To do well in your TOEIC® exam you need to know the format of the test and some strategies to help achieve your target score. You also need to increase your English. Here are some tips to achieve your goals:
Do a diagnostic test – It is important to know what your strengths and weaknesses are. By doing some practice tests you will be able to identify which areas need development and you can concentrate on these.
Plan your preparation time – It is vital to manage your time well. Prepare a schedule and stick to it. Some students do an hour or two every day or three to four times a week. Do more at the weekend. Try to meet with other students who are preparing for the exam as study groups can be a very effective approach to learning.
Know what to expect in the exam – You don’t want any surprises on the day of the exam. You should know how the exam is structured. Be familiar with the directions for each section of the exam by doing practice tests regularly.
Increase your knowledge of English – as well as having lessons, you should take every opportunity to speak English outside of class. You should read as much as possible: magazines, newspapers etc. Listen to the radio news, talk shows and interview programmes.
Practise filling in the answer sheet – One thing you don’t want to happen on the day of the exam is to discover that the question you are working on does not correspond to the number on the answer sheet – you have skipped one or put one in the wrong place. This means you have to go back and find the mistake and change the answer sheet. Be careful and methodical when completing the answer sheet. Use a good quality pencil to fill in the lozenge and make sure it is filled in fully. Remember to erase any mistakes completely. Only one answer should be filled in.
If you don’t know, take an educated guess – there are no penalties for incorrect answers, which means you should always guess. Try to use a process of elimination if you cannot find the obvious correct answer – start eliminating the unlikely choices and guess from the remaining ones. Also, don’t be afraid to trust your intuition – you may feel this one is right or that one is wrong. If you to take a random guess, statisticians recommend you select a standard right answer such as B) or C) rather than a mix of random guesses.
Try to stay calm – You may feel anxious or nervous prior to the exam, but once the test begins you should be calm and focussed. Allow plenty of time to get to the venue as you don’t want to arrive rushed and stressed. As soon as the listening section is complete, take a moment to relax, take some deep breaths. Obviously, the best way to remain calm is to be well prepared and confident before the exam.