Friday, June 16, 2000

TOEIC information




Created in 1979 by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the test analyses the candidate's level of English, from ‘beginner' to ‘advanced'. The TOEIC® consists of two parts:

  • TOEIC® Listening and Reading
  • TOEIC® Speaking and Writing

An internationally-recognised test, the TOEIC® is used by:

  • businesses (from SMEs to large multinationals) and governmental organisations to help recruit, promote, and manage their employees abroad
  • higher-education institutions which sometimes require a reference level in order to be able to recognise a degree or for a student to enroll in a university-type course
  • anybody who wishes to evaluate their level of English in relation to the requirements of the world of work

What does the test consist of?


The TOEIC® is a series of 200 multiple-choice questions.

Listening comprehension
(45 minutes)

Part I: Photos

10 questions

Part II: Question - Answer

30 questions

Part III: Short conversations

30 questions

Part IV: Short talks

30 questions

Reading comprehension
(75 minutes)

Part V: Fill in the blank

40 questions

Part VI: Text completion

12 questions

Parts VII and VIII: Comprehension

40 questions

Listening comprehension

Part I: Photos:

The candidate will see a photograph for 5 seconds and then hear 4 statements; they must then choose the statement which most closely corresponds to the photo. Remember that the each statement is only heard once and is not written for the candidate to see.

Part II: Question - Answer

The candidate hears a question and three possible answers; they must then select the answer which corresponds to the question. Remember that the questions and answers are only heard once and that they are not written for the candidate to see.

Part III: Short conversations

The candidate hears once a conversation between two people; they are then presented with the written question and four possible answers, from which they must choose the correct one.

Part IV: Short talks

The candidate hears once a short talk by one person, and then answers two or three written questions, each with four possible answers.

Reading comprehension

Part V: Fill in the blank

The candidate is presented with a set of written sentences in each of which there is a word or phrase missing; the candidate must fill each gap using a word or phrase from four possible answers. The missing words or phrases might be focused around grammar points, vocabulary, or idiomatic expressions.

Part VI: Text completion

Start by reading the given text in which there are words or phrases missing. Four possible answers are given below each gap; for each one, choose the correct answer.

Part VII: Comprehension 1: Single text

The candidate is shown an everyday text (user instructions, a newspaper article, an advertisement, etc.). Each text is followed by five questions, each with four possible answers; for each question, the candidate must choose the correct answer.

Part VIII: Comprehension 2: Double-texts

The candidate is shown two everyday texts (user instructions, a newspaper article, an advertisement, etc.). Each set of two texts will be followed by five questions, each with four possible answers. The candidate must choose the correct answer.

Topics covered

The content of the test is not specified; however, as it is a proficiency test for English in the workplace, the candidate should expect to encounter vocabulary and situations taken from the world of business.

Here is a list of some of the topics that you might find in the test:

  • development
  • production
  • purchases
  • technical activity
  • general business activity
  • finance
  • the building trade and property
  • the office/the workplace
  • personnel
  • travelling
  • business meals
  • leisure activities
  • health

Where and when is it possible to take the TOEIC® test?

The TOEIC® test is available in every country in the world on demand. Candidates wishing to take the test who are not associated with a company should contact their local TOEIC® representatives. Telelangue is a training body authorised to organise TOEIC® test sessions in the local area of its offices or in the local area of the company requesting the test for its employees.

What does the TOEIC score correspond to?

The TOEIC ® evaluates the oral and written comprehension of the candidate. The test uses a mark scheme ranging from 10 to 990 based upon the total number of correct answers. There is no minimum score needed to pass the exam, but every company or institution will define its own requirements in terms of the score that it expects its employees to have attained. (E.g.: Company X is looking for an English-speaking salesperson and asks candidates to show evidence of a minimum TOEIC® score of 700 points.)



Stage 1 : Have a go online!

This activity lets Cyberteachers offer you TOEIC® exercises appropriate to your initial ability level.

Stage 2: Work on a particular type of exercise! (30 minutes)

In order to familiarise yourself with the TOEIC®, CyberTeachers suggests that you practise a particular type of exercise:

  • You choose the type of exercise that you would like to work on (photos, monologues, incomplete sentences, etc.)
  • CyberTeachers will offer you a set of questions of that type of exercise adapted to your level
  • For each question, CyberTeachers offers a link to a lesson from our learning program (a grammar or vocabulary sheet, situation card, etc.)

Stage 3 : Try some mini TOEIC® tests! (1 hour)

  • CyberTeachers offers you mini-tests composed of 40 questions in which you will encounter all the different types of question found in the TOEIC® test, covering all ability levels
  • CyberTeachers will give you a breakdown of your score and create a list of your strong and weak points for each type of exercise.
  • The correct answer was not given for this exercise so that you can try again. The programme will redirect you to the questions you missed. Click on "start over".
  • You can work on your weak points by going back to Stage 2 (working on a particular type of exercise)

Stage 4 :Take a mock TOEIC® test! (2 hours)

CyberTeachers offers you a mock test of 200 questions under the same conditions of the real TOEIC® test.

  • You answer the 200 questions within a time limit
  • CyberTeachers records the score that you achieve

Strategies and pitfalls to be avoided:

Part I - Photos:

  • You have 5 seconds before hearing the spoken statements
  • Analyse the people in the photo (how many of them there are, their sex, their age, their clothes, what they are holding/using, etc.)
  • Analyze the space (the foreground and background, where certain objects/people are in relation to others, etc.) and the contextual elements (the weather, the types of clothes worn, the people's facial expressions, the background, the landscape, objects, etc.)
  • Listen to all of the four possible answers before answering.

Be careful! The possible answers often contain words which are related to the picture, but the sense of the answer might not necessarily correspond to that of the photo.

Part II: Question - Answer

  • Look carefully at the question. Is it an open or closed question?
  • Identify the interrogative pronoun if there is one: Who?, What?, Why?, How many? , etc.
  • Listen to the extract right to the end in order to hear all of the possible answers before answering

Part III: Short conversations

  • Read the question before listening to the extract.
  • Listen to the extract the whole way through before answering the questions.
  • Identify the people involved (how many of them there are, their sex, the relationships between them, etc.).
  • Think about the context of the dialogue.
  • Read the four possible answers carefully.

Be careful! The answer is often structured in a different way from how it is heard in the dialogue.

Part IV: Short talks

  • Read the question before listening to the extract.
  • Listen to the extract right to the end before attempting to answer the questions.
  • Don't worry if you don't understand every single word; try to get the gist of the extract.
  • The first few sentences of the extract are the most important in helping you to answer the questions as they set the context.

Part V: Fill in the blank

  • Read the question carefully.
  • Try to identify whether the question deals with a grammar or vocabulary point.
  • If it is a vocabulary point, look at the sentence as a whole to try to work out which word fills the gap most appropriately
  • If it is a grammar point, try to work out which category of word is needed (e.g. verb, noun, adjective, adverb, etc.).

Part VI – Text completion

  • Pay attention to grammar, spelling, and false friends. Watch out for wrong answers which seem right!
  • Read the text through carefully once, and then try to answer the question.
  • Don't hesitate to reread the sentence with the missing word several times to be sure of the context.

Take care in particular when dealing with complex sentences.

Parts VII & VIII - Written comprehension:

  • Skim-read the text(s) once in order to establish the general theme
  • Read the questions before rereading the text(s) in more detail.
  • Reread the text(s) carefully, taking your time.
  • The texts used in this exercise are often taken from the world of work (memos, e-mails, etc.).
  • The first few sentences of these sorts of text often contain a lot of information on the nature and content of the whole text.

What can you do to practise?

You are preparing to take the TOEIC®, which will test your written and oral comprehension in English; what you therefore need to do is to have as much contact as possible with the English language right up until the day of the test.

What sorts of things can you do in your daily life that will help you to prepare whilst enjoying yourself?

  • Go to the cinema! Look for the original English version of films that have subtitles in your native language. In this way you will be able to hear and absorb the English language whilst relaxing.
  • Watch television! Remember that some cable channels offer the possibility to watch programs in the original English version with subtitles.
  • Read books with facing translations! Some publishing houses publish small bilingual books: the left page is in your native language and the right page in English.
  • Surf the Internet! The Internet is a free resource for texts written in English. Think about looking at news and newspaper websites. The websites of many large non-English companies (e.g. national transport services) offer an English version for foreigners; the next time you book a train ticket, do it in English!
  • Communicate! Don't hesitate to speak to foreign tourists in your town who have lost their way. Don't forget that English is an international language; you never know, you might even make some friends along the way.

Good luck!