Beat the Test.

March 20, 2007

The 6 Speaking Question Types

Filed under: Speaking — beatthetest @ 4:02 am

The speaking section of the TOEFL iBT seems pretty scary – speak on any topic we give you, and you only have a few seconds to prepare.

Actually, the test is much more structured than that, so this section is far easier than people think! There are only 6 types of questions, they always come in order, and high-scoring answers follow predicable patterns.

Here’s a list of the 6 question types. Next I’ll be making a list of common patterns to answer these questions, but for now just make sure you are familiar with this list.

Independent  (SPEAKING) | Preparation: 15 s. / Response: 45 s.
1. Personal Preference Tell your preference from a given category — for example, people or places that are important to you, or events or activities that you enjoy.
2. Choice Make and defend a personal choice between two contrasting behaviors or courses of action.
Integrated  (READING + LISTENING + SPEAKING) | Preparation: 30 s. / Response: 60 s.
3.  Announcement/Notice 

     (conversation)

Step 1: Read a passage (75-100 words) that presents a campus-related issue.
Step 2: Listen to a conversation (60-80 seconds, 150-180 words) in which students comment on the issue in the reading.
Step 3: Summarize the speaker’s opinion within the context of the reading passage.
4. General/Specific

     (lecture)

Step 1: Read a passage (75-100 words) that broadly defines a term, process, or idea from an academic subject.
Step 2: Listen to a lecture (60-90 seconds; 150-220 words) that provides examples and specific information to illustrate the term, process, or idea from the reading passage.
Step 3: Combine and convey important information from the reading passage and the lecture.
Integrated  (LISTENING + SPEAKING) | Preparation: 20 s. / Response: 60 s.
5. Problem/Solution 

    (conversation)

Step 1: Listen to a conversation (60-90 seconds; 180-220 words) about a student-related problem and two possible solutions.
Step 2:  State the problem, the two solutions, and your opinion about solving the problem.
6.  Summary

    (lecture)

Step 1: Listen to a lecture (90-120 seconds; 230-280 words) that explains a term or concept and gives concrete examples to illustrate it.
Step 2: Summarize the lecture and demonstrate an understanding of how the examples relate to the overall topic
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1 Comment »

  1. its great for me to prepare for toefl.

    Thank you

    Comment by deepthi — April 17, 2007 @ 1:05 pm | Reply


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