How to Score well in TOEFL Speaking? 

    Sayantani Barman Sayantani Barman
    Study Abroad Expert

    TOEFL test measures the flexibility of non-native English speakers to speak in English in an educational setting. It accurately measures how well students can use their English language skills within the college or university classroom.

    TOEFL takes place everywhere around the globe, and TOEFL scores are accepted by over 9,000 institutions in more than 130 countries. More institutions accept TOEFL test scores than the other English-language tests, and over 30 million people have taken the test since it began in 1964.

    If you want to apply to any universities including the USA and Canada, then you have to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) test. For this, students can apply online. The special thing is that more than 7,500 universities and colleges recognize this test for admission.

    TOEFL Independent Speaking Tasks

    When you get to the TOEFL speaking section, you will have just finished your 10-minute-break. That’s the first and last break of the exam. You’ve been taking the test for about an hour and a half at this point. The reading and listening sections are over.

    TOEFL Speaking Tasks 1 and 2

    Topic: The primary independent speaking task question is a free-choice question. In other words, you have to choose one of many possible choices.

    In TOEFL speaking task #2, there are only two choices and you have to pick one.

    There’s no use trying to prepare for the subject because the question could be about anything.

    Structure of Tasks

    1st - The directions and the question will be read.

    2nd - You have 15 seconds to prepare your response.

    3rd - You have 45 seconds to speak.

    Let’s just jump right in with an example and see how you do.

    1. What’s the best way to learn a foreign language?

    15 seconds

    SPEAK 45 seconds…


    1. Would you prefer to live in the countryside or in the city?

    15 seconds

    SPEAK 45 seconds…


    Preparation tip: This tip is the most important: Always record yourself when you speak. It’s hard to judge how well you speak without listening to it from a recording device. It’s strange to hear the sound of your own voice at first, but you have to get used to it. Assessing a recording of your own voice is much, much more effective than assessing your speaking through memory.

    Time management is crucial

    Preparing your introduction:

    Since there’s no way to anticipate the question, we should focus on structure.

    How do you think we should begin our response?

    The question again:

    What do you consider to be the most important room in the house where you grew up? Why was this room more important than any other room? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

    Now, we want to have a transition word that we’re going to use to start every single response we practice before taking the exam.


    You should try to use the same transition word every time because you don’t have a lot of time to think

    after you’re asked a question. You only have 15 seconds. If you know how you’re going to start, you don’t have to worry about it. The phrase I think works best is:

    “To me…” You can say other things like, “In my opinion…”, “If I were asked…”, “I think…” “I believe…” and so on. However, beginning with “To me…” or “For me…” sounds the most natural. If you begin your response with:

    “In my opinion, the living room was the most important room in the house where I grew up for a couple of reasons.”

    That sounds a lot like a script someone memorized and it doesn’t sound very natural. You want to find a balance between natural and academic. You want to sound comfortable, natural and professional. You want to sound like you’re fluent in English; that’s what this test is all about.

    Here’s my sentence:

    “To me, the living room was the most important room in the house where I grew up because it had a big, comfortable sofa.”

    Doesn’t that sound more natural?

    TOEFL iBT or Internet Based Test Speaking Section

    TOEFL Speaking section actually tests over just your English speaking skills. It tests your ability to read, hear and understand recordings by native English speakers, pronounce words correctly, use appropriate grammar, and manage time wisely. This section also tests exam-taking strategies, like your ability to stay focused and take brief notes.

    Though you won’t be speaking directly with another person, you will be speaking out loud into a microphone. No one will be listening to you in the moment, but your recordings will be graded at a later date. Hopefully, you'll find this to be less nerve-wracking than chatting with a live person.

    How to prepare for TOEFL IBT?

    The most important question is how to prepare for TOEFL iBT. With the test being online, most of its preparation and study material is also available online. Various applications have been provided by Android and Apple to help in the online preparation of TOEFL iBT. These apps are available for free.

    Mock test papers are available online in audio format. It is very important that the candidates practice with mock papers. Nothing better than the mock test paper to prepare for the actual exam. Various reference books and study material available online and offline can guide candidates to crack the TOEFL iBT test online. You will need audio tests, CDs, audio CDs and practice tests for studying which will help in the preparation of your TOEFL. Some popular reference books especially for the preparation of TOEFL iBT exam are:

    • TOEFL Test Official Guide, CD-ROM, with 4th Edition
    • Official TOEFL iBT Test with Audio
    • Baron's TOEFL iBT
    • Kaplan TOEFL iBT with CD-ROM
    • Cracking TOEFL iBT with Audio CD, 2016 Edition
    • Essential Words for the TOEFL

    Scoring the TOEFL Speaking Section

    For each task, you’ll receive a score between 0 and 4. These scores will be scaled, and your combined Speaking score will be out of a total of 30 points. Here’s how to rate the quality of your score:

    1. Weak: 0-9 points
    2. Fair: 10-17 points
    3. Good: 18-25 points
    4. Excellent: 26-30 points

    Here’s the thing we are going to discuss further in this blog, how can you boost your score on the TOEFL iBT Speaking section?

    TOEFL Speaking Preparation Tips and Practice

    This blog is fully-packed with strategies for succeeding in the TOEFL Speaking section. Let us break down the 6 best TOEFL Speaking Tips we have:

    1. Take Awesome Notes

    TOEFL lectures are serried, try taking to the point notes while you listen can help you stay focused and thinking about the main ideas. 

    1. Relax

    Between tasks, take few seconds to break. Close your eyes, sit back, and take a few deep breaths. There are times when you need to let your heart rate go back to normal and get calm as well as relaxed before you can think straight. Being nervous is completely normal, but do not lose points just because you are panicking.

    1. Stay Focused

    The test center can get noisy with everyone speaking at the same time. Try not to listen to your fellow test takers. Start practicing in noise, TOEFL Speaking practice with distractions in the room so you can get used to tuning out the chaos.

    1. Use a Template

    Text arrangements for your answer ahead of time will help you outline your response faster, and prevent test day stress. 

    1. Do not Plagiarize

    This should be obvious. Take that in mind, templates can be useful for the test, but be very careful. Instead of memorizing, learn sentences by heart and use them on the TOEFL exam, because if you are pasting word by word in suspicion of cheating your test could lead to canceled scores.

    1. Block Out Distractions

    If you can’t focus, try momentarily covering your ears and closing your eyes to clear your head.

    Ready for TOEFL Speaking?

    You know well that the Speaking section is only one part of the TOEFL exam, and that you aren’t expected to speak English like a native speaker. Always and whenever possible practice speaking English as much as possible in the days leading up to your test, so that you become more comfortable coming up with quick responses.



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