TOEFL Speaking Tips
The TOEFL Speaking Tips Section of the TOEFL iBT tests your ability to communicate effectively through spoken English, and is the third section you will encounter on test day. You will have 20 minutes to complete a total of six tasks: two independent and four integrated. The two independent tasks will ask you to speak for 45 seconds about familiar topics, give an opinion, or talk about past experiences. For the integrated tasks, you will be given 60 seconds and asked to read, listen and then speak, either summarizing the information in the passages or giving an opinion about how to solve a particular problem presented in the reading and/or listening. TOEFL Speaking Tips.
It is important to note that you will not be talking to a live person, but speaking your answers into a microphone, where they will be recorded and sent to ETS for grading. TOEFL Speaking Tips.
If you’re feeling nervous about speaking, just follow the simple tips listed below for a sure way to improve your score. TOEFL Speaking Tips.
1. Exercise Time Management TOEFL Speaking Tips.
On the test, you will be given 45 seconds to respond to each of the independent tasks, with 15 seconds to prepare your answer. Before each of the integrated tasks, you will be given 30 seconds to prepare your response, after which you have 60 seconds to speak. Use the preparation time to write down a few quick notes and organize your thoughts, or review your notes from the listening section.
A countdown timer will appear on the screen indicating the time you have left to answer the question. Be sure to check this clock often to keep track of your time. Ideally, you should fill as much time as possible without going over the limit. Therefore, if you have time left at the end of your response, it might be a good idea to say a short conclusion. It’s necessary to note, however, that anything you say after the time is up will not be recorded. TOEFL Speaking Tips.
2. Keep it Simple TOEFL Speaking Tips.
Part of your score for the speaking section will depend on how clearly you can convey your ideas. In order to communicate clearly, it’s important to stick to vocabulary and phrases you are already familiar with. The TOEFL test is not the place to try out new words you read this morning, or some slang you heard in a movie. Be sure to use words you know how to pronounce correctly and use accurately within a sentence. This applies to tense and grammar structures as well, since a well-spoken simple response will always get higher marks than an unclear or incorrect response with complex language. TOEFL Speaking Tips.
3. Practice Speaking Before the Test TOEFL Speaking Tips.
As with any activity, the key to success is practice. Ideally, practicing your English with a native speaker would be the best way to prepare for the test. However, if you don’t know or can’t find any native English speakers to talk with, a good solution is to record yourself answering some sample questions from the test. Not only will this give you practice with the question types and time management, but it will help you feel more comfortable speaking into a microphone.
If possible, play back the recordings to your friends and ask them if they notice any mistakes or have any suggestions for how to improve your speech or pronunciation. TOEFL Speaking Tips.
While there are many more strategies for the TOEFL exam, following the basic ones listed here will put you well on your way to achieving the TOEFL score you desire. If you’d like more detailed tips and information for each section, read our series of in depth articles below: TOEFL Speaking Tips.
- How to do well on TOEFL: TOEFL Reading Tips
- How to do well on TOEFL: TOEFL Listening Tips
- How to do well on TOEFL: TOEFL Writing Tips