The TOEFL speaking section can be the difference between a great score and a mediocre score (don’t know the word “mediocre?” Try LingoLoop). Many students struggle with this section the most and have difficulty preparing for it. Reading books, watching videos and practicing on your own can only get you so far. IELTS test takers have trouble with the speaking section as well. This is the one section you do not want to practice alone.
The speaking section accounts for 25% of the TOEFL score. You will have 20 minutes to answer six questions. The questions are divided into two categories: Independent and Integrated. There are two Independent questions that purely test your ability to speak. You will be asked general questions based on your life experience and personal opinion. The four Integrated questions test your reading and listening skills in addition to speaking skills.
In addition to being able to answer these questions thoughtfully, you must also use good grammar and pronunciation (with only seconds to prepare). On top of that, you must record your answers into a microphone at the test center in a room with other students… no pressure, right?
Have a general plan. It’s a good idea to have a few templates or outlines memorized to help you stay organized. At the same time, following them blindly can be problematic. The key is to have a general structure in mind for each kind of question, but remain flexible to change parts or add new parts when appropriate.
It’s OK to speak simply. Don’t overcomplicate your answers. A well thought out response can be presented simply. Using long words and complex English can introduce more potential for error.
Master the verb “to be.” Not only is “to be” the weirdest verb in the English language, but it also is one of the most commonly used verbs - especially in conversation.
Don’t forget to breathe. It’s OK to be nervous. It happens to everyone. If you find yourself feeling stressed (even mid-sentence) take a breath! It will release the pressure and help you bring your heart rate down. Want another tip for reducing stress? Make sure you get enough practice speaking!
Practice, practice, practice! The TOEFL assesses your ability to speak naturally. If you don’t practice speaking naturally, how will you expect to perform for the exam? Step outside of your comfort zone. Put yourself in situations where you need to speak, but you don’t have much time to prepare. Talk to native English speakers. Join a conversation group. Try speaking to a worker at a grocery store or speaking to a sales associate on the phone. And of course, try LingoLoop.
Most online TOEFL preparation sites have limited materials for the speaking section of the test. They can give you some tips, videos and sample questions, but it is that enough? As you know It is the shortest part of the test, but most often it is the hardest part… and it is worth 25% of the total score.
Whether you are taking the TOEFL or IELTS, LingoLoop is perfect for students who need help with the speaking section. LingoLoop will give you real-life conversation practice with an expert tutor who can give you instant feedback. We will give you the confidence to succeed and reach your potential on this test. Try the starter class and inquire about our TOEFL or IELTS package. GOOD LUCK!