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Knowing what kinds of questions to expect on a test makes it much easier to practice for it. The standard TOEIC test has 7 sections – 4 Listening sections and 3 Reading sections – which consist of a variety of question types. Although many questions will test your vocabulary and grammar skills, other questions will test your ability to comprehend a situation quickly and be able to choose the correct response. Some questions require you to determine the main idea, or to make an inference, or ask about a particular detail. Regardless of what the question is asking, the format is always multiple choice with one correct answer.

The type and format of the questions in the optional Speaking and Writing test are quite different compared to the standard TOEIC test. However, similar skills are being tested as well as your ability to communicate effectively. As with the standard test, all the questions are designed to represent real world corporate situations from the factory level all the way up to the boardroom. Your ability to communicate in any kind of workplace situation is being evaluated.

Details for each of the 4 key sections will be covered in the next 4 pages of our info guide. What follows is just a quick overview. Please note that the questions in each section of the standard TOEIC test that will be described is the current version. The previous big revision to the standard test was done in 2006 with some smaller changes done in 2007. The latest revision to the standard test was introduced in Asia in May 2016, and the rest of the world started using it in spring 2018. The changes are mostly to the number of questions per passage or total amount of questions in a section, some new questions types, and the type and variety and number of the passages in some sections. As well, the content was made more current to reflect changes in global business communications. The total test time (2 hours), the total number of questions (200), the scoring and difficulty level remain the same.

The Listening section has 4 different sections with a total of 100 questions. You will have 45 minutes to complete the entire section. These are the 4 sections in the order in which you will do them in the test:
  • Photographs: 6 questions
  • Question-Response: 25 questions
  • Short Conversations: 39 questions (13 conversations, 3 questions each)
  • Short Talks: 30 questions (10 talks, 3 questions each)


The Reading section has 3 different sections with a total of 100 questions. You will have 75 minutes to complete the entire section. These are the 3 sections in the order in which you will do them in the test:
  • Incomplete Sentences: 30 questions
  • Text Completion: 16 questions (4 passages, 4 questions each)
  • Reading Comprehension: 54 questions (10 single passages: 2-4 questions each (29 questions in total); double or triple passages: 5 questions each set (25 questions in total))


To get a good idea of the question types used in the 4 Listening and 3 Reading sections, take our mini-TOEIC tests. Be sure to check them out.

The optional Speaking and Writing test was introduced in 2006. More and more people in business connect globally through video conferencing, web conferencing, Skype and e-mail. If you're going to be successful in a global company, you have to be able to speak and write well in English.

The Writing section has 8 tasks. You have a total time of 1 hour to complete them all. For questions 1-5, you will be presented with an image and 2 words or phrases. You must write one sentence. For questions 6-7 you must respond, by writing an e-mail, to a written request. Question 8 requires you to write an opinion essay.

The Speaking section has 11 tasks. You have a total time of 20 minutes to complete them all. For questions 1-2, you will read aloud a text. For question 3, you will describe a picture. For questions 4-6, you must respond to questions being asked. Questions 7-9 you must answer after you are presented with some information. You need to propose a solution to a problem you will hear for question 10. Question 11 requires you to give your opinion about a specific topic.




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