Short Conversation Strategies

In this Part, you will hear a short dialogue (almost ALWAYS between a man and a woman), followed by three Questions about the dialogue. Each Question has four possible Answer Choices.

Short Conversation STRATEGY #1
Wrong Speaker, Wrong Action

When answering Questions, pay close attention to WHO the Question is asking about—is the Question about the male speaker, the female speaker, or a different person who is the topic of the Conversation?

Some wrong Answer Choices will try to trick you by giving information that is about a different person.

Example:

In a dialogue, the MAN says that he “went to the mall with his wife yesterday” and the WOMAN says she “visited her brother yesterday” .

To answer the Question:

Question: “What did the woman do yesterday?”

A) She went to the mall.  WRONG
B) She saw her brother.  CORRECT
C) She visited the man’s wife.  WRONG
D) She saw her friend.  WRONG

Even though you heard “went to the mall” and “wife”, that is information about the MAN, not the WOMAN.

Sample Short  Conversation:

Man: Can you help me with this report?  I’m having a hard time formatting it.

Woman: Well, I don’t know much about that program you’re using, but Robert might be more help.  He’s great at making documents look their best.  He knows how to fix reports up quick.

Man: Thanks!  I’ll give him a call right now.  My deadline for it is tomorrow’s meeting.

Woman: Oh no, that reminds me—I need print my report for a meeting in an hour!

Question: What will the man do next?”

A) He will print a report. WRONG - The woman will print a report
B) He will help Robert. WRONG - The man will get help from Robert
C) He will report for a meeting. WRONG - The woman will print a report
D) He will call Robert. CORRECT

Notice that in Answer Choice C) that “report” is used as a verb, while in the conversation it is a noun.  This is another very common trick!

Short Conversation STRATEGY #2
Similar-Sounding Words

Another common trick used on the TOEIC is for a wrong Answer Choice to use a word that sounds similar to a word you heard in the conversation.  You can use the Context of the conversation to help you decide which is more likely the correct Answer Choice.

Sample Short  Conversation:

Man: Can you help me with this report?  I’m having a hard time formatting it.

Woman: Well, I don’t know much about that program you’re using, but Robert might be more help.  He’s great at making documents look their best.  He knows how to fix reports up quick.

Man: Thanks!  I’ll give him a call right now.  My deadline for it is tomorrow’s meeting.

Woman: Oh no, that reminds me—I need print my report for a meeting in an hour!

Question: What is Robert good at doing?”

A) He is good at taking a rest. WRONG - “rest” vs. “best” – the conversation is not about taking a break
B) He is good at faxing reports. WRONG - “fax” vs. “fix” – the conversation is not about faxing
C) He is great at making a mess. WRONG - “mess” vs. “best” – the conversation is not about a “mess”
D) He formats documents well. CORRECT

More Free TOEIC Listening Strategies!

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