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Learning the value of a TOEFL speaking review

Why you need TOEFL speaking reviews

This short article will explain why it's important to get a speaking review, what you can expect by getting a review, and a sample of an actual completed review.

Why it's important to get a speaking review

The TOEFL speaking section is considered the toughest section in the TOEFL.

Although you can easily practice preparing your response in a short time frame by using our TOEFL practice testsimproving your overall English proficiency, speaking response structure, and communicating with cohesion requires constant feedback.

You can get feedback on your speaking responses by asking a friend or colleague or by finding your own personal tutor. It doesn't matter how you get the feedback, just make sure you get it.

Do you know what mistakes you are making in your speaking responses?

Each country, be it India, Brazil, Russia, etc, have their own special way of putting together sentences. Because of this, students who share the same native language tend to make similar mistakes in their speaking response.

Our TOEFL speaking reviewers will help you to understand those common mistakes by breaking down your speaking response with explanations on how to improve. You'll start to see major improvements in your speaking responses after just a few reviews.

How to get 26 in the speaking section

To get 26 or more on the speaking section, you'll need to deliver responses that are easily understood without distracting listeners from what is being said.

Learning how to pronounce and intonate like a native English speaker is crucially important.

In addition to having a very clear delivery during the speaking test, you need to demonstrate control with your language use. It means that you should have few issues with your word choices and grammar usage.

Finally, you need to develop your speaking response in an organized manner with details and examples to help the listener with understanding.

The above-mentioned three areas: speech delivery, language use, and topic development represent categories in rubrics that TOEFL raters will use when grading TOEFL independent and integrated speaking tasks.

What our speaking reviews include

When you decide to get a speaking review, which you should if you want to improve your speaking score, the audio feedback will focus on:

  1. Pronunciation
  2. Speed of speech
  3. Intonation
  4. Vocabulary
  5. Grammar
  6. Topic development
  7. Connection of ideas

In addition to the audio feedback, you will get a score and a report based on several speaking criteria. The criteria are as follows:

  1. Task Fulfillment
  2. Pronunciation & Intonation
  3. Flow & Speech
  4. Correct Grammar Usage
  5. Vocabulary Usage (Appropriacy and Range)
  6. Support & Development
  7. Connections & Coherence

With each review, you'll get better at structuring your response and communicating your thoughts cohesively. If you don't get feedback on your speaking responses, you'll make the language specific mistakes mentioned earlier and will not achieve a good TOEFL score.

Speaking review sample

The below sample contains an actual speaking response from one of our students.

You can find the full sample review here - Speaking question 1 - under the "RESULTS TAB"

 

Here is a Speaking Review Sample:

Review Summary
Score 4.3 / 5
Audio Feedback

To hear the audio feedback, go to Speaking question 1 - under the "RESULTS TAB"

How we review your speaking response Our TOEFL certified instructors will review your speaking response based on the following criteria:
  1. Task Fulfillment
  2. Pronunciation & Intonation
  3. Flow & Speech
  4. Correct Grammar Usage
  5. Vocabulary Usage (Appropriacy and Range)
  6. Support & Development
  7. Connections & Coherence

You will receive a score, feedback, and a TOEFL report on each speaking criteria. The average score for all criteria will be converted to a score out of 5. This reviewing process imitates how ETS® TOEFL grades a TOEFL speaking response.

Task Fulfillment
Criterion Description Score & TOEFL Report
Task fulfillment is about how well you respond to the question you are given. TOEFL raters are looking for a response that answers the question directly, with relevant ideas that are fully developed. Fulfilling the task means answering all parts of the question completely.
Score Description
0

doesn’t address the task or no response was given

1

The response is unconnected or minimally connected to the given task

2

is mostly connected to the given task/question, but presents some ideas and information that are not directly related to the task/question

may focus more on the reading passage than the listening

3

is connected to the given task/question, but may not be fully developed

generally focuses on listening passage but may include a few unnecessary details from the reading passage

4

directly addresses the task/question and is fully developed

focuses exactly on the points from the listening that satisfy the requirements of the task

Pronunciation & Intonation
Criterion Description Score & TOEFL Report
Pronunciation and intonation is about how you form English sounds and how you use natural English intonation. Your pronunciation and intonation can damage your score if it is difficult for the raters to understand what you are saying.
Score Description
0

doesn’t address the task or no response was given

1

The response requires significant effort by listener because speech is mostly unclear, due to errors with:

individual sounds and clusters

word and sentence stress

final intonation

2

The response requires some listener effort because speech is sometimes unclear, due to some unnatural use of:

individual sounds and clusters

word and sentence stress

final and non-final intonation

3

The response may require effort by listener at times, though speech is generally clear, with:

some sound and cluster pronunciation mistakes

unnatural word and sentence stress

some unnatural intonation

4

The response requires almost no effort by listener because speech is clear, including:

natural sound and cluster pronunciation

mostly natural intonation

natural word and sentence stress, which may be used to convey subtle meanings

Flow & Speech
Criterion Description Score & TOEFL Report
Flow and speech is about how quickly you can speak and how much pausing and hesitation you use. You don’t have to speak quickly, but just quickly enough to sound natural and explain all of your ideas. Raters want to hear natural rhythm and flow.
Score Description
0

doesn’t address the task or no response was given

1

has disconnected speech that does not flow naturally

has mostly short and overly basic utterances

includes many unnatural pauses and hesitations that may make the listener uncomfortable

2

attempts but has some difficulties maintaining natural rhythm and fluid speech

attempts more than just basic utterances, though stops frequently to prepare ideas or self-correct

may contain some long pauses and unnatural hesitations

3

sustains mostly natural rhythm, though at times breaks it with unnatural linking or stress

has some unnatural pausing and hesitation

4

has mostly natural rhythm

is generally quite fluid and sustained

has minimal unnatural pausing and hesitation

Correct Grammar Usage
Criterion Description Score & TOEFL Report
Correct grammar usage is about how you use English grammar and sentence structure. Raters want to see that you can use what you know correctly. Your grammar doesn’t have to be perfect to score high, but mistakes shouldn’t interfere with your meaning.
Score Description
0

doesn’t address the task or no response was given

1

Meaning is often difficult to understand because of significant and frequent errors with:

nouns

verb tenses

adverbs and adjectives, including some phrases

word order

articles, pronouns, quantifiers, prepositions

geru

2

Meaning is sometimes obscured because of errors with:

noun and noun phrases

verb (tenses and modals)

adverbs and adjectives (including phrases)

word order

articles, pronouns, quantifiers, prepositions

gerunds and inf

3

Meaning is generally clear despite some errors with:

noun phrases and clauses

verb (tenses, modals, and passives)

adverbs and adjectives (including phrases and clauses)

word order

articles, pronouns, quantifiers, prepositi

4

Meaning is not affected by grammatical errors, though there may still be minor errors with:

noun phrases and clauses

verb (tenses, modals, and passives)

adverbs and adjectives (including phrases and clauses)

word order

art

Vocabulary Usage (Appropriacy and Range)
Criterion Description Score & TOEFL Report
Vocabulary usage is about how you use English words. Raters are looking for responses that use different words correctly and accurately, and that use a wide range of words that help listeners understand.
Score Description
0

doesn’t address the task or no response was given

1

includes mistakes with basic word form

includes limited vocabulary, with repetition and reliance on vocabulary from the question prompt

often uses inappropriate or incorrect words or wording

2

may include some incorrect word forms

attempts to use a range of words and phrases but may make errors that confuse the listener

makes somewhat accurate word choice but at times leaves the listener guessing

3

uses mostly correct word forms

uses a range of words and phrases that is mostly appropriate, possibly including some idiomatic language

makes generally accurate word choice with only some effort by the listener

4

uses generally correct word forms with only minimal errors

effectively uses a wide range of words and phrases, which may include phrasal verbs and idioms

includes generally accurate word choice and at times demonstrates sophistication in vo

Support & Development
Criterion Description Score & TOEFL Report
Support and development is about the content of your speaking response. Your content should be related directly to the topic, and you should have several main ideas that support your opinion or position. These ideas should be persuasive or compelling.
Score Description
0

doesn’t address the task or no response was given

1

does not include much relevant information

has no or very little detail or explanation

2

includes some important information but not all key ideas

presents several ideas or some information incorrectly or imprecisely

may show lack of understanding of key ideas from listening and reading

3

includes most important information or key ideas

may include some inaccuracies or imprecise ideas

shows generally good understanding of key ideas but may not describe them specifically

4

includes all key ideas required by the question

may have slight errors

shows very good understanding of key ideas and the ability to explain them well

includes all key ideas required by the question

may have slight errors

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Connections & Coherence
Criterion Description Score & TOEFL Report
Coherence and connections are about how you put your ideas together and link different sentences to each other. Raters want to see speaking that flows naturally from idea to idea without confusing the listener.
Score Description
0

doesn’t address the task or no response was given

1

has little or no connection between ideas, making the logic difficult to follow

includes no effective words or expressions of transition, introduction, or conclusion

2

has some connection between ideas but may jump between some topics, causing some listener confusion

includes some brief or simple words or expressions of transition, introduction, or conclusion

3

has generally good connection between ideas

includes generally good range of words or expressions of transition, introduction, or conclusion but may not feel wholly unified

4

has very good connection between ideas that are logically and effectively ordered

includes a range of words or expressions of transition, introduction, and conclusion which conveys a feeling of unity and completeness