TOEFL Speaking Section

TOEFL SPEAKING SECTION

The speaking part is the third section of the TOEFL. Firstly, students answer to two independent speaking questions. These questions are about asking for their personal opinion on a variety of cases and issues. There are four integrated questions where a range of reading and listening prompts must be responded by the students.

There are five main models of questions that can be seen in part one of the speaking section, as of 2018.           

TOEFL Speaking Section

1. TOEFL SPEAKING QUESTION 1 - PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

1.1 Model 1: Experience

- In your view, what was the greatest invention of the twentieth century? Why? Give examples and reasons to support your argument.   

- Describe an important gift you have, tell us why it is important.

1.2 Model 2: Multiple Choice

- Which of these methods do you think is the best way to have a car 1) buying a zero mile car, 2) renting a car, 3) buying a second-hand car. Include details and examples to support your explanation.

- if you unexpectedly receive a large amount of money, what will you do with it? Would you spend it for a practical purpose or simply for fun? State your opinion and explain your reasons.

1.3 Model 3: Giving Advice

- Your friend is changing their profession after 10 years. What might they find most difficult about this and what would you advise them to do about it?

1.4 Model 4: Opinion

- Some people think they can achieve more when they are with other people. Others think they are more productive when they are alone. What is your opinion? Explain why.

- Why do people travel? Develop your opinion using examples and reasons.   

1.5 Model 5: Advantages and Disadvantages (new)

- Some people like to use subway train instead of getting on the bus for daily transportation. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this habit? What do you prefer? Use details and examples in your response.

2. TOEFL SPEAKING QUESTION 2 - PERSONAL PREFERENCE

Since 2018, there are four main models of questions that can be seen in part two of the speaking section.

2.1 Model 1: Preference

- Do you prefer to choose a profession that requires you to work in a group?   

- Which study method do you prefer, online courses or traditional classroom?

2.2 Model 2: Agree/Disagree

- Do you agree that childhood is the happiest time in life?

- Compared with science and math study, the study of art and literature is not very important. Do you agree or disagree?

2.3 Model 3: Multiple Choice

- Which of these methods do you think is the best way to have a car 1) buying a zero mile car, 2) renting a car, 3) buying a second-hand car. Include details and examples to support your explanation.

2.4 Model 4: Advantages and Disadvantages (new)

- Some people like to use subway train instead of getting on the bus for daily transportation. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this habit? What do you prefer? Use details and examples in your response.

3. TOEFL SPEAKING QUESTION 3

Reading Part and a listening part composes the type three questions. Generally, the reading part is about an announcement or a letter, and the listening part is about a conversation.

3.1 The Reading

You will examine a short reading. The reading is about university campus and most probably it will come with the form of a letter to the editor of a campus newspaper, an article in a campus newspaper or an announcement posted on campus. There will be a description of some changes or proposals.

The reading text is about 100 words long, and you will have about 45 seconds to read it and you may take notes also.

3.2 The Listening 

Then, you will hear a conversation in which two students talk about reading. One of them will agree or disagree with the idea of the reading. And s/he will resonate with his/her support or opposition to reading.

3.3 The Question Prompt

 The question prompt will be like this:

“The man expresses his opinion of the letter writer's proposal. State his opinion and explain the reasons he gives for holding that opinion.”

You will be given 30 seconds to prepare, and 60 seconds to speak.

4. TOEFL SPEAKING QUESTION 4

This fourth type of questions consists of a reading part and a listening part. 

4.1 The Reading

A short reading about an academic topic (most commonly biology, psychology or business) will be seen first. You will have about 50 seconds to read it. The reading includes a specific title, an introduction about 3 sentences and 4-5 sentences details which elaborate on the topic.

4.2 The Listening Part as Lecture

Then, a short lecture which contains one or two examples will be heard about the same topic.

Next, you will hear a short lecture about the same topic.  It will contain either one or two examples of this topic.

4.3 The Question Prompt

The question will look like one of the following:

“Explain how the example in the lecture illustrates the concept of scope creep. “

“Using the examples of mice and rabbits from the lecture, describe the two different types of factors that can cause population changes.”

“Using the two examples from the professor's lecture, explain what is meant by “the primacy effect” and how it can affect our opinions.”

You will be given 30 seconds to prepare, and 60 seconds to speak.

5. TOEFL SPEAKING QUESTION 5

This type of speaking question includes only the listening part.

5.1 The Listening

There will be a short (60-90 seconds) conversation between a man and a woman to listen.

You will listen to a short  (60-90 seconds) conversation between a man and a woman. The conversation may be between a student and a professor or two students. A university life issue like projects, assignments, extra-curricular activities or schedule is related to the problem mentioned in the conversation.  

5.2 The Question Prompt

The question will look like one of the following:

“Briefly summarize the problem the speakers are discussing. Then state which solution you would recommend. Explain the reasons for your recommendation. “

“The speakers discuss two possible solutions to the woman's problem. Briefly summarize the problem. Then state which solution you recommend and why.

6. TOEFL SPEAKING QUESTION 6

There is no reading part like question 5. A brief academic lecture on a topic will be listened.

6.1 The Listening

2 to 2.5 minutes long, a single and clear academic topic included lecture will be presented. Two examples or one example with two subparts illustrates the topic. The lecture theme is most often related to biology, sociology, business, history/art.

6.2 The Question Prompt

- A specific question which navigates to summarize the examples of the lecture will be asked and it will look like one of the following:

- “Using the professor's example of the pizza restaurant, explain two advantages of franchising.”

- “Using the professor's example of the pizza restaurant, explain two advantages of franchising.”

- “Using the examples from the lecture, explain two strategies salespeople use to address customer concerns.”

- “Using points and examples from the talk, explain why play is important for a child's development.”