TOEFL® Speaking Practice

close Filter
search
 
schedule00:15

In this question, you'll speak about a familiar topic. Your response will be scored on your ability to speak clearly and coherently about the topics. You'll have 15 seconds to prepare your answer and 45 seconds to speak.

We recommend you practice taking notes with a pen and paper like you will during your TOEFL exam.

Read the question
Start preparing now

Describe a person from your country’s history. Why do you think this person was important?

You have 45 seconds to record your answer. Click the record button to begin.

Recorder will be available after subscribing.
Subscribe to unlock all speaking practice content

Prepare your answer
00:15
- Remember to take notes with pen & paper

Question:
Describe a person from your country’s history. Why do you think this person was important?

Record your answer
You have 45 seconds to record your answer.
Subscribe to unlock all speaking practice content

 
Your Answer
You have not recorded your speaking answer yet. Click the "Mock Test" tab to start.
Review
Review Summary
Score(N/A)

(Reviews submitted prior to May 10, 2018 do not include audio feedback)

Get your speaking answer reviewed which includes a speaking score, detailed audio feedback, and a TOEFL report on each speaking criteria.


Each speaking review includes detailed audio feedback.


Sample audio feedback from a speaking review
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
Criteria DescriptionScore & 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.
ScoreDescription
0

doesn’t address the task or no response was given

1

The response is unconnected or minimally connected to the given task/question

2

The response is mostly connected to the given task/question, but has limited ideas and explanation or some ideas that are not directly related to the task/question

3

The response addresses the task/question but is not fully developed or has minor irrelevant ideas

4

The response fully addresses the task/question and is fully developed

Pronunciation & Intonation
Criteria DescriptionScore & 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.
ScoreDescription
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

occasional unnatural word and sentence stress

occasional 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 meanin

Flow & Speech
Criteria DescriptionScore & 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.
ScoreDescription
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
Criteria DescriptionScore & 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.
ScoreDescription
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

gerunds, infinitives

2

Meaning is sometimes obscured because of errors with:

noun and noun phrases

verbs (tenses and modals)

adverbs and adjectives (including phrases)

word order

articles, pronouns, quantifiers, prepositions

gerunds and infinitives

basic conditionals

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, prepositions

gerunds, infinitives

most conditionals

some reported speech

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

articles, pronouns, quantifiers, prepositions

gerunds, infinitives

all and mixed conditionals

reported speech (direct and indirect)

Vocabulary Usage (Appropriacy and Range)
Criteria DescriptionScore & 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.
ScoreDescription
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 vocabulary

Support & Development
Criteria DescriptionScore & 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.
ScoreDescription
0

doesn’t address the task or no response was given

1

includes only a few very basic ideas

has very little or no explanation, details, or examples

2

has some relevant main ideas but not enough to be fully developed

has some but not enough explanation of reasons to support the main ideas, or the explanation does not always relate directly to main ideas

has some but not enough details and examples to help the listener understand the main ideas

3

has several relevant main ideas and good development

has some good relevant explanation of reasons to support the main ideas

has some good details and examples to help the listener understand the main ideas

4

has several (2-4) fully developed main ideas

has very good explanation of reasons which support the main ideas clearly

has many good details and examples to help the listener understand the main ideas

Connections & Coherence
Criteria DescriptionScore & 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.
ScoreDescription
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

 
Sample Answer
Subscribe to unlock all speaking practice content

Pronunciation training
Practice Your Pronunciation (BETA)

Click the record button below Start and start speaking. As you speak, your speech will be translated to text. It can take 5 seconds before the text appears, so don't worry and keep speaking.

We recommend you try and speak the above sample answer as a way to practice your pronunciation.

Note: This feature only works with Google Chrome on desktop.
Download google chrome for desktop

 
TOEFL Speaking 1 Tips for Success
These are general tips that will appear on all speaking 1 questions.

Step-by-step guide for tackling TOEFL Independent Speaking Task 1
Step 1: Choose quickly

The question will be very general, so you can choose many options. However, remember you only need one answer so don't waste time thinking too hard. There is no right or wrong answer to this question. So choose the first idea that comes to your mind. In your 15 seconds preparation time, you should not spend more than 3 seconds choosing a topic. Once you have a topic, write it down in your note immediately. For this example, you can choose your aunt for example.

Step 2: Find supporting ideas

After choosing the main topic, you need to come up with supporting ideas. Choose about 2 or 3 ideas. One is too little. More than three will be too many and you will not have enough time to develop all the ideas within the time limit. Similar to the first step, note down the first two or three supporting ideas. Do it as quickly as you can.

In your note, don't write full sentences, only jot down a few words that will help you with the organization of your actual speech. For example, if you chose your aunt as your closest relative, you can have supporting ideas describing her and why you are close to her. But also remember to be specific. For this example, one of your supporting ideas is that your aunt shares a similar interest with you. Make sure to tell what interest it is and if you can, tell a very short one or two sentence story about the interest. Remember, you have 15 seconds in total to finish both step 1 and 2. Plan your answer as fast as possible.

Step 3: Speak

You'll have 45 seconds to make your speech. The structure of the response can be the following:
1. Your main idea or your main opinion
2. The first main idea and supporting details and examples
3. The second supporting idea and supporting details and examples
4. Conclusion.

Tips to get a high score
1. Read your response out loud clearly and be enthusiastic with your response.

2. You can paraphrase the prompt to give your first sentence.

3. For "Personal experience" questions, you need to talk about your personal experience, so make sure use the words "I", "me" and "my" and avoid using the word "You".

4. Be specific about your supporting details and examples. The trick is to use sentence structure like "If I...., I..." or "When I ..., I ..." when providing supporting details and examples.

5. Pay attention to the tense. For example, when giving a response about your past events, you should use the past tense.
Prepare for all 4 question styles
TOEFL Independent Speaking Task 1 has 4 question styles:
  1. Personal experience
  2. Giving advice
  3. Three choices
  4. Stating opinions
Personal experience
What is your favorite book? Describe it and explain why it is your favorite.

Giving advice
Your friend wants a pet but has never owned one before and doesn't know what to choose. What advice would you give and why?

Three choices
The university decides to remodel the dormitory and add a new space to it. Which space do you recommend to add in your dormitory? (1) Cafe, (2) Study room, or (3) Game room

Stating opinions
Do you think the government should legislate laws to fine people who use cell phones when crossing roads and intersections?
"Personal experience" questions
The first question style is 'Personal experience'. As I said earlier, this style of question has been around for many years. Questions usually ask you to share past experiences, or asks you to talk about things you like. The topics could be related to books, TV, vacation, clothing, movies, hobby, and people. The questions go something like this:
  • What is your favorite recreational activity? Describe it and say why you enjoy doing it.
  • Name a place in your country you would recommend others to visit. Describe this place and explain why you would recommend it.
  • What is your favorite kind of food? Describe it and explain why it is your favorite.
  • What is your favorite book? Describe it and explain why it is your favorite.
  • What is the most memorable experience you have had while on vacation? Why was this experience so memorable? Include details and examples to support your explanation.
"Giving advice" questions
The second question is 'Giving advice'. You will be given a situation and will then be asked to offer advice for it.
  • Your friend wants a pet but has never owned one before and doesn't know what to choose. What advice would you give and why?
  • Your friend is studying engineering and has room for one extra course in her schedule. What sort of course would you recommend she take and why?
  • Your friend's brother has begun spending time with a group of people that your friend thinks may not be very good people. He wants to talk with his brother but does not know what to say. What advice would you give him?
"Stating Opinions" questions
The last style is 'Stating Opinions'. This kind of question is similar to independent essay questions. You are asked to state your opinion on a certain topic. Here are some examples:
  • Your university has decided to reduce the amount of money it spends to support sports activities. What is your opinion and why?
  • School is planning to change the cafeteria's menu with aims of offering healthier, low-calorie food. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of this idea.
If you have no problem writing TOEFL independent essays, this style of question should be a cakewalk for you.
 
close
Hi, there!

Get one Ask-An-Instructor question on the house
by singing up to our 7 day free trial.

close
Start your 7 day free trial!