Preparing to take the TOEIC includes two components: familiarizing yourself with the TOEIC test and improving your English skills. The aim of familiarizing yourself with the TOEIC is to develop strategies to optimize your test score given your English abilities, whatever they may be. This part of your preparation is relatively straightforward. You will want to get a good understanding of the TOEIC test structure, look at some sample questions and answers, and take a TOEIC practice test or take the real TOEIC once as a trial run.
The second component of TOEIC preparation is longer. Setting aside the small score gains you can make by familiarizing yourself with the test, the only way to greatly improve your TOEIC score is by improving your English skills. There aren’t any tricks, it’s going to require studying and learning to use English more effectively. That said, you can learn faster by signing up for a dedicated TOEIC preparation course.
There are many types of tests you can take to practice for the TOEIC. ETS, the makers of the TOEIC, sell practice tests that you can buy. These are the most authentic. You can also find lots of free partial or complete TOEIC practice tests on line or in TOEIC preparation books. Or, you can take the EF SET English Certificate, which is as long and rigorous as the TOEIC Listening and Reading test, and tests the same skills. It will give you a good sense of the level of concentration needed to approach a standardized English test.
Whichever TOEIC practice tests you decide to take, remember that your aim is to familiarize yourself with the test environment, the question types, and the answer formats expected. You will not see the same questions on your TOEIC test, but the types of tasks will be similar. Keep in mind that all TOEIC preparation courses include TOEIC practice tests.
A TOEIC preparation course is a good option for you if you have an ambitious goal for your TOEIC score and you’re not sure you can reach it on your own. TOEIC preparation teachers are highly specialized. They know the test well and can give you very precise strategies to make the most of your abilities on test day. They also know what types of vocabulary, grammar, and usage you will need to master in order to perform well on the TOEIC.
There are a huge range of TOEIC preparation courses available. The three main types are online TOEIC courses, TOEIC courses in a school near your home, and TOEIC courses overseas. Online TOEIC preparation is flexible and inexpensive, but it requires self-discipline in order to stick to your study plan. TOEIC courses near your home give you a more rigid class structure if you need that in order to do well. TOEIC preparation abroad is the most intensive solution because you get many hours of study each week and outside of class you are in an English-speaking environment, however, it is also the most expensive. Depending on your schedule and budget, you can choose the type of TOEIC preparation best suited for you.