What are the TOEIC Speaking and Writing Test?


Speaking of TOEIC, the listening and reading test (TOEIC L & R) is common. In fact, there is also a speaking and writing test (TOEIC S & W). It has emerged as a more practical test of English proficiency, such as "speaking" and "writing."

In this article, we will explain questions such as "What kind of test is the speaking and writing test?" And "What kind of study should I do?" We will also introduce recommended texts that can aim for a high score, so please refer to it.

What is the TOEIC Speaking / Writing Test? How high is the level?

Here, we will explain in detail the Speaking Writing Test, which has emerged as a test to measure more practical English proficiency.

Overview of TOEIC Speaking Test

The TOEIC Speaking Test is a test that measures your "speaking ability" in English. There is a section for reading aloud, drawing pictures, expressing one's opinion, etc., and the speaking ability is widely judged. The feature is that the accuracy of pronunciation, grammar, intonation, etc., and the consistency of what is spoken are also checked.

Even if you get a high score in TOEIC L & R, it does not mean that you can actually speak English fluently. The Speaking Test can be used not only as a test to test how well you can speak English, but also as a proof and appeal of your speaking ability.

There are 11 questions in total, and the exam time is about 20 minutes. The speaking test can be taken alone, and the test fee is 6,930 yen (tax included).

Section name / Estimated answer time Summary of the problem
Read a text aloud (reading aloud) 2 questions / 1 question, preparation time 45 seconds, answer time 45 seconds) Read aloud short English sentences such as announcements and advertisements
Describe a picture (preparation time 45 seconds, answer time 30 seconds per question) Look at the pictures and explain the contents
Respond to questions (answer time 15 seconds or 30 seconds per question) Answer questions in an interview about a familiar problem, or answer a question in a telephone conversation
Respond to questions using information provided 3 questions / 1 question with a preparation time of 45 seconds and an answer time of 15 seconds or 30 seconds) Answer questions based on the presented materials and documents (schedule, etc.)
Express an opinion 1 question / preparation time 30 seconds, answer time 60 seconds) State your opinion and why on a subject

Source: Test format and structure | IIBC

Overview of TOEIC Writing Test

The TOEIC Writing Test is a test that measures your "writing ability" in English. Questions such as drawing pictures, replying to e-mails, and free writing will be asked. The criteria for evaluation are not only whether you are using words and grammar correctly, but also whether you can write logical sentences and create sentences consisting of multiple paragraphs.

As with the TOEIC Listening and Reading Test, the questions are often used in business situations, but do not require in-depth knowledge of a particular field. There are 8 questions in total, and the exam time is about 60 minutes. This is a set with the speaking test, and you cannot take the writing test alone. The examination fee is 10,450 yen (tax included).

Section name / Answer time guide Summary of the problem
Write a sentence based on a picture (photo description) 5 questions / 5 questions で 8 points Create a sentence that matches the content of the photo using the given two words (phrases)
Respond to a written request (email composition) 2 questions / 10 minutes per question Read an email of about 25 to 50 words and compose a reply email
Write an opinion essay 1 question / answer time 30 minutes Describe your opinion on the presented theme with reasons or examples
1 question/answer time 30 minutes

Source: Test format and structure | IIBC

What kind of problems do you have?

Sample questions are available on the official TOEIC website for both speaking and writing. By knowing in advance what kind of problems will be asked, it is possible to take appropriate measures. Here, I will explain what the sample problem looks like, so please refer to it.

TOEIC Speaking Test Sample Questions

In the first reading aloud section, you will see about 70 words of English, such as announcements and advertisements. First, read silently in 45 seconds, and when you hear the voice "Begin reading aloud now.", Read aloud within 45 seconds.

The photo depiction sample question shows several people shopping in the market. After 45 seconds of preparation time, if you hear Begin speaking now., Draw in 30 seconds.

Next is the response problem. After reading the English text about the telephone interview, answer three related questions. When the question is displayed, you will hear a sound and the timer will start counting down. Answer the first and second questions in 15 seconds each and the third question in 30 seconds.

The informed response questions presented will display seminar guidance for those who want to start their own business. After confirming the contents, the narrator will read the questions aloud, so the first and second questions will be answered in 15 seconds each, and the third question will be answered in 30 seconds. Listen carefully as the questions will only be voiced.

The last is the section where you can give your opinion. An English sentence with the theme "Which is better, a low-paying job or a job with a lot of holidays" is displayed, and the narrator reads the problem aloud. After 30 seconds of preparation time, when you hear Begin speaking now., Give your opinion in 60 seconds.

Source: TOEIC Speaking & Writing Tests Challenge sample questions | IIBC

TOEIC Writing Test Sample Questions

In the photo depiction sample question, a picture of a lot of cars parked at the airport and two words, airport terminal and so, are displayed on the screen. It's a question of creating a sentence that describes what a photo looks like, using the two words presented.

In the email creation sample question, you will see an invitation email to the new mover. Read and understand the content and compose a reply email in 10 minutes. There is no particular limit on the number of characters.

The last is the question of expressing opinions. Read English about how to find a job and answer in over 300 words within 30 minutes. You are required to use a variety of syntaxes and phrases, including opinions, reasons, examples, and so on.

Source: TOEIC Speaking & Writing Tests Challenge sample questions | IIBC

What are the countermeasures and study methods for each?

Learning in an effective way is a shortcut to aiming for a high score on the TOEIC Speaking and Writing Test. Let's aim to improve the score with recommended measures and study methods for each.

TOEIC Speaking Test Preparation and Study Methods

First of all, I will introduce the measures and study methods for the TOEIC Speaking Test.

Remember the pronunciation of English words correctly

Increasing vocabulary is a basic measure when taking the TOEIC test, but it is also important in the speaking test that you can pronounce correctly. "Is it readable with English-like pronunciation and rhythm?" "Is it a natural accent and intonation?" "Is it easy to understand and hear?"

There are many people who can't pronounce well, such as how to use L and R properly, which is not found in Japanese. Practice and overcome your weak pronunciations many times.

You don't just have to read it without making a mistake, but you also need to be aware of the points where the meaning is important and the words you want to emphasize slowly and strongly. Also, the point is to be able to pronounce clearly and clearly, rather than reading faster than necessary.

Train to translate what you see and feel into English

The speaking test has a section where you can look at the pictures and describe their contents in English. This question is evaluated if you can explain it to the other person using appropriate vocabulary.

However, it is quite a hurdle to describe the photograph that was suddenly handed over. As a countermeasure, it is recommended that you train yourself in English for what you see and feel on a daily basis.

For example, there is no problem with familiar things such as explaining the scene inside the train during commuting time and explaining the meal menu. If you try to explain in English, you will find many words and expressions that you do not know. By examining them, you will improve your vocabulary, and you will be able to speak English smoothly even in the actual production.

Get used to speaking English

One of the reasons I'm not good at speaking is that I'm not used to speaking English. Many people find it difficult to create opportunities to speak English on a daily basis while in Japan.

English is the same as muscle training, and the more you practice speaking, the more naturally it comes out of your mouth. English conversation lessons are recommended for those who want to create opportunities to speak English. In English conversation lessons, you can practice conversation with native and foreign teachers who are fluent in English.

You can improve your speaking ability by telling the other person what you want to say and enjoying the catch ball of conversation. Online lessons do not require you to go to school, so even people who are busy with work can easily continue.

Train to formulate and explain opinions

The Speaking Test has a section that states your opinion and why for a given subject. This is one of the most difficult sections of the speaking test, where you need to reason and explain your opinions.

It is recommended to decide in advance how to develop the story as a test measure. In English, it is common to first state the conclusion, then explain the reasons for supporting the conclusion and specific examples, and finally state the conclusion again.

By preparing your own rough template, you can keep the point of discussion. As you become more accustomed to assembling sentences, be aware of digging deeper into the content.

TOEIC writing test measures and study methods

Next, I will explain how to prepare for the TOEIC writing test and how to study.

Master basic grammar

In TOEIC writing, whether or not the grammar is used correctly is also a major point in scoring.

No matter how many words you remember, if you don't understand the structure and word order of the sentence, you can't make a meaningful sentence. It is necessary to acquire basic grammar knowledge because it is checked in detail such as whether you have forgotten the s of the three units and whether the tense of the verb is correct.

When studying, it is recommended that you do not touch multiple grammar books and focus on one. Repeating one book over and over will help you to establish your knowledge.

In addition to input, it is also important to write what you have learned immediately and output it. You will be able to acquire more usable expressions by having them correct what you wrote.

Train to write opinions logically

Like the speaking test, the writing test has a section where you can express your opinion. It is required to construct sentences logically and write sentences that can be conveyed to the reader. What I would like to keep in mind is the structure of the English essay. The English essay basically consists of three parts: "Introduction", "Body", and "Conclusion".

・ Introduction: Clarify your own opinions and claims
・ Main article: Present the grounds and concrete examples of the opinions stated in the introduction to persuade the reader
・ Conclusion: State your own opinions and claims again

Be aware that sentences and paragraphs are naturally connected, and construct sentences logically.

Get used to typing in English

The writing test is a test in which you use a personal computer to type and answer English sentences with a keyboard. Testing is a race against time, so slow typing speeds can run out of time.

Typing speed is also key to aiming for a high score. Many people are accustomed to Japanese input but are not good at typing English. Let's practice well in advance and get used to English typing so that you can demonstrate your ability in the test production.

3 Recommended Texts for TOEIC Speaking Test Preparation

One of the concerns when taking TOEIC measures is what kind of text to choose. Here, we will introduce three carefully selected texts recommended for speaking test preparation.

Official text supervised by TOEIC test development organization

The official textbook " TOEIC Speaking Test / Writing Test Official Guide " is popular for TOEIC preparation . This one book will give you an idea of what kind of test you will take, so it is recommended for those who are taking the TOEIC test for the first time. It also explains in detail the question format and how to perform the test.

Two practice tests are recorded, perfect for actual rehearsals. There are plenty of examples and explanations of the answers to the questions, so you can know what kind of answers are required. Also, it is easy to learn that the evaluation criteria are introduced in an easy-to-understand manner.

Recommended level Beginner to advanced
author ARE YOU
publishing house Institute for International Business Communication
Price (tax included) 3,080 yen

Carefully explain the strategy for each question! Recommended for TOEIC beginners

" TOEIC Test Speaking / Writing Comprehensive Measures " is also recommended for TOEIC beginners . As with the official textbook, it is a teaching material that gives you the information and tips for answering the TOEIC test. You can do a "self-check" to measure your current speaking and writing skills before learning, so it will be easier to determine how much your English has improved after learning.

It is also attractive that the strategy for each question is explained carefully. You can also train to improve your ability to communicate from the four aspects of grammar, speaking, typing speed, and function. One mock test is also included, so please use it to finish your learning.

Recommended level Beginner to Intermediate
author Makiko Asaba, Tony Cooke
publishing house Obunsha
Price (tax included) 2,310 yen

The popular TOEIC Speaking Test Preparation Seminar has been made into a book!

" TOEIC (R) Speaking Test Ultimate Seminar " is a textbook specializing in speaking tests. This book is a book of popular speaking test preparation seminars sponsored by authors who are familiar with the TOEIC test. This book is packed with know-how to improve your score.

Boasting an overwhelmingly higher number of expected questions than other teaching materials, 3 mock exams that are useful just before the actual performance are also posted. There are two patterns of answering questions, one for intermediate users and the other for advanced students, so it is attractive to be able to prepare for the test according to your level.

Starting in 2019, note-taking is allowed on the speaking test. In this book, it is a reassuring teaching material to have, such as explaining in detail the effective note-taking method during the test with a video.

Recommended level Intermediate to Advanced
author Miho Tomita
publishing house ALC
Price (tax included) 2,750 yen

3 Recommended Texts for TOEIC Writing Test

The content and level of the TOEIC preparation text varies. It is important to choose the one that suits your level and is easy to use. From beginners to advanced learners, here are three writing test preparation textbooks that are suitable for each.

Take measures just like the real thing with an online mock test!

Recommended for TOEIC beginners is " [With audio DL] First TOEIC (R) S & W test complete capture ". This book is full of know-how that maximizes the effect in the shortest time, such as test time allocation, how to take notes, and templates that can be used in production. The perfect score for the writing test is 200, but the goal of this book is 120 for the time being. After firmly holding down the basics, we aim to further improve the score.

Since learning points are set for each section, it is a mechanism to steadily improve your ability. All model answers to the exercises are accompanied by audio, and the audio can be downloaded to smartphones. It is also perfect for learning travel time. You can take the practice test once in the magazine and once online.

Recommended level primary
author Ayako Yokokawa
publishing house ALC
Price (tax included) 2,200 yen

Recommended for those who want to try a lot of exercises

" The ultimate TOEIC (R) test speaking / writing technique " is recommended for intermediate to advanced English speakers . This book by the author, who is famous for TOEIC preparation, contains a wealth of answer tips, practical exercises, and model answers for each section. The model answer is neither too easy nor too difficult, and it is easy for people of all levels to use.

In addition, learning methods and advice for each target score are introduced for each section, so you can study according to your level. Two sets of mock exams that you want to use as measures just before the test are included. If you study one book over and over again, you will reduce your weakness in writing.

Recommended level Intermediate to Advanced
author Robert Hilke, Masako Uehara, Ayako Yokokawa, Tony Cooke
publishing house Kenkyusha
Price (tax included) 2,970 yen

You can take TOEIC writing measures with this one book!

" TOEIC (R) WRITING test questions " that is perfect for writing test-specific measures . This book, which has been thoroughly analyzed over many years of writing tests, is a textbook that gives you the knowledge and techniques to improve your score. It will solve questions such as "what kind of structure should I make?" And "what kind of content should I include?"

Learning points and points to note are summarized in each section, so you can see at a glance what kind of study you should do. It also contains a collection of useful expressions that can be used in e-mails and essays. It helps to increase the stock of expressions that can be used in writing. There are many questions, so it is recommended for those who just want to practice before the test.

Recommended level Intermediate to Advanced
author Robert Hilke, English flight
publishing house Kenkyusha
Price (tax included) 2,420 yen

If you can understand TOEIC speaking

As introduced in this article, in order to improve the score of TOEIC Speaking and Writing, not only input but also output is necessary. Train yourself to speak and write English on a regular basis.

However, speaking is especially difficult to practice alone. For those who want to practice live English conversation, take advantage of the free trial lessons of EnglishPhonetics English Conversation . Once you get used to speaking English through the lessons, you should be able to take the test without any tension.