Guess Responses Correctly in TOEIC Tests

In the part II of the TOEIC test you need to listen for the best answer to a question and you choose from three possible answers. It’s easy for some people but more difficult for others. Here are some tips to help you guess responses correctly in TOEIC tests.

What is the question word?

Is the question a W/H question or a yes/no question? If you have a W/H question, then you need to listen for an appropriate detail. If you have a yes/no question you need to choose an answer that means ‘yes’ (for example, ‘I think so‘, ‘Of course‘, or ‘That’s right‘), ‘no’ (‘I don’t think so‘, ‘Probably not‘, or ‘It’s doubtful‘) or ‘maybe’ (‘I don’t know‘, ‘It hasn’t been confirmed‘ or ‘I haven’t found out yet‘).

Who or what is the subject?

Normally the TOEIC test uses a man and a woman in conversation as the speakers but they often talk about a third person because it is easy to mishear ‘he’ and ‘she’. You need to listen for common Western names to see if they are masculine (men’s names) or feminine (women’s names) or to the titles (‘Mister’ for men and ‘Missus’, ‘Miss’ or ‘Ms’ for women). Make sure your answer includes the correct pronoun (i.e. ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘you’, ‘it’).

What is the verb?

You probably need to listen to the verbs as well. The TOEIC writers like to use ‘do’ collocations (such as ‘do my homework’) and they like to use verbs that have a lot of homophones (which will be covered in tomorrow’s podcast, but just means words that sound the same or similar but which have different meanings) so you need to check whether the answer makes sense in relation to the question.


“Is Mrs. Smith going to do the administration work in the office today?”

A) “Yes, today is Friday.”
B) “No, it’s not working at all.”
C) “No, she is going to do it tomorrow.”

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