Tips & Tricks for Speaking TOEFL

TOEFL is not the easiest exam to face. In order to get a good score, it is important to start preparing well before the exam date. Taking the time to familiarize yourself with the test is very important. Unlike most other exams, the time given to test your speaking skills is extremely limited and you may not have time to even read the entire matter on the question paper. However, where there is a will, there is a way. Here’s the way:

Simplicity is the need of the hour

When it comes to your first task which is independent speaking, you would be given just 45 seconds of time to speak about the topic given to you and 15 seconds to think of the answer. The topics could range from stating your opinions about important social, political or economic issues, to general topics about events and occurrences in your life.

The most important thing to do is to mentally break down your entire answer into a few simple lines with the maximum of 3 fundamental supporting details. Even if you have just one strong supporting detail, it would do. As long as you keep your answers short, swift and to the point, you will be good.

It’s About the Audio, not the Text

When you are doing the speaking 4 task during your TOEFL examination, make sure that you listen well and take down important points and key phrases that might come in handy. It is important to remember that this particular task is all about the audio and not about the reading material.  The reading material is just a detailed summary, which if read well and carefully, would end up wasting your time. You could briefly go through the summary to pick up points that would be helpful.

Pay Attention to Voice Modulation

Voice modulation, the pitch, tone, and pattern of speaking play a key role in conveying messages. If you pay close attention to the intonation of the speakers, you will understand the context of the audio a lot better. In addition to listening, it will also help you in your speaking test. Learning to modulate your voice according to the situations and context and to annunciate words properly will help you score a lot higher.

Speak to your Strengths

Not everyone is great in speaking English but that should not decrease your chances of scoring well. Instead of using words that you may find tough to pronounce, replace them with words that are easier. The same thing can be said in multiple ways, the trick is to use the easiest method to express yourself. TOEFL does not check your accent but you may lose points for being unable to pronounce words that you choose to use. It is important to remember that you have full control when it comes to speaking, so choose your words wisely.

Write down Notes

One of the most essential but unsaid aspects of your listening task would be to take down notes. It is in no way mandatory to do so, but jotting down points while the audio is being played allows you to remember the most important points. Briefly, take down the main concepts and supporting points that make your task much easier.

There is, however, a different strategy to take down notes. When it comes to Task 3, only the person who is stating opinions matter. The person would state his or her opinion based on the reading. So a good writing technique would be to take down the opinions stated in the reading as well as the opinion of the person speaking. It would turn out to be more like a conversation that would build context to optimize your understanding of the concepts.

In Task 6, you would have to listen to both people speaking because of both their dialogues matter. Pay special attention to the conversation because it may be difficult to write and comprehend what is being said and by whom.

Finally, it is all about practice. The more you practice and the more effort you put into reading about the ways and means to crack the TOEFL exam, the less are the chances of the exam taking you by surprise. Researching about the test and doing your groundwork will make you TOEFL test much easier.

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