5 Tips to Prepare for the TOEIC Listening and Reading Test

Discover the 5 tips provided by ETS Global to help you prepare for the TOEIC test!

Are you planning on taking the TOEIC® Listening and Reading test soon? With more than 14,000 businesses, organisations and government agencies in more than 160 countries trusting the TOEIC® test, a TOEIC® score is a great addition to any resume.

Indeed, many test-takers add their scores to their resume to apply for international jobs or graduate from university. This two-hour test combines reading and listening skills, and like every test, it can be quite challenging. To help you in your preparation, here are 5 tips to prepare for the TOEIC® Listening and Reading test.

 1. Evaluate your English proficiency level

First, identify your level of English. It is important to assess your English skills to know which test preparation tool will work best for you. Fortunately, there are many tools available. For example, you can use :

  • The TOEIC Test Level Projector to estimate your general level of English listening comprehension. This free online tool takes only 15 minutes and consists of 25 official TOEIC Listening & Reading questions. After taking this test, you will be given your CEFR level (A1 to C1) and a description of your skills to see if you are ready to take the TOEIC Listening & Reading test.

  • The TOEIC® Official Learning and Preparation Courses for self-directed learning. It is a self-study program available online 24/7 containing 24 thematic skill-building units. It is best to first assess your level of English to determine which module of the TOEIC Official Learning and Preparation course would be best for you.

  • The Super Prepa for the TOEIC Test mobile application offers a free version with access to 400 questions in the form of exercises and, to go further, a paid version giving access to 600 additional questions and allowing you to train in real conditions thanks to two mock tests. It is available on IOS and Android.

2. Practice, a lot!

As with every test, there is no better way to prepare for the TOEIC test than exercising your English language skills every chance you get. Never forget: practice makes perfect. There are many ways to practice for the test, so you can easily find the one that suits you best. One of the best ways to do so is:

  • The Official TOEIC® Guide which will give you access to full practice tests with corrections, a vocabulary index, grammar rules, etc. You can buy it here.

  • In addition, many daily habits can also help you improve: listen to music, focus on the lyrics, watch movies and series in English without subtitles.

  • Immerse yourself in the language as frequently as possible and in as many ways as possible. Remember that the listening part of the test reflects real-life situations, so you should get used to dialogue at conversational speed.

3. Get to know the test beforehand

The TOEIC Listening and Reading test is a two-hour, multiple-choice test that consists of 200 questions evenly divided into two timed sections: Listening Comprehension and Reading Comprehension. It is important to get to know the test and what you will be asked to accomplish. If you already know what types of questions will be asked and how to best approach them, you will feel more at ease before and during the test.

The Examinee Handbook provides information about the test and allows you to familiarize yourself with the content and format of the test. It is recommended, even essential, to read the handbook before the test. You should also remember that the test was developed to assess the workplace English language proficiency of those for whom English is, or will be, needed for their career and professional development. Therefore, it was not designed as a measure of achievement.

4. Be confident!

This might be the most important tip anyone can give you. Remember that this is just a test. Also, you should know that if you practice well and enough, you’ll know the format of the test, you’ll know the exercises, you’ll be more comfortable with them, therefore you won’t stress out as much. Knowing the test beforehand will make you confident in the test. The more you practice, the more confident you will be, a better score you will get! Our website has many resources you may find helpful to familiarize yourself with the test.

5. You only need your knowledge of English

The TOEIC test is not based on the content of any particular English course or textbook. It is a measure of your overall ability to communicate in English. It is important to remember that:

  • The test uses workplace settings, situations and formats, but no business knowledge is needed. For instance, you won’t need to know any specialized business or technical vocabulary.

  • Knowing that will allow you to focus your preparation only on what matters the most for this test: English, and English only. Refer to point 2 again: set aside time each day to communicate only in English. Listen, read, speak and write in English every chance you get. The more you use the language, the better you'll become.

  • For success on the TOEIC Listening and Reading test, the best advice is to practice and prepare. Read the official materials to know the format of the test and questions, use English daily to get used to the language and vocabulary and don’t feel shy about practising.

  • Remember that you are not the only one in this situation, and you can always ask for help, exercises, and get advice on the official TOEIC Facebook Page, which is a great way to get to know other people in your situation!