TOEFL® Listening

Academic Listening Skills

The Listening section measures test takers’ ability to understand spoken English from North America and other English-speaking countries. In academic environments students need to listen to lectures and conversations. Below are three possible purposes for academic listening.

Listening Purposes Include

  1. Listening for basic comprehension
  2. Listening for pragmatic understanding
  3. Connecting and synthesizing information

Listening Section Format

Listening materials in the new test include academic lectures and long conversations in which the speech sounds very natural. Test takers can take notes on any listening material throughout the entire test.

Listening Material Number of questions Timing
3-4 lectures, 3–5 minutes long each
About 500 words each
6 questions per lecture 41-57 minutes
2 - 3 conversations with 2 speakers, each 3 minutes long 5 questions per conversation



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