A Guide to the TOEFL (Speaking) Exam: Week Nine + Conclusion

If you haven’t seen – “A Guide to the TOEFL (Speaking) Exam: Introduction + Week One” – yet, then I would recommend starting there. On the other hand, if you’ve already seen it, or if you just don’t care, then welcome to the final installment of my nine-week TOEFL (Speaking) Exam preparation course.

This lesson plan is for a 40-minute class, give or take three minutes because I was lucky enough to have some leeway.

  1. 0:00 – 40:00 = TOEFL (Speaking) Mock Exam 9

Homework Assignment #17 – Task 5 Practice

This is an example of a Task 5 Question, and it should take you less than 4 minutes to complete. Keep in mind, during the exam you will listen to a short passage (take notes as you listen), then you will receive the question. After that you will have 20 seconds to prepare your response, and 60 seconds to deliver it.

As ever, I pay special attention to the following when critiquing your responses:

  1. Delivery: How clear is your speech? Good responses are those in which the speech is fluid and clear, with good pronunciation, natural pacing, and natural-sounding intonation patterns.
  2. Language Use: How effectively do you use grammar and vocabulary to convey your ideas? How well can you control both basic and more complex language structures? Did you use appropriate vocabulary?
  3. Topic Development: How fully did you answer the question, and how coherently did you present your ideas? Good responses generally use all or most of the time allotted, and the relationship between ideas and the progression from one idea to the next is clear and easy to follow.

[Begin audio at 4:40 — TOEFL Speaking, Task 5 Samples]

Q: “The professors discuss two possible solutions to the woman’s problem. Describe the problem, then state which of the two solutions you prefer and explain why.”

*For Key Points see HW17 (PDF) file attachment.

***Bonus Task 5 Sample Question — Exam English***

Listen, it’s easy to find sample Task 5 Questions, all I did was search YouTube for: “toefl speaking exam task 5 sample questions”

Homework Assignment #18 – Task 6 Practice

This is an example of a Task 6 Question, and it should take you less than 4 minutes to complete. Keep in mind, during the exam you will listen to a short passage (take notes as you listen), then you will receive the question. After that you will have 20 seconds to prepare your response, and 60 seconds to deliver it.

[Begin audio at 6:27 — TOEFL Speaking, Task 6 Samples]

Q: “Using points and examples from the lecture, explain how flying squirrels are affected by the biological clock.”

*For Key Points see HW18 (PDF) file attachment.

***Bonus Task 6 Sample Question — Exam English***

Listen, it’s easy to find sample Task 6 Questions, all I did was search YouTube for: “toefl speaking exam task 6 sample questions”

TOEFL Scoring Rubric, Attachments, and Presentation

This scoring table is copyrighted by the Educational Testing Service. They are the creators of the TOEFL Test, and their book, Official Guide to the TOEFL Test with DVD, Fifth Edition (2017), is the definitive guide. If you’re serious about getting the highest possible score on this exam, then buy it.

toefl_speaking_rubrics

attachments

Parting Thoughts

First and foremost, if you’ve made it this far then I only have one thing to say to you: bravo1. You’ve completed 72 total TOEFL Speaking Tasks — nine mock examinations + eighteen homework assignments. That’s impressive. 

There’s a popular American expression, often uttered by weary athletes after an important game: “I left my heart on the field.” It means that they strove, with every fibre of their being, to do their absolute best. It’s the antithesis of quitting. Athletes who leave their hearts on the field have no regrets. They never look back and say: “If only I had tried harder.” It’s my hope that, as you progressed through this course, you left your heart on the field. I hope that you challenged yourself, strove with all your might, and I hope that you have no regrets. 

Now, for those of you sitting there thinking — I didn’t leave my heart on the field — I have good news: you can try again, because there are second chances in TOEFL preparation. So relax, grab some coffee, and get back after it. 

P.S. I’m sure you’ve noticed that, in many cases, the “key points” are really just sample answers. That’s the case because I didn’t want to copy and paste the same formulas over and over again, I wanted to give you something original to work with — something that you could analyze, breakdown, and reference to improve your own responses.

P.P.S. I’ll be posting a bonus section that includes: an abridged version of my notes on the speaking section of The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test, as well as four mock reading exams.

  1. brava for the ladies