The Perfect TOEFL Speaking Response

Last week I discovered the perfect speaking response from one of my Online TOEFL Course students.   Consequently, I gave her a score of 4.0/4.0 or 30/30 pts. on her TOEFL independent speaking practice test.

The Perfect TOEFL Speaking Response


The Perfect TOEFL Speaking Response was based on this prompt.

Some people have careers their whole lives. Other prefer to change jobs at different points in their lives. Which view do you support? Give specific reasons and examples to support your preference.

My video comments about the student’s response to the speaking task

In  the video, you will hear me read the student’s email. In addition, I will give some background about the student so that you can understand that she did not achieve this high level of speaking fluency by luck.  Furthermore, you will hear the student’s response to the speaking task.  Then you will hear my comments about why her speaking practice test is the perfect TOEFL speaking response.

Michael, what then makes the perfect TOEFL speaking response?

You and both know that no one is exactly perfect when it comes to TOEFL speaking, right?  However, you do NOT need to be perfect in your speaking tasks to get the perfect score. Does that make any sense?  In addition, to score 4.0 on an independent speaking task, you will need to perform well in three areas: delivery, language-use, and topic development.

Why does this TOEFL speaking response have good delivery?

As you listen to the student’s practice test in the video, you will notice that she

  • Clearly articulates her vowel and consonant sounds.
  • Speaks with no unnatural pauses or hesitations.
  • Uses a mostly varied tone throughout her response.
  • Breaks up her sentences into meaningful thought groups of 4-5 stressed words.
  • Distinguishes between unstress (function words) and stress (content words) words to give her speech a natural sentence rhythm.

How do you know that the student’s response has superior language-use?

During the student’s response, the student

  • Uses a combination of simple, complex, and compound sentences with a high degree of automaticity.
  • Has no word choice or grammar errors in her response.
  • Uses a combination or basic and advanced vocabulary

What do you like about this speaking practice test’s topic development?

To show a high level of development, the student

  • Breaks her topic into only two reasons, making it easy to provide adequate supporting details.
  • Provides a unique, personal experience example to support each reason outlined in her response.
  • Uses precise vocabulary to support her points.


Teaching Experience

TOEFL Speaking and Writing Feedback Service

TOEFL Private Lessons

Online TOEFL Courses


1 thought on “The Perfect TOEFL Speaking Response”

  1. Pingback: Practice TOEFL Learning Method - Better TOEFL Scores Blog

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