Tuesday, April 8, 2014

[Rant] Got almost full marks for TOEIC exam


TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication), as the name suggests, is an exam to test the level of proficiency in English Language. Since been to Japan, I've sat for it there times. One might wonder why on earth I would want to sit for an English exam in Japan where English is hardly spoken. It's all about money. When we pass the exam, we get an allowance at work. Just ¥4,200 per month, but hey, it all adds up. (I've been in Japan for 4 years which means I've received almost ¥400,000 just by passing this exam.)

So why three times? The score is only valid for 2 years. So I have to redo it every 2 years.

The exam consists of only the listening and reading (grammar and comprehension) parts. No speaking - which I suck at and no writing - which I think I am good at. That's why IELTS is harder I guess. No, I haven't sat for that. It's just what I've heard. So, only two parts and they give 495 for each; 990 total. Weird scoring system, right? Who cares as long as I get my allowance. By the way, we have to get above 840 to get the full allowance.

Oh I forgot to mention. The questions are all MCQ type. Does that make the exam easier or harder? Doesn't matter. Like I said, I'm doing this only for money.

Anyways, I had to do it for the 3rd time last month (March of 2014). Yesterday they posted the scores on the website. I had scored 985 out oft 990 (495 for listening and 490 for reading). Just one answer wrong in the reading section. That's the highest I've managed to get so far. First time it was 955, then 975 and now 985. It's been a gradual improvement. Good! I mean, we hardly use English so it's good to know that my English is not deteriorating.


The above image is from the website. It shows how I faired compared to last time. I had 495 for listening last time as well. Only 480 for reading. I’ve managed to improve reading scores by 10 marks this time around.

To be honest, this exam is a walk in the park. The questions are easy. But if you don't get to a flying start, you will not have enough time at the end. That's the downfall of most people. You have 100 reading questions and only 75 minutes to finish them. But you can do like the first 60 questions within 15 minutes. The questions at the end are long paragraphs and take a long time. They are full of letters which make them boring. Anyways, I managed to finish the exam with more than 15 minutes spare time. I took a nap until the exam was over. Man, I hate these small naps. It makes my head ache after I wake up so quickly.

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