Share on

Do you have a TOEFL test soon? This means it is time for you to practice for the TOEFL IBT test over and over again to ensure the score of your dreams. Before making a step, understanding the format of the TOEFL’s 4 sections is highly important and one of the key elements for success.

This is why GlobalExam will explain to you the TOEFL Speaking section step-by-step:

  • What does the TOEFL Speaking test consist of?
  • Examples of exercises from each task;
  • All the tips you need to ace the TOEFL Reading test.
  • How can GlobalExam help you with your TOEFL iBT test?

Let’s dive right in.

Test my level for free


TOEFL Speaking Section: Overview, Structure and Format

The TOEFL Speaking test comes right after the listening test (and a break, of course) and it is the shortest: only 17 minutes long. During this time, you will have to finish 4 different tasks within a separate time limit.

The first task of the Speaking test is independent, which means there will be no need to read or listen to anything, you will be required to think of a response and speak. The rest of the tasks are integrated speaking tasks, which means you will be required to listen, read, or both.

When it comes to the scores, the TOEFL speaking test is also based on raw points that get converted to the scaled score of 0-30. However, the TOEFL Speaking questions are not correct/wrong types of answers. Instead, professional scorers will be ranking each response based on the official TOEFL Speaking rubrics on a scale of 1 to 4.

TaskDurationCommon Topics
Task one: Independent60 seconds (around 1 minute)Social issues
Task two: Integrated (Reading and Listening)200 seconds (around 3 minutes)Student life.
Task three: Integrated (Reading and Listening)200 seconds (around 3 minutes)Academics.
Task four: Integrated (Listening)200 seconds (around 3 minutes)Combination of the previous two tasks.

Now that we have a general idea about the TOEFL Speaking format, let’s break down each task individually to have a clearer idea of what to expect on test day. Note that if you are interested in learning about the format of the other sections, you can do so by taking a look on the following articles:

TOEFL Speaking Section Task #1: Independent Speaking

In your first task, you will be required to say your personal opinion on a general topic or a social issue that can be applied to many cultures. You will have little time to finish the task, which breaks down to:

  • Preparation: 15 seconds.
  • Response: 45 seconds.

Examples from GlobalExam:

Listen to the audio recordings down below and practice answering the questions.

Text 1


Some people believe that raising children is the most beneficial thing a person can do for society. Others are of the opinion that a person’s career is their most important task in life. Which opinion do you find more persuasive?
Explain why.

Text 2


Some people think that the criminal justice system should exist to punish wrong-doing, whereas others believe it should be used to prevent people from reoffending after their sentence is over. Which opinion do you find more persuasive?
Explain why.

woman talking on the phone

TOEFL Speaking Section Task #2: Integrated Speaking

In the beginning, you will be reading a short written passage that is 80-100 words long. It is mostly an announcement about a chance happening to campus, as a shift in class schedules or a new bus service.

Next, you will be listening to a conversation regarding the announcement. One of the speakers will be expressing their personal opinion about the news. Your job is to summarize the opinion and make it clearer. Here is how the timing works:

  • Reading: 50 seconds.
  • Audio clip: About 1 minute.
  • Preparation: 30 seconds.
  • Response: 60 seconds.

Examples from GlobalExam:

Text 1

The university is planning to offer a free language course. Read a short article announcing it. Give yourself 45 seconds to read the article. Then listen to students discussing the same topic.

Text 2

University to offer free Spanish courses this trimester.
Due to an influx of exchange students from Spain and Latin America, starting this trimester the university will be offering free Spanish language tuition for interested parties. Participation in these courses is limited, however, and preference will be given to those students taking part in activities directly related to the exchange program. Go to the university website for further details.


The woman expresses her opinion on the language course offered. State her opinion and the reasons she has for holding it.

TOEFL Speaking Section Task #3: Integrated Speaking

The third task will deal with academics, just like many questions and tasks in other sections of the TOEFL test pattern. You will be reading a short passage that is 80 – 100 words long and it will be discussing an academic topic.

Next, a lecturer will be giving you a few examples that support the topic of the passage, and you will be required to give a short talk that summarizes the lecture. Here is how the timing works:

  • Reading: 45 seconds.
  • Audio clip: About 1 minute.
  • Preparation: 30 seconds.
  • Response: 60 seconds.

Examples from GlobalExam:

Text 1

Read a passage from a Biology textbook. You have 45 seconds to read it.

Text 2

What is mitosis?

In Biology, the process called mitosis is a part of the cell cycle, in which chromosomes are replicated and separated into two new nuclei. This is a process that only occurs in certain types of cells, called eukaryotic cells.

Most animals undergo this type of mitosis, although the process can vary between one animal and the next. Errors sometimes occur during this process, which is how many forms of cancer come to be.

These are typically caused by having too few or too many chromosomes in the duplicated cells. Some organisms also use mitosis as a form of reproduction.

Question 1:

Explain what mitosis is, and how the professor uses the examples to illustrate it.

TOEFL Speaking Section Task #4: Integrated Speaking Questions

In the final task of the TOEFL Speaking test, you will be required to hear a lecture and then give a short speech concluding the main ideas of the lecture. Here is how the timing works:

  • Audio clip: About 2 minutes.
  • Preparation: 20 seconds.
  • Response: 60 seconds.

Example from GlobalExam:


Using the points and examples from the lecture, explain the concept of opportunity cost, both in an economic and day-to-day context.

two girls talking to each other

All the Tips You Need to Ace the TOEFL Reading Test

To help you train for your TOEFL Speaking test the right way, we have gathered the best tips for you:

Write down every word

Not during the test, obviously. But when practicing and training for your TOEFL Speaking test, it is best to write down what you are planning to say, word-for-word. Writing and reading your response out loud will give you a better understanding of how to structure your responses.

Think fast and always have enough to say

This tip is especially for task one because you will have only a few seconds to think before starting to speak. With practice, these few seconds will actually be more than enough to come up with smart and enough words to say during your 45 seconds of speaking time.

Focus on your intonation

You should not forget to work on your pronunciation because it is equally important to your answers. You should also not overlook the rhythm, intonation, and the pitch of your speech. It is a common mistake to forget about working on the pronunciation because, after all, it is based on your mother tongue. So, even if you are fluent in English, you may not have a good score because your English is difficult to understand.

How Can GlobalExam Help You With Your TOEFL iBT Test?

Ready to start preparing? Don’t go look for a new platform where you can find TOEFL exercises because we have got everything ready for you.

GlobalExam is a fun e-learning platform that offers everything a test taker would need to practice for their TOEFL exam flawlessly. In fact, we offer lessons and exercises on many other language proficiency tests, including IELTS and TOEIC.

Our platform is the greatest source for a good TOEFL practice routine because we offer:

  • Study sheets: consult 390 grammar and vocabulary revision sheets with questions.
  • Exercises with explanations: complete 14 training sessions focused on different parts of the TOEFL.
  • Mock exams: test yourself with nine full TOEFL mock tests under timed conditions.

Joining GlobalExam is exactly what you need. Do it TODAY!