By: I Nengah Subadra
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Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) is one of international English tests which focused on professional English and widely used in most of government offices, business, commerce and international corporations and organizations in conducting job training, recruiting new employees, and for the shake of new and higher position promotion.
TOEIC is a multiple-choice English test which divided into two sections namely listening comprehension and reading. The listening comprehension test section consists of one hundred questions which divided into four parts namely: (1) pictures, in which the sentences normally use either simple present tense-asking for a routine or simple present continuous tense-asking for an activity which is being in progress; (2) question responds, mostly test your capability in answering questions using question words (who-asking for someone, what-asking for a certain activity, when-asking for a particular time, where-asking for a place, why-asking for reason, and how-asking for number or method); (3) short conversations, in general focus on occupation, activities, time, location, and reason in which the answer can be easily predicted from the question words used; and (4) short talks, which normally in the form of advertisement, weather, news, recorded announcement, special announcement, and business announcement. All listening test sections are administered by audiotape.
The reading test section also consists of one hundred questions which divided into three parts, explicitly; (1) incomplete sentences which focuses on word families, similar word, preposition, conjunction, adverb of frequency, causative verb, conditional sentences, tenses, and two-word verb; (2) error recognition which is frequently about count and non countable nouns, articles, pronoun, subject-verb agreement, modal auxiliary, adjective comparison, gerund, and infinitive; (3) and reading comprehension, it is usually a text which is adopted from advertisements, forms, letters, faxes, memos, tables, charts, and indexes.
The precise time of TOEIC test is two hours, forty five minutes is for listening comprehension section and one hour and fifteen minutes is allocated for reading section.
TOEIC test is scored on a scale of 10 to 990. This total of the listening comprehension score (5 to 495) and reading score (5 to 495) which is determined based on the number of correct answers. At Triatma Surya Jaya Foundation, the lowest score which shall be achieved by the student is 585 which is accumulated from 60% of the total number of questions. The students who achieve less than the determined score shall take test again. TOEIC prediction test is a compulsory for students of Triatma Surya Jaya Foundation particularly for AKPAR students who are on the forth and sixth semesters and STIE students who are on the sixth semester. The certificate shall be used as one of the requirements before taking the final test.
All students are given preparation of seven meetings (2 hours each) and one trial test before they take the real test by expert lecturers who have wide knowledge in giving professional English assessments. It is primary aimed at familiarizing the types of questions faced during the test and strategies in choosing the correct answer. During the preparation, the lecturer will explain the related topics and discuss them with the students. This is the best time for the student to interact and have a close discussion with the pertinent lecturer.
Most of people worry about the score achieved which then bring them into unconfident and nervous situation particularly during the test moreover for those who master negligible English. There are a number of guidelines for preparing and having the TOEIC test as briefly described below:
1. Use English as often as possible
Should you plan to take the TOEIC test, you have to use English as often as possible at school, work as well as in social and travel activities. The more practice done the better result obtained. As the TOEIC test contents are mostly using business and commerce terms, the vocabularies learnt can be specified to ease memorizing them more easily and be familiar with.
2. Read the direction carefully
Read the general direction before the test starts as well as the specific directions as to how to answer each part of the test since each part has different direction. It is just to make sure that you do the test appropriately and avoid misunderstanding.
3. Work rapidly and carefully
Do not spend too much time on any one question. If you can not answer the question, just jump up to the next question and work as fast as possible and make sure that you put a certain sign such as a dot to the most corresponded answer for each question that you leave. It is very useful in case you are running out the time and do not leave the answer sheet empty.
4. Don’t take notes
While you are taking the test, it is strictly forbidden to make any notes on the answer sheet or any other piece of paper. Make sure you work out the test neatly.
5. Don’t cheat!
Cheating is highly banned during the test more particular while having listening test as it really bothers concentrating your mind to listen to a certain conversation or speech which then guides your mind goes blank. Simply, just work out by yourself confidently to have an expected and satisfactory score.
6. Guess the answer
Since the questions are vary and have different ranges of difficulties and you may not know all correct answers, it is better for you to guess of predict the answer rather than leaving them empty since all question shall be answered and there is no penalty for guessing. In listening, the answers can be easily predicted from the question words used (what, why, where, when, which, who, and how). For instance if the question starts with “who”, we know that it is asking for a person therefore we have to focus our mind on name of person or certain occupations. If the question starts with “what”, it shall be asking for an activity consequently we must spotlight on the activity done by the subject.
7. Mark only one answer per question
Questions with more than one answer marked shall be counted wrong even if one of them is correct. If you decide to change your answer, make sure that the previous answer is well erased or crossed out. Moreover if you work with computerized answer sheet, mess and dirty paper may not be well detected by the computer which then persuades you final score.
Thus this TOEIC information and test strategies made, expectedly it would be very useful for everyone who plans to take TOEIC test. Should you wish to explore more about this English program, do not hesitate to contact the English Department of Triatma Jaya Foundation and the friendly lectures will welcome and assist you with whole-hearted service. Good luck!
This articles has been published at Triatma Surya Jaya Bulletine
Lougheed, Lin. 2000. How to Prepare the TOEIC Test. Indonesia. Binarupa
Lougheed, Lin. 1996. Preparation Series for the TOEIC Test: Introductory Course. New York. Wesley Longman.
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