Talk to Me—The Tasks of the TOEFL® Speaking Section
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Talk to Me—The Tasks of the TOEFL® Speaking Section

Oct 9, 2014

Welcome back, TOEFL® test takers! While studying abroad at an English-speaking program, you will be practicing your English skills both in and outside the classroom. That’s why, today, we’re going to take a closer look at the Speaking section of the test, which measures your ability to speak English effectively in real-life academic settings. It’s performed on a computer using a headset and microphone, and recorded and assessed by three to six different raters from all over the world to ensure objective and reliable scoring.

Speaking Section Overview
Time limit: 20 minutes
Questions: 6 Tasks
Tasks: Express an opinion on a familiar topic; speak based on reading and listening.

Independent Speaking Tasks

  • Question 1: Personal Preference
    Express and defend a personal choice from a given category; for example, places, events or activities that you enjoy.
  • Question 2: Choice
    Make and defend a personal choice between two given contrasting behaviors or actions.

Integrated Tasks

  • Question 3: Fit and Explain
    A brief reading passage presents a campus-related issue, then a listening passage comments on the issue. You will be asked to summarize the speaker’s opinion within the context of what you read.
  • Question 4:General/Specific
    A short reading passage broadly defines a term, process or idea from an academic subject. You will then hear an excerpt from a lecture on the topic and be asked to convey the important information from both.
  • Question 5: Problem/Solution
    You will listen to a short conversation about a student-related situation and be asked to express an opinion about solving the problem.
  • Question 6: Summary
    You will listen to an excerpt from a class lecture and be asked to summarize the lecture in a way that demonstrates your understanding of the topic.

Want to see what the Speaking section is really like? Go to the TOEFL® Test Prep Planner for sample Speaking questions and responses.