Demonstrating proficiency in the English language is vital in today’s globalized world. Many companies now demand certificates confirming competence in business English, driving professionals to obtain certifications verifying their language skill levels.
Certifications such as TOEIC and TOEFL can be the game-changer in securing that dream job. Imagine Alex and Sarah, two candidates eager to secure an English-speaking role at a vibrant company. On paper, they seemed equally qualified – education, experience, and skills aligned. But a crucial difference stood out. Alex confidently claimed to be an “advanced” English speaker, while Sarah mentioned an internationally recognized business English assessment where she reached an advanced level. Guess who got the interview call? Sarah. Why? Because her certification spoke louder than words. It wasn’t just a claim; it was backed by proof. Moreover, it was proof of dedication to growth.
Venturing further into this journey, let’s delve into one of the most universally recognized assessments – the TOEIC.
The TOEIC (English Test for International Communication) is primarily taken by those who want to showcase their English language skills in a professional context. This includes job seekers, employees, and those aspiring to climb the career ladder in international business contexts. The TOEIC test is widely accepted by employers, organizations, and academic institutions as a way to measure how good someone is at using English to communicate effectively.
The Structure of Each Exam:
The exam is divided into two separate tests: Listening & Reading, and Speaking & Writing. You can choose to take either one of these tests or both, depending on your needs.
In the TOEIC, the main focus is on your listening and reading skills. These skills are important for understanding discussions, talks, reports, and written documents commonly found in the business world.
The TOEIC focuses on English that you would actually use at work. It gives you situations that you might encounter on the job, like meetings, phone chats, work-related announcements, and different types of documents you often see in the workplace.
The TOEIC Listening and Reading test takes around 2 hours. The exam consists of two parts: a listening section with 100 questions to be answered in 45 minutes, and a reading comprehension section with 100 questions to be answered in 75 minutes.
The total duration of the TOEIC Speaking and Writing tests is 1 hour and 30 minutes. The Speaking test lasts 20 minutes and consists of 11 questions, while the Writing test lasts 60 minutes and includes 8 questions.
TOEIC Test Scores:
Test-takers’ performance in the listening and reading sections of the test will be reflected in scores that are usually reported on a scale of 10 to 990. These scores can be mapped to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), a widely recognized framework for assessing language proficiency levels. TOEIC scores can be correlated with the CEFR levels, such as A1, A2, B1, B2, and C1.
Why take the TOEIC test?
Taking the TOEIC test is a great way to demonstrate your English skills in a professional and workplace setting. Here are some key reasons why you should consider taking the TOEIC test:
- Enhanced Job Opportunities: Scoring well on the TOEIC test can significantly increase your chances of landing a job. Many employers use TOEIC scores as a benchmark to assess candidates’ English language abilities during the hiring process. By showcasing your TOEIC score, you stand out among other job applicants and demonstrate your readiness to communicate effectively in an English-speaking work environment. A strong TOEIC score can give you a competitive edge and open doors to a broader range of job opportunities, both domestically and internationally. It shows your commitment to professional growth and highlights your potential value to employers seeking candidates with English language skills.
- Career Advancement: A strong TOEIC score can significantly enhance your career prospects. Many employers, especially those operating in international or multinational settings, recognize the TOEIC test as a reliable measure of English proficiency. By demonstrating a TOEIC score, you position yourself as a competent candidate for job opportunities that require English language skills.
- Professional Development Opportunities: Many companies offer training and development programs that require a certain level of English proficiency. By achieving a strong TOEIC score, you open doors to professional development opportunities, such as workshops, seminars, and international assignments, which can further enhance your skills and advance your career.
- Global Recognition: The TOEIC test is recognized internationally by thousands of companies, organizations, and government agencies. Including your TOEIC score on your resume or job application provides potential employers with a clear and standardized measure of your English proficiency. This global recognition increases your credibility and marketability in today’s competitive job market.
- Immigration and Visa Applications: Taking the TOEIC test can be beneficial for immigration purposes. Many countries, especially those with English language requirements for immigration or visa applications, accept TOEIC scores as evidence of English language proficiency. Achieving a high TOEIC score can support your immigration application.
Preparing for language proficiency tests like TOEIC and TOEFL demands dedicated effort and the use of efficient study tactics. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the TOEIC exam:
- Understand the test format: Familiarize yourself with the structure and format of the TOEIC exam. Understand the sections, question types, and time limits for each section. This will help you allocate your time wisely during the actual exam.
- Access official materials: Look for the official TOEIC practice materials, such as sample tests and study guides. These materials closely match the real exam and can give you helpful hints about how the test is organized and what kinds of questions to expect.
- Focus on listening skills: Since the TOEIC primarily focuses on listening and reading, make sure you set aside enough time to practice these skills. Improve your listening skills by actively listening to English audio materials, such as podcasts, news broadcasts, and TED Talks. Practice identifying main ideas, details, and specific information while taking notes to enhance your comprehension abilities.
- Hone reading proficiency: Dedicate time to improve your reading skills, as the reading section requires understanding written passages and answering related questions. Read a variety of English texts, such as newspaper articles, magazine features, and business reports. Practice summarizing the main points and identifying key details within a given time frame.
- Expand business vocabulary: TOEIC is focused on assessing business-related English skills. Build your business vocabulary by studying commonly used business terms, idiomatic expressions, and industry-specific jargon. Utilize online resources, flashcards, and vocabulary exercises to reinforce your knowledge and improve your ability to comprehend business-related passages and questions.
- Simulate test conditions: Mimic the actual test environment during your practice sessions. Time yourself strictly, replicate the listening and reading test and work on maintaining focus and concentration throughout the exam.
- Pursue specialized training: Consider enrolling in specialized training courses or language programs designed specifically for TOEIC preparation. These programs often provide comprehensive study materials, expert guidance, and targeted practice sessions to help you strengthen your skills in areas specific to each exam.
Looking for language training that can help you excel in TOEFL or TOEIC tests?
Learnship Solo, our e-learning product, provides everything learners need to prepare for TOEFL and TOEIC tests. In addition to its comprehensive business English content, SOLO features a dedicated section specifically tailored for both TOEFL and TOEIC preparation. This specialized section offers a wide range of resources, including targeted exercises, and much more.