TOEFL Speaking Test [A Comprehensive Guide]

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06 January 2023 by AECC

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TOEFL Speaking Section: A Complete Guide 

The TOEFL speaking section is the third section of the TOEFL exam. The TOEFL speaking part is one of the most challenging areas of the four TOEFL exam sections. To ace the TOEFL speaking section, students must understand the exam pattern to prepare a comprehensive study plan. This section evaluates your speaking skills in an academic environment, such as personal experience, academic subjects and campus. Read ahead to get a complete overview of the TOEFL speaking test.

TOEFL Speaking Overview

In the TOEFL speaking test section, students are allowed 17 minutes to complete the task. Planning your time for each section will help you complete the test within the allotted time. With a consistent study schedule, you can prepare well and practise all the question types that appear in the TOEFL speaking test. You must practise your speech pace and make sure you speak confidently. Try recording your speech and replay it to identify your weak areas.

How is TOEFL Speaking Section Scored? (TOEFL Speaking Score)

You will be able to get outstanding scores in the TOEFL speaking section with a well-planned study schedule and consistent TOEFL speaking practice. The proficiency level in the TOEFL speaking section ranges from below basic to advanced level. Hence, the total TOEFL speaking score for this section is 30. The table below shows how the TOEFL speaking score is evaluated.

 

TOEFL Section

TOEFL Speaking Score Chart

Proficiency Level

TOEFL Speaking

TOEFL Speaking Score Range is  0–30

Advanced Level (25–30)


High-Intermediate Level (20–24)


Low-Intermediate Level (16–19)


Basic Level (10–15)


Below Basic Level (0-9)

TOEFL Speaking Test Format (TOEFL Speaking Pattern)

TOEFL Speaking Pattern

Details

Question 1: Independent Speaking Task

You need to express your own opinions, ideas and experiences while responding.

Questions 2-4: Integrated Speaking Task

You must combine your English language skills, such as listening and speaking or reading, listening and speaking.  

Preparation Time

You will get 15-30 seconds of preparation for each response. Your response should be 45 or 60 seconds long.

Speaking Response

You will speak into the microphone to respond to the question, and all your responses will be recorded.

Test Time

You have a time limit of 17 minutes to finish the TOEFL speaking section.

Scoring

TOEFL speaking score is based on the Speaking Scoring Guides (Rubrics). It is a combination of certified human raters and AI scoring. Raw scores are evaluated to a scaled section score of 0-30.

 

TOEFL Speaking Questions

A wide array of TOEFL speaking questions are asked in the exam on various academic subjects such as social science, physical science, history, literature and art. It is not necessary to be an expert in academic subjects. You can refer to the academic textbooks to prepare aptly for the TOEFL speaking test. The TOEFL exam tests your English proficiency, accuracy and dexterity in English. 

The TOEFL speaking questions are segregated into the following types:

  • Describe a lecture
  • Explain the issue with campus life
  • Select a single choice
  • Select one or two choices
  • Explanation of a lecture subject
  • State your opinion on the campus issue

TOEFL Speaking Test

You can improve your TOEFL speaking score by following a consistent study schedule and practising your speech regularly. The TOEFL speaking test evaluates the candidate’s ability to listen, speak, use proper grammar, manage time, pronounce the word precisely, and take notes. The TOEFL speaking test is 17 minutes long, which is an ideally sufficient time to complete this section of the test.

The TOEFL speaking test is divided into Independent Tasks (Question 1) and Integrated Tasks (Questions 2-4). Independent task is about finding how well students can speak and express their ideas, opinions and thoughts precisely. In comparison, the integrated tasks test reading and listening along with speaking. The integrated questions evaluate students' ability to find ideas or logic in lectures or contexts.

TOEFL Speaking Topics

Awareness of all the TOEFL speaking topics is essential to kickstart your TOEFL speaking preparation. Understanding the TOEFL speaking syllabus will help prepare to answer each question quickly. You can refer to the 10 TOEFL speaking topics below to get an idea of the TOEFL speaking section.

TOEFL Speaking Questions:

  1. Explain one of your life's best moments.
  2. Explain your favourite tourist attraction in your city or nation.
  3. Do you agree that childhood is the happiest time in one’s life?
  4. Talk about a mentor or teacher who positively impacted your life.
  5. Describe your family and explain what activities you enjoy with them.
  6. Describe any one situation in your life where you faced the most difficulty.
  7. Would you prefer to work in a profession where you must collaborate with other team members?
  8. If you need to buy an expensive product, will you save or borrow the money to purchase it?
  9. Who is your closest family member? Describe them and explain how well you are close to them.
  10. Describe one of the successful moments in your life. Also, explain why you feel it is a success to you.

TOEFL Speaking Practice Test (TOEFL Speaking Practice Questions)

The famous saying, "Practice makes a man perfect", is familiar to everyone. With TOEFL speaking practice test, you can prepare for the exam with the TOEFL speaking practice questions. You can practise by solving last year's question papers to get an idea about the questions that would be asked in the exam.

The TOEFL speaking practice test is available for free on the ETS website. You may also use the link below to access the TOEFL practice test. When you answer the TOEFL speaking practice questions, you will be able to grasp the question types and know how to answer each question. Hence, you will understand how much time to allocate for each speaking section.

TOEFL Practice Test

TOEFL Speaking Tips

  • To ace the TOEFL exam, get expert opinions and exclusive tips from TOEFL English experts. 
  • Prepare a comprehensive study plan and practise thoroughly to get your desired results in the TOEFL speaking section. 
  • Group study sessions with two or more members will be beneficial for getting feedback from your peers on your clarity and pronunciation.
  • You can register for a TOEFL preparation class where you will be guided by a mentor or tutor who will help you with the exam preparation. 
  • Study as per the plan consistently and keep yourself accountable for each task. You may note down the schedule on paper and follow them strictly.

TOEFL Speaking Preparation

  • Solve as many practice question papers as possible to achieve a good TOEFL score.
  • Plan your TOEFL speaking preparation well ahead of the exam to get the desired results in the TOEFL test. 
  • Students should practise listening to an audio recording, quickly note the important points, and use them for their responses later.
  • You will hear a short audio recording for the first two tasks. You have 20 seconds to prepare and speak for 20 seconds as per the task instructions.
  • The third and fourth tasks will require you to read passages for around 45 seconds and hear a short lecture for a minute. Then you will be given 45 seconds to prepare for the task and  60 seconds to speak as per the instructions given in the task.

TOEFL Speaking Questions PDF

Use the link below to practice a wide range of TOEFL speaking questions asked in the TOEFL speaking test. The TOEFL speaking practice questions are taken from academic textbooks. Refer to the below PDF to get a complete idea of the question types.

TOEFL Speaking Questions PDF

Frequently Asked Questions

One question is asked in the independent task section, and two to four questions in the integrated section of the TOEFL speaking test. The total time limit for this entire TOEFL speaking section is 17 minutes.

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To practice for the TOEFL speaking section, try recording your voice and listen to it repeatedly. With this method, you can find weaknesses in your speaking ability. Moreover, you can choose random topics and practise speaking for a minute to enhance your speaking skills.

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You will get a preparation time of 15-30 seconds for each response, and your response should be 45-60 seconds long. You will speak into the microphone to respond to the questions, and the responses will be recorded. There is a total time limit of 17 minutes to complete the TOEFL speaking test.

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