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TOEFL Speaking Questions (Integrated speaking)

TOEFL Integrated Speaking Questions 4 and 6

This video gives an overview of the TOEFL Integrated Speaking questions 4 and 6. These questions are about academic subjects.

You will learn about:
  • The structure of these questions
  • Tips on how to approach these questions
  • How the questions are scored
  • A high-score sample answer
  • Tips to build and develop your TOEFL speaking skills
The video shows the structure of the questions, what they ask, how you should approach these questions, and how your answers are scored. There is also a high-score sample and tips for improving your own speaking skills for TOEFL.

This is the format of Question 4:
  • Reading passage
  • Listening passage
  • 30 seconds preparation time
  • 60 seconds response time
You will be given a passage to read relating to an academic topic. You will then hear part of a presentation (lecture) on the same topic. You will be given 30 seconds preparation time and then 60 seconds when you record your response to the question.

This is the format of Question 6:
  • Listening to lecture
  • 20 seconds preparation time
  • 60 seconds response time
You will hear part of a presentation (lecture). You will be given 20 seconds preparation time and then 60 seconds to record your response. Your response should summarize the lecture you heard.

Question 4: Reading passage
The passage is about an academic concept which is typical of a college textbook. The reading passage in the video is about the idea of flow.

Question 4: Listening Passage
You will hear a listening excerpt which is part of a lecture related to the topic of the reading passage: in the listening section you hear details and an example related to the reading passage.

Question 4: What does the question ask?
To answer the question you need to explain how the example is supporting or helping to illustrate the academic term or concept discussed in the reading passage.

Question 6: Listening Passage
You will hear part of a lecture about a subject. It normally begins with a professor giving a definition of a concept or discussing a particular issue.

There will be some examples to explain or help clarify the concept or issue.

Question 6: What does the questions ask?
You will have to explain the main idea or points discussed based on the examples in the listening passage. Your answer should be a summary of the important details.

Tips on how to approach TOEFL speaking questions 4 and 6

  • Use academic texts to practice
  • You do NOT need any specialist knowledge in specificacademic fields
  • The questions evaluate your level of competency in English
Topics used for questions 4 and 6 come from various academic fields such as physical science, social science, life science, art, history and literature. You do not need to have any previous knowledge in a particular area. You can answer these questions without specialist knowledge. The questions test your understanding of English and NOT your knowledge of a particular subject area.

Tips on how to approach questions
  • Make notes while you are listening
  • Identify key words, ideas, concepts and examples
  • Use your notes to prepare your answer
Make notes while you are listening. Note important words or main ideas. Review these notes to help plan your answer.
  • Don’t fill time by repeating yourself
  • Clarify, develop and elaborate your answer fully
  • Time yourself when practising
If you have finished speaking your answer and there is still time, do NOT repeat information you have already given, try to clarify, develop or elaborate on what you have already said. You should time yourself when you are practising your responses. This way you will become familiar with the length of time to respond to each question.

TOEFL Speaking Scoring Criteria

  • 0 - 4
  • TOEFL speaking is scored on a holistic basis
TOEFL Speaking is scored using a scale of 0 - 4. Your responses are scored holistically. This means that the examiner listens and identifies various features in your answers and then awards a score. Examiners will evaluate features such as:
  • Delivery: clarity and fluency of speech, pronunciation, speed of speech and intonation
  • Language use: how you express ideas using grammar and vocabulary
  • Topic development: this is how completely you answer the question, how clearly your ideas are expressed and how well your ideas are connected

TOEFL Speaking Tips for Skill-Building

You can develop your TOEFL speaking skills using some of these activities:
  • Enlarge your vocabulary related to academic topics
  • Make a list of new words, check and practice their pronunciation
  • Read academic articles and make a spoken summary of them
  • Write a transcription of your recording, consider alternative ways of expressing your ideas
  • Use English textbooks which include examples of these questions
  • Practice speaking your answers out loud
  • Record yourself and keep them to review later
  • Find an English teacher and ask them to evaluate your answers based on the TOEFL speaking rubrics

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