TOEFL Speaking Topics

TOEFL Speaking Topics

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A good English proficiency test score is one of the important prerequisites for admission to universities abroad. The Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is one of the most common English proficiency tests chosen by international students who plan to study abroad. TOEFL has four sections; Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. It is essential to score well on all these sections to get an acceptable overall score. 

The TOEFL Speaking section will have two main sections. The first section is an independent speaking question that will have two tasks. The second section is an integrated speaking topic which will have four tasks. In the first section, you must express your ideas, perspectives and opinions. The second section, which is a bit more complicated, tests more than one skill of the candidate. You can read the blog further to get more information on the TOEFL Speaking topics. 

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What are the Types of TOEFL Speaking Topics?

There are a few types of TOEFL Speaking topics, and it is essential to know about them. These are as follows.

  1. Choose from one option
  2. Choose from two options
  3. Explain an opinion on a campus issue
  4. Explain a lecture
  5. Explain a lecture topic
  6. Explain a campus life problem

TOEFL Speaking Topic: Independent Task

The TOEFL Speaking topic has an independent task section which will have two tasks. This section will help you express your ideologies, perspectives and ideas. More information on these tasks can be found below.
Task 1: Choosing one option
In the first task, you will be asked to give an answer to a possible situation. There will be several possible answers to the question, and you will have to understand the situation to give the most suitable answer. You will also have to validate why you chose the answer.
Task 2: Choosing one from two options
This is almost similar to the first task, except that you will be provided only two options here. You can choose one option which you think is the correct answer. You will further have to justify why you chose it.
There are also other types of questions that will be asked in the independent task section. You can read further to know more.

Three Choices Question Type

As is evident, this question will have three choices from which you have to choose the right answer. You can use your own relevant details to validate your answer. This type of question was added recently to the TOEFL, and it is advisable to practice these questions so that you score well. A few questions of this type are given below.

  1. Electronic books, online classes, smartphones: Which of these is the best technological invention for students?
  2. If your university is renovating the dormitory, which of the following will you want them to include: Gym, personalised study room, cafe?
  3. Elaborate on which of the following you will choose: A paper test, presentation or creating a video as your assessment?
  4. While looking for a roommate, which of these qualities will you focus on: Cleanliness, Friendliness, or Quietness?
  5. Which of the following assessment will you choose: Read out your favourite poem, a review of the novel you recently read, or act out a scene from a play?

Agree or Disagree Question Type

Here, you will be given an argument and will be asked to explain whether you agree or disagree with it. You have to explain why you agree or disagree. It is also essential that you state your agreement or disagreement in the first sentence. A few example questions are given below for your reference.
  1. Indian students who aspire to study abroad must be fluent in English. Do you agree?
  2. Do you agree that experienced doctors are better than young doctors?
  3. Celebrities should not hide their personal issues from the media. Do you agree?
  4. Do you agree that students should learn domestic chores along with their studies?
  5. Male and female students should have separate living halls. Do you agree?

Preference Question Type

You will be given two choices and will be asked to select one. You will next be asked to explain why you chose the option. As such, it is essential that you have sufficient points to validate your answer. It is good to have the word “prefer” or its other verb forms in the first sentence. A few sample questions are given below.

  1. A few people prefer to read printed books, while a few others prefer to read electronic books. What is your preference and why?
  2. Would you prefer to shift jobs every five years or stay in the same job for more than five years? What is your preference and why?
  3. Do you prefer calling someone directly or texting? Why? 

Description or Explanation

You will be given a topic and will be asked to describe or explain it. You can be asked to describe certain developments or scenarios, people etc. In some cases, you can also be asked to explain your perspective on the TOEFL Speaking topics. A few questions you can expect are given below.

  1. Will bicycles be used as a common mode of transportation in the future, or will other vehicles overtake them?
  2. Should schools concentrate on developing the morals and character of students?
  3. What is a benefit an employer can provide to the employees to ensure that they are happy?

Advantage or Disadvantage Question Type

You will be given a statement and will be asked to provide its advantages and disadvantages. You can also add examples to validate your point. A few model questions are given below.

  1. Young children should spend more time on sports. State the advantages and disadvantages of it.
  2. University dormitories should have a television. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this.
  3. A school plans to create a new menu for the cafeteria to give healthier food to the students. Explain the advantages and disadvantages of it.

If/Imaginary Question Types

Here, you will be given a hypothetical situation and asked to imagine yourselves in that situation. You have to explain how you would react in that scenario. You can choose from the options given or create your own answers. A few model questions are given below.

  1. Imagine you were given a piece of land and are asked to do something in it. What will you do? Explain your answer.
  2. If you are given a small amount of money, what will you do with it? Explain.
  3. If you invent something new, what would it be? Explain.

TOEFL Speaking Topics: Integrated Task

The Integrated task is a bit more complicated compared to the first one. It assesses not only your speaking skills but also your reading and listening skills. To complete this task, you will have to listen to audio files or read paragraphs aloud. There will be four tasks which are explained below.

Task 3: Explaining an opinion on a campus issue

You will be given an article to read about a situation. You will then be asked to hear an audio clip of two people discussing the issue, disagreeing with each other. You will be required to explain why you stand with the opinion of one of the persons. It should be noted that you are required to validate the opinion of another person and not your own.

Task 4: Explaining a lecture topic

This is similar to the previous question except that you will be given a lecture instead of news. You will then listen to a professor explaining the topic. You have to explain what you read and listened to.

Task 5: Explaining a campus life problem

This task tests your listening skills. You will listen to an audio clip where two people speak about a campus life problem and discuss possible solutions. You will be asked to summarise the problem and find which solution is the best.

Task 6: Explaining a lecture

You will have to listen to an audio clip where the professor explains the difficulty level of a class at a university. There will not be any interaction between the student and the professor. You will be asked to summarise a specific part.

We hope that you will, by now, have gathered enough information regarding the TOEFL Speaking topics. If you have any questions, you can contact AECC’s counsellors. You can also attend AECC’s TOEFL coaching classes, where you will be guided by trained tutors. You can also readout blogs to get updated information on the test dates, preparation tips, sample questions and much more. 

AECC helps aspiring students to study abroad from India. We have trained professionals and experienced counsellors to guide you throughout your university application process. Don’t hesitate to contact us for FREE assistance!


You can prepare for the TOEFL Speaking test online. There are several sources available online. You can also download sample question papers. It is also a great option to join AECC’s TOEFL coaching classes, where you will be trained by expert tutors.