Time to shine for TOEIC Test
The big day is getting closer, you’ve worked very hard to make it to this point. Perhaps you have studied so hard for so long, you forgot what you actually need to do on the day of the exam. Here are some pieces of advice that will help you make the most of your exam. It will cover some things you need to do, have, or know before you take your exam, during your exam, and after you finished your exam.
A good start is half the work for TOEIC
Good morning! I hope you were able to sleep well and were able to relax the day before the exam. Today is the big day, and getting into the exam well prepared will make taking the exam a lot less stressful. The TOEIC exam requires some preparation, such as items you need to bring with you to take the exam. This article will cover some general advice on how to handle the few hours before, during, and after your exam. After reading this article, you will be fully prepared to tackle the TOEIC.
- Wake up early
The day of your exam is undoubtedly an important one. You have been studying for this day for a long time, maybe even months. As a result, proper sleep – at least eight hours – before you take the exam is crucial, especially today. Don’t spend too much time studying the day before, go to bed early, and wake up early as well. Even if your exam starts in the afternoon, sleeping well is not just about the hours of sleep you get – but also about keeping a good rhythm, and part of a good rhythm is waking up on time.
- Don’t study too much
So, now you’re awake, but you have at least a good few more hours to go before you leave to get to the exam center. Your initial thought might be to continue studying straight away, after all this is what you have been doing for the last month(s), so why not today? Although revising your notes is a good practice to help get your brain’s motor running, don’t spend too much time on this as it may fatigue your brain too early and will cost you precious energy, which you should be spending on your actual exam.
- Limit your distractions
Today should be all about one thing – TOEIC. Don’t spend too much time on the day of your exam doing other activities, especially those that require a lot of cognitive energy. Activities such as studying other subjects, reading a (new) book, or speaking other (foreign) languages should be avoided where possible. If you still have the time, schedule any other priorities on other days around or after the day of your TOEIC exam (such as studying for university subjects or making other appointments). Speaking other languages should also be avoided if possible, as different languages have different structures, which might trip your brain into applying the incorrect rules for the wrong language. If you can, think, talk, and write exclusively in English until your exam starts. This will allow your brain to ‘warm up’ and get used to the right language.
- Prepare the right items
The TOEIC requires you to have certain documents with you, or else you won’t be able to start the exam. You will need a valid government-issued ID card, such as a passport, driver’s license, national or military ID. ETS recommends bringing two ID’s to the testing center, do this if you can. Be mindful however, your ID card needs to be officially recognised by your country’s governmental system (state-issued), and should contain your full name, date of birth, photograph, and a signature. Your ID cannot be expired on the day of the exam, even if the ID is still technically valid after its expiry date. Furthermore, you should bring two standard #2, or HB, pencils with erasers. In some instances, the exam center will issue their own pencils, but it is not guaranteed. It is also important to keep in mind that the test center cannot provide you with any extra utensils, so make sure you bring all necessary items.
Additionally, don’t bring any unnecessary valuables to the exam center such as watches, tablets, computers, camera’s, or other electronics as they will not be allowed in the exam center. Any backpacks and purses will have to be left outside the examination room and cannot be brought inside. Some exam centers may provide you with a locker, however this is not a guarantee.
- Arrive early
Being late causes stress and may induce anxiety before you start your exam. Needless to say; this is bad. Not to mention that being late to the exam center could also result in being locked out; the exam center may refuse your entry if you are too late. In this case, you are not entitled to a refund and will have to enroll for a new exam on another date. Arriving early includes knowing the directions to the exam center well in advance. Adding unnecessary minutes to your commute, trying to locate the building, would be a waste of time and may induce stress and anxiety.
During your exam
Before the exam starts, you should be familiar with the structure of the TOEIC exam. It is likely you already did this in your preparation or during the practice exams. Allowing yourself to be familiar with the exam structure will allow you to reduce stress or anxiety, as you already know what to expect on the exam. Here are some other tips to keep in mind when taking the exam to help you get the most out of it.
- Got stuck? Move on
It can be very frustrating to get stuck on a question. This can be especially true during the reading section, as there is no time limit per question (unlike during the listening section). If you are stuck on a question, the best practice is to mark the question, move on to the next, and come back to the question at the end of the exam. This will allow you to take your mind off of the question and come back with a fresh insight. It will also save you a lot of time; it would be unfortunate to waste time on a question you don’t know, potentially causing you to run out of time to answer questions that you might know. Equally as important, don’t guess the answer of any questions you get stuck on, at least until the very end. Only use guessing as a last resort, when you really don’t know or are running out of time.
- Answer all questions
The TOEIC exam does not penalise you for submitting incorrect answers; it only counts the answers you filled in correctly. This means that there is no punishment for guessing incorrectly or leaving answers empty. An empty answer is always incorrect, so even a purely random guess will give you a better chance of getting the answer right than not answering at all. All questions on the TOEIC Listening and Reading exam are multiple choice, either consisting of three or four answers. This means you will have between a 25% and 33% chance of getting the right answer by guessing. As mentioned previously, only use guessing as a last resort! Try to fill in all questions to the best of your knowledge.
- Check, check, double check
When you reach the end of your exam and if you have some time left over, use this time wisely and re-read all the questions and your answers. Check that you have answered all questions, check that you have answered the questions in the correct spaces on your answer sheet, and make corrections where necessary. Of course, this is more difficult to do with the listening section, but may be particularly helpful for the reading section. Use all the time while you have it, once you submit your exam you can’t go back to change anything.
After your exam
You have worked very hard for this! Congratulations on completing the TOEIC exam. When you finish your exam, try to take your mind off of the exam completely. Overthinking after submitting an exam is one of the main causes of post-exam stress. Accept the answers you submitted and believe in yourself that you performed the best you could. If you can, take the rest of the day off and do activities you enjoy, you have earned it! Going for a walk, shopping, or other (outdoors) activities will be refreshing and allow you to take your mind off of it. Prevent talking about the TOEIC exam with others if you can, as this may induce stress. On the other hand, talking to supportive friends or family can help you put your mind at ease.
Remember, you will only receive your TOEIC results within 30 days after taking your exam, so there is no rush to get your result straight away. Use this to your advantage and take your mind off of the results as much as you can. Keep an eye out for your mail every week or so. If you haven’t received your result after 35 days, contact your TOEIC exam center.
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