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TOEFL Speaking Questions

The TOEFL Speaking section evaluates your ability to communicate English in academic contexts. It is designed to assess your ability to articulate your thoughts clearly and effectively. This section lasts about 17 minutes and has four tasks: one independent and three integrated. In this article, we explained the TOEFL speaking format and provided sample questions and answers.

TOEFL Speaking Topics
The TOEFL Speaking test comes straight after the listening test (with a break, of course), and it is the shortest, lasting only 17 minutes. During this period, you will be required to complete four separate tasks, each with its own time limit.

The first task of the Speaking test is flexible, which means you won’t need to read or listen to anything; instead, you’ll have to think of a response and speak it. The remaining tasks are integrated speaking tasks, which demand you to listen, read, or both.

The TOEFL speaking test scores are also calculated using raw points, which are then translated to a scaled score of 0-30. However, the TOEFL Speaking questions do not have correct or incorrect responses. Instead, experienced scorers will rank each response on a 1–4 scale using the official TOEFL Speaking rubrics.

Independent Task
Personal Preference
This question asks the test taker to express and defend a personal choice from a given category—for example, important people or places, or events or activities that the test taker enjoys.
Preparation time: 15 seconds
Response time: 45 seconds
This question asks the test taker to make and defend a personal choice between two contrasting behaviors or courses of action.
Preparation time: 15 seconds
Response time: 45 seconds

Integrated Tasks (Read/Listen/Speak)
Campus Situation Topic: Fit and Explain (Question #2)
A reading passage (75–100 words) presents a campus-related issue.
A listening passage (60–80 seconds, 150–180 words) comments on the issue in the reading.
The question asks the test taker to summarize the speaker’s opinion within the context of the reading passage.
Preparation time: 30 seconds
Response time: 60 seconds

Academic Course Topic: General/Specific (Question #3 and #4)
A reading passage (75–100 words) broadly defines a term, process, or idea from an academic subject.
An excerpt from a lecture (60–90 seconds; 150–220 words) provides examples and specific information to illustrate the term, process, or idea from the reading passage.
The question asks the test taker to combine and convey important information from the reading passage and the lecture.
Preparation time: 30 seconds
Response time: 60 seconds

TOEFL Speaking Sample Questions and Answers
Many people are concerned about the TOEFL speaking part because they are unsure about what is expected of them for each question type. While the TOEFL’s speaking part requires you to speak, each question varies slightly. That’s why we’ve prepared a number of questions for you so you know what you’re dealing with:

1. Question: Describe a memorable event in your life and explain why it was important to you.

Answer: A memorable event in my life was my high school graduation. It was important because it marked the end of a significant chapter in my life and the beginning of new opportunities. I felt a great sense of accomplishment and excitement for the future.

2. Question: What is your favorite hobby and why do you enjoy it?

Answer: My favorite hobby is reading. I enjoy it because it allows me to explore different worlds, ideas, and perspectives. Reading helps me relax and enhances my knowledge and imagination.

3. Question: Do you prefer to study alone or with a group? Explain why.

Answer: I prefer to study alone because I can concentrate better without distractions. Studying alone allows me to go at my own pace and focus on areas where I need improvement.

4. Question: Describe a place you have visited that you found interesting.

Answer: I visited Kyoto, Japan, and found it fascinating due to its rich history and beautiful temples. The blend of traditional and modern culture, along with the serene gardens and historic sites, made it a memorable experience.

5. Question: Who is the most influential person in your life and why?

Answer: The most influential person in my life is my mother. She has always supported and encouraged me to pursue my dreams. Her hard work, dedication, and positive attitude inspire me to strive for success.

6. Question: What is your favorite season and why?

Answer: My favorite season is spring because the weather is mild, and nature comes alive with blooming flowers and green trees. It’s a refreshing time of renewal and growth.

7. Question: Do you prefer watching movies at home or in a theater? Explain your preference.

Answer: I prefer watching movies at home because it’s more comfortable and convenient. I can pause the movie whenever I want and enjoy snacks without paying high prices.

8. Question: What is your favorite type of music and why do you like it?

Answer: My favorite type of music is classical because it’s soothing and helps me focus. I appreciate the complexity and beauty of the compositions and find them inspiring.

9. Question: Describe an important achievement in your life.

Answer: An important achievement in my life was completing my first marathon. It required months of training and dedication, and finishing the race gave me a great sense of accomplishment and pride.

10. Question: What is your favorite way to spend a weekend and why?

Answer: My favorite way to spend a weekend is hiking in nature. It allows me to disconnect from technology, enjoy physical activity, and appreciate the beauty of the natural world.

11. Question: Summarize the main points of a lecture on the role of sleep in human health.

Answer: The lecture explained that sleep is crucial for maintaining physical and mental health. It highlighted that adequate sleep improves memory, supports the immune system, and reduces stress. The lecturer also mentioned the negative effects of sleep deprivation, such as impaired cognitive function and increased risk of chronic diseases.

12. Question: Summarize the student’s opinion about the university’s decision to increase parking fees.

Answer: The student disagreed with the university’s decision to increase parking fees, arguing that it would place a financial burden on students. He suggested that the university should consider alternative solutions like improving public transportation options instead of raising fees.

13. Question: Summarize the points made in the lecture about renewable energy sources and explain how they relate to the information in the reading passage.

Answer: The lecture emphasized the benefits of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, including their sustainability and low environmental impact. This supports the reading passage, which discussed the need to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy to combat climate change and reduce pollution.

14. Question: Summarize the professor’s opinion on the importance of learning foreign languages.

Answer: The professor believes that learning foreign languages is essential for global communication and cultural understanding. He pointed out that it enhances cognitive abilities, improves career prospects, and fosters empathy by exposing individuals to different cultures and perspectives.

15. Question: Summarize the main points of the lecture on the impact of social media on human interaction.

Answer: The lecture discussed how social media has transformed human interaction by making communication more instantaneous and accessible. However, it also highlighted potential downsides, such as decreased face-to-face interactions and the spread of misinformation.

16. Question: Summarize the conversation about the benefits of studying abroad.

Answer: The conversation highlighted several benefits of studying abroad, including exposure to new cultures, language acquisition, and personal growth. The speakers agreed that it broadens students’ perspectives and enhances their educational and career opportunities.

17. Question: Summarize the lecture’s main points about the importance of biodiversity.

Answer: The lecture stressed that biodiversity is vital for ecosystem stability and human well-being. It provides essential services such as pollination, water purification, and climate regulation. The lecturer also warned that the loss of biodiversity could have severe consequences for the environment and humanity.

18. Question: Summarize the professor’s explanation of the significance of the Industrial Revolution.

Answer: The professor explained that the Industrial Revolution marked a major turning point in history, leading to advancements in technology, manufacturing, and transportation. It transformed economies from agrarian to industrial and significantly improved living standards, but also introduced challenges such as environmental pollution and labor exploitation.

19. Question: Summarize the discussion about the pros and cons of online education.

Answer: The discussion outlined several pros of online education, such as flexibility, accessibility, and the ability to balance work and study. However, it also mentioned cons, including the lack of face-to-face interaction, potential technical issues, and the need for strong self-discipline.

20. Question: Summarize the points made in the conversation about the importance of time management for students.

Answer: The conversation emphasized that effective time management is crucial for students to balance their academic responsibilities, extracurricular activities, and personal life. The speakers agreed that good time management skills lead to better academic performance, reduced stress, and more free time for hobbies and socializing.

Study with EnglishCentral
Preparing for the TOEFL, practicing English, and getting the score you want can be quite challenging. But with the right resources and techniques, this is easier than you think. You can find everything you need to learn English on EnglishCentral.

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You can also take private 25-minute lessons with any of our expert teachers at any time and on any day you choose, or join 40-minute group lessons to practice English and you can track your progress by receiving feedback after live lessons.

By using these features in EnglishCentral you can easily prepare for the TOEFL Speaking section and get the score that you dreamed of. Join EnglishCentral today and be a master in English and TOEFL!

Frequently Asked Questions About TOEFL Speaking Questions
How many tasks are there in the TOEFL Speaking section?
There are four tasks in the TOEFL Speaking section: one independent task and three integrated tasks.

How is the TOEFL Speaking section scored?
Each of the four tasks is scored on a scale of 0 to 4. The scores are then converted to a scaled score of 0 to 30. The scoring criteria include delivery, language use, and topic development.

Are there any common mistakes to avoid?
Common mistakes include responding too rapidly or too slowly, failing to directly address the question, using repeated vocabulary, and having bad pronunciation. Practice and feedback can assist in addressing these problems.

What are the integrated speaking tasks?
The integrated speaking tasks demand you to combine your English-language skills (listening, reading, and speaking). These tasks involve listening to a conversation or lecture, reading a text, and answering a question about it.

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