Back in March, we looked at some techniques for getting a better score on the TOEIC® Listening, so in preparation for this month’s seminar, we are going to look at how to improve your TOEIC® Reading score this month!
Vocabulary and word building is important
The reading section is essentially a vocabulary test. If you know the word, you will probably be able to answer the question correctly. Thus, it is crucial that you improve your vocabulary. Obviously, you cannot attempt to memorize the dictionary, and you don’t need to. All you need to know are 1500 words in General Service List (GSL) and 1000 words in General Academic List (GAL). According to some linguistics, most words on the test are from these two imporant lists. Granted, memorizing a list of words is rather dry, but it is probably the most effective way of improving your performance on the reading and writing section. In fact, most students know words in GSL and you can master GAL in only ten hours by following a simple strategy that is described in 'Vocabulary Section'.
It’s also important that you know how to “build” words. This involves knowing how to make every part of speech i.e. the noun, verb, adjective (negative) and even the adverb forms. For example, if you know the word “information”, you should know the words “to inform”, “(un)informative”,”informer” and informatively. That’s six words instead of one! You can expand you vocabulary very quickly this way.
Give it a try!
1. Which of the following words cannot use the suffix -ful?
2. Which of the following cannot use the suffix -ive?
3. Which of the following cannot use the suffix -ial?
4. Which of the following cannot use the suffix -ure?
5. Which of the following cannot use the suffix -ion?
6. Which of the following cannot use the suffix -ance?
7. Which of the following cannot use the suffix -ness?
8. Which of the following cannot use the suffix
How should I approach the long texts?
Some books recommend speed-reading the passages. This is a mistake. Speed reading is designed for ordinary, nontechnical material. Because this material is filled with “fluff” which is unnecessary material. In that case, you can skim over the nonessential parts and still get the gist or main idea— and often more — of the passage. However, actual reading passages on the test are dense. Some are actual quoted articles. Most often, however, they are based on articles that have been condensed to about one-third their original length. During this process no essential information is lost, just the “fluff” is cut. This is why speed reading will not work here — the passages contain too much information. You should, however, read somewhat faster than you normally do, but not to the point that your comprehension suffers. You will have to experiment to find your correct speed.
Many books recommend reading the questions before the passage. But there are two big problems with this method. First, some of the questions are a paragraph long, and reading a question twice can use up precious time. Second, there are many questions per passage, and psychologists have shown that we can hold in our minds a maximum of about three thoughts at any one time (some of us have trouble simply remembering phone numbers). After reading all questions, the student will turn to the passage with his mind clouded by half-remembered thoughts. This will at best waste their time and distract them. More likely it will turn the passage into a disjointed mass of information. So, what should you do? Try to be "thieves"(泥棒)!
If you are reading a long passage, one technique that you may find helpful is to use the THIEVES strategy to preview the passage by reading the first sentence of each paragraph. Generally, the topic of a paragraph is contained in the first sentence. Reading the first sentence of each paragraph will give an overview of the passage. The topic sentences act in essence as a summary of the paragraph. Furthermore, since each long passage is only three or four paragraphs long, previewing the topic sentences will not use up a large amount of time.
Every first sentence in a paragraph
Visuals & vocabulary
Focus on these parts, and you can maximize your time on the long readings. If you would like to practice more, please join us for our upcoming TOEIC® Reading Workshop.
英語を話す時、あなたは "get your wires crossed" しますか?