• 5 Tips for the TOEIC Photograph Section

    Identifying what’s happening in photographs is a regular feature of the TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) test. This might be intimidating but don’t worry. With practice you can develop important observational and grammatical skills in English that will be a great help to you in this part of the exercise.

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    5 tips to help you talk about photographs in your TOEIC exam

    1. Learn To Talk About Your Favorite Photographs First

    What are your favorite photographs? Are they of a day at the seaside or a birthday party? Whatever the topic, learn to talk about them in English, learning new vocabulary when necessary.

    2. Brainstorm Pictures in Magazines

    Pick pictures from magazines and newspapers and talk about them. Make lists of relevant vocabulary. Set yourself a target of 20 or 30 words.

    3. Learn Workplace Collocations

    It’s not enough to know that a telephone is called a telephone. You need to know the verbs that go with it like pick up, answer and hang up. Knowing the right collocations is critical for the photography exercise in the TOEIC test.

    4. Look at Past TOEIC Test Photographs

    Testing yourself with the photographs used in past tests is a great way to prepare for your upcoming TOEIC test. Try and go a step further than simply answering the questions. See how long a vocabulary list you can put together from the photo.

    5. Ask Native English Speakers What They See

    Asking native English speaking friends or tutors what they see in a photograph is a great way to practice observational skills. They might see things you didn’t as well as teaching you new ways to say the things you did see.

    Let’s look at a photograph from a past TOEIC test and go through it together.

    (A) The motorbikes are not touching the ground.
    (B) One of the drivers is wearing a red helmet.
    (C) The men are driving sports cars.
    (D) The ground is covered in snow.
    Which is correct?
    The answer is (B)
    (A) is not correct. The motorbikes are touching the ground. TOEIC examiners often try to confuse candidates with incorrect placement suggestions.
    (C) is not correct. The men are riding motorbikes. TOEIC examiners regularly try to confuse candidates by playing with nouns.
    (D) is not correct. The ground is not covered with snow.

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