05 May 2010

EFL self-study links: Preparing for the TOEIC

The TOEFL is more famous than its younger 'cousin', the TOEIC, as the TOEFL is the exam most people overseas take in order to attend college in the USA. However, the TOEIC has increased in popularity all over Asia and Latin America. Many students would like to add a good TOEIC score to their re'sume' for job searches.

When students ask about the TOEFL because they want to study abroad, I always ask them to clarify:

1. Where do they want to study abroad? If they choose the UK, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand, they had better make sure the TOEFL is what they need. (Also, have they even considered studying English in SE Asia, such as in Singapore or Malaysia? They could save a lot of money and travel time.)

2. I always advise students to take the TOEIC first, before they take the TOEFL. I can use a TOEIC score to predict a TOEFL score. But it is better to take the TOEIC first because it is cheaper and held more often. Also, if the student scores low, it means they would probably score even lower on the TOEFL. But programs in the US might average TOEFL scores for international students, and having one low score on the record could hold the student back.

3. Some people have scoffed at the TOEIC as being 'TOEFL lite'. However, over the past decade we have seen the two tests converge. That is, the people who write the TOEFL have incorporated ideas from TOEIC in order to make their exam more practical. On the other hand, the TOEIC has used ideas from the TOEFL to make both their listening and reading sections more challenging. For example, there are more 'inferential' type questions.

Here is an online introduction to the TOEIC:


Excerpt (see the page at the link to read the full article):

What Is on the TOEIC?
The traditional TOEIC only tests two skills: Listening and Reading. However, ETS, the makers of the TOEIC, have added a TOEIC Writing and Speaking test to bolster the useful information a corporation may need to assess the competency of a job applicant. So technically, you should be prepared to showcase all four skills in English. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect to see on the traditional TOEIC:

End of excerpt (see the page at the link above to read the full article)

For additional information about the TOEIC, see also:


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