TOEFL Speaking Section Simplified

What to Expect in the Speaking Test of TOEFL?

The Speaking test assesses the candidate's ability to communicate or speak based on different situations. How well the candidate communicates with his fellow beings, teachers, friends, family and also with strangers is tested by the Speaking test by providing the candidate with different situations.

How TOEFL Speaking Task is Conducted?

This test is conducted with the help of a computer; the candidates are required to record their opinion in response to a question using a headset and microphone. The candidate is required to perform six speaking tasks in the time limit of 20 minutes.





What to Expect in the Speaking Test of TOEFL?

The first two tasks under this section are categorized under Independent tasks and the remaining are Integrated tasks.

An Independent task requires you to express opinions based on topics that have a personal touch; it can be related to some experiences, hobbies or activities or imaginations that can be connected personally to each individual.

An Integrated task requires you to combine different language skills, i.e. reading, listening and speaking for answering a given question, in the same way as you use them in your daily life.

1st and 2nd Task

The first two tasks require you to express your opinion on the given topic which is usually taken from familiar situations. As an example, the first task may ask you to respond to the question where do you imagine yourself after 10 years from now. Support your answer with sufficient reasoning. The preparation time allotted is 15 seconds and you have to speak out your response in 45 seconds.

The second task requires you to select from the two choices given in the statement and support your selection with sufficient reasoning, for e.g. do you prefer classroom teaching or online teaching, would you like to study in a co-ed school or a girls/boys school etc. The preparation time and speaking time is the same as that for the first task.

3rd and 4th Task

In the third and fourth tasks you have to read the given passage and listen to an audio about the same topic. The question that follows requires you to present a summary of the information that you obtained after reading and listening to the topic. For reading the passage you are given 45 seconds, 60-80 seconds for listening to the audio, 30 seconds for preparing about the topic and 60 seconds for speaking. The topic for the third task is usually taken from campus related issues, while the topic for the fourth task is more academic and general. It can be about a disease, a process or something similar about which you have studied or read somewhere. The question that follows requires you to combine and present the ideas that you got from the reading and listening sessions.

5th and 6th Task

In the fifth and sixth tasks you have to listen to a conversation and a lecture, followed by questions which you have to answer, based on what you heard. You have 20 seconds for preparation and 60 seconds for speaking. The fifth task is usually campus related and you may listen to a conversation which may contain two different opinions about a topic. You have to carefully identify the problem and the different solutions available for it. The sixth task is usually about listening to a lecture, followed by responding to the questions based on the lecture. You are allowed to make notes in these two tasks.

This test is graded based on your grammar, pronunciation, how well you organize and express your ideas etc. This requires rigorous practice and hard work.

Some Useful Links

Sample questions are available at http://www.ets.org/toefl/ibt/prepare/sample_questions.

Speaking test can be practiced online at www.ets.org/toeflpractice .

Your pronunciation can be practiced at the link www.ets.org/tse/pie22.html.

This test is an assessment of how well you can communicate when faced with different situations, under stress in the allotted time limit. The only way to get a good score is to listen carefully to the instructions that are provided, arrange your ideas and speak effectively without bothering about the surroundings.