The Test of English for International Communication® (TOEIC) is “an English language test designed specifically to measure the everyday English skills of people working in an international environment.”
There are different forms of the exam: The TOEIC Listening & Reading Test consists of two equally graded tests of comprehension assessment activities totaling a possible 990 score; There are also the TOEIC Speaking and Writing Tests. The TOEIC speaking test is composed of tasks that assess pronunciation, intonation and stress, vocabulary, grammar, cohesion, relevance of content and completeness of content. The TOEIC Writing test is composed of tasks that assess grammar, relevance of sentences to the pictures, quality and variety of sentences, vocabulary, organization, and whether the opinion is supported with reason and/or examples. Both assessments use a score scale of 0 – 200.
TOEIC Listening & Reading Test
The TOEIC Listening & Reading Test lasts two hours [45 minutes for Listening, and 75 minutes for Reading]. It consists of 200 multiple-choice items evenly divided between the listening and reading comprehension section. Each candidate receives independent scores for listening and reading comprehension on a scale from 5 to 495 points. The total score adds up to a scale from 10 to 990 points. The TOEIC certificate exists in five colors, corresponding to achieved results:
- orange (10–219)
- brown (220–469)
- green (470–729)
- blue (730–859)
- gold (860–990)
TOEIC test certificates are optional, unofficial documents that are meant for display only.
TOEIC Speaking & Writing Test
The TOEIC Speaking & Writing Tests were introduced in 2006. Test takers receive separate scores for each of the two tests, or they can take the Speaking test without taking the Writing test and vice versa. The Speaking test assesses pronunciation, intonation and stress, vocabulary, grammar, cohesion, relevance of content and completeness of content, while the Writing test assess grammar, relevance of sentences to the pictures, quality and variety of sentences, vocabulary, organization, and whether the opinion is supported with reason and/or examples. The tests are designed to reflect actual English usage in the workplace, though they do not require any knowledge of specialized business terms. The TOEIC Speaking Test takes approximately 20 minutes to complete; the TOEIC writing test lasts approximately 60 minutes. Each test has a score range between 0-200, with test takers grouped into eight proficiency levels for Speaking and nine proficiency levels for Writing.
Institutional TOEIC Test
In addition to the public testing program, there are also versions that individual businesses and educational institutions can purchase for internal use. These “Institutional” TOEIC tests can be administered at the organization’s own choice of location and time to its employees or students.