Practice and preparation go hand in hand for the TOEIC test. You can never be over prepared and you can never have too much practice. Taking the TOEIC test isn't easy. You can only benefit from practicing as much as you can before your test date.
The more you know about the standard TOEIC test, the better off you will be. You need to know what it contains, the time it takes, the topics you can expect, the sections, the number of questions, and the type of questions. You need to know what level your English skills in reading and listening are BEFORE you take the official test so you have time to improve them. If you also have to take the optional Speaking and Writing test then you need to know how good your writing and speaking skills are too.
The most practical and price effective method is to do complete practice tests that simulate the real tests. Free materials you can find on the Internet, like our mini TOEIC tests (listening and reading only) are a great starting point in your preparation. Books and CD-ROMs are helpful study tools to give you more insight to the tests. ETS has some free sample questions as well as full tests, and other programs you can buy to help you practice for both the standard and optional TOEIC tests. There are other online companies that offer a variety of full practice tests and other training materials.
You should do a practice test as if you were taking the real test. Do your best to get all the questions right. If you do TestDEN's TOEIC tests, you will get a score after completing the test and have access to the review. Going through the review is essential. You can quickly see which questions types you're having trouble with. Reading the explanation will help you understand why you got it wrong. After some more practice, you should try doing one or more full tests to see how well you've improved.
When you take the official test, you get your score, but that's about it. The score report won't show all the questions you got wrong and what the correct answers are. If you need to take the test again, you won't necessarily know what specific skills you need help with. A tutor or taking a course, although it's expensive, might be more worthwhile than to continue practicing on your own. You don't want that career you've dreamed about to slip away because your TOEIC score wasn't high enough.
Even if you're feeling good about your English skills, there's always something you can improve on. You also don't want your skills to weaken from not using them. After you've achieved your TOEIC test score and landed that job, you can't stop using English. You have to stay proficient. The company's standards might change, or that promotion you want might depend on you having to take the TOEIC again. So make sure you practice some skill – read something, listen to something, write a journal entry, sing a song – each day. Try to make it fun, keep it interesting, so you'll want to practice.
With all your practice and hard work to prepare for the test, don't forget to go over the ETS requirements of what you need for your test day, like your ID. And as important as practicing is, remember to rest and relax. Being worried, or stressed, or exhausted, won't help you get that TOEIC score you want to achieve.