I'm looking for an internship in Amsterdam and I was wondering which TOEIC test would best help boost my resume ? Would it be adequate for an internship ?
There are three TOEIC tests that you can take:
- the TOEIC® Listening and Reading Test,
- the TOEIC® Speaking and Writing Tests,
- the TOEIC Bridge™ Test.
The TOEIC Bridge™ Test is for "lower-intermediate level learners", which is a very vague description. To find out whether this test is something for you, you can free sample questions and the examinee handbook, which can be download from the test preparation page. The test itself consists of three parts:
- 25 minutes for the listening part,
- 35 minutes for the reading part and
- "approximately 30 minutes to complete education and work history questionnaire"
Since an internship in a company would also require you to speak and write, I doubt that this test would be sufficient. If you are looking for internships or jobs in the Netherlands where you don't need Dutch, the requirements for English may be higher than for jobs where you need both languages.
The TOEIC® Listening and Reading Test assesses your "English-language listening and reading skills for the workplace". The required level for this test is not specified. This is because, as ESL writes,
the American exams are “thermometer” tests that instantly measure your level of English. There is no prerequisite level required to pass the TOEIC.
However, a period of preparation may be useful to obtain a good score for the TOEIC, according to your personal objectives.
The test takes roughly two and a half hours:
- 45 minutes for the listening part,
- 75 minutes for the reading part and
- "approximately 30 minutes to answer biographical questions".
The test result is a score between 10 and 990. Whether you want to mention this on your CV depends on your score and the level of English that is required for the internship or job you are applying for. As EF points out, a score of 900 or more is almost always a very good result that you can usually put on your CV. If you are applying for a job that does not require English language skills, a score of 785 is also OK on your CV. EF says you should not put a score of less than 785 on your CV.
The TOEIC® Speaking and Writing Tests assesses your "English-language speaking and writing skills for the workplace". A required level is not mentioned for the same reasons that apply to the listening and reading test. The test itself consists of a speaking part that taes approximately 20 minutes and a writing part that takes approximately 60 minutes. Each part is scored on a scale from 0 to 200.
According to EF (my translation),
It is unusual to take the TOEC speaking and writing test for business reasons. However, if you take the test, a TOEIC score of 360 or more is evidence for one of the highest levels of language skills. You should then absolutely mention this on your CV, but add that it is the result of the speaking and writing test. A score of 360 would be a very low score on the reading and listening test.
Conclusion: Take at least the TOEIC® Listening and Reading Test and try to score 900 or more, unless English is not required for the internship. (However, if you want have an internship in the Netherlands without knowing Dutch, I think English language skills will be vital.)
There are only two main TOEIC tests to choose, and a high score on either one will certainly boost your resume. Your choices are the Listening & Reading Test, thus a sort of passive test. There is also the Speaking & Writing Test, which is more of an active test.
It looks likes the average score (lots of data here) is below 700 (out of 990), so if you can score 700 or higher, then you will stand out more. And of course scoring above 800 or 900 would be even better. Thus, aim for a "Blue" or "Gold" score. It looks like a maximum score of 990 translates to CEFR Level C1, which is quite an advanced level.
That said, do you know if the TOEIC is required for internships, or will they simply judge your English through an interview? If it's not necessary, then perhaps there are better ways boost your resume (higher grades, unique skills, etc).