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TOEIC Reading

The Reading section of the TOEIC test, consists of 3 sections. Each section has different stimulus material. You will always be able to reference the material for each question. You'll have a total time of 75 minutes to complete all 100 questions. The questions in the first 2 Reading sections focus more on your vocabulary and grammar skills than the entire Listening section. In the third Reading section, the questions focus on comprehension. It might be a detail to remember, an inference to make, or main idea that you need to know. Some answer choices will try to mislead you. All the questions will have topics or situations that you would likely encounter on a regular basis in a business environment. You will read materials such as e-mails, brochures, regulations, policy changes, announcements, presentations, letters, resumes, proposals and reports. With the 2018 revised version, there are more multiple sources of material to read, and include items such as online chats, instant messaging, or text messaging involving multiple writers.

All the questions are multiple choice with only one correct answer to choose. Each question is worth one point, but the scaled score range is 5 (means you got 0/100) to 495. No, we're not sure how ETS calculates this score based from the initial 0-100 points.

There are no breaks at all in the TOEIC test and once you start a section, there's no stopping it. You must answer each question one after another. If you don't know or are unsure about the answer, try to eliminate options that are clearly wrong and then pick one from the ones that remain. If you're still stuck, go onto the next question and come back if you have time. With 100 questions and only 75 minutes, that's less than 1 minute you have to spend on each question.

These are the 3 TOEIC Reading 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))

TOEIC Reading Section: Incomplete Sentences

There are a total of 30 questions in this Reading section. Each question will consist of a sentence with a blank in it. You need to decide which word or phrase best completes the sentence. Choosing the correct answer requires using your knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. There are always 4 answer options and only one correct answer (worth one point).

There are specific areas of grammar used in the TOEIC test more so than others. There are 12 such areas: verb tense, subject-verb agreement, word families, count and non-count nouns, comparative and superlative, adverbs of frequency, word choice, prepositions, unnecessary words, pronouns, conjunctions, and conditionals. You can review each of these areas by using our grammar guide. You could try to memorize as much grammar rules and examples there are for each of these areas, but that's not the best approach. You really need to understand each point of grammar, to be able to apply the rules to any sentence. Practice, experience, and actually using English is the best way, which cannot be accomplished over a short period of time.


Question: As the result of poor public relations, citizen support for the new arena was far ________ what had been expected.

A.   beyond
B.   less
C.   inferior
D.   below

Exaplantion: (D) is the correct adverb meaning lower. (A) means further and is illogical because the phrase poor public relations implies a negative outcome. (B) is a determiner that should be followed by an uncountable noun. (C) is an adjective meaning lower in quality and should be followed by to in a comparison.

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TOEIC Reading Section: Text Completion

This Reading section is similar to the first section in that your grammar and vocabulary skills are being tested. The same areas of grammar are used in this section too. The difference is that you have a passage rather than a single sentence. Possible material for the passage includes a memo, e-mail, brochure, announcement, letter, or a review. Within the passage there will be 4 blanks. You need to decide which answer option, a word, a phrase or a whole sentence, best fits the blank. However, you also have to consider the rest of the passage, how everything is related or connected. The correct answer for ONE sentence can depend on the verb tense, for example, of the previous question. With the 2018 revised version, in some passages, the blank requires you to figure out which sentence works best in relation to the content in the passage.

You will see 4 passages with 4 questions each. There are always 4 answer options and only one correct answer (worth one point).

Example: You would read the following first:

Our new Health & Wellness department offers you ________ from personal care products to nutritional supplements. Meet with one of our nutritionists to discuss a dietary plan that is right for your body and your budget! Our experienced pharmacists are on hand to advise you on any concern you may have regarding your prescription, including ________ side effects. Our online customer health care database enables us to monitor your prescription history, ________ for greater control over possible drug interactions. Come and meet our team of professionals this coming Saturday and see why we are convinced you'll find everything you need right here.

One of the questions: Our experienced pharmacists are on hand to advise you on any concern you may have regarding your prescription, including ________ side effects.

A.   possible
B.   inverse
C.   variety
D.   false

Exaplantion: Option (A) is correct because it is an adjective used to describe something which may or may not occur, in this case side effects. Option (B) is incorrect and should not be confused with the adjective adverse which is commonly used as an adjective to mean harmful. Option (C) is incorrect because it is a noun and is inappropriate. Option (D) is an incorrect adjective meaning not true and cannot be used to describe side effects.

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TOEIC Reading Section: Reading Comprehension

For the final Reading section, there are 54 questions in total. For the first part, you will have 10 single passages to read with 2-4 questions to answer per passage. The second part is just like the first part, but you now have 2 or 3 related passages to read. The additional passage(s) tend to be a response or inquiry based on the situation presented in the first passage, or offer further information related to the other passage(s). There will be 5 sets of multiple passages with 5 questions to answer per set, which will cover the content in all of the related passages. The questions are based on a variety of reading materials like notices, letters, forms, newspaper and magazine articles, and advertisements. With the 2018 revised version, reading materials now include online orders or e-mails, along with online chats, instant messaging, or text messaging involving multiple writers. Answer the questions based on what is stated or implied in the passages.

There are always 4 answer options and only one correct answer (worth one point). You need to select the best answer to each question. There are at least 6 types of questions you may be asked. Identifying the topic – place, person, or thing – is one of the question types. You could also be asked about a specific detail mentioned in a passage. Your might have to answer a question that will test your vocabulary comprehension. You might have to infer what will/won't likely happen given the situation, or what consequence of an action might be, or why something will/won't occur. In addition, with the 2018 revised version, in some cases the question asked will test your understanding of the material across the 3 related passages. Also, there will be passages where you need to figure out where a new sentence best belongs in a passage. Another new question type requires you to determine the meaning of what was written based on the context in which it is used in a passage.

Although some of these types seem very simple to do, you are most likely not directly provided with the information in the passage(s), unless the question is asking about a detail. Instead, you need to make a connection between the information, come to a logical conclusion, or determine what a word, or phrase means based on the context it is used. With the 2018 revised version, such phrases may be informal English including colloquialisms, or expressions commonly used in online communications.

Single Passage Example: You would read the following first:

The Registered Executive and Professional Society, better known as REAPS, is one of the oldest professional business forums in the Pacific Northwest. For the 20th consecutive year, REAPS has been selected as one of top professional business forums by the prestigious "Platinum West" Industry Standards Commission. REAPS represents over 2500 professionals nationwide, debating issues relating to Finance, Technology, Communications, and Civic Affairs. REAPS continues to lead the way in public and private fund raising efforts as well as managing the "Young Entrepreneurs" project which continues to train our youth on how to succeed in today's business world. Membership fees are only $600 per year plus an initial $50 initiation fee. Referral by a current member is mandatory for all interested parties. A public session is held once a year, coinciding with our "Young Entrepreneurs" campaign. This year our public forum will be held at the University, lecture hall 100A. Tickets for the forum are $20 and can be purchased via our website, or by calling 306-555-9919. For more information, log onto or call 306-555-9919 and order a free information brochure.

One of the questions: What must people do before they can become a member of REAPS?

A.   Attend a public session at the university
B.   Pay the $600 membership fee in advance
C.   Register through the REAPS website
D.   Receive a recommendation from a REAPS member

Exaplantion: Option (D) is correct. The ad mentions that a referral by a current member is mandatory, meaning required. Option (A) is incorrect. This answer is out of context. The ad mentions a public session, however, this is not related to becoming a member. Option (B) is incorrect. Membership fees are paid once an individual has been accepted. Also, the $20 refers to the pubic forum ticket price. Option (C) is incorrect. Individuals may visit the website for information, however, there is no suggestion in the ad that individuals may register on-line.

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You can get a good feel for what many of the different reading types are like if you do all of our free mini-TOEIC tests. So be sure to check them out.

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