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45 New TOEFL Speaking Topics for the TOEFL Independent Speaking Task 1 - 2020 Edition

Ron Ross January 18th, 2020

The TOEFL iBT adds new TOEFL speaking topics every year. To keep up with them, we have found 45 new speaking topics from 2019 TOEFL exams and created questions out of them. You can even find sample answers for all 45 speaking topics, in our TOEFL speaking practice area.

Before we get into the new speaking topics, if you're looking for free TOEFL speaking practice then click the button below to start a free TOEFL speaking sample test. The test was designed to look and feel the same as the official TOEFL exam.

play_circle_outline Start TOEFL speaking Sample Test

If you prefer to practice at your own pace, then you can start a free speaking question by clicking the Mock Test 1 link in the table below. The table has links to 12 out of 100 of our TOEFL speaking topics from speaking task 1.

speaking Mock Test 1 - 12
Mock Test 1 Mock Test 2 Mock Test 3 Mock Test 4 Mock Test 5 Mock Test 6 Mock Test 7 Mock Test 8 Mock Test 9 Mock Test 10 Mock Test 11 Mock Test 12


Table Of Contents

Let's Get Started with the 45 Speaking Topics for the TOEFL Independent Speaking Task 1!

For the rest of this article, you'll review 45 new TOEFL speaking topics from independent speaking task 1. After learning the new topics, we'll teach you how to answer each speaking question type, which you can practice right here with the below recorder.

Click the image below to load the recorder for today's practice.
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BestMyTest TOEFL Speaking Topics Recorder

45 New TOEFL Speaking Topics for the TOEFL Independent Speaking Task 1

Below are 45 new TOEFL speaking topics for Independent Speaking Task 1. These questions cannot be found in older TOEFL online courses or books. We gathered them from students who took the actual TOEFL exams. If you want to prepare for the TOEFL Speaking Task 1, these new TOEFL speaking questions are a must-study.

TOEFL Speaking Topics 1 - 12: Three Choices Question Type

  1. Your degree requires that you should choose a history course. Which of the following courses would you prefer? (1) Art history (2) Twentieth-century world history (3) Science history

    Sample Answer:
  2. You will need to accomplish an assignment for a presentation. Which one will you choose? (1) Act out a scene from a play (with a partner) (2) Explain your review of a novel you recently read (3) Read a selection of poem.

    Sample answer:
  3. If you are going to choose a roommate, which of the following qualities is the most important to you: (1) Cleanness (2) Friendliness (3) Quietness.
  4. Which of the following functions of smart phones most beneficial to students? (1) taking photos (2) listening to the music (3) recording lectures
  5. Three kinds of activities will be offered on a special day organized by the International Student office. Which one do you prefer? (1) International food fair (2) International music festival (3) International film festival.
  6. The university decides to remodel the dormitory and add a new space to it. Which space do you recommend to add to your dormitory? (1) Café (2) Study room (3) Game room.
  7. The university wants to provide students with more types of entertainment and three choices provided below. Which do you prefer and why. (1) A theater performance by the student actors (2) A concert provided by professional musician (3) A lecture from a professor.
  8. There is going to be a TV show that relates to students. Which show would you like to watch? (1) Interview school leaders (2) Students’ debate on political and social topics (3) Comedy about school life.
  9. Which of the following technological developments has made the greatest impact on students’ lives? (1) Electronic books (2) Online classes (3) Smart phones
  10. If you are going to choose a position in the school community during summer vacation, which one will you choose? (1) Library desk front/ receptionist (2) Technician (3) Paint a wall in the community.
  11. Which of the following choices do you think has the greatest impact on environmental protection? (1) Governmental regulations (2) Environmental awareness groups (3) Individual effort.
  12. Which one would you like to choose for your final project? (1) giving a presentation (2) writing a paper (3) creating a video.

Are you struggling to answer these questions? Try using our proven TOEFL speaking templates to help you structure your speaking responses.

TOEFL Speaking Topics 13 - 25: Agree or Disagree Question Type

  1. Do you agree or disagree with the statement that female and male university students should have separate residence halls?
  2. Do you agree or disagree that it is important for young people to learn some domestic skills like cooking, sewing and taking care of children?
  3. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? If you want to succeed in business, being outgoing and friendly is very important.
  4. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? The government should forbid violence and bad language in TV programs. Use specific reasons and examples in your answer.
  5. Do you agree or disagree with the statement that experienced doctors are better than young doctors?
  6. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: it is never too late to get a degree in university.
  7. Do you agree or disagree that it is important for children to learn to draw or paint?
  8. Do you agree or disagree that a celebrity should set a good example for young people? Use details and examples to support your explanation.
  9. Some people believe that we should not discuss the private activities of popular people, like movie stars and singers. Do you agree or disagree with this view?
  10. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? With the popularity of the technology that focuses on entertainment, people read fewer books than before.
  11. Some people think that with the development of technology and the Internet, libraries will disappear, while others think libraries are always necessary. Which opinion do you agree?
  12. Some people believe old people should not take risks and participate in adventurous events as the young people. Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
  13. Do you agree or disagree that students should have a job while they are studying in school? Use details and examples to support your explanation.

TOEFL Speaking Topics 26 - 36: Preference Question Type

  1. Some universities expect the students to choose a major field of study when they enter the school; while other universities wait until the second or the third year before students deciding to choose a major field of study. Which do you prefer? Why or why not?
  2. Which one do you prefer? To buy the newly-released e-product as soon as possible or to wait for a while and then decide whether you want to buy it or not.
  3. Some people prefer to buy new books while some people would like to buy used books, what is your opinion?
  4. If you are to choose between 2 apartments to live in next semester, one apartment is near the campus but slightly expensive, the other is a little far from the campus but cheaper, which one do you prefer and why?
  5. You have been very busy and unable to prepare for the exam tomorrow. You can either stay up late to study and sleepless or just study less and get full night’s sleep. Which will you choose?
  6. Some people prefer sending messages while others prefer making phone calls directly. Which one do you prefer?
  7. Some people prefer to give their opinions immediately. Others prefer to wait and listen to others’ opinions before giving their own. Which one do you think is better?
  8. Some people prefer to finish the assignment a long time before the due date while others prefer finishing assignments right before the due date. Which one do you prefer?
  9. Some people prefer to watch entertainment programs on television. Others prefer to watch educational programs. Which do you prefer?
  10. Some people prefer to buy new books while some people would like to buy used books, what is your opinion?
  11. Some students think it is good to choose the future career before entering the university. Others think it is good to take a few university classes before choosing the future career. Which one do you prefer?

TOEFL Speaking Topics 37 - 43: Description or Explanation Question Type

  1. Should schools engage in character education to instill morals and values in children?
  2. Some people think that those children who do not want to keep learning a musical instrument course should be required to keep learning the course; While others think that those children should be allowed to make decisions by themselves. What is your opinion and why? Use examples and details in your explanation.
  3. If the police stop a driver who is driving drunk (after drinking alcohol), do you think that the person’s driver’s license should be taken away? Support your answer.
  4. Many people think that students study course materials more effectively by taking exams, while others think that students learn more effectively through doing other activities like completing projects, which one do you think is more effective?
  5. Do you think it is important for parents to teach their kids to learn how to manage money? Use reasons and specific examples to support your opinion.
  6. Nowadays people use extreme methods, like surgery to change their appearance. They do this because they are trying to become more attractive. Do you think this is a good idea?
  7. Do you think that parents should be allowed to educate their children at home, or should they be required to send children to school outside the home? Support your answer.

TOEFL Speaking Topics 44 - 45: Advantage or Disadvantage Question Type

  1. Many students are asked to evaluate their professors at the end of the semester. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this?
  2. Your university is planning to allow students to watch TV in their dormitories. What is your opinion and why? What are the advantages and disadvantages of watching TV in dormitories? Include reasons and examples to support your response.

I think it's important to note that even thoough we labled all each of the above TOEFL speaking topics with the associated question type, the topic can be used in any of the question types, so it's important for you to prepare with as many TOEFL speaking topics as you can.

6 TOEFL Speaking Question Types for TOEFL Independent Speaking Task 1

There are 5 question types for TOEFL Independent Speaking Task 1:

  1. Agree or Disagree
  2. Preference
  3. If / Imaginary
  4. Three Choices
  5. Description or Explanation
  6. Advantage and Disadvantage

Agree or Disagree

These questions will give you a certain statement and ask whether you agree or disagree with it. You will also have to provide specific reasons and examples to support your position. Here is an example: "Do you agree or disagree that students should bring their cellphones to school? Use details and examples to support your explanation." To answer these questions, you can use the following expressions to begin your response:

I agree/disagree that ...
I agree/disagree with the idea that ….
I agree/disagree with S + Verb-ing
Some people believe that …, but I disagree.

Examples:
I agree that students should bring their cellphones to school.
I agree with students bringing their cellphones to school.
Some people believe that students should bring their cellphones to school, but I disagree.

Preference

A preference question will give you a choice between two options and ask which option you prefer. You will need to provide specific reasons and examples to explain why you prefer that option. Here is an example: "Would you prefer to have a higher-paying job with longer hours or a lower-paying job with shorter hours? Use details and examples to support your explanation." To answer this question, you can use the following expressions to begin your response:

I prefer to ___ (V + O).
To me, ____(X) is far preferable to ____(Y)
I prefer ____(X) to/over ____(Y)
I would rather ____(V + O) than ___ (V + O)

Examples:
I prefer to find information by reading books.
To me, eating at restaurants is far preferable to eating at home.
I prefer having a higher-paying job with longer hours to having a lower-paying job with shorter hours.

Three Choices

As the name suggests, you will be given a question along with three choices. You are asked to pick one choice as your answer and give supporting details and examples. Here is an example question: You will need to accomplish an assignment for a presentation. Which one will you choose? (1) Act out a scene from a play (with a partner) (2) Explain your review of a novel you recently read (3) Read a selection of poem

This is a new question type and it is being used more and more frequently in the official TOEFL exam, so it's extremely important you are ready for it. Here is a lesson on how to tackle these new TOEFL speaking topics for three choices questions.

Tackling a Three Choices question type

 

Advantages and Disadvantages

In this question style, you are asked to talk about advantages and disadvantages of a topic. Here are some example questions:

  • Some students work while attending university. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of having a part-time job at school.
  • Should universities allow students to watch TV in their dormitories? What is your opinion and why? What are the advantages and disadvantages of watching TV in dormitories? Include reasons and examples to support your response.
  • Should young children spend a great amount of their time practicing sports? What is your opinion and why? Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

To answer these questions, you can use the following expressions:

There are certainly pros and cons of ______
There are certainly benefits and drawbacks of ______
There are certainly advantages and disadvantages to ______.
There are certainly positive aspects and negative aspects associated with this topic.

One advantage is that…
On the flip side (However, ), a major advantage is that _____

If / Imaginary

An "If / Imaginary" question will give you a hypothetical – an imagined situation and ask what you would do or what you would choose. Rather than choosing between two things or two opinions, you are typically not limited in your choice. That is, you can choose anything that fits the situation. Here is an example: "If you had a small amount of money, would you spend it right away or save it? Use details and examples to support your explanation."

When you write your response to an "If / Imaginary Question", remember that you should use the Conditional Sentence Type 2 so you can start your response like the following: "If I had a small amount of money, I would choose to save it for a number of reasons."

About Conditional Sentence Type 2
The Conditional Sentence Type 2 is used when we want to talk about the results of things that are unlikely to happen. The Conditional Sentence Type 2 is built as follows:
If + Subject + simple past, Subject + would/could/might + verb

Description or Explanation

A "Description or Explanation" question will ask you to describe a certain type of person – especially the good qualities of a person – or explain something in the world. Or you will be asked to give your opinion on TOEFL speaking topics and explain your opinion with reasons. Here are some examples:

  1. Do you think bicycles will still be widely used in the future or replaced by other means of transportation?
  2. What is an important benefit that an employer can offer to make sure employees are happy and healthy? Explain your answer.

To answer this question, you need to first form your opinion on the topic. You can use the following expressions to form your opinion.

In my opinion, _____
I strongly/firmly believe that _____
In my view, _____
As far as I am concerned, _____
It is my belief that _____

Examples:
In my opinion, not all university students should be required to read the same book before entering their first year of study.
In my view, bicycles will become obsolete due to the emergence of other means of transportation.
As far as I am concerned, the most important benefit that an employer can offer to make sure employees are happy and healthy is a great health care package.
It is my belief that it should not be a requirement that all college students take at least one philosophy class.

We know you will ace the TOEFL speaking test section by becoming familiar with all 60 new TOEFL speaking topics. Of course it's not that easy, but if you follow the links associated with each new speaking topic, you'll not only become familiar with the new speaking questions, but will also improve your speaking skills by practicing your response and comparing and learning from sample answers by native English Speakers. If you need additional help, you can signup and get free 1-on-1 speaking reviews with any premium subscription.

 
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