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Improving your TOEIC score

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The Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) is an English test that was made to measure a person’s ability to communicate in an international environment.It’s also a test needed for hiring and promoting employees.

Most students dread this test. There are some reasons why you have to but a whole lot of reasons why you don’t need to.

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I’m pretty sure that by the end of this blog, you really don’t need to worry about it. You will then have a better understanding of TOEIC and how to defeat it.

Well, tips coming from (coughs) an unconventional teacher.

Here we go.

Learn vocabulary.

Yes, learning new words every day is very important but you have to remember that for TOEIC it’s not only about common words in general English. The more words you know, it will be easier for you to understand what you hear and what you’re reading. This is of course, very helpful for you to be able to say what you want and write what you want to convey.

How do you learn these words?



Reading a wide variety of materials can be very, very helpful. And yes, they will work wonders for you!  There are so many reading materials out there that are not books. As you can see in this list:

  • Magazines
  • Manuals
  • Newspapers
  • Travel brochures
  • Sports programs
  • Catalogs
  • Road signs

Write down the new words that seem new to you with its definitions and translations. One of my students, Ryusei, does this all the time. And I can say that his vocabulary has greatly improved. It is also better that you say the words many times and use it as often as you can. In that way, you can easily remember what it means.

To learn new words from reading you have to read A LOT!


This is of course something we (I) really loathe!

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So many rules to remember and it can be a bit boring most of the time. But you need to remember that you won’t get a high score if your grammar is weak.

Focus on these parts:

  • Verb Tense
  • Subject-Verb Agreement
  • Word Families
  • Count and Non-Count Nouns
  • Comparative and Superlative
  • Adverbs of Frequency
  • Word Choice
  • Prepositions
  • Unnecessary Words
  • Pronouns
  • Conjunctions
  • Conditionals

Try if you can to use the verbs accurately, learn the standard verb forms and tenses. Learn common irregular verb forms that do not follow standard forms.

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Watch movies with subtitles.

Watching movies and videos can help you be accustomed to fast paced conversations. I prefer to watch movies with subtitles because sometimes (ha! most of the time) I am just too lazy in watching something that I prefer to just read it.

You can easily look up words that you don’t understand during the movie. So I think, subtitles are very helpful.

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Listen to English songs and learn to love it!

It is never wrong to love a song so much that you can sing it wherever you are. I often do this when I’m very happy and a very good song just pops up in my head and then I just can’t stop singing!


My neighbor shouted.

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If there’s a really good song that catches your attention, find the lyrics, memorize it and sing to your heart’s content! I know, you really want to sing now! Do it!

It’s also good if you try to understand what the song is about. In that way, the song will be more meaningful. So, go ahead. Sing and love it!

Stop translating.

Yes. You read it right!

Just stop.

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Stop translating everything.

If you try to translate everything you hear and see, it will take you a long time to understand it. Fluency happens when you stop mentally translating words and conversations. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Even if you think you’re making a mistake, keep going. The more you speak, it gets easier, and you can quickly think of the right words to say.

It’s never easy taking an exam. So keep on enhancing your reading and listening skills.

Practice speaking in English. You will be able to improve your listening skills if you talk with other people in English as you have to listen carefully to what they are saying. Read any material you can get, wherever you are.

And most importantly, trust yourself.

You are someone who can listen, read, speak and write in English. You might not be that fluent for now, but I know you will be. So, just have fun. Challenge yourself and enjoy it.

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Mary Jane

Mary Jane Go has been teaching English for over 13 years. She believes that it is very important to learn English and learn it by heart. For her, it's always the right time for a dance party and that hanging out with friends is indispensable.

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