Introduction to TOEFL iBT Speaking Section
TOEFL is basically an internationally recognized Test of English as a Foreign Language. It is a standardized test to measure English language efficiency and the ability of non-native speakers who give the test. It is a four-hour long test and students are required to appear for the entire four sections one after the other. Usually, the students from a non-native background who wish to seek admission abroad or the people who apply for work visas abroad appear for the test in order to prove their English proficiency to the university or the company. The TOEFL iBT examination is a total of 120 points. Hence each module holds 25% weight. TOEFL is accepted in more than 10,000 colleges, agencies and other institutions in over 130 countries. In this article, we will talk about the TOEFL iBT Speaking Section.
As we all know, there are four important modules in the TOEFL iBT examination. They are:-
- TOEFL iBT Reading Module
- TOEFL iBT Listening Module
- TOEFL iBT Speaking Module
- TOEFL iBT Writing Module
So, Speaking comes as a third module to the candidate appearing for the test. Each section is of 30 points with a total of 120 points.
Note that the order of the modules is fixed for years and would never change.
Module 3: Speaking Module
Let’s have detailed guidelines for this section:
Listening Section in TOEFL iBT is of about 20 minutes duration.
To begin with, the TOEFL iBT speaking section consists of six tasks. In these tasks, students are required to give personal opinions, summarize lectures and conversations. This section tests the student’s ability to speak effectively in academic settings. They will be graded on how the questions are answered. The student’s ability to speak clearly and coherently along with vocabulary and grammar is tested. Also, the student’s ability to manage time according to the task is taken into consideration.
The speaking section of TOEFL iBT is the most challenging section among others. This is the section that requires most of the practice and preparation.
Note that just the speaking topics vary; otherwise the format of the section remains the same.
Overview of this section:
Task 1 and Task 2:
- These first two tasks are solely based on independent speaking topics which totally focus on the student’s own ideas, opinions and experiences.
- Preparation time is given to student: 15 seconds
- Speaking time given to the student: 45 seconds
Tip: The answers need not be true! The students just need to be creative enough to score good marks.
Task 3 and Task 4:
- Except for task 1 and 2, all the others are integrated Hence students are required more than one skill when responding.
- Task 3 and 4 require students to read, listen and then speak.
Here, the students will be asked to read a short text and listen to a recording on the same topic.
- Task 3 will be a recording of students discussing their opinions.
- Task 4 will be a professor’s lecture on the certain topic.
- Preparation time is given to student: 30 seconds
- Speaking time given to the student: 60 seconds
Task 5 and task 6:
- These final tasks require students to listen and then speak.
Here the students will listen to a recording, but this time there will not be any text to read.
- Task 5 will be a recording of a student.
- Task 6 will be a lecture by a professor.
- Preparation time is given to student: 20 seconds
- Speaking time given to the student: 60 seconds
In this section, there won’t be any examiner or teacher to assess the answers. Instead, the student is required to hear the conversations and respond to them accordingly using a microphone.
Then after some days, these recordings will be heard by the concerned person or the examiner who will rank each task from the scale of 0-4 making a total out of 30 points.
How to Prepare for TOEFL iBT Speaking Section:
Following are some key points which students should keep in mind while appearing for the TOEFL iBT listening module:
- Think quickly especially for Task 1 and 2 as there is hardly any time to prepare.
- Especially for task 3 and 4, make a habit to take good notes while listening and reading. The reason is that you must have the information briefly summarized so that when preparation time starts no time is not wasted.
- Beware of the differences between the information in the written passage and the information in the audio clip.
- Practice having backups along with evidence to support your answer to show you understood the audio well and include that as a strong argument.
Tips for students:
- Be really confident in your selection of words and speaking skills.
- Practice speaking regularly.
- Experiment new challenging words in order to boost your vocabulary and also your score.
- Work on your pronunciation skills.
To know more about the TOEFL iBT Exam please read our article “What is the TOEFL iBT Exam“