TOEFL Speaking Pattern

TOEFL Speaking Pattern

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Prospective students have a long list of considerations when applying to universities overseas. Studying for language proficiency examinations, notably, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), might be the most stressful part of applying to universities. When discussing the TOEFL curriculum, it is only possible to mention the TOEFL Speaking pattern component, which is notoriously tricky compared to the other test parts. It consists of roughly four activities where applicants must record their voices on various TOEFL-specific speaking subjects. If you're getting ready to take the TOEFL exam and want to do well on the speaking part, this blog will provide you with everything included within the TOEFL speaking section in detail!

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TOEFL Speaking Pattern - Highlights

The Speaking component of the TOEFL is designed to evaluate a candidate's command of the English language in terms of grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and oral fluency. There are six activities in the Speaking segment, and you'll have around 20 minutes to finish them.
The first two activities are called "Independent Speaking Tasks," They require test takers to either share their thoughts on a subject they are acquainted with or summarise material presented in a reading passage or a lecture. The last four questions are "Integrated Speaking Tasks," which challenge test-takers to combine information from listening and reading passages.
Participants in the Integrated Speaking Tasks will be asked to answer a question after listening to a brief lecture or discussion, reading a passage, or looking at a graph or chart. This exam section measures the examinee's comprehension, synthesis, and expression of knowledge gained from various sources.
Each activity in the Speaking portion may be worth a maximum of four points for a total possible score between 0 and 30. The test taker's Speaking score is the mean of their performance on the six activities. 

Purpose of TOEFL Speaking

The Speaking part of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is commonly used to evaluate the level of English competence among non-native speakers. This component is designed to gauge the examinee's command of spoken English, a crucial skill for those planning to pursue further education or get employment in an English-speaking setting.
Those who want to study or work in an English-speaking setting must demonstrate their communicative competence on the TOEFL Speaking portion. The TOEFL Speaking portion aims to evaluate the communicative competence of non-native English speakers, a skill that is essential in any academic or professional setting. To guarantee that their students or workers can communicate effectively in English.

TOEFL Speaking Format

The following is a summary of the structure of the TOEFL Speaking section:

  • There are six activities: two forms of independent Speaking and four forms of integrated Speaking.
  • Participants in the Independent Speaking section are asked to share their thoughts on a subject they know well or to summarise material presented in a reading passage or a lecture.
  • Responding to an "Integrated Speaking" assignment requires using information obtained from the exam's listening and reading portions.
  • Examinees are asked to provide their thoughts on a particular subject in Task 1 and to describe a book or a lecture in Task 2.
  • Test-takers listen to a shorter lecture or chat and then answer questions about Task 3; in Task 4, they do the same thing but with a longer one.
  • Examinees read a paragraph and answer questions about it in Task 5; they look at a graph or chart and answer questions about it in Task 6.
  • Participants are allowed 15–30 seconds to think about their answers and 45–60 seconds to provide their solutions on the exam.
  • The time allotted for the Speaking portion is about 20 minutes.
  • Each activity is scored between 0 and 30, and the total Speaking score is the mean of the six subscores.

What are the types of Questions in the TOEFL Speaking section?

The format of the Speaking section's questions is as follows:
Questions 1 & 2: The first two questions on the TOEFL speaking section ask you to discuss familiar TOEFL speaking topics, such as:
  • Do you believe it's best to study alone or in groups when preparing for an exam? Use justifications and specifics in your explanation.
  • While there are also some open-ended queries, please describe your ideal home. Use justifications and specifics in your explanation.
  • Fifteen seconds will be allotted for preparation, followed by 45 seconds for the response.
Question 3:  This question initiates the integrated component of the exam. The query will require a 45-second reading of a brief passage, followed by a related conversation. A male and a woman will discuss a university-related subject mentioned in the reading.
  • One speaker will have a strong opinion on the subject at hand. You are expected to provide justifications and corroborating details for your position. This query allows 30 seconds for preparation and 60 seconds for the response.
Question 4: This is comparable to Question 3 on the TOEFL Speaking section. However, in this question type, a 45-second reading passage will be provided on an academic topic, followed by a lecture on the same subject.
  • This query frequently feels more challenging because the subject matter is much denser. Further, science-related topics often take a lot of work to summarise in a brief period. 
  • One must summarise the lecture while emphasising a particular process or emphasis on a query.
Question 5: It involves a lengthier conversation than Question #3 and necessitates that you summarise the essential information. 
  • This query type provides you 20 seconds to compose your response and 60 seconds to communicate. 
  • It will be more complex than Question 3 because it necessitates one's opinion in response. 
Question 6: It is often challenging, as it usually entails listening to and summarising a complex lecture.
  • Students often need help following lecture material when they have only 20 seconds to prepare and 60 seconds to respond.
  • An effective response for Question #6 will focus on the main ideas, avoiding lengthy explanations of intimidating vocabulary.

Tips to Get High Score in TOEFL Speaking Section

Recognise These Four Varieties of Questions 

There are four questions in TOEFL speaking pattern to choose from in the TOEFL oral examination. The format of the questions varies. Therefore, the first step is to comprehend each inquiry's requirements fully. Each question has a specific framework; knowing that structure will help you choose the best response. 

Note down important information. 

Second, while speaking on the TOEFL, write down the most important information you learn. You will have a paper to make notes on during the TOEFL test. Taking advantage of this chance is highly recommended and is particularly recommended when listening to the audio in Questions 2, 3, and 4. 

Make a Plan to Attend Questions

Having a plan for how you will answer each question is good. In Question 1, for instance, you'll be asked to choose one of many possibilities and explain your reasoning. With a plan, you may get tongue-tied and save valuable time ruminating about what to say. Having a plan for how you will respond to each question on the test can help you do better. 

Master Transitional Phrases

Make your answer seem more polished and professional in TOEFL Speaking by utilising transitional words to go from one thought to another. Phrases like "for example," "however," "when," and "another reason" in the above answer serves to organise and guide the audience toward the intended conclusion. You may do so with these transitions if you must pad your responses. 

Still unclear about anything? Well, not to worry. Contact AECC and get your queries answered today! AECC is one of the world’s leading educational consultancies, with versatile expert professionals ready to help you with any queries you may have. Contact us so we can be of assistance to you in your journey to achieving your dream.



Reading and Listening: The candidate will first read a piece and then listen to a lecture on the same subject in this examination section. The candidate will subsequently be asked to synthesise the lecture and reading material.

Listening: The examinee's listening comprehension will be tested by playing back a conversation or a lecture, followed by questions on what was heard.

Listening and Speaking:  Tasks including listening to a lecture and then commenting on the presentation's content or answering questions about it will be included.

Speaking: Test takers will be presented with a subject and asked to share their thoughts on it, or an event they've had that relates to it in a spoken format.