Why Are Many People Obsessed with a High TOEIC Score?

 Portrait of a serious businesswoman using laptop in office

These days, almost all companies require a  job applicant to have  a TOEIC score which is, as much as possible, higher than 900. As a result, many job seekers scurry to cram schools and spend countless of hours studying for the TOEIC exam.
Many people  spend much time memorizing as many words as they can;  yet, on the day of the exam, they find themselves trying to recall all of the words they’ve memorized. Worse, most of the words they memorized don’t even appear in the actual exam.

In reality, it’s impossible to memorize all English words. Prior to the invention of the internet, there were already more than a million English words. With the internet, more technical words have been added to the dictionary. And because it is pointless to memorize all English words, it is not good to just rely on memorizing English words. There are certain skills and techniques that will help a reader or a test taker determine the meaning of a word when it is used in a sentence. One word can have multiple meanings. The meaning changes depending on how it is used in the sentence.

For example:
Let’s use the word crane.
1.  The crane is a beautiful bird. 
2. The car is too heavy; a crane is needed to get it out from the ditch. 
3. The teacher spoke too softly. She had to crane her neck to hear the teacher's explanation. 
What if a student managed to memorize only the first meaning of the word crane,  which means bird? If he reads sentence number 2,  does he imagine a bird trying to lift a car from the ditch?

Here are some points which may be surprising to many TOEIC test takers who don't use English as ther first/second/or official language. 

1. There are some specific skills needed in order to know the meaning of a word. 
2. There is almost no need to memorize all English words. In fact, according to one reliable source, the most prolific writer, Winston Churchill, used only about 60,000 out of 1,000,000 words in his writings. 

How, then, can a student know how to answer questions in exams, particularly in TOEIC exams?


実際には、すべての英語の単語を暗記することは不可能です。インターネットの発明に先立ち、既に百万以上の英単語がありました。インターネットでは、技術的な言葉が辞書に追加されています。そして、すべての英語の単語を覚えるのは無意味なので、英語の単語を覚えることだけに頼るのは良いことではありません。文章で使用される単語の意味を読者や受験者が判断するのに役立つスキルとテクニックがあります。 1つの単語は複数の意味を持つことができます。文中でどのように使われているかによって意味は変わります。

1. The crane is a beautiful bird. 2.The truck is too heavy; a crane is needed to get it out from the ditch. 3. The teacher spoke too slowly. She had to crane her neck in order to hear the teacher's explanation. 





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