TOEFL Listening Practice

How to Select TOEFL Listening Practice Materials

Listening Section

Listening section is one of the most challenging sections in the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) since you have to understand the language spoken by native speakers. The accent and pronunciation has to be understood correctly to identify the right answer. The test is aimed at knowing your ability in English communication and listening for information is a very important skill.

The Listening section contains passages in both the dialogue and the monologue form. The monologue is in the form of lectures and there may be 4, 5 or 6 lectures. The ability to listen properly is tested by giving 6 questions for each of the lectures. For the dialogue form, 2-3 conversations are pre-recorded and played. Here 5 questions follow each of the conversation. The total time duration for this section is 60-90 minutes.

There are different types of questions asked to test your various listening abilities. The questions may be of multiple-choice type with one right answer or multiple-choice with 2 correct answers and questions which require you to arrange a process or event in a sequential order or questions which ask you to match objects.

TOEFL Listening Practice

The only way to understand the English as spoken by the native speakers is by doing as many listening practice tests as possible. This will better your listening skills and thereby increase your scores. There are many websites that offerfree practice passages with questions and a key to the correct answers. Even if you plan to prepare by joining a class, these free tests will help you practice more.

Choosing the Right Material

As said above, a lot of preparation materials are available but you have to be careful in selecting the good ones. Before selecting the materials make sure that the materials,

  • have a good audio recording to enable you to understand what is spoken
  • have a good set of questions for the passage
  • are similar to the real TOEFL listening passages
  • cover all the question types

Free TOEFL Listening Practice

The free practice materials may not cover the whole Listening section and may not be like a proper test but will be similar to individual question types given in TOEFL. These are passages which are pre-recorded. You can download them and listen to them. Questions are given for all the passages. You can answer these questions with the information you get from the passage. These passages will increase your concentration and help you in understanding the accent spoken in the test in a better way.

Here are some of the links to free listening materials.

  • TOEFL Blog - http://www.toeflblog.com/2008/06/03/3-free-toefl-ibt-listening-practice-sessions/

    This blog has 3 practice materials. Questions are given following each material. These materials are very effective and help you in your test preparation.

  • GistGuide - http://gistguide.com/guide/listenings/listenings.php

    This website offers 10 listening materials which are some of the best listening material for the test.

  • Englishclub.com - http://www.englishclub.com/esl-exams/ets-toefl-practice-listening.htm

    In this site there are 3 examples, one each for a discussion, lecture and a casual conversation. Questions from the passages are given and answers with explanations are also given. The transcript of the passage is also given at the end. This will prove very useful while trying to understand the English spoken by the speakers.

  • 4Tests - http://www.4tests.com/exams/examdetail.asp?eid=57

    This is an online site which offers free practice tests for both the Reading and Listening sections of the TOEFL. There are 15 questions that follow the Listening section. It is a timed exam. By doing this practice test you will also know how well you do with timed tests. This is a test but can be used for practice as well.