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TOEFL Speaking Preparation

TOEFL Scoring Rubrics
These rubrics are based on an official ETS document: You can find the details here.

Score 4 speech

  • Highly intelligible, logically-developed, clear, and coherent
  • Minor, insignificant mistakes
  • Easy to understand the speech

Score 3 speech

  • Clear main ideas, but some details are missing, false or incomprehensible.
  • Intelligible and coherent, but lacks elaboration and sophistication
  • A few major mistakes that interfere with comprehension.
  • Incorrect use of vocabulary or grammar
  • Sometimes it is hard to understand the speech.

Score 2 speech

  • Limited development of the topic
  • Obscure and unintelligible most of the time.
  • unclear articulation, awkward intonation, or choppy rhythm
  • Very limited range and control of grammar and vocabulary.
  • Illogical or incoherent relationships among ideas
  • Not so easy to understand the speech

Score 1 speech

  • very limited in content
  • Entirely unintelligible.
  • choppy, fragmented, halting delivery
  • frequent pauses and hesitations.
  • Ungrammatical
  • Unable to understand the speech

TOEFL Speaking Score Distribution 

To prepare for the TOEFL speaking test, you first need to know your level, . And to know the level, you need to know how the TOEFL score is distributed. The following graph is based on the information provided by an official ETS press release.

As the above normal distribution reveals, most people (74%) get a score that falls in the region of the “FAIR (18-25).” Only 13 % of the people get a score that falls in the region of the “GOOD (26-30). To get a “good” score, you need to satisfy two conditions: content and spoken English itself. The content of your responses must be pertinent or correct. For this, you need to do note-taking and organizing ideas, among others. Even an English native does not get a perfect score if the content is defective. In addition, your spoken English must be clear and intelligible. Even if your responses are correct, if you are not understood because of your pronunciation, for instance, then it is impossible to get a ‘good’ score.   

Levels of Preparation

Are you a proficient English speaker or are you struggling with having your ideas come across?  If English natives don’t understand you or if you have to repeat yourself several times to be understood, you first need to work on pronunciation and other aspects relating to spoken English such as stress, rhythm, pitch, intonation and connected speech. You might want to check out   AAAmerican Accenttt, where you can improve your spoken English systematically and dramatically.

If people understand you without difficulty, then all you need to do is to know about the format of the TOEFL Speaking test and practice accordingly. There are four types of speaking questions (1 Independent + 3 Integrated), so you should practice all four types.

  TOEFL SPEAKING LAB      

The TOEFL SPEAKING LAB is created under the motto: Practice Correctly Makes It Perfect. In the Lab, you can practice with many sets of questions, each set being comprised of the four types of questions. The questions are designed to mimic the actual TOEFL format so that you can be comfortable and confident when you do take the real test. While practicing in the Lab, you will learn the correct response for each question. You will also learn how to organize your ideas and how to present your ideas in a way that is easy for you and for your listener. You will also learn how to take notes. In addition, in the Lab, you can have your spoken responses graded with a nominal fee, if you desire.  

TOEFL SPEAKING LAB