Exam!” “Give me a power-packed TOEFL lesson!”
Listen to this post: speakmicrophone
For my upcoming TOEFL iBT Newsletter, I interviewed Bar, a TOEFL student from Israel. Scoring 105/120 on the TOEFL iBT, he was happy about his TOEFL score. However, the speaking section was his lowest score with only 19/30 points. He told me that he was “totally” unprepared for impromptu speaking in front of a microphone.
His words echoed in my mind for a few days as I thought, “How many students are like Bar, who had not practiced TOEFL speaking before taking the actual TOEFL iBT?” The more test-takers I talk to, the more I discover that many TOEFL iBT test-takers are just as unprepared as Bar was when he took the TOEFL iBT–and particularly unprepared when it comes to delivering coherent, intelligible, and developed TOEFL iBT speaking tasks.
A number of exercises, if you do them regularly, will better prepare you for TOEFL iBT speaking.
1. Read out loud a 100 word academic reading passage. If you cannot find any, use one of my blog posts as your source.
2. Make sure that you digitally record your voice using a microphone. The goal is to practice reading the passage until you can read it in about a minute–with clear pronunciation.
3. Now for the hard part! Take notes on the main points of the reading passage and then, while recording your voice, orally summarize the passage in about a minute. Your goal is to give an accurate oral summary of the passage.
4. Practice until you can talk to the microphone as comfortably as you can talk to your neighbor.
5. Click on the active hyperlinks in this post so you can get more relevant information concerning TOEFL iBT speaking tasks.
6. Make sure that you save your audio files so you can listen to them to see what pronunciation improvements you may want to make.
After putting some of these suggestions into practice, hopefully, you will not be like Bar, who was caught by surprise when he did his TOEFL iBT speaking tasks during the official TOEFL iBT. Unlike Bar, you will be much better prepared!
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