The type of TOEFL speaking details may determine the difference between a score of 23 and 26. Therefore, what type of details should you use?
TOEFL Speaking Details: A student sent me a script of her speaking practice test.
Here is the script that the student sent me:
Original Unedited Response (Too abstract)
If I had to choose the different timing for classes, I would honestly prefer taking classes in the morning.
To begin with, taking morning classes makes me feel good because it conjures me up as if I’m a diligent person who is about to embark on my daily journey. To be honest, I’m not such an early bird person and it’s arduous for me to wake up early in the morning. However, once I wake up trying not to be late for the morning classes, I can even attain extra hours after school to do something that I like. For example, when I was in college, I used to register morning classes, except the required courses with fixed and limited schedule, for the sake of earning hours to relieve stress and refresh myself. Joining work-out programs in the afternoon after finishing morning classes allowed me to be motivated to study again in the evening.
This response will not score high because the ideas are too abstract. In addition, the student does not provide specificity of elaboration to illustrate the argument that she is trying to make.
I revised what the student wrote so that her response would score higher.
In my revision, I added TOEFL speaking details so that the student could see the difference between abstract and concrete details.
Edited Model Response (Concrete) If I had to choose the different timing for classes, I would honestly prefer taking classes in the morning so that I can work out in the afternoon before beginning my evening studies.
Last semester, for example, I decided to take all of my classes in the morning from 8:00-11:50 a.m.: accounting, biology, sociology, chemistry, and expository writing. After my morning classes, I had a lunch, and about 30 minutes later, I went to the university recreational center to do my 90-minute workouts each day. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I would do weight-lifting exercises, and on Tuesday and Thursday I would do cardiovascular exercises such as running, biking, and rowing. Having that workout time in the afternoon relaxed my mind and body and served as a good break between my morning classes and my evening study routine.
If I had not scheduled my classes in the morning, I would not have been able to benefit from this convenient schedule.
This response will score high because I included concrete examples to heighten the elaboration and specificity of the response.
Watch a video of the TOEFL tips that I gave to the student.
Watch the below video so that you can hear the student deliver her speaking practice test. After, I give her feedback so that she can improve her topic development:
Michael Buckhoff, firstname.lastname@example.org
TOEFL Speaking and Writing Feedback Service
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