What is TOEFL Speaking Section?

TOEFL test consists of four integrated skill sections respectively in reading, listening, speaking and writing. Their aims is to evaluate the English language proficiency of test takers who are not native English speakers or take English as their first language and are intended to pursue study in English-speaking countries. These sections ensure that test takers’ language ability of using and understanding English reach university level to perform academic tasks. The speaking section includes a wide range of TOEFL speaking topics and is divided into six tasks.

The first two tasks are called independent speaking tasks. Task takers are asked to respond to the questions by drawing entirely on their own ideas, opinions and experience. The remaining four tasks are referred to as integrated speaking tasks where test takers are required to listen to a conversation or an excerpt from a lecture first, or read a passage and then listen to a brief discussion or lecture excerpt related to what have been heard or read. Then they offer their spoken response based on integrated understanding of information in the listening passage or both in the listening and reading passages.

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What TOEFL speaking topics generally cover

In the speaking section, test takers will be asked to respond to a variety of TOEFL speaking topics covering personal experience, campus-based situations and academic-type content materials. For personal experience, test takers will be required to speak about a person, a place, an object or an event that are familiar to them. It can be, for example, a place they like to visit, an important event in their life, a person who influenced them, or an activity that they enjoy. Possible speaking topics are also everyday issues of general interest to test takers such as whether they thinks it is better to study at home or at the library, or whether the test taker thinks students should take courses from a wide variety of fields or else focus on a single subject area,… TOEFL speaking topics in integrated tasks may vary from university policies, rules or procedures; university plans; campus facilities, quality of life on campus to academic fields like life science, social science, physical science, and the humanities. Specific situations involved in TOEFL speaking topics may include issues related to scheduling conflicts, unavoidable absences, unavailable resources, student elections, financial difficulties, and so forth.

How to get ready for any TOEFL speaking topics

Prior to TOEFL test taking, it is better for test takers to know what to expect from the test and respond well and properly. Since TOEFL test rater have specific focus and basis on scoring responses from test takers in speaking section, such as the delivery, language use and topic development. Test judges tend to look for certain features, for instance, the clarity and smoothness, natural pronunciation and pacing, grammar and vocabulary usage when examining answers to TOEFL speaking topics. The first step for test takers to prepare could be oriented with speaking section structure and fully master all instructions by heart to feel more confident rather than being taken by surprise. The second step could be practicing listening and reading as well as note taking which is one of the key elements of success in the speaking section. Structuring and organizing ideas in order to deliver clear and coherent answers in a limited amount of time will also be a key capability. Try to stay focused while listening to audio tracks. The third step could be using words and expressions that test takers know well instead of experimenting new vocabulary and speak clearly. Global Exam provides online tools, exercises and guides to help test takers prepare for the test and improve their English-language skills. It is highly recommended to use this kind of tools to improve by training efficiently under real exam conditions.

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