TOEFL Listening Practice

The TOEFL listening practice in this blog post gives you practice listening to college-level lectures. In addition, you will have access to a PDF listening script and answer key so that you can monitor your progress. Finally, you will learn specific listening tips and strategies. These helpful tips will prepare you for the listening passages on the listening, speaking, and writing sections of the exam. In addition, these tips will show you what to do during the TOEL exam.

TOEFL listening practice

TOEFL Listening Preparation Tips

The listening section is 60-90 minutes, and the longest passage is about five minutes long. Therefore, you should practice listening to academic passages daily for  about 30-45 minutes.  National Public Radio, Ted Talks, and Randall’s Cyber Listening Lab are good starting points for TOEFL listening practice. To make the most our of your listening preparation, consider the following tips:

  • Get in the habit of taking notes as you listen.
  • Focus on the main points and the most important supporting points of the passages.
  • Using your notes, practice writing 150 word summaries of the listening passages.
  • Deliver 60-second oral responses to the passages, again relying on your notes.
  • Use Randall’s Cyber Listening Lab when you want to check your listening comprehension. Focus on the difficult listening passages on that web site.
  •  Familiarize yourself with the eight listening comprehension question types and the strategies for answering them, as you can find here.
  •  Follow these listening strategy tips for the listening, speaking, and writing sections of the exam, as you can read more about here.

Information about the TOEFL Listening Practice Tests on this Web Page

 

The fifteen TOEFL listening practice tests on this web page do NOT include all the question types that you will see during the listening section. In addition, some of the questions you see here will not appear on the listening section of the TOEFL test.  As you can learn here, eight specific listening questions will appear on the TOEFL exam.

Nevertheless, completing these practice tests will give you excellent practice. In addition to answering the multiple choice questions, consider doing these suggested integrated speaking and integrated writing activities:

  •  Use your notes to deliver 1-3 minute oral summaries of the listening passages. Then check the transcripts to make sure your response is complete and accurate.
  • After you take notes, write 250-500 word summaries of the lectures.  Make sure to read the transcripts to check you for completeness and accuracy of content.

TOEFL Listening Tips during the Test

 

  • During the actual test, take notes while you listen to the academic discussions, lectures, and conversations.
  • Pay close attention to any cues such as transition words and stressed words that will help you to closely follow the passages.
  • During the speaking and writing sections of the exam, arrange your notes, which you can learn more about here, on a sheet of paper to easily show the relationship of the points in the listening to the points in the reading passage.

TOEFL Listening Practice Test 1: Wrestling

 

 

1. Categorize each word with its respective definition.

Palaestra Where wrestling was conducted
Ju‑Jitsu Martial arts
Jumping pit‑style arena    Wrestling school

 

2. Which picture best characterizes upright wrestling?

Picture A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOEFL Listening Practice
Picture D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Number each answer from 1-4 according to the most logical order of an upright wrestling match?

____Wrestler scores a point.

____Wrestler wins game after amassing three points or three correct throws.

____Wrestler enters a jumping pit‑style arena.

____Wrestler throws his opponent onto the ground.

 

4. In what location would upright wrestling most likely be held?

Picture A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture B
Picture C
TOEFL Listening Practice
Picture D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Which of these Greek sports were the least applicable in training a soldier for war? Click on two answers

Discus throwing.

Pankration.

Boxing.

Jumping.

View listening scripts/answer key

 

TOEFL Listening Practice Test 2: World War II

 

 

1. The professor explained several events which had a great impact on women’s employment in the United States. Put them in the order in which they occurred, beginning with the earliest.

_____Women proved that they were almost every bit as capable as men in the traditionally male work sphere.

_____Women relinquished their jobs to returning soldiers.

______Propaganda reinforced these notions as the popular image of women had them, for instance, as housewives or living glamorous lives, but almost always     dependent on men.

______The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

 

2. Identify which type of job was most likely seen a suitable one for women prior to World War.

Picture A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture B
TOEFL Listening Practice
Picture C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture D

3. According to the discussion, many women in Mt. Vernon had to take jobs. Where were the men during this time?

A. Universities

B. Factories

C. Battlefields

D. Hospitals

 

4. What is true about the women of Mt. Vernon? Click on two answers

A. There were no lasting effects on women’s status in the work force resulting from the War.

B. In the War’s aftermath, women did not return to jobs they had held traditionally.

C. They were not encouraged women to take a war job.

D. They gave up their jobs to returning soldiers after the war.

 

5. According to the lecture, what are the categories for each?

Used to recruit women to take a war job. Oral history
Mostly agricultural. Mt. Vernon
 

Provided much information about the status of women workers before, during and after the War.

Propaganda in magazines

View listening scripts/answer key

 

TOEFL Listening Practice Test 3: Languages

 

 

1. According to the lecture, what are the categories for each?

Romance family                      Indo-European family            Proto-Germanic and Proto-Slavic

 

 

 

A larger, more ancient family which includes almost all European languages.

 

 

 

 

Ancestral to the Germanic or Slavic languages.

 

 

 

 

A group of languages that have all evolved from a single earlier language.

 

2. Which language is not included as part of the Indo-European language family?

A. Basque

B. Spanish

C. German

D. Italian

 

3. The professor explained how the Romance languages have evolved. Put the following events in the order in which they occurred, beginning with the earliest. Use each answer only once.

The Roman Empire collapsed.

Latin language was spoken in Rome two thousand years ago.

Latin spread with the Roman conquest of Europe.

The regional dialects of Latin gradually evolved into the modern Romance languages.

 

1

 

 

2

 

 

3

 

 

4

 

4. Where was Latin spoken?

A. Rome, Italy

B: Madrid, Spain

C: Munich, Germany

D: Beijing, China

 

5. Which languages are not considered romance languages? Choose two answers.

A. Spanish

B. Italian

C. Chinese

D. Japanese

View listening scripts/answer key

TOEFL Listening Practice Test 4: Platypus

 

1. According to the lecture, what are the categories for each?

Legs                                                     Bill                                           Ear openings

 

 

 

Contains an electro-receptor system which has approximately 850,000 electrical and tactile receptors.

 

 

 

 

Located on either side of the platypus’s head.

 

 

 

 

Extend horizontally from its body.

 

2. Which animal is most likely a platypus?

Picture A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOEFL Listening Practice
Picture C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Identify which part of the platypus is the bill.

Picture A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Where is the platypus most likely to live?

A. a river bank

B: a desert

C. dense forest

D. a mountain range

 

5. Which characteristics of the platypus are reptilian? Click on two answers

A. The ability to lay eggs.

B. Fur coat.

C. Local ascorbic acid synthesis in the kidney.

D. Milk is fed to its young.

View listening scripts/answer key

 

TOEFL Listening Practice Test 5: Meteors

 

 

1. According to the lecture, what are the categories for each?

Similar to lava                                    Meteors                                             Chondrules

 

 

 

Molten silicate and metal droplets

 

 

 

 

Millimeter-sized spheres of rock

 

 

 

 

Small particles of matter in the solar system

 

2. According to this lecture, what is true about the origin of the solar system? Choose two answers.

A. It could be as old as 20 billion years.

B.It contains meteorites which are approximately 4.6 billion years old.

C. Solar system is synonymous with the word universe.

D. The solar system was formed when a cloud of interstellar dust and gas collapsed.

 

3. Put the following events from 1-4 in the order in which they occurred. Start with the earliest.

A flat rotating disk called a solar nebula was formed.

The Sun was formed.

A cloud of interstellar dust and gas collapsed.

A cloud of interstellar dust and gas collapsed.

 

1

 

 

2

 

 

3

 

 

4

 

4. Which object is most likely a meteorite?

TOEFL listening practice
Picture A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture B

 

 

 

 

 

Picture C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Which of these answers do not refer to primitive chondrites? Click on two answers.

A. Carbonaceous

B. Stalagmite

C. Enstatite

D. Icicle

View listening scripts/answer key

TOEFL Listening Practice Test 6: Tornadoes

 

 

1. Match each name according to its description.

Tetsuya Theodore Fujita                                Horace Byers                          Tom Grazulis

 

 

 

From the University of Chicago

 

 

 

 

Introduced the concept of tornado families

 

 

 

 

Director of the Tornado Project

 

2.  Which weather phenomena would most likely be a tornado?

Picture A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture D

 

3. There was a discussion of several significant events in this lecture. Put them in the correct order, beginning with the most recent.

Fujita came to the United States.

Fujita revolutionized tornado climatology by giving us a system that linked damage and wind speed.

The downburst and microburst were being studied as a unique phenomena generated by things such as an intrusion of dry air.

Analysis of the Palm Sunday outbreak was done by Fujita.

1

 

2

 

3

 

4

4. It is learned from this discussion that Fujita was a mentor. Which answers are the same in meaning as mentor? Click on two answers.

A. Counselor

B Guru

C. Student

D. Apprentice

 

5. Which of these answers are non-tornadic winds? Click on two answers

A. Downburst

B. Tornado

C. Microburst

D. Funnel

View listening scripts/answer key

Listening Practice Test 7: John Glenn

 

 

1. According to the lecture, what are the categories for each?

Space Shuttle Discovery                                 STS-95                                     NASA

 

Space program

 

 

 

 

A space flight

 

 

 

 

A spacecraft

 

 

 

2. Identify which object is most likely a capsule.

 

Picture A
Picture B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOEFL listening practice test
Picture C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Put the following events in the order that they would most likely occur, beginning with the earliest.

He goes on STS-95 space flight.

Glenn is a test subject for specific investigations which mimic the effect of aging.

He inspires many astronauts to pursue space flight as a career.

John Glenn is the first American to orbit the earth.

 

 

1

 

 

2

 

 

3

 

 

4

 

4. Which celestial body has the most effect on the earth’s climate?

A: Moon

B: Mars

C: Sun

D: Saturn

 

5. Which of the following are not affected by the Sun’s energetic eruptions? Click on two answers.

A. Satellites

B. Communication systems

C. Freeways

D. Harbors

View listening scripts/answer key

 

Listening Practice Test 7: Swamps

 

 

1. Match each word according to its definition?

Bayou                                      Cypress and Tupelo                            Vermin

 

 

 

 

Trees

 

 

 

 

A type of wetlands

 

 

 

 

Animals

 

2. Which picture represents a swamp?

Picture A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Which of the birds are considered predators? Click on two answers.

A. Barred owl

B. Warblers

C. Red-Tailed hawk

D. Woodpeckers

 

4. Which animal would most likely live in a swamp? Click on the correct answer.

A. a bear

B. a turkey

C. a raccoon

D. a cotton mouth snake

 

5. Which of the following words are similar in meaning to the word swamp? Click on two answers.

A. Sump

B. Bog

C. Pond

D. Lake

View listening scripts/answer key

Listening Practice Test 9: The Great Basin

 

 

1. Match each word according to its description?

Pyramid Lake                                      Giant basin                                         Playas

 

 

 

Slightly salty body of water

 

 

 

 

Ephemeral lakes

 

 

 

 

A large enclosed area lacking an outlet to the sea

 

2. Which animal is most likely a Lahontan Cutthroat? Click on a picture.

 

Picture A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listening Practice Test
Picture C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Put the following events in the order in which they occurred, beginning with the oldest.

Lake Winnemucca went dry because of a diversion dam.

Explorer Captain John C. Fremont named an area the “Great Basin.”

Many of the valleys in the “Great Basin” contained somewhat more permanent lakes.

A forty-one pound Lahontan Cutthroat specimen was taken from Pyramid Lake.

 

1

 

 

2

 

 

3

 

 

4

 

4. What does the American White Pelican eat?

A. grass

B: flowers

C. a frog

D. fish

 

5. What is learned about Lake Lahontan? Click on two answers

A. It is 8495 square miles and 886 feet deep.

B. It originated during the Pleistocene epoch.

C. No remnants of the lake exist.

D. It existed in an area which today includes northwestern Nevada, southern Oregon, and northeastern California.

View listening scripts/answer key

Listening Practice Test 10: Achilles Tendonitis

 

 

1. Match each word according to its definition?

Over-pronation                                  Achilles tendonitis                              Direct trauma

 

 

 

Blunt force injury

 

 

 

 

Rotation of the foot forward toward the midline

 

 

 

 

Inflammation of the achilles tendon

 

2. What is a heel cup? Click on a picture.

TOEFL listening practice test
Picture A

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture C

 

Picture D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Which symptoms are associated with achilles tendonitis? Choose two answers.

A. Walking pain after long periods of sitting.

B. Intense cramps during swimming.

C. Extreme pain during strenuous exercise.

D. The first steps out of bed are painful.

 

4. Where is the achilles tendon located?

A. the foot

B. the knee

C. the hip

D. back of the leg close to the heel

 

5. Achilles tendonitis is caused by all of the following except? Click on two answers

A. Improper shoe selection

B. Sitting

C. Poor dietary habits

D. Inadequate stretching

View listening scripts/answer key

Listening Practice Test 11: Stringed Instruments

 

1. Match each word according to its definition?

Gut                                                      Grotto                                     Hyper-violin

 

 

 

Contains pictures of old stringed instruments

 

 

 

 

Material used to make strings

 

 

 

 

A new type of stringed instrument

 

2. Identify which object is NOT considered a stringed instrument.

 

Picture A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. In explaining the history of stringed instruments, the professor discussed several events. Put the following events in the order in which they occurred, beginning with the one that was most likely completed first.

Strings are made of steel or steel-wrapped synthetic materials.

The harp is invented.

Violins are first made in Italy.

The bow and the arrow are invented.

 

1

 

 

2

 

 

3

 

 

4

 

4. Which instrument was used by the ancient Greeks?

A drums

B. harp

C. violin

D. cello

 

5. In what ways are stringed instruments alike? Click on two answers.

A. They have strings made of something which will vibrate and produce sound.

B. Air from the player makes the strings vibrate.

C. A hollow container of some kind (the player’s mouth with the musical violin-the body of a modern day violin) is placed under the string to make the sound louder.

D. All stringed instruments are relatively new inventions.

View listening scripts/answer key

 

Listening Practice Test 12

 

 

1. According to the lecture, match each word respective to its description.

Knots                                                   Crow’s nest                             Southampton

 

 

 

 

A type of lookout

 

 

 

 

Used to measure a vessel’s speed

 

 

 

 

City

 

2. What is the Titantic?

A. Ship

B. Airplane

C. Skyscraper

D.Train

 

3. Put the following events in logical order, beginning with the earliest.

The ship is doomed.

Captain Smith goes to bed.

Ice warnings come by telegram.

Iceberg is spotted, and the ship hits it on the side.

 

 

1

 

 

2

 

 

3

 

 

4

 

4. What is an iceberg?

Picture A

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture D

 

 

 

 

 

5. What is true about the Titanic? Choose two answers.

A. The crew failed to spot the fatal iceberg.

B. The captain was awake at the time of the accident.

C. Their binoculars having been misplaced at Southampton made seeing anything difficult.

D. They were repeatedly warned of icebergs.

View listening scripts/answer key

Listening Practice Test 13: Micro Propagation

 

 

1. Match each word according to its definition?

Somatic hybridization            Gene-splicing                                      Micropagation

 

 

 

The result of protoplasts that fuse with each other

 

 

 

 

Reproduction of large numbers of plants from small pieces of the stock

plant.

 

 

 

 

Genetic material is incorporated into a cell

 

 

2. According to the lecture, with which living thing is micro propagation used?

TOEFL Listening Practice Test
Picture A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Match each word according to its description.

Radiation                                            Plant germ plasm                               Enzymatic treatment

 

 

 

 

Is manipulated at the cellular level

 

 

 

 

Known to cause plant mutations

 

 

 

 

 

Stripping a single cell of its cell wall

 

 

4. Identify which part of the plant is the stem.

Picture A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Micro propagation can do all of the following except? Click on two answers.

A. To reproduce large numbers of plants from smaller species of the stock plant

B. To reproduce specific species, such as wooden plants

C. As an alternative to plant fertilizers

D. To clone human beings

View listening scripts/answer key

 

Listening Practice Test 14: Parrots

 

1. According to the lecture, what are the categories for each?

Psittacids                                Symbolic and conceptual tasks                      Alarm signaling

 

 

 

A human-like intelligent behavior

 

 

 

 

Prerequisites for cognitive and communicative skills

 

 

 

A bird species

 

2. Which most likely represents an African Grey parrot?

Picture A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture D

 

 

3. The professor explained several developments in the study of the parrot. Put them in the order in they which occurred, beginning with the earliest.

An African Grey parrot named Alex becomes the focus of a study on interspecies communication and avian intelligence.

Mowrer’s attempts to teach mimetic birds to engage in meaningful communication with humans — used standard psychological laboratory training paradigms and were notsuccessful.

Researchers lacked knowledge of psittacine communication in the wild.

Laboratory researchers in Europe demonstrated that Grey parrots could learn the kinds of symbolic and conceptual tasks.

 

1

 

 

2

 

 

3

 

 

4

 

4. When trainers are not present, where is Alex most likely to stay?

A. A bedroom

B. A small bird cage

C. A laboratory

D. A grass park with trees

 

5. Alex eats all of the following except? Click on two answers

A. Fish

B. Seed mix

C. Potatoes

D. Fresh fruits

View listening scripts/answer key

 

Listening Practice Test 15: Vampire Bats

 

 

1. According to the lecture, what are the definitions for each word(s)?

Pectoral muscles                                            Colonies                                              Gestation

 

 

 

Used to launch the bat into the air

 

 

 

 

Six to eight months in length

 

 

 

 

Structured and with strong social bonds

 

 

2. According to the discussion, the vampire bat’s ability to move side to side and backward is similar to what other animal?

A. Cow

B. Eagle

C. Spider

D. Scorpion

 

3. The professor explains how the vampire bat hunts, finds, and feeds on its prey. Put the following steps in logical order, beginning with the one that the bat would most likely perform first.

It may take up to twenty minutes for the bat to finish its meal.

The bat generally approaches its prey from the ground.

Using smell, sound, echolocation, and possible heat, the bat locates its prey.

The bat makes a small incision and laps up the blood.

 

 

1

 

 

2

 

 

3

 

 

4

 

3. In which environment do bats have the longest lifespan?

Picture A

 

 

 

 

 

Picture B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOEFL listening practice
Picture C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. What is true about the Vampire bat during a feeding frenzy? Click on two answers.

A. The bat may consume up to 20% of its body weight.

B. It will begin excreting plasma before its meal is over.

C. The bat cannot get around very quickly when it is on the ground.

D. It has long, sharp incisors, used to painlessly open up a wound.

View listening scripts/answer key

Additional TOEFL Listening Resources

 

To get more TOEFL listening practice, check out my TOEFL Listening Resources web page:

  • General listening tips to help you improve
  • Introduction to the eight listening comprehension question types and the strategies for answering them

TOEFL Services

 

In addition to the free TOEFL listening practice that you find on this TOEFL Blog, several inexpensive services will help you to reach your target score and subtotal scores:

May the next TOEFL iBT exam you take be your last!

Michael Buckhoff, mbuckhoff@aol.com

Teaching Experience

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