TOEFL Speaking Tips and Strategies to Score High

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TOEFL Speaking tips

TOEFL Speaking Tips and Strategies: The TOEFL Speaking Section is one of the most challenging yet highly scoring sections of the TOEFL exam. As a result, students who aspire to score high on their TOEFL exams should diligently prepare for the TOEFL Speaking Section.


Also, the TOEFL Exam Pattern for Speaking Section will remain the same as there are no major changes introduced in this section. The TOEFL exam will now be 1 hour 56 minutes long with changes in duration, tasks and questions of the other three sections. The speaking section will have a duration of 16 minutes with 4 tasks as usual.

In this article, we have shared some tips and strategies to help you ace your TOEFL Speaking Section. Read through the article to learn more about TOEFL Speaking (Tips and Strategies). 

Full-FormTest of English as a Foreign Language
Purpose English language proficiency test
Conducting BodyEducational Testing Service (ETS)
Generally accepted byUniversities in the USA and Canada
Level of ExamInternational
Mode of ExamInternet-based and Paper-based
Sections Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking
DurationAround 3 hours and 30 minutes

What is TOEFL Exam?

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), one of the most eminent and widely accepted  English proficiency tests in the world, plays a key role in a study abroad aspirant’s dream of pursuing education overseas. The test is designed to assess an individual’s proficiency in the English Language. Therefore, those who aspire to study abroad, especially in English-Speaking nations, are encouraged to sit for the said exam.

Decent scores in English Proficiency Tests can attest to a study abroad aspirant’s command of the English language. Such tests are predominantly administered to gauge an individual’s proficiency in the language. Scoring well in English proficiency tests not only implies that an individual is capable enough of expressing their thoughts and ideas to an international audience without much hindrance but also can easily interpret what the other person is trying to convey.

Also Read: TOEFL Exam 2023: Latest Updates, Format, Registration Process

Top 5 Tips to Ace TOEFL Speaking Section

The TOEFL Speaking Section has been unanimously considered one of the diciest and most challenging segments of the TOEFL Exam by numerous students across the globe. One of the major impediments students face in this section is time restriction. The section gives you little time to think of quick answers and expects you to be spontaneous and natural. 

You may find the section difficult at first, but with enough patience and practice, you will definitely be able to ace the section with flying colours. You can refer to the following TOEFL speaking tips and strategies to ace the TOEFL Speaking Section. 

Get Acquainted with the Format

One way to strategise your TOEFL preparation is by getting acquainted with the prescribed exam format. Understanding the format will give you a compressive idea about the test’s structure, pattern and the types of questions that may be asked. The TOEFL Speaking Section is segregated into four integrated tasks designed to assess an individual’s proficiency in the English Language. These are: 

  1. Independent Speaking Task: In this task, candidates will be required to speak on any given topic spontaneously for 45 seconds. One must be able to reflect their own ideas and opinions while answering.  Candidates will be provided with 15 seconds to prepare. 
  2. Integrated Speaking Task (Campus Situation): In this task, candidates will be asked to read a short passage or an excerpt from any newspaper or magazine. Candidates will then be asked questions related to the piece of information. 
  3. Integrated Speaking Task (Academic Courses): This task necessitates students to answer questions after reading excerpts or short passages on an academic subject. Furthermore, once a person has finished reading, they will be required to listen to chunks of a lecture on the same topic. 
  4.  Integrated Speaking Tasks (Academic Courses): This task entails students answering questions after listening to segments of longer lectures. 

Understand the Scoring Criteria 

Understanding the scoring criteria of the TOEFL Speaking Section will give you a solid idea about the elements that can be implemented to score higher. Those aiming to score higher in their TOEFL Speaking Sections must ensure that they focus on their general description, delivery, language usage and topic development. Perfecting these elements will enhance your chances of scoring higher in TOEFL Speaking Sections.

 Apart from that, you can incrementally improve your chances of scoring higher in the said section by implementing the following elements in your answers: 

  • Relevancy: Individuals must stick to the point and give relevant and appropriate answers. 
  • Fluency: Candidates must be fluent and spontaneous while answering the questions. One must avoid using long pauses as it can break the natural flow of speaking. 
  • Pacing: Candidates must keep the pacing of their answers balanced. Speaking too fast or too slow can seem off-putting to listeners. 
  • Structure: Candidates should structure their answers properly. Well-organised and structured answers are easier for listeners to comprehend. 

Have a Plan

TOEFL aspirants often make the rookie mistake of sitting for the TOEFL Speaking Section without a streamlined action plan. Having a streamlined plan of action can give you a solid idea about tackling each of the tasks with ease. The following pointers will help you ace your Independent and Integrated Speaking Tasks. 

Independent Speaking Task: 

  • Read the passages or excerpts elaborately. 
  • It is advised to go with the answers that come to you instantaneously. 
  • Avoid overthinking
  • Structure your answer 
  • Maintain your composure while speaking 

 Integrated Speaking Task: 

  •  Read the passage or excerpt carefully. 
  • Understand the crux of the passage. 
  • Listen to the audio segments with the utmost attention. 
  • Understand the gist of the audio segment.
  • Structure your answer. 
  • Summarize your responses. 

Incorporate Useful Phrases

Incorporating phrases in your answers can enhance your chances of scoring higher in the TOEFL Speaking Section. The use of phrases amidst your answers will give the examiners an idea about your fluency in the English language. Not only that but phrases can also help you mend those awkward gaps and pauses and make your answers sound more fluent and seamless. Here are some of the most common phrases used in TOEFL Speaking Sections. 

TOEFL Speaking Phrase(s)Meaning 
First of allMost Importantly 
For one thingUsed for giving a reason for something.
Point is thatThe meaning of something
For instanceFor Example 
In other wordsTo explain something more clearly

Practice is the Key 

The TOEFL Speaking Section may seem daunting or challenging at first, but once you get a hang of its structure and pattern and have practised adequately, you will be able to ace the section with flying colours. There are some tried and tested ways you can prepare effectively for the TOEFL Speaking Section. They are: 

  1. Recording yourself while speaking will give a consolidated idea about your shortcomings.
  2. Start listening to radio broadcasts or reading newspapers to improve your chances of scoring higher in the Integrated Speaking Tasks and Independent Speaking Tasks. 
  3. Set a timer while speaking. Setting time constraints will help you work on your timing and pacing.  

Best Books For TOEFL Reading Section

To master the TOEFL Reading Section, you must consult the best available sources. The following books will equip you with adequate knowledge of the TOEFL Reading Section. You can refer to such books to ace the said section. 

Name of the Book(s) Author/Publisher Book’s Price (Paperback Editions)
TOEFL iBT Prep Plus 2020-2021Kaplan INR 4,555.00
TOEFL IBT Pamela J.SharpeINR 2,865.00
Official TOEFL iBT Tests Volume 1, Fourth EditionETSINR 2,532.69

TOEFL,  one of the most common language proficiency exams, aims at evaluating an individual’s grasp of the English language.

Candidates who want to prepare for IELTS or any other language proficiency test, can Build a plan with Leverage Edu‘s Leverage Live classes and our top trainers and strengthen your English score as well as your application so that you can secure your spot in your dream college.

Fulfil your dreams of studying abroad with Leverage Edu, to get a free counselling session, reach us at 1800572130

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