Slam Dunk Your TOEIC Test
Structure And Preparation
Anyone who wants to work in reputed corporate organisations especially in Asian countries should take the TOEIC test. Those who have not done their basic education in English should take this test if they intend to apply for jobs in multinational corporations where the language of daily use is English.
This exam is not a test of your business know-how or technical jargon but rather it is a simple test that rates your current level of English proficiency in reading, listening, writing and speaking. You do not need to have a great vocabulary or be a literature major to score well on this exam.
Working knowledge of daily English words, the ability to listen and interpret simple English sentences, writing business letters and reading reports in English are some of the few essential skills you would need to function well in a corporate English-speaking environment. This test tells your prospective employer that you can handle all this with ease.
Your comfort level with English is important for the organisation’s growth. Others who should take this test include those wanting to apply for a promotion or a new position in their organisation. If you are curious about your level of English proficiency then you can also take this test but it is not a must for you.
TOEIC- Test of English for International Communication
It is an international level exam for testing English proficiency of working professionals whose native language is not English. Test of English for International Communication is a standardized paper-pencil test conducted by ETS (Educational Testing Service), the same organisation that conducts world reputed exams such as GRE and TOEFL. As per their statistics TOEIC is administered in more than 90 countries and it is used by more than 9,000 organizations as a measure of English language proficiency in the work place.
TOEIC Listening and Reading
The main test consists of two sections – listening and reading. There are 200 questions in total which come in the form of multiple choice questions to be answered in the form of a paper-pencil test. The total time given is 2 hours for the two sections and around thirty minutes for filling out personal details. You get 45 minutes for the Listening Section and 75 minutes for the Reading Section.
The listening section of the redesigned TOEIC now contains 100 items, it is known as Listening Comprehension. It requires you to listen to clips from an audio cassette or a CD and answer based on your understanding of what is being spoken. The 4 types of questions in this section are Photographs, Question-response, Conversations and Short-talks.
The reading section also has 100 items and is called Reading Comprehension. The redesigned TOEIC now has 4 types of questions in this section which are called Incomplete Sentences, Text Completion, Single Passages and Double Passages. This section will measure your understanding of the written word.
TOEIC Speaking and Writing
This is an additional computer-based part of the TOEIC test that was introduced in 2008 by ETS. Most organisations that require TOEIC ask only for listening and reading scores but if you are eyeing that promotion or really want to flaunt your enhanced grasp of the English language at your office then you must take this too as it shows that you are skilled in all four domains of the English language.
You get around 20 minutes to complete the speaking section and around 60 minutes for the writing section. The questions are arranged in an ascending order of difficulty level and test mainly your fluency of speech and written communication skills.
The Speaking section has 11 tasks. Questions require you to read a text aloud, describe a picture, respond to questions, respond to questions based on information provided, propose a solution and express an opinion. The writing section has 8 tasks in the form of writing sentences based on a picture, responding to a written request and writing an opinion essay.
TOEIC Certificate of Achievement
There is no minimum score required for you to pass this test as this is not a pass or a fail type of test. Rather it is certificate that you receive and your score is valid for two years. Your scores will be indicated on your TOEIC Certificate of Achievement which comes in five colours. The colour band you receive will indicate your ability to be fluent and communicative in the work place. You may get a Gold, Blue, Green, Brown or an Orange certificate based on your Listening and Reading scores where Gold indicates the highest level and Orange would indicate the lowest level.
Also, if you have taken the Speaking and Writing tests they will be shown as ranked on separate proficiency level scales. The speaking section has 8 proficiency levels while the writing section has 9 proficiency levels.
You need to visit ETS website (http://www.ets.org/toeic) and register online. There is no restriction on the no. of attempts; you can take the TOEIC as many times as you want. It is usually conducted once every month. The current registration fee is 75 US Dollars but it may vary a little if you are in a different country.
The local ETS test centers in your area, as listed on the ETS website, will provide you the exact details regarding the test date and centre. If TOEIC is not available in your country then you can fill out a request form on the ETS website and they will tell you how to go about it.
In order to prepare for the TOEIC you must download the TOEIC handbooks from the ETS website and try out the sample questions. In addition to this there are a lot of study websites offering free practice material online. One of the best ways to prepare oneself for the TOEIC is to increase your usage of English on a daily basis be it written or oral.
Listen to English news channels and audio books, read English articles try to carry on long conversations in English with your colleagues. Daily practice will help you automatically improve your English proficiency in all the four domains namely listening, reading, writing and speaking.
Therefore you need not worry if you could not manage to get a decent band this time, you can always try next month. This can be one of the best reasons to read great books and watch beautiful English movies. Test preparation cannot become any more fun than this.