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  • joshglenn44
  • Adventurer

    • 33

    • November 24, 2010, 12:37:11 pm
    • Seoul, Korea
TOEIC study- what is a good level to start from??
« on: July 13, 2016, 02:34:34 pm »
I have a student I am tutoring who would like to take the Reading &Listening test.

We will do a practice test to see what her score would be right now, but I am concerned that her proficiency is probably too low to start TOEIC study.

I want to make the best use of the study time and teach to her at her level. The TOEIC has a lot of incredibly hard questions and the study materials are all geared toward the test as a whole. I can't find anything that does a step-by-step build-up.

In this situation I think it could be like one of us jumping from finishing first year Spanish suddenly into 4th year.

Anyone have an idea of what a TOEIC score would be where it would be reasonable to start TOEIC study from?


  • antoniusk
  • Veteran

    • 147

    • December 10, 2012, 05:35:49 pm
    • Sunchang, Jeollabuk-do
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Re: TOEIC study- what is a good level to start from??
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2016, 11:25:51 am »
Not sure if I'll be of much help but I'll try to pitch in:

How old is this student? If she is high school level, it might get quite stressful. University students may be better able to handle the pressure, in my opinion, but know what her level is at the moment might be key to approaching the matter at hand.

First things first, she's got to know the common vocabulary. I'm not saying just memorize it (although that's what most students end up doing) but having a strong grasp of words will help immensely. Having a good command of written grammar is preferable, too.

Maybe this is just my style, but I'd let her just take the practice test to see her base level. It will seem a bit demoralizing but she can only make improvements from there. What are her strengths, and what are her weaknesses? That's how you can gauge her level as a tutor. Also helps if you meet her consistently to make sure she is preparing for TOEIC properly.

Not many materials here provide a step-by-step, at least from my experiences looking at books and questions. It's all pretty standardized: vocabulary, complex explanation of English grammar (which there are tons of exceptions, hidden rules and quirky diction) and learning to just read faster. That's it. A bunch of reading and listening questions and a time limit. That's testing in a nutshell in Korea. Getting an awesome score of 900 doesn't even reflect anyone's real understanding of English -- it's their test-taking skill that's being evaluated.

Many companies nowadays seem to be looking for 900+, although back in the day (as I overheard my co-workers at various schools), 600-700 was acceptable. Again, see where she is right now and work on what she needs most. I think vocabulary is most important, and then moving on to the basic grammar rules just so that she can at least ace the first few questions.

Hope that was helpful in any way. I'm also trying to learn how to teach TOEIC for older students, even adults. I know how to answer these questions but I have to learn how to explain why this rule is such and such, and so on.
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