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7 tips for successfully preparing for the TOEIC

Would you like to take the TOEIC? You’re right to do so! It is THE reference test for anyone who wants to improve their level of English. A good score in this exam can open many doors to professional opportunities. Here are 7 tips to help you prepare for the TOEIC Listening and Reading test in the best possible way.

1. Evaluate your level of English

Before you start studying for the test, we recommend that you start by assessing your level of English. This baseline test is a fundamental part of your TOEIC preparation. It will help you identify what you already know and what you need to know! 

Many websites offer quick and free assessment tests. However, it is better to take a real language audit that takes into account both written and oral comprehension. This will give you a better idea of your actual English level.

2. Identify your weaknesses

Once you have taken your preliminary English test, look at the questions you answered incorrectly. Which areas are you having trouble with?

Is it:

listening comprehension;

grammar rules;


lack of vocabulary…?

It is not always easy to identify your weak areas. It requires you to take a step back and be objective about your results. If necessary, don’t hesitate to ask a friend or relative with a good level of English or consult an English trainer.

💡 Note: with a 1to1PROGRESS language level audit, you will receive, in addition to your results, a detailed analysis of your level and personalised teaching recommendations. Learn more about 1to1PROGRESS language level audits

3. Prepare for the TOEIC with a revision program

Do you know your strengths and weaknesses? Perfect! Now it’s time to move on to the next step: planning your revision. 

As you know, the key to success is regularity. Rather than “cramming” for 4 hours every Saturday morning, it’s better to study English for 20 to 30 minutes every day. Set aside a time every day when you can devote yourself solely to English. If you’re a morning person, make time for it before you leave for work or after you’ve dropped the kids off at school, for example. If, on the other hand, you are a night owl, take a few moments to revise in the evening before going to bed. 

Either way, schedule your revision in advance and try to stick to it.

✨ Tip: to help you get into a regular work routine, you can make your revision schedule more fun with an app like chain.cc, for example. 

4. Work on your weak areas

When revising, focus on the weak areas you have identified. Are you struggling with listening comprehension? Close your grammar book and listen to English podcasts instead. Do irregular verbs make you sweat? Do exercises where you have to use them as much as possible.  

Preparing for the TOEIC on your own involves stepping out of your comfort zone a bit. It’s not easy, but you can do it! 

5. Find out about the TOEIC test format

Many candidates with an excellent level of English obtain a disappointing TOEIC score. Why does this happen? Because they don’t bother to find out about the test. When they actually take the test, they are thrown off balance and are unable to excel. 

The TOEIC Listening and Reading, which is generally the most popular test, is built (as the name suggests) around two key elements:

  • listening comprehension: 100 questions – duration: 45 min;
  • and reading comprehension: 100 questions – duration 75 min..

The test does not therefore include an assessment of speaking or writing skills.

The test is in the form of a multiple choice test. You must indicate your answers legibly on a grid using a pencil. 

To learn more about the TOEIC, you can refer to the TOEIC Candidate Manual provided by ETS Global. You will find sample questions, a sample answer grid and lots of other practical information.

6. Take mock tests

The best way to finalise your TOEIC preparation is to take a mock test. You can do this at home with specific TOEIC preparation books such as The Official TOEIC Bible, which includes 2 real Listening and Reading tests with detailed corrections.

When you take these mock tests, put yourself in the context of the test:

  • turn off any distractions (TV, computer, phone…);
  • use a stopwatch to monitor the duration for each part of the test;
  • and above all, play the game! Don’t look at the answers and don’t ask your friends or family for help.

The more you practise in real-life conditions, the more confident you will be on the day of the actual test.

7. Get a good night’s sleep the night before the TOEIC test

The night before the TOEIC test, there is no need to spend the night revising. Just reread a bit of vocabulary before bed or watch an episode of your favourite English series, but no more. You’ll need to rest to be fresh and ready on the day of the test. 

Be assured, the time you spend sleeping is not wasted. Your brain takes advantage of this time to retain in your memory the knowledge acquired during the day. Don’t believe us? Then read this article: Learning a language in your sleep: a myth or reality?

You now have all the tips you need to prepare well and get a score that meets your expectations.

By the way, did you know that 1to1PROGRESS offers a complete preparation for the TOEIC? A language level audit, a tailor-made educational programme, trainers committed to help you succeed and even registration for the test… We take care of everything for you!