Guess Responses Correctly in TOEIC Tests

20140131-053625.jpg
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.

Continue reading

Be Aware of Homophones to Improve Listening Comprehension

Headphones

When you listen to people speaking it is easy to misunderstand if you are not aware of homophones (words that sound the same). This is especially true in standardised tests like TOEIC, TOEFL and IELTS but also in everyday situations as well.

Some common homophones and near homophones are:

ate eight
blew blue
check Czech
eye I
flea flee
gym Jim
him hymn
in inn
know no
plain plane
right write
sea see
two too
wooden wouldn’t
you ewe

Here’s a video that shows just how confusing homophones can be.

Get Real Resources Online for TOEIC Practice

20140131-053625.jpg

In section VI or VII of the TOEIC test there is often a reading passage which is an advertisement or a piece of business communication to the public. One problem that students in non-English speaking countries have is not being able to find these resources easily. Today, Get Great English comes to the rescue with examples from the internet.

Supermarket Flyers

These are the advertisements you get through your door telling you about special offers at your local supermarket. You can download Canadian ones from this website: Red Flag Deals

Company Reports

Company financial reports are an excellent resource for graphs and tables of data. You will need a PDF reader installed like Adobe Acrobat Reader. You can download the reports from this website: AnnualReports.com

Press Releases

You can read press releases (news written by a company and sent to media companies/news agencies) for a lot of companies online, too. Here are the Heineken Company’s.

Remember that with these resources you need to practice reading at test speed to answer questions that you make up yourself, such as ‘How much did profits change by in 2011?‘.

I really hope this is a useful post for you. If so, leave a comment because they make me smile!

Focus Your Input for TOEIC, TOEFL and IELTS

20140131-053625.jpg

Sometimes you aren’t studying English. This is certainly true when you are studying for tests like TOEIC, TOEFL and IELTS you study specialised kinds of English. What you study depends on the test.

TOEIC tests English for business (as well as everyday English).
TOEFL and IELTS test academic English.

The best ways to study for these tests are to read materials similar to the tests’ reading materials and listen to podcasts about relevant topics. For TOEIC, listen to business and news podcasts. For TOEFL and IELTS listen to podcasts about arts, social sciences and science for TOEFL and IELTS.

Sites I recommend for TOEIC:

For TOEFL and IELTS:

Take Notes of Grammar and Vocabulary

Don’t forget to take notes of new grammar structures and make word cards for new vocabulary. Remember also to learn whole word families because these tests sometimes test your knowledge of word families. If you study these as you go, it should not be a problem.

Understand Passive Verb Forms

For all these tests you should learn to understand the passive verb form because it is used frequently in formal business English and in academic English.

Examples:

He improved his English test scores by reading serious news articles and listening to college lectures. Not passive.

His English test scores were improved by reading serious news articles and listening to college lectures. Passive.

The basic construction is:

THING + ‘BE’ verb + ACTION verb (done to the thing) + DETAIL/CONDITION (optional but more common).

For a long-term skill increase you should study different materials anyway. However, to get a higher score in standardised tests such as TOEIC, TOEFL or IELTS, you need to understand the style of their reading and listening materials.