The TOEIC Speaking Test

Part One of the TOEIC Speaking and Writing Test

TOEIC Speaking Test
Getty Images | Matt Jeacock

TOEIC Speaking 

The TOEIC Speaking Test is the first part of the TOEIC Speaking and Writing Exam, which is different from the TOEIC Listening and Reading Test, or the Traditional TOEIC. So what's on the TOEIC Speaking Test? How will you be scored and why is it important? Read on for the details, provided by Nandi Campbell with Amideast.

TOEIC Speaking Basics

The TOEIC Speaking Test is designed to measure a person’s ability to communicate in spoken English in the context of daily life and the global workplace. The range of ability among English learners who will take the TOEIC Speaking Test is expected to be broad; that is, both very capable speakers and speakers of limited ability can take the test and score well on it.

The test is composed of eleven tasks and takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. 

The test is designed to provide information about language ability to speakers across a range of language proficiency levels. To this end, the tasks are organized to support the following three claims:

  1. The test taker can generate language intelligible to native and proficient nonnative English speakers. In a nutshell, are most people able to understand you when you speak?
  2. The test taker can select appropriate language to carry out routine social and occupational interactions (such as giving and receiving directions, asking for and giving information, asking for and giving clarification, making purchases, and greetings and introductions).
  3. The test taker can create connected, sustained discourse appropriate to typical daily life and the workplace. For this, it's more than just basic interactions. The tester wants to know if you can speak at ease with others in English. 

How is the TOEIC Speaking Test Scored?

What's On the TOEIC Speaking Test?

Given the parameters of the exam, what exactly will you be expected to do? Here are the number of questions and tasks that you'll be responsible for completing in the 20 minutes of the exam. 

Question Task Evaluation Criteria
1-2 Read a text aloud Pronunciation, intonation and stress
3 Describe a picture All of the above, plus grammar, vocabulary and cohesion
4-6 Respond to questions All of the above plus relevance of content and completeness of content
7-9 Respond to question using information provided All of the above
10 Propose a solution All of the above
11 Express an opinion All of the above


Practice for the TOEIC Speaking Test

Getting ready for the TOEIC Speaking portion of the Speaking and Writing test is a little less complicated than you might imagine. Get a friend, a coworker or even your employer to ask you open-ended questions to gauge your intelligibility. Practice reading aloud or describing a piece of artwork to a native English speaker, asking them which words and phrases sound forced or unclear. If you'd like more formal practice, ETS offers Speaking and Writing sample tests, so you can be ready on test day. 

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Your Citation
Roell, Kelly. "The TOEIC Speaking Test." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Roell, Kelly. (2023, April 5). The TOEIC Speaking Test. Retrieved from Roell, Kelly. "The TOEIC Speaking Test." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 5, 2023).