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How to Ace TOEIC Listening in Easy Steps

Updated on September 24, 2012
TOEIC Listening exams can be easy for non-native English speakers who review the right way for TOEIC Listening.
TOEIC Listening exams can be easy for non-native English speakers who review the right way for TOEIC Listening. | Source

Tips for Getting High TOEIC Listening Scores

TOEIC Listening has been one of the most difficult sections for English as a second language learners taking up TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) exams.

  • This is because TOEIC Listening makes ESL learners listen to recorded English sentences or audio clips.
  • The people speaking in TOEIC Listening audio clips have varied English accents – American, British, Canadian, Australian, etc.
  • Because they have to listen to English speakers talk in natural speed and pay attention to English words at the same time, many ESL learners get low scores for TOEIC Listening.
  • To answer TOEIC Listening questions correctly, ESL learners have to pay attention to English vocabulary, expressions, and sentences closely.
  • They must have excellent listening comprehension and be quick to understand what they heard.

Below are easy tips for ESL learners who want to ace TOEIC Listening.

Describing Pictures

TOEIC Listening has a section for picture descriptions.

In this section, TOEIC Listening test-takers will be asked to listen to audio clips.

The audio clips play sentences that supposedly describe the pictures.

It is the role of the test-takers to pick the sentences that best describe the pictures.

To know which sentences are actually incorrect, test-takers must watch out for the following traps in TOEIC Listening picture description section:

  • Many incorrect sentences have words that rhyme with the words in correct sentences. Although these words sound the same, they are completely different.
  • Many incorrect sentences often have correct words but these words are used in wrong ways. Test-takers must be careful in choosing the correct words and their correct usage.
  • Many incorrect sentences have correct words that are used in a very confusing or misleading manner. Test-takers must choose the sentences that clearly describe the pictures.
  • Many incorrect sentences have ideas that are only partially true. Because they are partially true, they are not the best sentences that describe the pictures.
  • Many incorrect sentences refer to pictures that are not shown in the TOEIC Listening section. Test-takers must choose the sentences that describe the pictures being shown.
  • Many incorrect sentences have words that are related to but not the same as the words in the correct answers. Test-takers must be careful in choosing the correct words.

To choose the sentences that best describe the pictures shown, it is good for TOEIC Listening test-takers to do the following:

  • Study pictures carefully
  • Know the answers to the following questions:

Who is/are on the picture?

What is happening on the picture?

When is the event/situation on the picture likely happening?

Where is the event/situation likely taking place?

Why is the event/situation happening?

How is the event/situation happening?

  • Listen carefully to the sentences in the audio clips.
  • Make an educated guess about the sentences that best describe the pictures.

Question and Answer

TOEIC Listening also has a section for question and answers.

The questions are about almost any topic under the sun.

The possible answers to the questions are provided to the test-takers of TOEIC Listening.

To choose the best answers among the choices provided, test-takers must watch out for the following:

  • Many incorrect answers have words that sound the same as the correct answers.

Examples:

gain vs. reign

whey vs. weigh

  • Answers to common questions – who, where, what, when, where, and how – are likely to be asked for.
  • Questions may have questions tags.

Examples:

The building is color black, isn’t it?

Cars are on the road, aren’t they?

  • Yes and no questions sometimes do not have direct yes and no answers. The yes and no are omitted at the start of the sentence.

Examples:

Question: The building is color black, isn’t it?

Answer: The building is tall, modern and it is indeed color black.

Question: Cars are on the road, aren’t they?

Answer: Car driver are driving very fast. Their cars are on the road.

In answering the question and answer section of TOEIC Listening, it is good for test-takers to keep the questions in mind.

They must scan the possible answers. Then, they have to choose which sentences best answer the questions at hand.

They can make an educated guess on the difficult questions in TOEIC Listening question and answers portion.

Short Talks

TOEIC Listening has a section for short conversations.

In this TOEIC Listening section, test-takers will be asked to listen to audio clips.

The audio clips play short conversations usually between two persons.

After listening to the audio clips, test-takers must answer some questions.

Possible answers to the questions are given.

It is the duty of test-takers to choose the best possible answer from the given choices.

To choose the best possible answers to questions, test-takers of TOEIC Listening short conversations must be careful of the following:

  • Rhyming words that have different meanings
  • Wrong words
  • Sentences that are grammatically wrong
  • Sentences that have wrong word orders
  • Words that change the meanings of sentences (barely, seldom, hardly, never, etc)

It would be helpful for TOEIC Listening test-takers to read the questions before playing the audio clips.

They ought to keep the questions in mind while listening to the audio clips.

Lastly, they have to choose the answers carefully in TOEIC Listening short conversations section.

Copyright © 2011 Kerlyn Bautista

All Rights Reserved

TOEIC Listening Sample Lesson

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