01. Introduction
02. About the TOEIC Exam
03. Listening Section
04. Reading Section
05. Speaking TOEIC
06. Writing TOEIC
07. Test-taking Strategies
08. Practice Exams
09. Conclusion

2.01 Overview of the TOEIC exam

About the TOEIC® test

TOEIC® stands for Test of English for International Communication

The format of the TOEIC® test

The TOEIC® exam has been designed by the ETS to test a person’s proficiency in the English language in business and working environments, so it mainly focuses on topics and questions related to work in business areas, such as meetings, travel scenarios, telephone conversations, etc. The results of TOEIC test reflect the level of proficiency when using English in work activities and daily life settings. 

There are two versions of the TOEIC test:

  • TOEIC Listening and Reading
  • TOEIC Speaking and Writing

The Listening and Reading exam is the most required TOEIC test and takes place with pen and paper in a testing center, whereas the TOEIC Speaking and Writing exam has been developed more recently and takes place online. They can be taken separately or together as 4 skills. 

The TOEIC® Listening & Reading test structure

The Listenign and Reading exam lasts for around 2.5 hours of a paper-and-pencil, multiple-choice assessment. There are two timed sections of 100 questions each.

The Listening section takes around 45 minutes. In this section test takers listen to a variety of questions and short conversations recorded in English, then answer questions based on what they have heard (100 items total). This section includes:

  • Listening to short statements regarding a photograph and choosing the answer that best describes the picture.
  • Listening to a question and then to multiple response options and selecting the best response to a question. 
  • Listening to a short conversation between two or three people and answering to the questions related to the conversation and/or diagrams printed in the textbook. 
  • Listening to talks such as announcements or narrations, and reading the questions choosing the best answer to a question based on what you hear in the audio or see on the diagrams printed in the textbook. 

The Reading takes around 75 minutes. In this section test-takers read a variety of materials and respond at their own pace (100 items total). This section includes:

  • Selecting the best answer of multiple choices to complete the sentence.
  • Selecting the best answer of multiple choices (words, phrases, or a sentence) to complete the text.
  • Reading the passage and answering questions related to the context of the passage by choosing the best answer. Some questions may require you to select the best place to insert a sentence within a text. 

The TOEIC® Speaking & Writing test structure

The Speaking and Writing exam lasts for around 90 minutes altogether, although the two components take place separately and are scored individually.

The Speaking test takes approximately 20 minutes and includes:

  • Reading a paragraph aloud to test pronunciation
  • Describing a picture with correct vocabulary and grammar
  • Responding to recorded questions with fluent, extended answers
  • Proposing a solution to a problem
  • Expressing your opinion on a subject

The Writing test takes 60 minutes and includes:

  • Writing sentences based on pictures
  • Writing an email response
  • Writing a short essay