15-second Speaking chunks

IN THE 2 INDEPENDENT QUESTIONS, YOU NEED TO THINK QUICKLY AND RESPOND CLEARLY.

You only have 15s to prepare.

Then, you have 45s to answer.

Chunk it out

Think of this task like this: you have 4 x 15s chunks of time – 15s to plan & 45s to deliver.

Here’s a sample prompt:

Think of one place where you have never visited but where you would really like to go. Explain what it is that interests you about this place. (TPO 54, 1)

HERE’S HOW TO ANSWER THIS PROMPT

  • Use the first “planning” 15s to a) think about a place and b) jot down 2 adjectives that describe this place. I’m going to say a) Rome, and b) beautiful & delicious. I’m going to use a place that I actually really want to visit. When the clock starts, use your first “response” 15s to answer the prompt. Something like this:

“This is such a great question because there are lots of places that I want to see. But if I had to choose just one, it would have to be Rome. I can think of a couple of reasons why.”

Notice the bolded language you can recycle for almost any prompt. This is a high scoring intro!

  • Use the second “response” 15s to state your first reason – the first adjective you jotted down. Then, explain your reason. Then support your explanation with an example. Like this:

“The first reason I’m dying to see Rome is because it is so beautiful. The entire city is like a museum. Even though there are thousands of things to see and do, I really need to see the Colosseum before I die.”

This answer follows the TEE model that I talk about in all my courses: Topic > Explanation > Example

  • Use the third “response” 15s to TEE again, this time with your second adjective. Like this:

“The second reason I want to visit Rome is the delicious food. I love Italian food, but I can only imagine what it would taste like in Rome. For example, I hear the pizza is incredible, so I’d love to eat a whole bunch of pizza!”

Free tool

Practice your timing using a voice recording tool (on your phone) or this one (free) that shows you the waveform of your voice and lets you save a copy.

Try it out!

Use the script and see how it fits neatly into 15s chunks. Make sure you transition at 15s and 30s.

0s This is such a great question because there are lots of places that I want to see. But if I had to choose just one, it would have to be Rome. I can think of a couple of reasons why. 15s The first reason I’m dying to see Rome is because it is so beautiful. The entire city is like a museum. Even though there are thousands of things to see and do, I really need to see the Colosseum before I die. 30s The second reason I want to visit Rome is the delicious food. I love Italian food, but I can only imagine what it would taste like in Rome. For example, I hear the pizza is incredible, so I’d love to eat a whole bunch of pizza!

What’s your TOEFL Speaking speed?

That script is 128 words, so at a speaking speed of about 3 words per minute, you should deliver that in 45s. A TOEFL Speaking speed of 3 wpm is solid.

What’s your TOEFL Speaking score?

I work with some great people who used to score the Speaking section for ETS, and they are standing by to give you some detailed feedback on each of your answers.

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