There are many misconceptions that students hold about taking a TOEIC exam. However, there is one that we need to focus on most: that TOEIC is all about improving your English. It is not. A TOEIC test focuses on Listening Skills and Reading Skills. Obvioulsy, these involve English, but the test is not focusing on 'Pure English'. Therefore, it is important to understand what you are doing when you begin the test. And, it is importnat to understand what you are not doing.
I had a student come to me a few days ago and ask me how he could improve his vocabulary for the TOEIC. i told him to focus on synonyms for certain areas of vocabulary such as:
- Meetings: Conference, Congress
- Transport: Arrival, Get-in, Departure, Leave
- University: lecture, Presentation, Tutorial
The student took the advice and worked on these. But, a few days later he came back and asked me for more. he said, "I want to improve all my vocabulary"; I told him he was wrong. There is not so much use in improving your vocabulary to do with food or reading books because these are not likely to feature on the test.
To prepare for the TOEIC, you are not improving your English. Improving your English is a great thing to do, but it will take a lot of work to improve your general English enough to make your TOEIC results better. It is all about improving for the areas the test will focus upon. here are a few action points:
- Focus on Listening and Reading - Not Speaking
- Find resources to practice the exam: Buy the book Tactics for TOEIC for example.
- If you are looking for resources online look for TOEIC resources, not English learning resources. examenglish.com is good.