What is the TOEIC Speaking & Writing Test

Instructor: Summer Stewart

Summer has taught creative writing and sciences at the college level. She holds an MFA in Creative writing and a B.A.S. in English and Nutrition

The Test Of English for International Communication, or TOEIC, is an important test for professionals looking to demonstrate English proficiency. In this lesson, you will learn about the TOEIC exam and the general formats for the speaking and writing sections.


The global job market has significantly increased career possibilities for professionals around the world. Since many positions require English speaking and writing proficiency, ETS created the TOIEC Speaking and Writing test to evaluate the English skills of native and non-native speakers. In this lesson, we will cover the basics of the TOEIC and learn about the formats for the speaking and writing sections of the exam.

What Is the TOEIC?

The TOEIC Speaking and Writing test is an exam that assesses an individual's English speaking and writing skills. The test is designed to be taken in conjunction with the TOEIC Listening and Reading test.

The TOEIC Speaking and Writing test measures one's English language skills to determine their ability to deliver presentations, write emails and other written correspondence, hold meetings, and speak to clients over the phone.

The TOEIC Speaking and Writing test is delivered in two different sections, each with differing formats. There isn't a passing or failing score for the test, as it is built to test one's level of comfortability with English. The scores are important because it lets the employer know if a professional has the communication skills required to complete a specific job position.

Speaking Test Format

The speaking portion of the exam takes roughly 20 minutes and includes 11 questions. A perfect score on the speaking section of the exam is 200. Let's take a look at what the questions require of the test taker:

  • Questions 1 and 2 require the test taker to read a passage aloud. The test taker is given 45 seconds to prepare and 45 seconds to read the passage.
  • Question 3 requires the speaker to describe a picture in as much detail as possible in 45 seconds. The test taker has 30 seconds to prepare.
  • Questions 4 through 6 require the test taker to answer an assortment of questions. For questions 4 and 5, the test taker has 15 seconds to respond, and for question 6, the test taker is given 30 seconds. No preparation time is provided for any of the questions.
  • Questions 7 through 9 ask the test taker to respond to questions after specific information has been provided to them. The test taker is allotted 30 seconds to prepare after the information has been provided. The individual has 15 seconds each for questions 7 and 8. Thirty seconds are given to respond to question nine.
  • During question 10, the test taker is given a problem and asked to come up with a solution. The test taker is given 30 seconds to prepare and 60 seconds to provide a response.
  • Question 11 requires the test taker to speak their opinion on a given subject. The test taker has 15 seconds to prepare and one minute to respond.

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