TOEIC Preparation Strategy #1 : Get to know everything about the exam
The TOEIC Test is a standardised exam, i.e. the exam’s structure – the number of exercises, themes of the exercises, types of questions, etc. – is fixed. This gives you an excellent opportunity to get a head start as you can understand the structure of the exam perfectly before you even take it:
- how the questions are linked.
- the time you need to answer them.
- their instructions.
- the themes they tackle.
TOEIC Preparation Strategy #2 : Set yourself the right goals
The TOEIC Test is an exam, so you “just” need to get the mark you need (e.g. 850 points to qualify for a managerial position).
Comment: find out the minimum score you need if it is not explicitly stated. It is crucial to identify your goal clearly in order to prepare effectively.
You must work around this goal in your preparation and develop a strategy to reach it. How? By self-evaluating your current level. This will give you an initial idea of how many more points you need to reach your target. To do so, you have two options: working on your weaknesses and/or excelling on your strengths.
This will depend on different variables:
- How much preparation time you have.
- How many points you lack to reach your goal.
In other words: first, test yourself by doing a few exercises, then mock exams. Mark your own exercises and work out your average score per section. According to these marks, identify which exercises you could work on so as to easily and quickly improve your overall score. Once again, you may decide to work on your weaknesses or on your strengths.
In short, to develop your strategy, you should:
- Evaluate your level.
- Work out how many points you still need to “pass” your test.
- Identify which exercises you can gain the most points on.
TOEIC Strategy preparation #3 : Stick to an efficient methodology
This last tip is crucial: make sure you set up a proper working methodology. This methodology should be based upon the strategy you have adopted (see aforementioned strategy #2).
A good preparation methodology is structured around two things:
- Establishing a schedule.
- Finding high-quality studying materials.
Establishing a schedule is too often disregarded. Yet, this is essential for two reasons:
- Firstly, it well help you to better manage your preparation time.
- Secondly, to reassure yourself.
Depending on your preparation time, your schedule can be planned weekly by combining daily:
The preparation period is often very short and even though you may have defined a good strategy and established a fitting schedule, choosing the right studying materials is also crucial. There are many resources available but some are much more effective than others. Choosing the right materials boosts your chances to progress quickly.
The table below summarises the main preparation materials available for your active and passive revision periods:
Special tips for success !
Tip #1: Maximise your daily training by regularly writing down your questions, new vocabulary, or phrases you want to use during the exam. Gather this information in the same document (Excel file, small notebook) in order to revise more easily.
Tip #2: Take the time to choose the right study materials If you spend a lot of time online, we recommend the excellent podcast programmes developed by the BBC.
You may also read English-speaking business newspapers and in particular the famous weekly newspaper The Economist , as well as Time magazine, The Guardian, The New-York Times, etc.
Yet the quality of your study materials represents only one aspect of your preparation period, it is your ability to study regularly and intensively which will ultimately determine whether or not you will improve quickly and crack the TOEIC test!
Check here if you want to prepare your TOEIC abroad!