Welcome to the section of our site dealing with the GBC test. This is the place where you can learn about the GBC test if you’ve never taken it, how to better your score if you have already taken it, and overall ways to succeed and meet the requirements given by your company.



The GBC test is slowly becoming the top test for business professionals in Japan. The origins of this test started with the FSI test, which was formerly used in cases such as people entering the FBI and other offices in the United States. The company currently delivering the test is Berlitz. We have no association or affiliation with either the test or Berlitz. That being said, you will find many lessons offered with the intent to help you improve your score.

For those of you who have taken the TOEFL or IELTS in the past, you are already familiar with the speaking section in each. Unlike those two tests, the GBC test grades you only on the speaking portion, which is conducted in an interview format. The main focus here is conversational English and your ability to express yourself and speak coherently when talking to someone in English. That should be your main focus, and there are strategies to understand that will help you improve your score.

The test is a total of 20 minutes long and, as mentioned above, is in a conversation format. You are not graded during the test; rather, you are recorded, and your test is reviewed at a later point. During the test, you start with simple conversational questions about where you grew up and where you live. Next, you move into more difficult questions that focus on your work. Lastly, you move to more complex and abstract questions that require more thought and a deeper process when it comes to explaining and supporting your points. Keep in mind that the questions can change depending on what company you work for. All that is listed above is a generalization for you to think about.

GBC Lessons Offered

These are the various lessons that we teach. If you have taken the lessons before then please send me your results so that I can match them up with the lessons. Once we get you results is enough to match these up and then perform a review session to understand what you went through during the test. One of the biggest issues is simple nervousness during the test and what we call filler words. These will be discussed during the core test lessons.

Core Test Lessons

  • Overall review of the test if you have never taken it before OR review your previous score
  • Best practices for answering the questions
  • Where most students fail
  • Mock test with review
  • Continued mock tests and reviews if necessary
  • How to stop using filler words
  • Why are you nervous and how to prevent anxiety when taking the test

 Exact Match Lessons

Here is a list of lessons that we provide based on the results. More lessons are being added as we continue to expand our offerings. Note that we also try to focus on the lessons that will make the largest overall impact.

Communication of Information

  • Lacked ability to use various types of logic
  • Did not expand on his/her point
  • Lacked clarity/variety in expressions
  • Used only indirect logic
  • Could not defend positions effectively
  • Lacked transitional phrases
  • Did not produce timely responses
  • Failed to use supporting evidence
  • Discourse was incohesive


  • Gestures were weak or non-existent
  • Eye contact was sporadic
  • Overused non-words
  • Displayed nervousness
  • Lacked vocal clarity
  • Did not show animation/enthusiasm

Language Area – Listening

  • Misunderstood even basic questions
  • Needed simplification of questions
  • Required repetition at a slower pace
  • Required rephrasing of questions
  • Did not ask for clarification when needed

Language Area – Vocabulary

  • Lacked basic words/phrases
  • Struggled to find the right word
  • Used the wrong form of the word
  • Selected ineffective vocabulary
  • Lacked business/practical expressions

Language Area – Grammar/Syntax

  • Misused prepositions/articles
  • Omitted prepositions/articles
  • Added Prepositions and Articles
  • Struggled with subject/verb agreement
  • Confused singular/plural usage
  • Made errors in verb tense selection
  • Could not sustain tense in longer utterances
  • Struggled to form basic SVO sentences
  • Struggled to form complex sentences
  • Confused countable/uncountable nouns

Language Area – Fluency

  • Paused to search for words
  • Spoke haltingly
  • Spoke in fragmented sentences
  • Used awkward/inaccurate phrasing
  • Failed to fill pauses smoothly
  • Did not show flexibility of speech

Language Area – Pronunciation

  • Had problems with vowels
  • Had problems with consonants
  • Used unnatural intonation patterns