TOEFL iBT® Speaking Section
Academic Speaking Skills
The TOEFL speaking section takes 20 minutes to complete and contains 6 sections. It is done on a computer. Your answers are recorded and sent to ETS for marking.
The TOEFL speaking tests contain academic situations set both inside and outside the classroom
In classrooms, there are situations where you must:
- respond to questions
- contribute to class discussions
- read or listen to something and then summarize it
- give your opinion of topics under discussion
In situations outside the classroom, you need to:
- take part in conversations with administrative staff, such as at the library
- take part in casual conversations with other students
- give your opinion about something
Description of the speaking tasks
- Personal Preference - Preparation time: 15 seconds Response time: 45 seconds
This question will ask you to speak about a person, place, object or event that is familiar to you.
- Choice - Preparation time: 15 seconds Response time: 45 seconds
You will be presented with two situations or opinions. You'll be asked which you prefer and you need to explain your choice.
3. Campus Situation Topic: Fit and Explain. Preparation time: 30 seconds Response time: 60 seconds
- A reading passage (75–100 words) presents a campus-related issue.
- A listening passage (60–80 seconds, 150–180 words) comments on the issue in the reading passage.
- The question asks the test taker to summarize the speaker’s opinion within the context of the reading passage.
4. Academic Course Topic: General/ Specific. Preparation time: 30 seconds Response time: 60 seconds
A reading passage (75–100 words) broadly defines a term, process, or idea from an academic subject.
An excerpt from a lecture (60–90 seconds; 150–220 words) provides examples and specific information to illustrate the term, process, or idea from the reading passage.
The question asks the test taker to combine and convey important information from the reading passage and the lecture excerpt.
5. Campus Situation Topic: Problem/ Solution. Preparation time: 20 seconds Response time: 60 seconds
- The listening passage (60–90 seconds; 180–220 words) is a conversation about a student-related problem and two possible solutions.
- The question asks the test taker to demonstrate an understanding of the problem and to express an opinion about solving the problem.
6. Academic Course Topic: Summary. Preparation time: 20 seconds Response time: 60 seconds
- The listening passage is an excerpt from a lecture (90–120 seconds; 230–280 words) that explains a term or concept and gives concrete examples to illustrate that term or concept.
- The question asks the test taker to summarize the lecture and demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the examples and the overall topic.
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