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The Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) measures English proficiency, specifically as it is used in real-life situations in the business world and other professions. The TOEIC is different from the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): The TOEFL tests academic English, while the TOEIC tests everyday English used in business. The TOEFL measures intermediate- to fluent-English language ability, while the TOEIC measures a wider range, from beginner to advanced-English ability.

The TOEIC is written by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), a private, not-for-profit company based in Princeton, New Jersey in the United States. TOEIC is used extensively in Japan and Korea, and its use is expanding throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

The TOEIC contains two general sections, Listening Comprehension and Reading. There are 100 Listening Comprehension items read to the student on audiotape and 100 Reading items with multiple-choice questions printed in the test booklet. It takes approximately two hours to take the TOEIC test. The Listening Comprehension section is timed according to the length of the cassette tape (approximately 45 minutes). Test takers are given 75 minutes (an hour and 15 minutes) to complete the Reading section.

Prior to most TOEIC administrations, examinees are required to complete a background questionnaire about their education, job, and English language studies. This takes approximately 20 minutes, so allow about two-and-a-half hours to complete both the test and the questionnaire.

The large number of items gives the TOEIC a very high statistical reliability. It also allows the TOEIC to measure across the English-language proficiency spectrum with more accuracy.

If you are planning to take the TOEIC and are looking to show employers that your English skills are ready for the workplace, check out ELS who offers preparation courses throughout the year.

TOEIC Scoring

TOEIC scores are obtained by adding up the total number of correct responses for both Listening Comprehension and Reading. The total number of correct answers is multiplied by a formula to arrive at a "scaled" score for each section ranging from 5-495. These two scores are added up to get a test taker's total score, ranging from 10 to 990.

The TOEIC calculates only the number of correct responses - there is no penalty for incorrect answers. So you should be sure to fill in answers for every question, rather than leave any blanks, and pace yourself to make sure you have time to indicate an answer for all questions.

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