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Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) measures the ability of non-native English-speaking examinees to use English in everyday workplace activities.
The Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) is "an English language test designed specifically to measure the everyday English skills of people working in an international environment."
It is a 2-hour multiple-choice test consisting of 200 questions divided into 100 questions each in listening comprehension and reading comprehension. Each candidate receives independent scores for written and listening comprehension on a scale from 5 to 495 points. The total score adds up to a scale from 10 to 990 points. The TOEIC certificate exists in five colours, corresponding to achieved results :
- orange (10-215)
- brown (220-465)
- green (470-725)
- blue (730-855)
- gold (860-990)
The Educational Testing Service (ETS) in the USA developed the TOEIC test based on its academic ETS counterpart, the TOEFL test. The Asahi Shimbun national daily's evening edition  interviewed Yasuo Kitaoka (北岡靖男 Kitaoka Yasuo) who was the central figure of the Japanese team that conceived the basic idea of the TOEIC test.
According to a Aug. 11, 2009 Japan Times article, "In the 1970s, Kitaoka began negotiating with ETS to create a new test of English communication for use in Japan. ETS responded that they required a nonprofit organization to work with as their partner.
Kitaoka tried to enlist the help of the Ministry of Education, but their bureaucrats actively obstructed his efforts. They didn't see the need for a new test to compete with the STEP Eiken, an English test already backed by the ministry.
To overcome this opposition, Kitaoka received help from a friend named Yaeji Watanabe. Watanabe's influence as a retired high-ranking bureaucrat from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (renamed the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, or METI) proved crucial to TOEIC's establishment.
Watanabe had remained in contact with his old ministry while working on the board of directors for the World Economic Information Services (WEIS) and as chairman of the Japan-China Economic Association, both public-interest corporations operating under MITI. Watanabe declined an interview request, but his memoirs describe how he overcame Ministry of Education opposition to the TOEIC by taking cover "behind the ministry of trade shield."
Watanabe convinced his old ministry it should play the lead role in establishing a new English test, and formed a TOEIC Steering Committee under the WEIS umbrella. Members of the committee included other retired MITI bureaucrats and influential business leaders.
Government support secured, ETS began developing the test in 1977. In 1979, English learners in Japan filled in the first of many TOEIC multiple-choice answer forms"(Japan Times, 2009).
ETS's major competitor is Cambridge University, which administers the IELTS, FCE, CAE, and CPE.
 The New TOEIC
A new version of the TOEIC was released in 2006. The changes can be summarized as follows:
- Overall, passages have become longer.
- Part 1 has fewer questions involving photo descriptions.
- The Listening Section hires speakers of English from Britain, Australia, New Zealand and North America. The ratio is 25% each for American, Canadian, British, and Australian–New Zealand pronunciation . However all the voice actors for the speaking test have lived in the United States for an extended period.
- Part 6 no longer contains the error-spotting task, which has been criticized as unrealistic in a corporate environment. This part instead adopts the task wherein the test taker fills in the blanks in incomplete sentences.
- Part 7 contains not only single-passage questions but also double-passage questions wherein the test taker has to read and compare the two related passages, such as e-mail correspondence.
According to a survey  conducted in 2006 by the Institute for International Business Communication (財団法人 国際ビジネスコミュニケーション協会, Zaidanhōjin Kokusai Bijinesu Komyunikēshon Kyōkai ), 56.8% of the respondents who took both the older and the revised versions of the TOEIC test in Japan find the latter version more difficult. The lower the score the test taker achieves, the more marked this tendency becomes. As many as 85.6% of those who earned scores ranging from 10 to 395 points find the revised TOEIC test more difficult, while 69.9% of those who earned 400 to 495 points think this way, as do 59.3% of those who earned 500 to 595 points. Among those who achieved 600 to 695 points 58.9% agree with these findings. 700 to 795 points 48.6%, 800 to 895 points 47.9%, and 900 to 990 points 39.8%.
2007 saw the added optional speaking and writing tests,there were also some changes to the reading and listening test as well that de-emphasized knowledge of grammatical rules.
 TOEIC Scandal in Japan
The Institute for International Business Communication (IIBC), the non-profit organization that administers the TOEIC in Japan, was the subject of a scandal in 2009.
In May and June 2009, articles in the Japanese weekly magazine FRIDAY accused the IIBC’s 92 year-old Chairman Yaeji Watanabe of nepotism when he appointed the son of his girlfriend to the position of Chairman of the IIBC Board of Directors. To force the appointment, half of the volunteers serving on the Board were forced out by Watanabe. The magazine article also questioned why Watanabe only showed up for work about one day a week.
In his defense, Watanabe claimed that he held a ceremonial title and was Chairman in name only. As a result Watanabe claimed that he had little to do with the decision to appoint the son of his girlfriend to the position. The magazine article concluded by asking the rhetorical question why does someone who is chairman in name only and only working one day a week receive an annual salary in excess of 25 million yen?
In August 2009, the online version of the English-language newspaper The Japan Times published a two-part series examining the TOEIC’s origins and early history as well as the use of test-taker fees by the IIBC on the internet. The August 18th article examined the questionable uses of test-fees, including: utility expenses that increased five-fold in one year, 13 million spent annually researching adapting to Chinese culture, sponsorship of poetry readings in Japan and other countries by the Chinese Poetry Recitation Association run by the girlfriend of the IIBC Chairman, membership fees to join the Beautiful Aging Association which organizes karaoke singing outings and cooking classes for retirees. Watanabe also happens to be the BAA Chairman.
The article also questioned the relationship between the IIBC and its for-profit partner International Communications School with which it shared office space. International Communications School is responsible for selling the TOEIC Institutional Program Test given by companies and schools, and also publishes IIBC approved TOEIC preparation textbooks and administers the TOEIC Japanese language Web site. One of International Communications School subsidiaries is E-Communications, which administers the TOEIC’s online application system and provides online TOEIC study materials.
In 2009, Watanabe suddenly resigned from the IIBC, leaving the son of his girlfriend in charge of the non-profit. Watanabe received a 25 million yen retirement payment.
The IIBC lowered the price of the TOEIC Secure Program Test from 6,615 yen to 5,985 yen starting with the September 13, 2009 test. The price had to be lowered due to pressure from the Ministry of Trade which instructed the IIBC to reduce the profits being generated by the test.
 TOEIC in Japan
The Institute for International Business Communication (財団法人 国際ビジネスコミュニケーション協会, Zaidanhōjin Kokusai Bijinesu Komyunikēshon Kyōkai ) operates the TOEIC test in Japan, where a total of nearly 1.5 million people take the test per year. There are two ways to take the TOEIC test proper. One is called the TOEIC SP Test (Secure Program Test; 公開テスト, Kōkai Tesuto ), in which one can take the test either individually or in a group on specified dates at a test centre specified by the TOEIC Steering Committee. The other is the TOEIC IP Test (Institutional Program Test; 団体特別受験制度, Dantai Tokubetsu Juken Seido ), in which an organization (a corporate body or an educational institution) can choose the date and administer the test at their convenience in accordance with the TOEIC Steering Committee. The TOEIC SP Test was renewed on May 2006, the TOEIC IP Test in April 2007 in line with the SP Test. More and more companies use TOEIC scores for personnel assessment instead of the homegrown STEP Eiken test organized by the Society for Testing English Proficiency (STEP) (日本英語検定協会主催実用英語技能検定試験「英検」, Nihon Eigo Kentei Kyōkai Shusai Jitsuyō Eigo Ginō Kentei Shiken "Eiken" ). The TOEIC Speaking Test / Writing Test started on Sunday 21 January 2007 in addition to the TOEIC SP Test and the TOEIC IP Test.
 TOEIC in the Republic of Korea
Towards the end of 2005, there was a shift in South Korea, regarded as the second biggest consumer of TOEIC , or rather the biggest in terms of per capita consumption, away from the test as a measure of English ability on the corporate level. As noted in The Chosun Ilbo (조선일보; 朝鮮日報; Korea Daily Reports) national daily , a number of major corporations have either removed or reduced the required TOEIC score for employment. An official from the Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK; Kiup Bank; 기업은행; 中小企業銀行) says, "TOEIC isn't an appropriate indicator of actual English skills." However, a person's TOEIC score is still a major factor in hiring persons for most professional jobs in South Korea. Starting in 2011, Korean universities will no longer be allowed to use TOIEC and TOEFL scores as part of the admission process. This is apparently to discourage private English education (there are many private institutions that teach TOEIC-based classes). Another English proficiency test, TEPS (developed by Seoul National University, Chosun Ilbo), has been developed and may replace the status of TOEIC.
 TOEIC in Europe
In France, some Grandes écoles require a TOEIC score of at least 750 to award the diploma. This policy has been criticized, as it makes state-awarded diplomas dependent on a private institution—despite the fact that it was not the private institution that set the 750 mark but a recommendation from the Commission des Titres d'Ingénieurs indicating a B2+ level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. If the student cannot achieve a 750 mark, he/she is offered to validate his/her diploma by other means in most of the schools. Some institutions delay the diploma for 1 year after the end of the studies in that case.
 TOEIC Bridge
ETS also administers a simplified version of the TOEIC test called TOEIC Bridge. The TOEIC Bridge test targets beginning and intermediate speakers and consists of 100 multiple-choice questions, requiring about one hour of testing time.