TOEIC® L&R refinement in 2016/2017

Official Results
Remain Equivalent
ETS provides a globally verifiable score. The report provided is called the “Official Score Report” internationally, and also referred to as the 
“Official Score Certificate”
(in Japan and Korea).

See certificate differences

The Official Score recognition is unaffected by these changes.


ETS is pleased to announce an update to the format of questions used in the TOEIC L&R test. The changes take effect in Japan and Korea beginning with the Public Test in May 2016.

The worldwide rollout is commencing, the schedule is currently being determined.

There is still ONE Official TOEIC Test

While the current and the refined TOEIC Tests are being run simultaneously around the world, these are considered the same test with the same results.

ETS has conducted several studies to verify there is no change in meaning for the TOEIC Listening and Reading scores. There is also no change to the level of test difficulty or total testing times.

Scores will continue to be comparable across test-form administrations.

An Official Score is recognised in all countries regardless of using the current or refined TOEIC.

Overview of Updates:

Language use: As the use of English evolves and changes, so must tests and test questions, to ensure that we are measuring the language skills that individuals need.

Multiple sources: The updates will make greater use of multiple sources - for example using both what is seen in a visual image and what is heard in a conversation.

Candidates will be assessed on understanding intended meaning in context and across text sources, understanding non-linear exchanges in online-chat messages, and understanding conversations with more than 2 speakers. This assessment will be closer to real life situations, but the difficulty will remain the same.

Update to balance of items:


Part 1: 10 photograph items        → 6 items
Part 2: 30 question-response items  → 25 items
Part 3: 10 conversation items      → 13 items
Part 4: 10 short talk items        → Unchanged.


Part 5: 40 incomplete sentence items   → 30 items
Part 6: 12 text completion items        → 16 items
Part 7a: 28 single reading passage items   → 29 items
Part 7b: 20 double reading passage items   → 25 items

New Ability Reported:

For schools using the ability subsections, the score report will add an additional Listening Ability.

“Can understand a speaker’s purpose or implied meaning in a phrase or sentence”.

More information:

  1. ETS’s information page

  2. TOEIC Japan’s Q&A in English

  3. TOEIC Japan’s information page (in Japanese)