In August 2019, the TOEFL test was updated and the Speaking section was modified. To know more about these changes, read this! This article discusses Task 2 and Task 3 of the updated TOEFL iBT Speaking section as well as some tips for success in these tasks.
Speaking Tasks 2 & 3: What is involved?
In Task 2, you will first be given a short text which is usually some type of campus announcement or a letter related to an issue on campus. Then, you will listen to audio in which two students discuss the announcement or letter you just read. Finally, you will be asked to summarize what the students have said about the topic. You will be given 30 seconds to prepare your answer and 60 seconds to speak.
For Task 3, you will have to read a short academic text and then listen to a professor to give a lecture about the same topic as the text. You will then have 30 seconds to prepare before summarizing the information from both, the reading and the listening. Again, you will have 60 seconds to answer.
Tips for TOEFL Speaking Tasks 2 & 3
Pay attention to all the parts!
Although this is the speaking section, don’t forget that these are integrated tasks, and the information you understand from the listening and reading is also crucial. Practice listening to lectures and reading academic texts in order to familiarize yourself with these formats and the types of topics you might encounter in the TOEFL. Having a clear understanding of the main points of both the reading and the listening will give you more confidence in what you are saying when it comes time to speak.
Taking notes will help you have a place to start once you begin speaking. Try to jot down the main topic of the text along with some key details. When listening, try to understand what the speakers think about the text. Make sure you write down what the opinion of each speaker is, and what examples they give for their opinion. You can try to sketch a graphic organizer such as a table for this task. When the audio is over, use the 30 seconds of prep time to check the question and circle a few of the most relevant points. The better prepared you are, the easier it will be to speak.
Work on expanding your vocabulary.
While doing the TOEFL Speaking test, it is easy to feel stressed and under pressure. This stress sometimes causes students to forget what they are trying to say mid-sentence. The more words you have stored in your long-term memory, the more automatic and easy it will be for you to speak under pressure. Therefore, it is important that you spend time working on vocabulary as part of your overall TOEFL study plan. As you practice all sections of the TOEFL, write your own personal vocabulary list and review it periodically. We’ve created one to get you started here.
Similarly, try to learn and remember some key phrases that you can incorporate into Tasks 2 & 3 such as:
- He/she.they discussed…
- In her/his opinion…
- Besides/In addition to this…
- Another example is…
- On the other hand….