Last Updated: June 09, 2021
What is TOEIC?
TOEIC or the Test of English for International Communication is a standardized examination for language proficiency that has been developed by the Educational Testing Service. This test is provided for non-native speakers and rather than checking for language skills in an academic setting, this exam focuses on the everyday communication skills required by people in the workspace.
This examination is conducted in over 160 countries and is accepted in more than 14,000 organizations around the world making it a better choice for candidates to showcase their language proficiency skills to potential employers. The test focuses on the four aspects of language skills which are speaking, listening, writing, and speaking. Unlike tests like TOEFL and IELTS, ETS has provided different tests for TOEIC- the Speaking and Writing Section and the Listening and Reading Section which the candidates can take separately according to the skill required in their field of career.
Eligibility Requirements for TOEIC
ETS has stated no minimum requirements for the TOEIC examination. There is no age limit for the test and candidates are free to retake the test as many times as they want, provided that they can only take it once every 28 days. They will be required to pay the original fee every time they wish to retake the test.
Registering for TOEIC
Candidates will be able to register for their TOEIC examination either by contacting their local ETS center and providing them with their details or they will be able to approach their institution if it offers the student/ employee to take their test through the institution. The third means for candidates to apply for the examination is by registering online through the ETS official website.
The online registration can be done by logging into the candidate’s ETS account after creating it and providing their background information like name, address, and other biographical data. Candidates will also be required to upload their recent photograph in order to complete the registration process. Once they have entered their personal details, they will be able to choose the test center and a test date from the dates available.
It is recommended that candidates register for the test at least 7 days before the test date of their choice. The test fee changes from center to center and is a minimum of $85 which can be paid through credit or debit card, PayPal, or even an E-Check Service.
Different Forms of TOEIC Tests
The TOEIC test has been separated into different tests that candidates can take depending upon the language skills they need to have in their field of profession. Both these forms of the test deals with different aspects of language proficiency and the division made among the four aspects of language proficiency are into-
- Speaking and Writing Test- This test can be taken by candidates who want to focus on the aspects of speaking and writing for their career growth. Both these sections can be taken separately if the candidate wishes to do so. The speaking skills they focus on are those required for holding face-to-face communication, videoconferencing, teleconferencing, etc. while the writing skills they focus on are ones required for preparing business correspondence like emails.
- Listening and Reading Test- The TOEIC Listening and Reading Test is focused on the aspects of listening skills required in conducting effective communication through a face-to-face medium, in meetings, videoconferencing, teleconferencing, and even telephonic conversations. It is also focused on the reading abilities of the candidate in order to comprehend and communicate through emails, written reports, newsletters, and general business correspondence.
- TOEIC Bridge Test- The Bridge Test of TOEIC is for candidates who are beginners in the language or are at their lower-intermediate level of learning the language. They will be able to assess the level they are at by using the test and improve their knowledge in the same.
TOEIC Listening and Reading Section Test Structure
This test is provided with a total of 2.5 hours in all where candidates will be provided with 45 minutes for the Listening part of the test and 75 minutes for the Reading part of the test. There will be biographical questions involved that are provided with another 30 minutes in all. Each part of the test contains 100 questions in all which will be in a multiple-choice format.
Candidates will be able to take the test either through their institution by contacting the administration regarding the same or they can choose to take the public testing method which is scheduled by the EPN Office by contacting them for information regarding test days, methods to register, and test centers.
Test Format for Listening
Each sub-division of this section will contain recorded conversations that are brief based on which candidates will have to answer the questions that follow. There are 100 questions in all in the section which will be in the following format-
- Photographs- 6 Questions
- Question-Response- 25 Questions
- Conversations- 13 conversations with 3 questions each
- Short Talks- 10 talks with 3 questions each
Test Format for Reading
Candidates will be provided with paragraphs with dissimilar content from which they will have to find the answers to the questions that follow. This section will also contain 100 questions in all which will be divided in the following format-
- Incomplete Sentences- 30 Questions
- Error Recognition/ Text Completion- 16 Questions
- Reading Comprehension
- Single Passages- 29 Questions
- Multiple Passages- 25 Questions
Scoring in TOEIC Listening and Reading Section
Scoring in TOEIC does not imply receiving a pass or fail grade due to the nature of the test. Candidates will be provided with score bands where each score band depicts a particular proficiency level the candidate has in the English language. The Listening and Reading components of the examination have different score scales which state different levels of proficiency.
The score bands of the Listening section start with 400 and has a minimum possible score of 200. The levels that each score band indicates are as follows-
|Score Band||Proficiency Level|
|400||Expert level but weak with uncommon vocabulary and grammar|
|300||Understands and infers idea and purpose of content with difficulty|
|200||Understands short descriptions but not the central idea|
The score bands of the Reading Section start with 450 and has the least score of 150. The proficiency levels these bands indicate are-
|Score Band||Proficiency Level|
|450||Expert level but weak with uncommon vocabulary and grammar|
|350||Understands central idea but cannot connect the information to each other|
|250||Makes simple inferences from test but not beyond two sentences|
|150||Processes only factual information that does not require understanding the text|
TOEIC Speaking and Writing Section Test Structure
This section can be taken separately by candidates according to the function of their job and the format each of these are as follows-
Test Format of Speaking Section
The time provided for this section is only 20 minutes and the number of questions that candidates have to attempt is 11. The directions for each question will be provided in the question itself. For most of the questions provided, candidates will be allotted a specific time to prepare and speak as the response. It is recommended that the candidate keep a track of the time and focus on speaking clearly and directly answering the questions instead of saying as much as can be said.
The tasks that are provided in the section are-
- Read a text aloud
- Describe a picture
- Respond to Questions
- Respond to Questions using Information Provided
- Propose a Solution
- Express and Opinion
Test Format of Writing Section
The Writing section consists of 8 questions which will be provided with a total of 60 minutes. The time allotted for each question and the directions to approach the question will all be provided in the question itself.
The tasks in the section are-
- Write a sentence based on a picture
- Respond to a written request
- Write an opinion essay
Scoring in TOEIC Speaking and Writing Section
Scoring in the TOEIC Speaking and Writing Test is different from that of the Listening and Reading Test due to the fact that these tests can be taken separately by the candidate if they so wish to do it. Candidates will then be able to receive a Speaking Score, Writing Score, or a Combined Score in this examination according to their choice.
The score range for the Speaking Test is between 0-200 where the first 9 questions will be rated individually on a scale of 0-3 and the next 2 questions will be rated individually on a scale of 0-5. The ETS provides 8 score bands in all for this section.
The Writing section of the test has a score range between 0-200 where the first 5 questions are rated on a scale of 0-3, the next 2 are on the scale of 0-4 and the last question is scaled between 0-5. This section is provided with 9 score bands in all.
TOEIC Bridge Test
ETS also provides an option to take a TOEIC Bridge test, which is introduced for the beginners and intermediate level candidates comprising of just simple level 100 MCQs.
TOEIC is a critical test for people to take up a job in any part of the world. For the well, reputed companies, it is mostly mandatory that employees clear the TOEIC exam and provide them with the score report in order to retain them at their position. This is also why most people are able to take the test by applying through their institution rather than taking the public testing method. Having a TOEIC score report makes it easier for candidates to also find great career opportunities anywhere in the world.
Scoring in the TOEIC Bridge Test
The TOEIC Bridge Test score is calculated by evaluating the sections of listening and reading. The score the candidates obtain as raw scores are converted into scaled scores which becomes the final score in the report.
The score range for both the Listening Test and the Reading Test is between 15 and 50. The score the candidates received will be converted into a Total Test score between 30 and 100 in all.
Validity of the TOEIC Score Report
The Score Report for the TOEIC examination is valid for a total of 2 years only. Candidates will be able to reissue and confirm their scores for employment-related purposes within this 2-year duration. ETS believes that language proficiency changes after a said period of time and encourages candidates to retake the examination if they require valid scores after the stipulated time period.
Retaking the TOEIC
Due to the short period of validity for the test and the fact that the score report is used for employment opportunities, TOEIC can be attempted as many times as required by the candidate. They will be required to pay the original fee amount every time they take the test.
Receiving TOEIC Score Reports
Candidates will be able to receive their score reports after they have taken the test through the mode in which they registered for the examination. If they have taken the test through an institution/ school/ employer, the contact person at the space will be the recipient of the score report. If the candidate has taken the public testing option, they will receive the score report themselves.
They will be able to receive a Certificate of Achievement which certifies the information that is already present in the score report but in a format that candidates can frame it in. This is only for the purpose of displaying it and can never be used as a means for verifying scores or used as proof of the official score they received.