Photograph Strategies

In this Part, you will see a Photograph and hear four Statements about it. The Photograph will focus on people, things, actions or locations. You must select the one Statement which best describes what you see in the picture.

Photographs STRATEGY:

Pictures with No People

Some photos do not have people in them—they may only show objects or a location.  With these photos, it is very likely that the correct answer will focus on either:

A) The physical relationship between things you seeIs a book ON the table or UNDER the table? Therefore, listen for Prepositions that accurately describe the relationship between different things you can see in the Photograph.

B) The physical condition of a thing you seeIs the table CLEAN or MESSY? Therefore, also listen for Adjectives that accurately describe the condition of things you can see in the Photograph.  The most common Adjectives used to describe Photographs are words similar to “neat” or its opposite, “disorganized”.


Photo Strategy 1.2 BW

A) The cups are under the glasses. WRONG – They are next to the glasses.
B) The cups are arranged in a circle. WRONG – They are in rows.
C) The chairs are lined up next to the window. WRONG – They are not in a line.
D) The cups are lined up on the table. CORRECT

Photographs STRATEGY:

Avoiding Extreme Inferences

A common wrong answer choice in the Photographs section of the TOEIC is the Extreme Inference.  An inference is a conclusion that you can make, using clues seen in the picture.  However, in the TOEIC, the test will try and trick you into picking a wrong answer because it could be true.  Be very careful!  Unless there are many clues that support an inference, it will be a wrong answer!


  • Correct answers will rarely talk about what happened in the past.
  • Correct answers will not predict what will happen in the future.
  • The correct answer will describe what can clearly be seen in the picture.
  • Example: Photo Strategy 2

    A) They are studying for a test. WRONG
    B) They are working on a report. WRONG
    C) They are sitting at the table.
    D) They are standing next to the table.

    Answer Choices A) & B) are wrong because even though it is possible they are studying for a test or working on a report, there are no clues that the paper is a test or report.

    More Free TOEIC Listening Strategies!

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