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TOEFL iBT Speaking

The Speaking section of the TOEFL iBT is about 20 minutes long and measures your ability to express yourself orally in English about a variety of topics. There are six tasks in this section, of two different kinds: independent and integrated.

The first two are independent tasks in which you are asked questions based on your personal knowledge and experience. An example of an independent task is "What event in your life made you very happy?" You are given the topic, you have 15 seconds to prepare, and 45 seconds to speak.

The next four are integrated speaking tasks, which are divided in the following way:

    1. In the first two, you have a short reading passage, then a listening, and then you have to speak. You are given 30 seconds to prepare and 60 seconds to speak.

    1. In the last two, you listen to a conversation or lecture and then speak in response to a question about it. You are given 20 seconds to prepare, and 60 seconds to speak.

You can take notes on paper, but you don't have much time to write. The 30 seconds given during the Listening section of the TOEFL is just to organize your thoughts, not to actually think. Your preparation time is really in all your life up to that point.