Perfecting TOEIC Score

Books, Apps and Notes

Perfecting TOEIC Score

To test my English level, I took the TOEIC Listening & Reading exam in Japan last year. Dreaming of the highest possible score, I did all I could to prepare for the exam, and finally scored 990 out of 990 points.

This article outlines my approach, the resources I used, and some study notes.

Study Plan

I spent around 2 months, with about 5 hours per week, to prepare for the exam.

The way I studied was also very straightforward. I -

  • Gathered all sorts of practice tests

  • Tried answering each question

  • Marked any word/sentence I didn't fully understand

  • Checked the answers against the answer key

  • Searched for, studied, and noted these difficult words/sentences/questions

  • Revisited them in a few days.


  1. Books

In search of books, I approached a perfect-scorer for advice. He recommended a series of practice books called

Those were, indeed, high-quality practice tests that matched the difficulty and structure of the real test.

At the time of this writing, there are 10 books in that series, each with two sets of mock tests, answer keys, and scripts. I used 2 of them - No. 6 and No. 8. All 10 books seem to possess the same great quality, but later versions are preferred as they can reflect the most recent trends.

Apart from that, I explored nearby libraries for practice books and grabbed everything that had questions and an answer key. I cannot recall the names, but many libraries in Japan have several practice books, and you can usually borrow them with a library card (Free of Charge).

  1. Websites & Apps

The official TOEIC site provides one sample test. Apart from that, I found a few obscure websites with practice tests, but mobile apps outperformed any website in terms of both organization and richness of the material. Type something like "TOEIC Practice" in your AppStore/PlayStore and many great apps will pop up.

Particularly, I found these apps very useful -


As the exam drew near, I kept a little memo of things I found difficult, to revisit later. Particularly, the usage of prepositions required much attention. So, I wrote down some interesting sentences I found. Here is that list -

  • "An objection to the increase of overtime."

  • "They made a point of reading his book."

  • "He made a plan to travel."

  • "She makes a promise to study well."

  • "They are making a stand for their beliefs."

  • In + [ celebration / commemoration / honor / recognition ] + of

    "They are opening in*celebration **of* the anniversary."

  • [ shocked / surprised / amazed ] + at

    "Most people are shocked at the number."


After spending 2 months on these books and apps, my exam prep was such a success that I achieved my dream score. However, my previous experience with English must have played a crucial role. After all, exam preparations can only help you apply your existing skills to maximize your score.

Therefore, if you can afford the time, improving your English skills should be the priority. Although "improving English" is not the theme of this article, I hope this article be of help when you sit down for the exam prep, with your sights set on your target score.