TOEFL Practice

TOEFL practice on this web page will help you to improve how you organize your independent speaking  paired-choice task.


TOEFL Practice: Framing your Response during the paired-choice speaking task

Forty-five seconds is not a lot of time to make an argument. Therefore, you more specific you can be in the beginning, the easier it will be to present specific details.

Example TOEFL speaking prompt: Do you feel it is better to study in groups or to study alone? Use specific reasons and details to support your point of view.

Sharply-focused topic statement: Because I can concentrate better and because I can study more efficiently, I prefer to study alone.

  • The speaker uses the key ideas “concentrate better” and “study more efficiently” as support points to frame the response.
  • It will be easy to connect ideas together with this type of introduction.

General topic statement: I like to study alone. I have several reasons to support my point of view.

  • This generic topic statement does not present a specific organization. Many students use this template on the TOEFL exam. As a result, the response seems to be memorized.
  • The speaker will likely use a lot of generalizations in the body of this response since the introduction is so unfocused.

TOEFL Practice: Nicely focused introduction may lead to a nicely organized response.

Click Here to see a script of the response.

This TOEFL Independent Speaking Response, consequently,

  • Includes a sharply-focused topic statement to frame the response.
  • Restates both support points mentioned in the introduction in the body. Hence, the response has a coherent organization.
  • Uses ONE example in both body paragraphs (i.e., ESL vocabulary final exam) to illustrate the two support points. Therefore, the response has depth and progression of thought even though it is only 45 seconds long.
  • Has good control of language use.

TOEFL Practice:  An unfocused introduction may lead to an incoherent, unfocused response.

Click Here to read the listening script.

Hence, This TOEFL Independent speaking response

  • Begins with a generic introduction that almost sounds like a memorized template.
  • Has no coherent, unifying reasons in the two body paragraphs.
  • Mentions an example but does not spend time developing the points.
  • Brings up too many reasons without specific support.

TOEFL Practice: Conclusion

Hopefully, you’ve learned that you need a sharply-focused introduction with your independent speaking tasks.  In addition, you’ve learned that you should NOT try to bring up too many reasons. Instead, consider mentioning one example and develop that idea in your two body paragraphs.

Good luck!

Michael Buckhoff,

Online TOEFL Preparation Course