ETS to Update the TOEIC® Listening and Reading Test in May 2016
Updates to reflect changing use of English in the workplace; no change to score scale, test difficulty, number of items or test length

Allyson Norton


Princeton, N.J. (November 5, 2015) – Educational Testing Service (ETS), the creator of the TOEIC® Program, announced updates to the format of questions used in the TOEIC® Listening and Reading (L&R) test. The changes will take effect in Japan and Korea beginning with the Public Test in May 2016. The updates will not impact the rest of the world at this time.

The TOEIC test was first launched in 1979 to measure English communication ability in global business. The test was last revised in 2006. The updated question format will reflect the changing use of English and the ways in which individuals commonly communicate in everyday social and workplace situations around the world.

“As the use of English evolves and changes, so must tests and test questions,” said Feng Yu, Ph.D., Executive Director of the TOEIC Program at ETS. “To ensure that the TOEIC test reflects current language use and measures the language skills that individuals need, ETS will be updating sections of the TOEIC Listening and Reading test.”

Although some of the question formats within the test will change, ETS has conducted several studies to verify that there will be no change in meaning for the TOEIC Listening and Reading test scores before and after the updates. There also will be no change to the level of test difficulty or total testing time. Scores will continue to be comparable across test-form administrations.

For more information on the TOEIC L&R test, including updated sample questions, visit (Korea) or (Japan).

About TOEIC®

For more than 30 years, the TOEIC® test has been the global standard for measuring workplace English-language communication skills. The TOEIC® Family of Assessments, including the TOEIC® Listening and Reading test, the TOEIC® Speaking and Writing test and the TOEIC Bridge™ test, is used by nearly 14,000 businesses, organizations and government agencies in 150 countries. Nearly 7 million TOEIC tests are administered annually worldwide, solidifying the TOEIC Program as the largest and most widely used English-language assessment program for the workplace. For more information on the TOEIC tests and other services provided by the TOEIC Program, visit

Tagged: Global English