Listen Up! A Preview of the TOEFL® Listening Section
A monthly peek at test content from Michael, a TOEFL® test expert.

Listen Up! A Preview of the TOEFL® Listening Section

Nov 11, 2014

Hello again, test takers! Today, I’m taking you inside the Listening section of the TOEFL® test. Before we get into the details, I wanted to stress the importance of listening to movies, television and radio in English to help build your skills for test day.  Audiotapes and CDs of lectures and presentations are also valuable and are available at libraries and bookstores. Now let’s dive in! 

Listening Section Overview
Time limit: 60-90 minutes
Questions: 34-51 questions
Tasks: Listen to lectures, classroom discussions and conversations, then answer questions.

Types of TOEFL Listening Questions
Basic Comprehension:
You are asked about the main idea or purpose of a conversation or lecture, or about important details that were discussed.

  1. Connecting Information: You are asked to identify the organization of information in a conversation or lecture, to make connections between important points that were discussed, or to make inferences based on important points.
  2. Pragmatic Understanding: You are asked to identify a speaker’s purpose in making a statement or asking a question, or to identify a speaker’s attitude, opinion or degree of certainty.

When preparing, be sure to listen to conversations or lectures that feature different accents. In the Listening portion of the test, there are a variety of accents and pronunciations. Don’t forget: Take notes during the conversations or lectures, as you will hear the passages only once!

So, now that you know what to expect from this section of the test, let’s practice! View Sample Listening Questions  

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