TOEFL Speaking Test Structure
The speaking test structure in TOEFL is for 20 minutes and totally has 6 questions. The test takers are asked to hear the instructions and questions over the headphones and will have to answer the questions and speak over the digital microphones provided to them. Each candidate will be isolated from the other so that they can’t hear others responses. The given responses are recorded and sent immediately to the ETS Online Scoring Network. This section tests your effective speaking abilities under the following criteria:
- Provide satisfactory answers orally to the questions asked.
- Active participation in academic discussions.
- Participation in discussions on day to day issues.
- Clarity in opinion on the discussions made.
- Summarizing and orally present the information from the text books or from the classes attended.
- Communicate with officials in university libraries, sports centers, bookstores etc
The 6 questions in TOEFL speaking section are divided in 2 types of tasks. They are:
In independent task, there are 2 questions. As the name suggests, you have the freedom to express your personal opinions on the given topics. You are expected to answer each question clearly and coherently. The questions can be anything from important places, famous people, events or even social activities. On hearing the question, the test takers are given 15 seconds to think and organize their answers and the next 45 seconds they would give the answers. The spontaneity of the test takers is also tested in this task.
In integrated task, the tasks are based on reading, listening and then speaking. In questions 3 and 4, the test takers will be asked to read a given passage and then listen to the conversation related to the passage. The time to complete this reading task is 45 seconds. Then the test taker will be given 30 seconds to think and prepare and 60 seconds for answering. The answers given should be given from information based on both the listening and reading. Providing valid examples and logical reasons supporting the answers is a must. The topics given can be a general or specific topic from academic syllabus or campus issues.
In the questions 5 and 6, the test takers will be instructed to listen to the conversation or lecture based on campus life or based on problems and solutions related to students or campus related lectures. The time given for thinking to preparing answers is 20 seconds and the answers should be given in 60 seconds.
- The test takers are allowed to make small notes for their reference during listening or reading the lectures and conversations. These notes can be used later effectively while answering the questions.
- The questions come only after the reading and listening part is completely over.
In this global era, expressing oneself in clear and cohesive manner is very important. Public speaking skills are very much preferred in every field and when you are a student in a reputed university, your communication skills will be put into test very often. When you have clarity in delivering your ideas and opinions, you will get more opportunities in climbing the corporate ladder. The speaking section in TOEFL plays a very important role in judging the test takers communicating skills.
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