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TOEFL Speaking Tips

These valuable tips will help you get a much higher score on the Speaking section of your TOEFL exam. Use all of them, if you can, for a top score.

Everything you need to do well on the TOEFL is right here:

What to do:

  • Structure your response as a mini essay.
  • Make sure your response has an introduction, a body and a conclusion.
  • Use transition words to guide your listener in a logical, organized way.
  • Use clear English in a confident, expressive way. Simplicity is powerful.
  • Give two or three reasons to develop your response and to avoid going round and round only one point.
  • Use verbs rather than nouns. Verbs are more dynamic and make your English sound more interesting.
  • Speak at an even pace. It’s better to slow down and be completely understood, rather than rush and lose points because the examiner cannot understand your words.
  • Say the endings of words fully. For example, Spanish speakers tend to leave off the endings of words and this can make it difficult to catch the words. They might be saying, “custom” but it sounds like “custa”. This can be confusing.
  • Pronounce the “t” in words. It makes it easier for native speakers to understand foreign accents. An example is the word “water”. Say “wah-ter”. Avoid saying “wadder” or “wah-er”.

What not to do:

  • Don’t waste time rephrasing the question. The examiner already knows what the question is. He or she wants to hear your response, right from the start.
  • Avoid using words which are difficult to pronounce. You will waste time in correcting yourself if you can’t say the words easily. For example, say “chance” instead of “opportunity’.
  • Don’t use higher-level vocabulary unless you’re 100% sure of the meaning. It’s better to present a response that’s easily understandable rather than one that’s vague and unclear.
  • Don’t use idioms at all, unless you are 100% sure of their meaning, and can use them in a grammatically correct way.
  • Don’t state exactly how many reasons you will provide because you may not have enough time to do so. Just say “I like to dance for many reasons.” or “ I prefer traveling alone for several reasons.” Then include as many reasons as you have time for. Usually this means two or three reasons.
  • Don’t worry about your accent. Just speak as clearly as you can.
  • Don’t go back and try to rephrase what you have said, unless you are correcting a grammatical error. Generally, you don’t have time to say the same thing twice.