TOEFL Speaking Topics

Speech is undoubtedly the most important aspect of the English language. It is more important when you wish to pursue a career in an English-speaking nation. As part of the TOEFL test, speaking is a separate test section in which your ability to speak well is tested in an academic setting. In the test, you will be given headphones, wearing which you must answer the questions through the microphones. Your answers will be recorded and will be evaluated by expert ETS evaluators. The Speaking section is present only in the TOEFL iBT test format. However, the skills necessary for speaking good English are also tested for the candidates who take TOEFL PBT through other sections.

Importance of the Speaking Section

The TOEFL Speaking section lasts for a total time of 20 minutes, in which you will have to respond to six different tasks, each containing different TOEFL speaking topics. When you wish to pursue education in an English-speaking nation, you must be proficient in English in order to converse with your class-mates and teachers. Moreover, for you to follow the lectures well, you would certainly need to understand the language well. Further, in graduate and undergraduate courses, you will have to attend seminars, give presentations and take part in academic discussions with your fellow class-mates. Hence, in order to perform all these tasks well, you must be proficient in spoken English.

What Does the Speaking Section Contain?

Of the six tasks of the Speaking section, the first two tasks are independent tasks and the rest four are integrated tasks. The independent tasks present to you TOEFL speaking topics on which you can respond with your opinion and defend it with a suitable explanation. The integrated TOEFL speaking topics are those in which you might have to read, listen and then respond by speaking. Let us now understand the TOEFL speaking topics in amuch better way.

  • The first two tasks involve expressing your opinion and defending your personal preferences or choices. You may be asked to select your favorite place, interesting activities etc. For the first two TOEFL speaking topics, you will be given 15 seconds for preparing and 45 seconds to speak into the microphone.

  • The third task involves you to read and answer, listen and answer by speaking. The third task consists of a reading passage (of 75-100 words) and a listening passage. The listening passage comments on the given reading passage.

  • The fourth task consists of a reading passage (of 75-100 words) and a lecture pertaining to the same academic topic as that in the reading passage. You will have to first read and listen to the given TOEFL speaking topics and then answer by speaking. For both the third and fourth tasks, you will be given 30 seconds for preparing and 60 seconds to answer.

  • The fifth task is related to campus life and the sixth to an academic topic. Both of these tasks involve listening and then answering. You will be given 20 seconds to prepare and 60 seconds to respond.

Listed below are some TOEFL speaking topics, which you can use for your practice.

Topic 1 (Example for Independent Task)

Describe a class you have taken in school and explain why the class was important to you. Include details and examples to support your explanation.

Since you have only 15 seconds, be fast in remembering about a class that has inspired you a lot. In the given time, you must think over the important instances and frame your speech well. While you answer, ensure that the most important reasons, factors or causes are the only ones that come in your speech.

Topic 2 (Example for Third and Fourth Tasks)

As part of this task, you will be given a reading passage and sample for listening. If you were given a passage that explains the eco-system, its importance and the care to be taken, then the listening material could be a sample lecture from a global-warming awareness class. Now, you could be asked to summarize and present a relation between the two questions.

Topic 3 (Example for the Fifth and Sixth Tasks)

In these tasks, you will be given a listening task which involves two people discussing some topic. You will be asked to summarize the given topic and explain the problem or issue. You must then answer by supporting one of the two person's opinions and explain why you prefer it.

Other Topics

  • Describe the most cherished moment of your life and explain the reason behind it.
  • Describe your favorite holiday destination and explain why you prefer it?
  • From the given conversation between the two persons regarding the qualities of an ideal woman, whose opinion do you support and why?

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