For test takers

About TSST

TSST is an English Speaking Test which measures English speaking proficiency, an ability which cannot be measured by traditional written tests. Based on how well you speak "in that moment" and "in that situation", TSST assesses your speaking ability into 9 levels. TSST can be taken anytime during the exam period, 24/7, over the phone.

What practical communication skills does TSST assess?

Whether in business situations or daily life, speaking is "on the spot" in real life communication. TSST measures how you can effectively and appropriately speak in English "spontaneously".

Real life communication isn't like a role in a play where there is a pre-planned, scripted dialogue. Real communication, whether it be business or everyday life, requires one to think spontaneously about how to respond and with what kind of reaction.


  • I used English phrases I knew to help some foreigners who were lost but when they responded, I didn't know how to answer in English and couldn't communicate with them well.
  • I was able to deliver my presentation in English because I practiced several times and memorized it. However, I got stuck during the Q&A session afterwards and couldn't explain myself well.
  • During my overseas posting, I was able to handle basic transactions and email correspondence through experience alone. But the day to day tasks of dealing with various situations were very difficult and I struggled with interpersonal relationships with local colleagues.

Since TSST is a test to solely measure how one can perform orally in English, examinees must answer a variety of questions about a variety of topics. To prevent differences in business experience affecting the outcome, questions are not centered solely on business type situations. If one's basic English ability is high, then he or she will be able to answer "at the moment" and "on the spot" in any type of situation whether it be business or otherwise.

TSST Test Taking Tips

When asking a question about a topic you are interested in, whether it be in daily life or business, what kind of response would you like?

You would probably like to receive a response that is detailed, clear and thorough. Yet would you still consider it to be a smooth form of communication if the response you get is limited, off topic or monosyllabic in nature?

For TSST, put yourself in the other person's shoes and try to answer as if the person you are speaking to is enthusiastic about the topic and can only speak English.

In the Japanese language, one can grasp another's meaning even if the saying isn't clear. However, communicating on the global stage in English requires interacting with many different viewpoints. You need to express clearly, what you are thinking and why. There may be questions or topics which you haven't thought of before, but instead of answering "I don't know", try to think of your response and challenge yourself to answer.

Before taking the test, think of everyday topics of discussion, check how to say it in English and try to converse about it (for example, work, hobbies, family, the region, etc.) Topics discussed during the test will be used for assessing purposes only, and raters will not discuss its content with anyone.
Refusing to speak or remaining silent may result in lower test scores. Although you do not have to conclude your speech within 45 seconds, you are encouraged to speak as much as possible. However, simply babbling for 45 seconds will not get you high scores either. The point is to communicate your ideas clearly and effectively.
In order to maximize your potential for success, prepare your physical condition and environment, and choose a time and place where you can focus your full attention on the test.

Practice Questions

The actual test is comprised of 10 questions. Try answering 3 sample questions below.

Self-check list

No long pauses, use conjunctions where appropriate, avoid repetition
Utilize background information and details
Choice of vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation and sentence structure is clear and should not be confusing to a listener
Topics discussed should flow smoothly and be clearly summarized
>> Prohibitions while taking the test *MUST READ