What to do if your TOEIC score doesn't increase?


"Recently, my TOEIC score has stopped increasing ..." "How much study time do I need to improve my score by 100?" Many people are having such troubles. Even if you think you are studying hard, if your score does not increase, there may be some cause.

In this article, I will explain why the TOEIC score does not increase, how to deal with it, and how to keep learning motivated.

Table of contents
  • Reasons why the TOEIC score does not increase
  • What to do when the TOEIC score does not increase
  • How to keep motivation when studying TOEIC
  • Conclusion

Causes of TOEIC score not increasing

There must be some cause for the sluggish TOEIC score. Let's see why here.

Not enough study time

Insufficient study time is one of the reasons why the TOEIC score does not increase. When you are busy with work or school lessons, it is difficult to secure a good amount of study time. However, it can be said that the score is difficult to increase unless a certain amount of time is secured. The following is an estimate of the learning time required to reach your target score from your current score by OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS.

Source: A Teacher's Guide to TOEIC® Listening and Reading Test Preparing Your Students for Success | OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

For example, if a person with a TOEIC score of 450 is aiming for 650, 450 hours is required, and if a person with a TOEIC score of 550 is aiming for 650, 225 hours of study time is required. In the case of 450 hours, even if you study 3 hours every day, it will take 150 days, that is, 5 months. We recommend that you calculate the required study time from the target score and continue studying every day.

I use teaching materials that are not specialized for TOEIC

Even if you are using teaching materials that are not specialized in TOEIC, your score tends to be difficult to increase. TOEIC has questioning tendencies and patterns, and it is easier to improve your score just by holding them down. Of course, it is not recommended to try to improve the score only by the technique, but you can devise countermeasures by knowing the tendency and pattern.

There are many teaching materials such as university entrance exam preparation, English conversation, and English news, but if you want to improve your score immediately, choose the teaching materials specialized for TOEIC. Also, if the author who makes the teaching materials has taken the TOEIC test many times, the content should be more important. It is recommended that you select the teaching materials of a reliable author by referring to word of mouth.

Do not repeat inputs and outputs

When it comes to studying English, many people may have the image of absorbing knowledge from grammar books and vocabulary books. This is the learning of knowledge, or "input." In order to improve the TOEIC score efficiently, not only input but also "output" is indispensable. Output is to go outside. For example, it is an output to practice listening by speaking out many times so that you can pronounce it correctly, or to write a diary in English.

"Shadowing", which sounds like chasing after the sound coming in from the ear, and "dictation", which writes down the sound, are also very effective learning methods. If you can't easily output by yourself, online English conversation is recommended. In EnglishPhonetics English conversation, you can efficiently input and output through conversation with the instructor.

What to do if your TOEIC score doesn't increase

Here, we will explain what to do when the TOEIC score does not increase.

First, grasp your strengths and weaknesses

When your score is sluggish, first understand your strengths and weaknesses. However, it is not efficient to learn blindly. You can expect to improve your score by further developing your strengths and overcoming your weaknesses. If you have taken the TOEIC test in the past, please check the score sheet. If you get a decent score in reading, but a low listening score, you know that the challenge lies in listening.

In such cases, your reading score will remain the same, and you can improve your score by strengthening your poor listening skills.

Review current learning methods and learning times

Both the quality and quantity of study are important in order to improve your score. First, let's review the current learning method and learning time. Check the learning methods by field, such as reading, listening, vocabulary, and grammar. It is also a point to check whether there is any variation in each field, whether the field that you are not good at is grasped and countermeasures are taken, and whether the previous trial measures are taken. If you can't get results with a commercially available vocabulary, we recommend creating an original vocabulary or using an app that specializes in TOEIC.

As for the study time, as I introduced earlier, it is necessary to secure a certain amount of time. Let's find out the current study time on a daily basis and calculate the weekly / monthly time. If you have enough time to study but your score does not increase, it is likely that you have a problem with your learning method.

Set goals and plans

Specific goals and learning plans are indispensable for advancing learning. First, decide how much score you want to aim for. Once the target score is decided, grasp the distance from the current score and identify the learning time required to improve the score. The point to note here is to set realistically feasible goals. If you set a goal score that is too high, you are more likely to be frustrated on the way.

Aim to reach your final goal score while clearing your short-term goals. You also need to set when you will clear your goal. We recommend a period of 2 to 3 months so that you can study comfortably. If it's too long, it's hard to stay motivated. However, goals and plans are only planned, so let's proceed with learning while correcting the trajectory on the way.

How to keep your motivation when studying TOEIC

It is important to continue learning English, not just one shot. Here's how to stay motivated when studying.

Prepare an environment for studying

To keep your study motivation, it is important to create an environment where you can study easily. The first thing I want to work on is organizing on the desk. If the desk is cluttered and you don't know where the reference books are, it will take unnecessary time to find things and you will not be motivated to study. If you have magazines or manga that are not related to your studies on your desk, it will be difficult for you to stay focused.
A neat learning environment reduces stress and makes it easier to concentrate on your studies. You can also use your time efficiently by organizing your smartphone apps so that they are easy to use.

Don't force yourself to study

It is also necessary not to overdo it in order to continue learning. There will be days when you feel uncomfortable today. Even if you try to study forcibly on such a day, you may not be able to maintain your concentration and you may end up spending time lazily. If you try to do it perfectly every day, you will be depressed when you can't. By deciding that you shouldn't overdo it on days when you don't feel well, you can lower your mental hurdles.

However, it's a problem that you don't feel well for days. Maybe it's because the learning method is wrong or the learning environment isn't set up. Be aware of creating an environment that motivates you to study, and review the content of your studies if necessary.

Sometimes I try to change the place to study

If you feel that your studies are becoming more rut, it is sometimes recommended to change your study location. If you're always studying at home, you can change your mind by visiting a cafe or library. For listening learning, it is a good idea to listen to the sound source while taking a walk.

If you have difficulty going out, try to change your mood by moving to the dining table instead of your room, or memorizing words while taking a half-body bath. Just change your usual location and you'll feel like you're more focused.


If you feel that your TOEIC score is sluggish, first find out the cause and take appropriate measures. It is also important to review the learning method, learning time, and teaching materials used. In addition, in order to maintain motivation and study, it is also necessary to be aware of the learning environment. Most people experience sluggish scores. You don't have to be depressed more than you need to, so be sure to check out this article to find a solution.