Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Stay Ahead in the Race

This TOEIC blog is about sections 3 and 4 in the Listening area of the test. The image above is a picture of Christophe Lemaitre winning a race. I have used this image because you have to imagine that when you are in the listening section of the test, you are in a race. A race against the CD that plays the questions. Very simple, you must think faster than the CD plays.

In the two sections you will have to do three things:
  1. Read the questions
  2. Listen to the audio
  3. Answer the questions
It is difficult to do all of these things at once. So, you need to follow a procedure:
  1. Read the questions before you hear the audio. You need to have finished reading before the audio begins. This is very important.
  2. Listen to the audio. Stop reading. Don't do anything except listen.
  3. Answer the question. Do this as quickly and decisively as you can.
This all sounds very simple, doesn't it? Well, unfortunately, it is not so easy. You have to be very organised in how you do this.

The first step you must follow is when Section 3 begins. The voice on the CD will begin by taking one minute to describe Section 3 (Or 4). During this time, read questions 1, 2 and 3. Then, when the first conversation begins, you listen. After the conversation is finished, answer the questions as quickly as you can. The longer you wait to answer, the less chance you will have of getting the answer right.

After the conversation finishes, you will hear the questions being read by the voice on the CD. Ignore this. It does not help you - the questions are written down in front of you. You should use the time when the voice reads the questions to (i) answer as quickly as you can, and (b) read the next questions.

In simple terms, it is easier to answer the questions if you know what information you are listening for. Therefore, it is hugely important to read each question before the dialogue begins.

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