Hi, this is Peter from Smiths School of English In Yamashina. Many of my English conversation school students specifically want to study to improve their TOEIC scores. Many share similar difficulties concerning taking their TOEIC tests. I’d like to share some tips for improving your TOEIC score.
TOEIC Tip 1
Time management on the reading section. One of the most common problems experienced by my students in Yamashina is running out of time in the reading section of the test. There are 75 minutes to complete the three sections in TOEIC reading section. Sub tip: know your question types. Incomplete sentences, filling in blanks in passages and answering questions about passages in the form of letters, memos, ads and so on. The final part of the reading section takes the most time. Don’t spend too long puzzling over questions you find difficult on the first 2 parts. You can return to them after moving on.
TOEIC Tip 2
Implication & Suggestion. Many of my students tell me they find questions asking “What is implied about” or “what is suggested about” to be particularly difficult. Here you are being asked to read between the lines and detect what can be understood about a person or situation without the answer being directly stated in the piece you have heard or read. This may be relatively simple. For example, you might hear a speaker talking about cherry blossoms being in full bloom and finding an answer choice of “It is most likely Springtime”. In part 7 of the test you may need to piece together clues from more than one text or chart to find the correct answer. When you see the word implied, suggested or inferred, don’t expect the answer to be clearly stated. This is an important tip for TOEIC success.
TOEIC Tip 3
Vocabulary Building. Increasing vocabulary using word lists is obviously beneficial but can be boring. I like to encourage my English school students to read books, newspapers or magazines in English. This not only exposes you to new vocabulary and idioms, but with practice will increase reading speed. When coming across a word which you don’t understand, always try to work out the meaning from the context so reducing the reliance on dictionaries which of course are not available in test conditions.
TOEIC Tip Vocabulary Building: Read Al’s Blog about the word “Lawnmower”.
TOEIC Tip 4
Watch Movies & TV News. As reading helps to increase reading speed, watching English language movies, dramas and news exposes you to natural English. This English is spoken at a natural speed and in a variety of accents and styles. This is important because the TOEIC test uses multiple speakers throughout the listening section. Movies and dramas will also help in getting used to indirect or vague responses to statements and questions which often appear in part 2 of the test.
TOEIC Tip 5
Ability to Paraphrase. Having the ability to paraphrase is important. The answer you are looking for is rarely going to use the exact same words as the text, in fact TOEIC often tries to trick test takers into choosing the wrong answer by repeating the same or similar sounding words in the conversation and possible answers in the listening section. In my school in Yamashina I like to encourage students to express things in their own words, or to find different ways to say the same thing. This is a more powerful learnng tool than simply repeating the vocabulary I have used.
Michael Drum says
Very good article and some great tips.
Some good advice there, Peter!