about our Business English Courses in Hong Kong.
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