TOEFL Speaking Feedback Example

The first TOEFL speaking feedback example was sent to me by a student who completed an independent speaking task. The second TOEFL speaking example was sent to me by one of my Online TOEFL Course students. She completed an integrated speaking task. Seeing the specific task, the students’ responses, and my feedback will help you to see how you need to perform during the speaking section.

TOEFL Speaking Feedback Example: Independent speaking prompt

What is better when preparing for an exam: studying alone or studying with a group?

TOEFL Speaking Feedback Example: Student’s response to the independent speaking prompt


Feedback provided to the student’s TOEFL independent speaking task


Analysis of the feedback

According to the TOEFL independent speaking rubrics, the student scored a 3.0/4.0 or approximately 23/30 points.

TOEFL Speaking Feedback Example

  • Minor problems with vowel sounds
  • Some minor grammatical mistakes
  • Insuffcient details to illustrate the speaker’s ideas

TOEFL integrated speaking prompt

You will see the reading and the listening passage in the video. At the end of the video, you will see the speaking prompt.

Student’s response to the integrated speaking prompt; feedback provided in response


Analysis of the feedback

According to the TOEFL integrated speaking rubrics, this student scored 2.5/5.0 or 19/30 points.

Unlike the previous example response, this student had more problems with intelligibility:

  • Consonant sounds such as the [t], [d], [p], [b]
  • Long vowel sounds such as [u], [i], and [e]
  • Pacing with thought groups and blending
  • Sentence rhythm and intonation

In addition, this student has some incompleteness or inaccuracy in content.

General speaking tips from these two examples

The first student scored 3.0/4.0 on the independent speaking task. If you want to score higher than this, keep in mind the following tips:

  • Avoid this generic topic statement. Studying alone is better. I have two reasons to support my point of view.
  • Use this more sharply-focused topic statement: Studying alone is more efficient and helps me score higher on tests.
  • Use specific personal details to support your generalizations.

The second student scored 2.5/4.0 on the integrated speaking task. If you want to score higher than this, consider the following points:

  • Pause at the end of each sentence with a lower inflection.
  • Separate each sentence into meaningful thought groups of 4-5 stressed words. Use a slightly higher tone at the end of each thought group in a sentence except the last one.
  • Find a natural rhythm to your speech by placing more stress on content words (i.e, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and verbs). Place less stress on function words (i.e., determiners, prepositions, and auxiliary verbs.
  • Use a topic statement at the beginning of your response that will explicitly show the relationship between the reading and the listening passage: “The reading passage explains the dangers of nuclear energy, and the speaker in the lecture gives an example to further illustrate those dangers.”
  •  Completely and accurately explain the most important points from the reading and listening passage.

May the next TOEFL exam you take be your last!

Michael Buckhoff,

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