|▲ Survey about TOEIC study method|
It is no exaggeration to say that English proficiency gives individuals a competitive edge in the era of globalization. TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) is now considered essential for university students. TOEIC is a test that evaluates practical English required for everyday life or international work, focusing on communication skills, which include pronunciation, intonation and stress, vocabulary, grammar, etc. Currently, there are more than 7 million people worldwide that take the test every year. Why is TOEIC so well known among all of the available English tests? In an online survey conducted from March 31 to April 3 respondents were asked "How do you prepare for the TOEIC test?" Students from Changwon National University responded with their opinions and their study methods.
According to the survey data (There were a total of 40 participants, so the results can’t be generalized) about 62.5% of the students said they had experience taking TOEIC tests. The biggest reason why respondents said they needed a TOEIC score was preparation for employment (58.8%). While 23.5% of respondents said they needed a score to meet graduation requirements. In fact, TOEIC scores are required in certain academic and career situations such as in civil-service exams and university graduation exams. And most companies take TOEIC scores into consideration when hiring. There are also academic departments and programs that require TOEIC scores.
How do students like to study for TOEIC? The most common study method was self-study (39.9%). The reasons why self-study is so common is because of its affordability and a flexible study schedule. 26.6% of the respondents who preferred on-site lectures through an English academy said that it is easier to lay the foundation for basic English grammar, and that it’s easier to pay attention in on-site lectures. The last 26.6% of the respondents said that they study through Internet lectures. The reasons are a more flexible schedule, low cost compared to lectures at private institutes, and the ability to replay lessons. There were also respondents who preferred to study with a study group. Study groups have the advantage of being able to share opinions on difficult topics, and being able to encourage each other like in an academy.
There were also various study methods that respondents recommended for studying for TOEIC. There is a study method that emphasizes the use and memorization of words or grammar by referring to their own written note. Students' advice on the listening part of TOEIC is to highlight the dialogue and find keywords to improve listening skills. Some tips on the reading part included solving problems focusing on Part 7, studying Part 5 with index cards, and making notes of wrong answers. The most common advice given on the survey was to solve practice problems consistently and frequently.
While student interest in TOEIC is high, there were many different opinions about TOEIC given in the survey. No one was convinced that TOEIC is a test that represented English proficiency well. In response to the question “Does TOEIC represent English skills well?” On a scale from 0 to 5 (0 =not at all, 5 =very much), no one chose 5, 40% of people chose 4, 46.7% of people chose 3, and 13.3% of people chose 2. The results were less positive than expected. There were also some students who recommended other English certificates such as TOEFL and IELTS as an alternative to TOEIC, and also stated that TOEIC may not be the most useful if they are interested in getting a job abroad or having good conversation skills.
There is a common misconception that the average salary varies depending on the TOEIC score, among other important things. However, the reliance of companies on official language grades, such as TOEIC scores, is getting lower. Before preparing for TOEIC, consider the best way to study based on preferred learning styles and study methods! In addition to studying TOEIC, try to improve ‘practical English skills’ with a focus on conversation.
By Lee Yeon-ju,Editor-in-Chief firstname.lastname@example.org
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