TOEFL–iBT – Speaking Strategies (1)

Your ability to communicate well in English is tested in the speaking section using academic terms. In this test, the candidate will face three types of question which are presented in four sets. The first two sets have a general question; other sets have questions about campus and academic topics. The candidate will have between 15–20 seconds for preparation and 45–60 seconds to respond to each question.

This exam, like other international exams, follows a very strict pattern for each test. The speaking section of this test is no different. The questions on this section of the test can be broken into groups of pairs. Below you will find an overview of the questions of the test and some strategies for each question type:

Questions 2

Here you will be asked about topics that are important to you and your personal preferences. Once you hear the question, you are given 15 seconds to prepare your response and 45 seconds to speak.


Question 2
Usually a preference question, asking you to choose one thing or another thing and justify. Ex: Do you prefer to work in groups or individually? Please explain why


Some strategies for these questions on the exam that could be beneficial for the speaking test is get in the habit of answering ‘why?’ On these questions, your most powerful tool is your ability to explain why something is important to you or why you prefer one thing to another. Do not waste time simply listing or reciting and try not to repeat the question. Instead, spend as much time as possible justifying your answer with sound reasoning. Using words like ‘because’, ‘due to’ and ‘since’ will help you to illustrate your point.



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