The TOEFL iBT Speaking section has been considered by many test takers to be the hardest one, considering its format and timing. While it may pose a big challenge for you to achieve a high score, it does not mean that a high score is impossible (as many people tend to believe). If you understand very clearly what is required from the tasks and study with clear objectives in mind, you can surely achieve your target score, no matter how high it is.
Structure of TOEFL iBT Speaking Section
Part A Independent Tasks
Task 1. Personal preference
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Task 2. Paired Choice
Part B Integrated Tasks
Task 3. Fit & Explain
Task 4. General/ Specific
Task 5. Problem & Solution
Task 6. Sumary
Independent Speaking Tasks
In this section, you will demonstrate your ability to discuss a variety of topics. You will provide speaking responses for Tasks 1 and 2 in the Independent Speaking section, and you will not be required to read a passage or listen to anything in order to answer the questions. Rather, you will base your responses on your own experiences and opinions.
Question Types for Task 1
- If you could only take one entertainment item with you on vacation, what would it be and why would you take it? Include details and examples in your response.
- Describe your favorite mode of transportation and why it is your favorite. Please include details and examples in your response.
- If you could change one policy at your school, what policy would you change and why would you change it? Include examples and details to support your explanation.
- Describe an interesting person you know and explain why you find that person interesting. Please include examples and details in your response.
Task 1 will ask you to describe your personal life, choices, or interests. You need to discuss an issue, a
place, a holiday, a person, etc. The topics for Task 1 will vary, but you will always be asked to base your
response on your personal opinions or experiences. When you respond, you need to provide your main
topic along with reasons and supporting details.
Q What is your favorite city in the world and why? Please include details and examples in your response.
Question Types for Task 2
- Some people like to do activities (e.g. a picnic, a walk, a short trip, a game) during a holiday. Other people prefer to stay home and relax. Which way do you prefer and why?
- Some students prefer living with a roommate, while others prefer to live alone. Which do you prefer and why?
- Some people prefer to do extra work for more money, while others prefer to have more free time and spend less money. Which option do you prefer and why?
- Some people feel that a class grade should be determined by several tests, while others feel that a class grade should be determined by one research paper. Which opinion do you prefer and why?
- Some people feel that surplus food should be given to starving people, while others feel that surplus food should be sold for profit. Which opinion do you agree with and why?
Task 2 asks you to choose one of two perspectives on a given issue or one of two alternative ways of doing
something. Choose one point of view as quickly as you can and prepare your response. When you respond,
you need to provide your main topic along with reasons and supporting details.
Q. Some course grades are largely based on students’ individual projects, while other courses put great importance on team projects. Which way of grading do you prefer and why? Please include details and examples in your response.
Preparation time: 15 seconds
Response time: 45 seconds
Integrated Speaking Tasks
In this section, you will demonstrate your ability to synthesize and paraphrase the listening and/ or reading passages. In the Integrated Speaking section, you will respond to Tasks 3, 4, 5, and 6. Tasks 3 and 4 contain both reading and listening passages, and Tasks 5 and 6 contain listening passages only. Tasks 3 & 5 ask questions related to campus life, and Tasks 4 and 6 ask questions related to lectures. With the exception of Task 5, you are not basing your responses on your personal opinions or experiences but solely on information from the listening and/or reading