How to prepare for TOEFL Speaking Exam to score high


TOEFL is a challenging exam, but the Speaking Test especially tests not just your speaking skills and ability but also your listening, reading and comprehension skills as well. Proper preparation to attempt the Speaking Exam of TOEFL will give you a better idea of what to expect and how to go about completing it successfully to get a high score. No matter how well prepared you are, your performance during the exam is what actually counts because TOEFL speaking topics vary each time. It can be horrifying to speak into the microphone in the presence of your other competitors, which is why this article is going to help you overcome those shortcomings.

TOEFL Speaking Section

In the TOEFL Speaking Section, you are required to answer the questions into the microphone. Your responses will be recorded and graded by the examiners at a later stage. One of the most common reasons why students find this section tough and challenging is because the questions are not repeated from previous years. New speaking topics are included each year. Being well prepared for the same is very important and this ensures that you can encounter any given topic to the best of your abilities. TOEFL Speaking topics vary each year and the best way to prepare is to refer to the previous years’ topics. This could give you a clearer picture of the type of topics that can be expected.

Overview of the TOEFL Speaking Section

Time: Approximately 20 minutes

Number of Questions to Attempt: 6

What it involves

Summarizing lectures or conversations given to you, reporting and presenting other people’s views or opinions.

Mode of administration

You are required to speak into the microphone in front of you, but nobody is listening to your responses. These responses are recorded and stored so that examiners can review your responses and grade them later.

Skills tested in the TOEFL Speaking Section

Reading ability, listening skills, note-making, pronunciation, comprehensibility, organization, fluency, grammar, and syntax, time management, etc.


0-9: Weak

10-17: Average

18-25: Good

26-30: Exceptional

How to prepare for the TOEFL Speaking Exam

Preparing for the TOEFL Speaking exam isn’t a cakewalk, and there is no easy way out, either. It requires rigorous preparation because there are no right or wrong answers to the questions that you will face. Also, there is no need to panic because the following tips are going to help you channelize your preparation. This way, you can concentrate on the most important speaking tips and work your way towards scoring high in the exam.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the Speaking Exam Scoring criteria

By doing so, you will understand the core issues that you need to address. By using most of your time to hone these categorical skills, you will be able to score high in this section, because you will be prepared for precisely those key areas. Keep the following in mind when you take up practice sessions during your preparation:

  • Answer to the point

Try to keep your answers short and precise. Beating around the bush with unnecessary words may lead the examiner to believe that you are at a loss of words, or you have not been able to comprehend to the required level. Give relevant reasons and examples to aid your statements and explanation. Try not to repeat the same point.

  • Understand and Organize

Whether you have a passage or a conversation to report or summarize, take down organized notes so that you are able to understand and comprehend the passage. Develop your answer based on your notes and keep it organized with a proper introduction, body, and conclusion.

  • Pronunciation

The first thing to remember is that pronunciation is not the same as an accent. All non-native speakers will have some or the other kind of accent and this will not make you lose any points. Concentrate on your voice modulation, intonation, and individual sounds.

2.  Friend Zone the Dictionary

Try to learn as many new words as possible. Understand the meaning and know when they can be used in sentences. It isn’t necessary to learn complicated words but learn and understand as many new words as you can.

3. Work on Communication Skills

Grammar and syntax will automatically improve when you begin conversing in the proper language. Try to reduce hesitations by using the right phrases such as “As I was saying…” or “In other words…” or “As a matter of fact…”, etc. Allow your voice to portray confidence and control.

4.  Take organized notes

It is evident that you cannot make a note of every word that is said during the speaking exam. Due to a limitation in time, make your own legend to help you. For example, use R to denote a reason and D for detail. Use symbols extensively so that there is some kind of connection between one point and the next. Use = for similarity and ≠ for dissimilar. You can also make use of other symbols that you are comfortable with. Think of your notes as a flowchart to explain your answer. This will make it easy for you to glide through your answer without any hesitation.

We hope that this guide is going to help you in your preparation for the Speaking Exam TOEFL to get high scores. Did you find these tips useful? Do let us know in the comment section so that other readers too can benefit from it. Manya experts would love to hear from you and answer any further questions. Do get in touch with us if you would like to experience the best-in-class guidance.

If this article has helped you chose your own way of TOEFL preparation then schedule your TOEFL exam and start preparing. Also, do share it and help others searching for the right guidance to ace the exam.

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