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Imagine if you’re attempting the TOEFL speaking test with zero preparation! How would you approach each of the speaking tasks? 

Ask yourself: What is being tested of you? What language skills will you likely use? 

TOEFL speaking test
Understanding the TOEFL speaking test requirements will save you a lot of stress on test day!

What are the TOEFL speaking test requirements?

The TOEFL speaking test assesses your ability to speak about familiar topics as well as your ability to verbally summarize information.

The speaking test is divided into two sections: the independent and integrated speaking tasks.

There are four tasks in total.

Independent Speaking Task

The first section is independent speaking. It is independent because you will be using your own information to complete these tasks. This section only has one task.

For this task, you will be given 15 seconds to prepare and note down ideas. You will then need to speak into a microphone for 45 seconds.

1. Personal Choice Task

As the name suggests, this task asks you to give your opinion on a topic.

You will need to say whether you agree or disagree with a statement, like

All children should play a sport.

Or you may be asked to choose a side and explain why. You will need to support your opinion with reasons!

For example:

Some people think students should take a gap year before entering the workforce while others think this is a waste of time. What is your opinion? Explain your opinion with details and examples.

TOEFL speaking test
Give your opinion; your view on the topic and explain why you took this position. 

Integrated Speaking Tasks

The integrated speaking tasks make up the second part of the speaking test. It is integrated because you will be using information provided to you from reading and/or listening texts to answer the questions.

There are three tasks in total. For tasks 2 and 3, you will be given 30 seconds to prepare and note down ideas. You will then need to speak into a microphone for 60 seconds. For task 4, you will only be given 20 seconds to prepare and 60 seconds to speak.

For these tasks, you will have to integrate, or combine, information from a reading passage and listening audio into a summary, or summarize the information you hear in a lecture. You will be able to take notes as you listen.

TOEFL speaking test
Learn a good technique for summarising text and audio!

View the article on TOEFL tips and tricks for developing a good note-taking system here

2. Summarize Campus Announcement & Opinion

For this task, you will be given a short reading text. You will have 45-50 seconds to read it, depending on the length of the text. The text will be related to a campus issue, like student parking, or tuition fees for example.

You will then hear a conversation between two students relating to that topic. In this conversation, one of the students will have a strong opinion about the issue. You will then need to summarize that opinion and explain why the student has that opinion.

3. Summarize Reading and Lecture

For this task, you will have 45-50 seconds to read a short passage about an academic topic. You will then hear a short lecture on the same topic.

You will then be asked to use the examples from the lecture to explain the academic topic from the reading passage. It is important to take good notes to complete this task successfully.

4. Summarize Lecture

In the final speaking task, you will hear a lecture on an academic topic. You should take notes of the main points and examples from the lecture as you listen. You will then use your notes to summarize the ideas in the lecture.

Start preparing for the TOEFL Speaking section by signing up to!

Written by Jamal Abilmona 

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