Fifteen words you need to know for the TOEIC test

Have you ever tried the TOEIC test?

It can be difficult if you don’t know the right vocabulary.

While this test covers a wide range of professional and business vocabulary, there are certain words that occur more often than others. The list below is a sample of fifteen of most frequently occurring words in TOEIC based on a corpus study of TOEIC listening and reading materials.

1. supervisor

(noun)   /ˈsuːpərvaɪzər/    

Meaning: A person responsible for (or in charge of) other people (=manager) (=boss)

Example: I have a meeting with my supervisor about my sales figures. I’m really nervous.


2. overdue

(adjective) /ˈoʊvɜdˈu/       

Meaning: Past the date you should do something by; late

Example: Unfortunately, as your previous payments are overdue, we cannot process your next order.


3. merchandise

(noun)   /ˈmɜtʃəndˌaɪz/     

Meaning: Products for sale (=goods)(=items)            

Example: Our new stores have been fully stocked with a wide range of merchandise.


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4. subscription

(noun)   /səbˈskrɪpʃn/       

Meaning: Payment given for regularly scheduled publications (eg. newspapers, magazines) or performances

Example: My subscription to the magazine will expire at the end of the month.


5. venue

(noun)   /ˈvenjuː/

Meaning: A place where people meet for an organized event (=location)

Example: The committee decided to make the International Center in Milan the venue for next year’s conference.


6. office supplies

(noun) /ˈɒfɪs səˈplaɪz/

Meaning: Things used in offices that have to be replaced often. Usually small things that are used daily eg. marker pens, pencils, paper, printer ink, notepads. (=consumables) 

Example: Our company orders new office supplies every month.


7. background

(noun)   /ˈbækɡraʊnd/      

Meaning: Professional or academic experience           

Example; This job would suit someone with a research background.


8. vehicle

(noun)   /ˈviːəkl/

Meaning: Something used for transporting people or goods from one place to another, such as a car, truck, or bus.             

Example: Are you the driver of this vehicle?


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9. expire

(verb)  /ɪkˈspaɪə/

Meaning: No longer useable (or valid) because the period of time for which it could be used has ended eg. passport, software license. Can also be used with food products eg. expiry date

Example: My driver’s license will expire next month so I need to renew it.


10. consumer

(noun)   /kənˈsjuːmə/       

Meaning: A person who buys products. Usually used to describe the behavior of groups of customers.           

Example: A female in her mid-30s would be a typical consumer of this product.


11. deadline

(noun)   /ˈdɛdˌlaɪn/           

Meaning: The time something must be finished by (=due date)

Example: When’s the deadline for this project? This Friday or next Friday?


12. accommodation

(noun) /əˌkɒməˈdeɪʃn/    

Meaning: A place to live or stay in eg. apartment, hotel, or dormitory

Example: Mary was asked to arrange accommodation for the two-day business trip.


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13. oversee

(verb)    /ˌəʊvəˈsiː/          

Meaning: Watch somebody/something and make sure that a job or an activity is done correctly (=supervise)

Example: They thought Mary was a strong leader, so they asked her to oversee the new project.


14. voucher

(noun)   /ˈvaʊtʃɜ/

Meaning: A piece of paper that you can use (instead of money) to buy products or get them at a lower price

Example: This voucher gives you 10% off your next purchase.


15. applicant

(noun)   /ˈæplɪkənt/          

Meaning: A person who submits papers in order to do something, e.g. apply for a job (=candidate)  

Example: If you are a successful applicant, you will receive an email invitation for an interview.


Related links:

How can I speak more politely to customers?

How can I study for language tests?