About the TOEFL iBT Test – Speaking Section

Academic Speaking Skills

Students should be able to speak English successfully in and outside the classroom. The Speaking section measures your ability to speak effectively in academic settings.

In classrooms, students must:

  • Respond to questions
  • Participate in academic discussions with other students
  • Synthesize and summarize what they have read in their textbooks and heard in class
  • Express their views on topics under discussion
Outside of the classroom, students must:
  • Participate in casual conversations
  • Express their opinions
  • Communicate with people in such places as the bookstore, the library and the housing office
The Speaking section is approximately 20 minutes long and includes six tasks.
  • The first two tasks are independent speaking tasks on topics familiar to you. They ask you to draw upon your own ideas, opinions, and experiences when responding. However, you can respond with any idea, opinion, or experience relevant to completing the task.
  • The remaining four tasks are integrated tasks where you must use more than one skill when responding. Two of the tasks require you to read, listen and then speak in response by relating the information from the reading and listening material. The other two tasks require you to listen and then speak in response You can take notes and use those notes when responding to the speaking tasks.
Like the other sections of the test, the Speaking section is delivered via the Internet. For all speaking tasks, you use a headset with a microphone. Speak into the microphone to record your responses. Responses are digitally recorded and sent to ETS, where they are scored by certified raters.

Source: The Official guide to the TOEFL Test – Fourth Edition