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The TOEFL ibt review outline

Our TOEFL ibt review contains four parts:

1. ORIENTATION
2. CORE CONCEPTS- The basic skills necessary to
complete the exam.
3. CRACKING- The appropriate strategies to crack
each question type in the exam.
4. DRILLS AND FULL LENGTH PRACTICE TEST- After
working on your strategies and drills, you will get
the chance to practice under real testing
conditions.
WHAT IS THE TOEFL?

The TOEFL is a test that assess your proficiency in


the type of English used in an Academic
environment .
The test is administered on the internet. The exam
takes about four hours to complete.
After finishing the TOEFL ibt you will receive a
score from 0 to 30 for each of the four sections.
You will also receive a total score on a 0 to 120.
Each score corresponds to a percentile ranking.
WHAT IS THE TOEFL?

The Writing and Speaking sections are scored


somewhat differently. Each writing sample
receives a score between 0 to 5. These raw
scores are then converted to the 0 to 30 scale.
Similarly, each speaking test receives a score
from 0 to 4. The score from all six speaking
tasks are averaged and converted to the 0 to
30 scale.
WHAT IS THE TOEFL?

TOEFL IBT Training Objective

The TOEFL is an integrated exam, which means that


each task may measure more than one skill, but
the TOEFL is a STANDARDIZED TEST. Which
means that it consists of definite patterns.

Your goal when preparing for the TOEFL is to make


sure your responses conforms to the patterns
present on the test
• The Listening Section of the TOEFL ibt

Review coverage

Structure of the Listening Test

Understanding predictable patterns

Note taking skills in the TOEFL

Using process of elimination

General test taking strategy


THE LISTENING SECTION ON THE TOEFL

The tasks in the Listening section requires you to


sort through lectures and conversations that are
filled with distracting pauses and brief
digressions. ( an off topic comment )

Let’s take a closer at the structure of these lectures


and conversations.
THE LISTENING SECTION ON THE TOEFL

In a conversation you can expect to hear the


following and must pay attention to the details
contained in each.
Greetings: The two people talking will first exchange greetings.
Statement of the problem/ issue: Conversations usually revolve
around a problem or an issue faced by one of the speakers.
Response: After the problem is raised one of the speakers will
respond usually by making a suggestion to the other.
Resolution: The conversation will end with some sort of closing or
resolution to the problem.
THE LISTENING SECTION ON THE TOEFL

The challenge!
When you are listening to a conversation in the
Toefl ibt you need to focus your note taking
skills to do the following:
• Identify what the topic is.
• Figure out why the topic is being addressed.
• Note the supporting examples.

Since you are allowed to take notes in the listening test, one common
mistake is trying to write too much. Keep your note taking to a
minimum and focus only on major points. (Play track 2 Q275 –AK
291)
THE LISTENING SECTION ON THE TOEFL
Understanding predictable test patterns
TYPES OF CONVERSATION STRUCTURES: Conversations on the
TOEFL ibt fall into some predictable pattern. Try to identify the
Pattern when listening to the people speak.

1. Problem/Solution: Usually the first question in the TOEFL ibt


involves one student who has a problem and another student offers
a solution. Listen for what the problem is and what the steps or
solutions the speaker may take to solve it.

2. Service Encounter: In this situation, a student will discuss a problem


with a professional– usually a professor, a librarian or an office
worker. The problem will be introduced in the same way as in the
conversation type , but the response may differ. The service
professional will usually explain exactly what the students need to
do to solve the problem. The solution may involve several parts
THE LISTENING SECTION ON THE TOEFL
Understanding predictable test patterns

3. Significant Event: Some conversations on the TOEFL revolve around a


significant event. This could be a meeting , an announcement or a
social event or a social event. Don’t forget to note what the speaker’s
plans are concerning the event.
THE LISTENING SECTION ON THE TOEFL
Understanding predictable test patterns
QUESTION TYPES IN THE CONVERSATION PART: In the conversation part
of the TOEFL , questions can be put into one of four main categories .
The questions are listed in order of frequency.

1. Meaning questions: “ What does the man/ woman mean”? The first
speaker sets up the conversation with a direct or indirect question or
a general statement to which the second speaker responds . The
second speaker holds the answer to the question. Example:
Ana: Have you heard about the new periodical wing that the
administration wants to add on the to the south side of the library?
Jim: Yeah, I can barely wait until it is finished
THE LISTENING SECTION ON THE TOEFL
Understanding predictable test patterns
Question:

WHAT DOES THE MAN MEAN?


a. The library just opened a new section
b. He is eager to take advantage of the new library wing
c. The new library will be extra crowded
d. The administration wants to close the library

For meaning question on the TOEFL ibt, ask yourself what did the
second speaker say? Concentrate on how the second speaker
responds to what the first speaker said.
THE LISTENING SECTION ON THE TOEFL
Understanding predictable test patterns
2. Infer / Imply questions: these questions are easy to recognize because you
will read the word infer/ imply in the question.
What can be inferred about the woman?
What does the woman imply?
What can be inferred about the conversation

Basically to imply something is to express it indirectly, and to infer


something is to draw conclusion from given facts. Example:

Jim: I have to stop at the bank before dinner. I’m down to my last few dollars.
Ana: why bother? I thought we’d use the gift certificate I got from my
graduation present
THE LISTENING SECTION ON THE TOEFL
Understanding predictable test patterns
Question:

WHAT DOES THE WOMAN IMPLY ?


a. Dinner has been cancelled
b. The man will not be able to afford dinner
c. Dinner will be free of charge
d. The bank is too far away.

The best answer correctly paraphrases “ Why bother? I’d thought we’d
use the gift certificates I got for my graduation present.
THE LISTENING SECTION ON THE TOEFL
Understanding predictable test patterns
3. Action questions: Some typical action questions are:

What does the man suggest the woman do?


What will the woman probably do?

These are questions that center on the “Action word” in the conversation.
Again listen closely to the speakers for clues as to what will happen next.
Example

Jim: I’m just about sick of all this chemistry homework. I don’t even have a
spare minute to cook.

Woman: Well, if it would help at all, I could run to the cafeteria and pick
something up for you.
THE LISTENING SECTION ON THE TOEFL
Understanding predictable test patterns
Question:

WHAT WILL THE WOMAN PROBABLY DO ?


a. Help the man with his homework.
b. Get some food for the man.
c. Find out where the man can exercise.
d. Buy some medicine for the man.

Action questions are either about what the second speaker will do or
what the second speaker recommends.
THE LISTENING SECTION ON THE TOEFL
Understanding predictable test patterns
4. Detail Questions: Detail questions may appear in several forms, yet it
is easy to recognize them because they refer to specific items
mentioned in the conversation. Some typical detail questions are:

What does the man want to know? What do the speakers say about?
What happened to the…….? What is the man’s problem?

Detail questions are those that center on a particular item mentioned in


the conversation.
Ana: Jim have you stopped by the registrar to drop off your reservation
voucher for a seat at next week’s graduation?
Jim: You know what my schedule has been like recently, so I just got
Jennifer to do it yesterday.
THE LISTENING SECTION ON THE TOEFL
Understanding predictable test patterns
Question:

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE RESERVATION VOUCHER ?


a. The woman forgot to give it to Jennifer.
b. Jennifer took it to the registrar.
c. It was lost at graduation.
d. John traded it for a seat.

Action questions are either about what the second speaker will do or
what the second speaker recommends.
THE LISTENING SECTION ON THE TOEFL
Understanding predictable test patterns
FOUR POE (PROCESS OF ELIMINATION TECHNIQUES)

Let’s say you are taking the TOEFL ibt and you are experiencing a lot of
trouble understanding the words on the recording and hears
something like this..
Woman: Will Mary bbebebebbblalaa Sunday?
Man: Sunday blalal bebebeb blah Mary’s
Now look at the answer choices. Remember, the only words you
understood were Sunday and Mary.
THE LISTENING SECTION ON THE TOEFL
Understanding predictable test patterns
THREE POE (PROCESS OF ELIMINATION TECHNIQUES)

Question:
WHAT DOES THE MAN MEAN?
a. Sunday is a day Mary often works.
b. Mary rarely works on Sunday
c. Some days Mary’s work is awful.
d. Mary has had a terrible cough last Sunday.

Opposites: TOEFL often tries to trap test takers by giving one wrong
answer choice which look pretty similar to the correct answer but
will mean the opposite.
In the TOEFL if there is pair of OPPOSITES in the answer choice one of
them is likely the correct answer!
THE LISTENING SECTION ON THE TOEFL
Understanding predictable test patterns
THREE POE (PROCESS OF ELIMINATION TECHNIQUES)

Extremes: Always remember that the TOEFL ibt talks will not contain anything controversial, violent
passionate or silly.
Question:

WHAT DOES THE MAN MEAN?

a. Sunday is a day Mary often works.


b. Mary rarely works on Sunday
c. Some days Mary’s work is awful.
d. Mary has had a terrible cough last Sunday.

Use common sense and process of elimination to eliminate any answer choice that are too extreme.
The answer choice containing the word AWFUL is too extreme. Any answer choice that might contain
negative connotations and extreme words are automatically wrong.
THE LISTENING SECTION ON THE TOEFL
Understanding predictable test patterns
THREE POE (PROCESS OF ELIMINATION TECHNIQUES)

3. Literal meanings of idioms: idiomatic expressions: idiomatic


expressions in English mean something different from their apparent
meaning. They are a group of words known individually but together,
the words makes no sense.

I n this case you can eliminate any answer choice that gives a literal
translation
Ana: How did rob perform in the production of Romeo and Juliet last
night?
Jim: You wouldn’t believe it! He performed head and shoulders above
the rest of the cast.
THE LISTENING SECTION ON THE TOEFL
Understanding predictable test patterns
Question:

WHAT DOES THE MAN MEAN?


a. Rob is too tall to be an actor.
b. Rob’s performance was excellent.
c. Rob was suspended above the stage.
d. No one believed how terrible it was.

Now, let us use the POE techniques we learned from our previous
discussions and make your choice of answer.
THE LISTENING SECTION ON THE TOEFL
The Academic Lecture

In the academic Lecture part of the listening section , your task is


to listen to long conversation and lectures

During the conversations a picture will appear on the computer


screen of a professor talking in a type of university setting.

The professor will lead a discussion on an undetermined


academic subject.

Although the professor will do majority of the speaking, two or


three students at most will participate in the discussion.

Each lecture is followed by six questions.


THE LISTENING SECTION ON THE TOEFL
The Academic Lecture

Picture flips: Due to the new question types introduced on the


TOEFL ibt, occasionally the picture of the lecturing professor
disappears, and a word, diagram, graph or picture appears on
the computer screen.

These picture flips occur during the lectures. You must pay close
attention and take notes to what is being said about the word,
diagram, graph or picture that appears on the screen.
100% sure that TOEFL will ask you a question about that word,
diagram or picture.
THE LISTENING SECTION ON THE TOEFL
The Academic Lecture

GENERAL STRATEGY
TOEFL will only ask 4 to 6 questions about each long conversation
or lecture; therefore you only need to remember 4 to 6 pieces of
information. Your short term memory plus your systematic note
taking will be most helpful here.

The trick is to figure out which pieces of information you need to


remember and write. The TOEFL ibt has some recognizable
patterns that you cal look for.
THE LISTENING SECTION ON THE TOEFL
The Academic Lecture
GENERAL STRATEGY

INTRODUCTION: In the first part of the lecture the narrator will say
several introductory sentences. Listen for any key words that gives
you clues as to the main topic. For example, you might hear:

Narrator: Listen to a professor discuss the side effects of an experimental drug being
tested on cancer patients
The question type associated in the Introductory part of the lecture
Is the Main idea question. Main idea questions test how well you
understand and interpret the general content of the talk. This type of
question are usually asked in the following forms:
What is the purpose of the talk?
What is the main purpose of the talk?
What is the professor mainly discussing?
THE LISTENING SECTION ON THE TOEFL
The Academic Lecture
GENERAL STRATEGY
Questions/ Definitions: If at any time during the conversations or lectures the students
pose rhetorical questions listen closely for the answer of the professor. Also, if the
professor at any time define vocabulary words or if a word appears on the screen listen
closely and take notes!

The question type associated in the Question/ Definition part of the lecture is the Detail
question. Detail questions ask for specific facts mentioned in the lectures. These
question types do not involve pictures. Detail questions will appear on the test as
follows:

What does the professor say about the way steamer ships sail?
According to the speaker, why do ants live in colonies?
How does the students manage to take so many courses?
According to the professor , what is a monologue?

Note:
The answer choices in a detail question on the Academic lecture part; three of the four
answer choices simply were not mentioned in the passage or were mentioned in
association with a topic other than the one asked about.
THE LISTENING SECTION ON THE TOEFL
The Academic Lecture
GENERAL STRATEGY
List and Examples: The speakers will frequently give list of items to
illustrate or clearly provide details about what they are discussing.
They also provide examples to support their claims. If you hear lists
or words or examples; listen for and take notes of specific details or
unusual details that surround them.

The question type associated in the List and example part of the lecture
is the Clicking on One of four letters and Multiple answer
questions.
THE LISTENING SECTION ON THE TOEFL
The Academic Lecture
Clicking on One of four letters may come in two different forms; Clicking on one of four
letters in a picture or clicking on one of four pictures. These question types always refer to
a picture, map or diagram.

Click on the letter that indicates the location of the first site where
West Point is located
THE LISTENING SECTION ON THE TOEFL
The Academic Lecture
GENERAL STRATEGY
Multiple answer questions: Multiple answer questions asks for specific facts
mentioned in the conversation or lectures. However they ask you to click on
two choices rather than ovals. These questions do not involve pictures.
Multiple questions may appear in the exam as follows.
What security procedures does the librarian tell the man he must follow?

Click on two answers


a. Show her his note cards before leaving.
b. Allow his ID card to be copied
c. Submit a deposit of five dollars
d. Sign in and out of the archives room
note: One simple strategy when answering this type of question is to not click on
opposite answer choices. If two statements contradict each other it is impossible for
them both to be correct
THE LISTENING SECTION ON THE TOEFL
The Academic Lecture
GENERAL STRATEGY
Comparisons: From time to time the speakers will compare two or more
objects. Listen closely for the similarities and differences among the
objects being compared. TOEFL might use these comparisons for
matching questions.

The question type associated with Comparisons is Matching question:


Matching questions ask that you match items in one category with
items in another category
The professor categorizes joints by how they are held together. Indicate whether
each sentence below describes a synovial joint or cartilaginous joint.

Click on the correct box for each phrase


Synovial Cartilaginous

A special liquid lubricates


and nourishes the joint

There is no cavity between


the joints

The joint is covered with a


membrane lined sac
Only lining of smooth
tissues protects the bones
The joint has limited
movement
Pay close attention to any similarities and differences among objects being
compared during the conversation or lecture ( play T7 p. 279 )
• The Reading Section of the TOEFL ibt

Review coverage

Structure of the reading Test

Understanding predictable patterns

Reading skills in the TOEFL ibt

Using process of elimination

General test taking strategy


THE READING SECTION ON THE TOEFL IBT
In the TOEFL reading test there are three to five passages each
approximately 700 words long.

Each passage is followed by about 12 to 14 questions.

You will have 60 to 100 minutes to complete the entire test.

As mentioned in the introduction, many of the questions are Multiple


choice and worth one point each, but some questions are worth two
or more points. Typically questions that are worth more appear at the
end of the section
THE READING SECTION ON THE TOEFL IBT

Here you can see how the screen will look like in the exam. You’ll notice that some words
Appear in gray boxes . These words have a special type of question associated with
them. Remember if you prefer you are free to skip questions within this section.
THE READING SECTION ON THE TOEFL IBT

On the TOEFL reading section, you are not expected to


give your interpretation of what you’ve read. You
are not required to analyze what you’ve read.

All you’re asked to do is simply find the answer to the


question in the passage or in some cases infer what must
be true based on the information provided in the passage
THE READING SECTION ON THE TOEFL IBT
The TOEF ibt reading passages are not designed to be read
from top to bottom! If you try to read the entire passages
as the test makers suggest you will not be able to finish the
test. This is the first trap you must learn to avoid!
The passages are about science, history, social studies, and
the arts.
Here are the three main reasons as to why you must not
spend so much time reading the passages, which is the
initial formula for you to fail!
THE READING SECTION ON THE TOEFL IBT

TOEFL IBT reading materials are carefully edited by test


personnel who make sure that all of the reading passages
are:
1. Boring and difficult to concentrate.

2. Dense, containing many unimportant details. The answers


to the questions are hidden among all the complicated
details and hard vocabulary.

3. Poorly constructed, lacking transitional phrases that make


the passages clear and easy to understand
WHAT IS THE TOEFL?

Reading Strategy

SAVING TIME = 1-1-1-L

Read the first sentence of the first paragraph


The first sentence of the second paragraph
The first sentence of each remaining paragraph
The last sentence of the last paragraph.

Let’s try it!!


Despite the fact that too much fat can be require these fat soluble vitamins, without which
harmful a moderate fat intake is essentially physical development disorders and infertility occur
normal for the maintenance of good health. respectively.
Some of the symptoms of fat deficiency include ;
flaking skin, emaciation, reduced functioning of There are several theories to explain the
the immune system and fertility problems. method of fat absorption. One such theory that
Recent studies have not only linked fat free diets holds the ephithelial cells in the lining of the
to an increase in stress and aggression, but also to small intestine directly absorb fat. Once the fat
a dramatic rise in eating disorders such as is broken down into glycerol, the fat is then
anorexia and bulimia. The consumption of fat absorbed into the lymphatic system or directly
indirectly decreases the total amount of food into the blood stream. Medical research indicates
intake by producing a feeling of satiety that lasts the possibility that saturated fats, like those found
much longer than the sensation of fullness in red meat, dairy products and tropical oils,
produced by protein or carbohydrates actually raise the level of cholesterol that builds as
plaque on the arterial walls and eventually
Nutritionally fat is valued as a source of energy contributes to the incidence of arteriosclerosis,
it contains much less oxygen than other however some types of fat actually help to reduce
nutrients and subsequently releases an harmful cholesterol levels. Polyunsaturated fats
enormous amount of energy due to rapid such as corn, soybeans and sesame oil, and
oxidation. Medical experts recommend that at mono- saturated fats like chicken fats and olive
least two teaspoons of fat per day be consumed. oil contribute to lower blood cholesterol count.
Any less serious inhibits the digestive system
from absorbing fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, After using this technique you did
E. and K all of which play an essential role for not only save valuable time. You
having a healthy hair, skin teeth and eyes. also have some idea as to what the
Children and adults both main idea of the passage is about
THE READING SECTION ON THE TOEFL IBT

The reading section is LINEAR. This means that the questions do not
disappear once you have answered them. You can skip the hard
questions and answer them later.

For every passage there are eight to twelve questions that follows, the
first skill you need to learn is to how to distinguish the easy questions
from the hard ones.

There are nine different types of questions in the Reading section of the
TOEFL ibt. These questions are categorized as FIRST PASS (EASY)
SECOND PASS (MEDIUM) THIRD PASS (HARD)
THE READING SECTION ON THE TOEFL IBT
Pass means to systematically work through or pass through
the passage. As the various question types are introduced,

The general rule is to pass all questions that are hard and to answer all
easy questions first! Through practice you will be able to work more
confidently and the correct answers will be easier to anticipate.
First- Pass questions Second-Pass questions Third-Pass questions
Vocabulary in context Main idea questions Infer/imply questions
Reference questions Paraphrase questions Except/not questions
Detail questions Black square sentence Summary Questions
insertion questions a. Prose summary
questions
b. Fill in table questions
THE READING SECTION ON THE TOEFL IBT

CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER

One essential strategy for the TOEFL ibt is learning to analyze the
biggest and most obvious test pattern in the exam.

The TOEFl reading passage in both the Computer based and internet
based test arranges the questions in the order in which they appear
in the test.
Always remember where you found the answer to the previous question
to help you locate the next question . In other words the answer to
question 5 will be found in the text after the line where you found
the answer to question 4!
THE READING SECTION ON THE TOEFL IBT

PACING
Pacing is crucial in the reading test. You want to avoid going too fast or
too slow. TOEFL arranges the passages in loose order of progressive
difficulty. Always expect the last passage to be more difficult than
the first.
Due to this progression, it is logical to start at the beginning of the
reading section answer the easy questions first, the second pass
second, and third pas questions third.

If at any time a question is too difficult, skip it and come back at the very
end of the test.
THE READING SECTION ON THE TOEFL IBT

FIRST-PASS QUESTIONS: First pass questions are considered the easiest


questions on the TOEFL . They are easy to locate and take the least
amount of time to answer. More than half of the question will be
first pass!

Vocabulary in Context: For VIC questions, you have to select the best
synonym in the passage. In other words, a VIC question is about the
definition of a word. Look at the example on the following page
THE READING SECTION ON THE TOEFL IBT
look at the word highlighted in
All animal life on the planet earth the text. Click on the answer
depends on a sufficient supply of choice that is closest in meaning
oxygen for its day to day survival. to the word blanketed
The trees that now just decorated
sporadically dot our landscape , hid
but once heavily blanketed the warmed
earth’s surface, still are able to
covered
provide a large portion of the
oxygen supply. For VIC question such as this one,
you’ll need to two sentences: the one
in which the word is contained and the
other one that comes before it. Then
eliminate any choice that doesn’t
mean the same.
THE READING SECTION ON THE TOEFL IBT

Vocabulary in context 2

TOEFL has another method of testing, VIC words. On the left side of the
computer screen, you will see several sentences in bold text with the
VIC word being tested highlighted. Look at the example on the
following page.
THE READING SECTION ON THE TOEFL IBT
passage. Click on the word or
Lighting, fire, volcanoes and phrase in the bold text that has
earthquakes occur without the same meaning
warning and not only rapidly
destroy many square miles of old
growth forest in a matter of
hours, but may also permanently
prevent new trees from growing.
Likewise disease causing fungi
and insect pests can either
eradicate certain types of
Rather than clicking on one of the
four answer choices that TOEFL has
provided you must click on the word
that greedy is synonymous or
antonymous
Look at the word eradicate in the
THE READING SECTION ON THE TOEFL IBT

Reference questions : in the TOEFL, reference questions ask you to


determine what a noun or pronoun refers to.

On the left side of the computer screen, you will see several sentences
in bold text with the VIC reference word being tested highlighted.

Reference questions are easy to spot. Simply look for the questions that
use the word refer . Look at the following example on the next page.
THE READING SECTION ON THE TOEFL IBT

All species of trees have evolved look at the word highlighted word
from plants that flourished many in the passage. Click on the word
centuries ago in warm and wet or phrase in the bold text that it
tropical regions of the planet . As refers to.
the distribution of trees has spread
to other regions, the differing
climates of these regions have
effectively limited the type of trees
For reference questions , First read
that can live there. The greater the range the sentences in bold and find
whether the noun being tested is
of temperature and rainfall that a certain
singular or plural . In this case it is a
specie of tree can withstand, the more singular pronoun. Search for other
singular nouns in the bold text.
adaptable it is and therefore the wider the
range of distribution.
• James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins are the Nobel prize-
winning molecular biologists credited with the discovery of the double
helix shape of DNA. DNA, the enzymes that make up the chromosomes
and therefore the cells of the body, are linked together in two parallel
strands of billions of enzymes which coil around the one another. This
pattern resembles curled train rails intertwined and twisted around
each other to form an overlapping and spiraled strand of genetic
information. This discovery is one of the most significant in the entire
field of molecular biology.

• Some recent investigations have uncovered evidence that Watson,


Crick, and Wilkins were not the sole specialists researching the
properties of DNA. A British scientist, Rosalind Franklin, may have
contributed to crucial experimental work which led to the discovery of
the DNA strand. Franklin spent the first half of her professional career in
England where she researched how rodents responded to
interbreeding. She later relocated to France soon after the Second
World War. Under the guidance of French crystallographer Jacques
Mering, who is credited with the first mapping of crystal scaffolding, she
learned to design complex models of various chemical compositions. In Question 6 of 9
addition, she perfected a technique for diffracting X-rays. After
returning to England in 1951, she began conducting experiments in Look at the highlighted word in the passage. Click on
molecular genetics at King’s College Cambridge under the critical the word or phrase in the bold text that it refers to
supervision of James Randal.

• At Cambridge, Franklin ingeniously combined her knowledge of X-ray


diffraction with chemical and crystal mapping to successfully
photograph a rough image of a single strand of DNA. Unfortunately,
the equipment she used was substandard and it exposed her to
dangerous X-rays. In 1956, Franklin learned she had cancer and died
two years later. Some scientists now speculate that the overexposure to
dangerous X-rays during the course of her work was actually the cause
of her cancer. Subsequently, Franklin’s compiled notes were given over
the Watson, Crick, and Wilkins who then went on to perfect nucleic acid
research. When the three scientists finally did receive the Nobel prize,
they gave no credit to Franklin for the crucial work she performed which
led to the discovery of the double helix shape of DNA.
THE READING SECTION ON THE TOEFL IBT

Detail questions : Ask for specific facts contained in the passage. You’ll
need to see what information is required , then go to the passage to
find it.

There are at least two detail questions for each passage. The strategy to
finding the answer is the same: use chronological order and lead
words.

Now let’s put everything we learned about first pass questions in


practice

Use 307 to 314 for exercises


• James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins are the Nobel prize-
winning molecular biologists credited with the discovery of the double
helix shape of DNA. DNA, the enzymes that make up the chromosomes
and therefore the cells of the body, are linked together in two parallel
strands of billions of enzymes which coil around the one another. This
pattern resembles curled train rails intertwined and twisted around
Question 7 of 9
each other to form an overlapping and spiraled strand of genetic
information. This discovery is one of the most significant in the entire According to the passage to what do scientist
field of molecular biology. attribute Franklin’s cancer?

• Some recent investigations have uncovered evidence that Watson, Radiation from world war II
Crick, and Wilkins were not the sole specialists researching the
properties of DNA. A British scientist, Rosalind Franklin, may have Faulty and inadequate equipment
contributed to crucial experimental work which led to the discovery of
the DNA strand. Franklin spent the first half of her professional career in Genetic Inheritance
England where she researched how rodents responded to
interbreeding. She later relocated to France soon after the Second Overexposure to dangerous chemicals
World War. Under the guidance of French crystallographer Jacques
Mering, who is credited with the first mapping of crystal scaffolding, she
learned to design complex models of various chemical compositions. In
addition, she perfected a technique for diffracting X-rays. After
returning to England in 1951, she began conducting experiments in
molecular genetics at King’s College Cambridge under the critical
supervision of James Randal.

• At Cambridge, Franklin ingeniously combined her knowledge of X-ray


diffraction with chemical and crystal mapping to successfully
photograph a rough image of a single strand of DNA. Unfortunately, the
equipment she used was substandard and it exposed her to dangerous
X-rays. In 1956, Franklin learned she had cancer and died two years
later. Some scientists now speculate that the overexposure to
dangerous X-rays during the course of her work was actually the cause
of her cancer. Subsequently, Franklin’s compiled notes were given over
the Watson, Crick, and Wilkins who then went on to perfect nucleic acid
research. When the three scientists finally did receive the Nobel prize,
they gave no credit to Franklin for the crucial work she performed which USE CHRONOLGY AND LEAD WORD
led to the discovery of the double helix shape of DNA.
THE READING SECTION ON THE TOEFL IBT

SECOND PASS QUESTIONS: While you were answering the first-pass


questions, you indirectly read the passage you actually took in more
information than you might think! Use that information to answer the
second pass questions .

Main idea questions: Main idea questions almost always appear first!
This is a trap that TOEFL uses to force you to read the entire passage.
If you answer this question first, not only you will lose an incredible
amount of time reading and re-reading the whole passage, but you
will also most likely to answer incorrectly!
THE READING SECTION ON THE TOEFL IBT

Main idea questions are as follows:

Which of the following statements best express the main


idea of the passage?

What does the passage mainly discuss?

With which of the following subjects is the passage mainly


concerned?
• James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins are the Nobel prize-
winning molecular biologists credited with the discovery of the double
helix shape of DNA. DNA, the enzymes that make up the chromosomes
and therefore the cells of the body, are linked together in two parallel
strands of billions of enzymes which coil around the one another. This
pattern resembles curled train rails intertwined and twisted around
each other to form an overlapping and spiraled strand of genetic Question 1 of 9
information. This discovery is one of the most significant in the entire
field of molecular biology. What is the main idea of the passage?

• Some recent investigations have uncovered evidence that Watson, How Rosalind franklin was instrumental in the
Crick, and Wilkins were not the sole specialists researching the discovery of the shape of DNA
properties of DNA. A British scientist, Rosalind Franklin, may have
contributed to crucial experimental work which led to the discovery of Whether Watson, Crick and Wilkins were
the DNA strand. Franklin spent the first half of her professional career in students of the physicist Rosalind Franklin
England where she researched how rodents responded to
interbreeding. She later relocated to France soon after the Second How the double Helix shape of the DNA
World War. Under the guidance of French crystallographer Jacques molecule radically altered genetics
Mering, who is credited with the first mapping of crystal scaffolding, she
learned to design complex models of various chemical compositions. In
The dangers of using potentially substandard x-
addition, she perfected a technique for diffracting X-rays. After
ray equipment
returning to England in 1951, she began conducting experiments in
molecular genetics at King’s College Cambridge under the critical
supervision of James Randal. USE

• At Cambridge, Franklin ingeniously combined her knowledge of X-ray


diffraction with chemical and crystal mapping to successfully
photograph a rough image of a single strand of DNA. Unfortunately, the
equipment she used was substandard and it exposed her to dangerous
X-rays. In 1956, Franklin learned she had cancer and died two years
later. Some scientists now speculate that the overexposure to
dangerous X-rays during the course of her work was actually the cause
of her cancer. Subsequently, Franklin’s compiled notes were given over
the Watson, Crick, and Wilkins who then went on to perfect nucleic acid
research. When the three scientists finally did receive the Nobel prize,
they gave no credit to Franklin for the crucial work she performed which USE 1-1-L AND POE TO GET THE
led to the discovery of the double helix shape of DNA.
CORRECT ANSWER
THE READING SECTION ON THE TOEFL IBT

Paraphrase questions: Our next group of questions deals with


the passage and its structure.

The objective is to find which among the four choices best


paraphrases the highlighted sentence in the passage
THE READING SECTION ON THE TOEFL IBT
Which of the following choice best express the
essential meaning of the highlighted
But until it hardens, the new coat is tender sentences in paragraph 7?
and easily penetrated. Accordingly the
arthropod must remain in hiding. Arthropods are only vulnerable to predators
Otherwise, it risks being snapped up by a during the period in which their shell is tender
and easily penetrated.
predator clever enough to take
advantage of its lowered Predators typically prefer to eat arthropods that
defenses . are waiting for their new coats to harden.

While the arthropod’s shell is hardening, the


If you’re having trouble paraphrasing arthropod can not rely on its shell to protect it
the sentence in question the easiest from predators.
way is to eliminate answer choices that
introduces new information POE. When the Arthropod defenses are lowered it will
Eliminate answer choices that contains use many different strategies to avoid predators.
a different subject in the sentence.
THE READING SECTION ON THE TOEFL IBT

Black square questions: TOEFL introduces a question type called Black


square insertion questions. In the passage on the left side of the
computer screen, anywhere from 4 to 10 boxes will appear. On the
right side of the screen, a sentence will appear followed by the
question ,

Where would the sentence best fit in the passage? Click on the
square to add the sentence to the passage. When you point and
click the mouse on a black square, the designated sentence will
appear in place of it.
• Part of a passage: Their demise also
resulted in the extinction of a half-dozen
Look at the four squares that
species of forest insects and the severe
indicate where the following
crippling of other animal populations such
sentence could be added to the
as the wild turkey: these all relied on the
passage.
American Chestnut as a source of habitat
and food. Affected wildlife attempted to
adapt to their disrupted environment by
looking to other species of trees, such as In fact, is it widely believed that the
the A corn, and seed-bearing plants for scope of its devastation far eclipses
food. This placed great ecological even that of the fungal disease, also
pressure on those species, as none could accidentally introduced, that
equal the American Chestnut in its ability to ravaged Dutch Elm trees across
provide a consistently abundant crop of Europe and North America, from
nuts. The problems the American 1910 to 1928.
Chestnut blight engendered thus show the
ripple effects that can occur within any
ecosystem when new elements are
introduced in an unsound manner. The easiest way to answer black square
questions is to use Chronology
technique. Then after inserting read he
sentences before and after you just
inserted
• Use l long man drills / inferences passage 3 question 8 as example
THE READING SECTION ON THE TOEFL IBT
Third pass questions: Third pass questions should be left until last
because they almost always use paraphrases and synonyms. They
take longer to answer and can’t be answered by reading only one or
two sentences.

Except/ not questions: Except not questions are the easiest of the
third pass questions, but they can require a lot of time. The correct
answer to an except / not is always the choice that does not answer
the question.
Their demise also resulted in the
Question: According to paragraph 3, all of the
extinction of a half-dozen species of forest following were results of the wide disappearance of
American Chestnut trees EXCEPT:
insects and the severe crippling of other
animal populations such as the wild A. The loss of creatures who required the
tree's resources for their survival.
turkey: these all relied on the American
Chestnut as a source of habitat and food. B. Overuse of other types of trees by wildlife
Affected wildlife attempted to adapt to attempting to compensate for the change.

their disrupted environment by looking to C. A reduction in the total output of


other species of trees, such as the Acorn, harvested nut crops within many major
American forests.
and seed-bearing plants for food. This
placed great ecological pressure on those D. Macro-changes to the environment in
which the trees previously flourished.
species, as none could equal the American
Chestnut in its ability to provide a
consistently abundant crop of nuts. The
problems the American Chestnut blight The easiest way to answer except/not
engendered thus show the ripple effects questions is to use Chronology
that can occur within any ecosystem when technique, go backward to narrow
new elements are introduced in an down the area that you need to search.
unsound manner. Then use lead words to find where they
appear in the passage. Usually the three
Answer is c// use long man drills I skills// inferences question # 9 as an example choices appear as a list in the passage
THE READING SECTION ON THE TOEFL IBT

Infer / imply questions: Infer/ imply questions are difficult to


answer. They contain the words “infer”, imply and
“suggest”. This question type request information not
directly stated in the passage. Infer/imply questions are
commonly phrased as follows:
It can be inferred from the passage that….

The author implies that

Based on the information in paragraph 3 what can be


inferred about…..
• James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins are the Nobel prize-
winning molecular biologists credited with the discovery of the double
helix shape of DNA. DNA, the enzymes that make up the chromosomes
and therefore the cells of the body, are linked together in two parallel
strands of billions of enzymes which coil around the one another. This
pattern resembles curled train rails intertwined and twisted around
each other to form an overlapping and spiraled strand of genetic
information. This discovery is one of the most significant in the entire Question 8 of 9
field of molecular biology.
It can be inferred from the passage that before world
• Some recent investigations have uncovered evidence that Watson, war II, Franklin
Crick, and Wilkins were not the sole specialists researching the
properties of DNA. A British scientist, Rosalind Franklin, may have Was uninterested in genetic science
contributed to crucial experimental work which led to the discovery of
the DNA strand. Franklin spent the first half of her professional career in Immigrated to the United States
England where she researched how rodents responded to
interbreeding. She later relocated to France soon after the Second
Worked in England
World War. Under the guidance of French crystallographer Jacques
Mering, who is credited with the first mapping of crystal scaffolding, she
learned to design complex models of various chemical compositions. In Changed her course of study at Cambridge
addition, she perfected a technique for diffracting X-rays. After
returning to England in 1951, she began conducting experiments in
molecular genetics at King’s College Cambridge under the critical
For infer / imply questions you have to use POE
supervision of James Randal.
aggressively eliminate any answer choice that:

• At Cambridge, Franklin ingeniously combined her knowledge of X-ray Is not directly supported by the passage in the form of
diffraction with chemical and crystal mapping to successfully
paraphrase.
photograph a rough image of a single strand of DNA. Unfortunately, the
equipment she used was substandard and it exposed her to dangerous
X-rays. In 1956, Franklin learned she had cancer and died two years Repeats information word for word from the passage.
later. Some scientists now speculate that the overexposure to
dangerous X-rays during the course of her work was actually the cause Introduces ideas not found in the passage.
of her cancer. Subsequently, Franklin’s compiled notes were given over
the Watson, Crick, and Wilkins who then went on to perfect nucleic acid Contains extreme words such as: always, never, must and
research. When the three scientists finally did receive the Nobel prize, shall.
they gave no credit to Franklin for the crucial work she performed which
led to the discovery of the double helix shape of DNA. Violates common sense.
The Writing Section
TOEFL IBT
The final section of the TOEFL measures your ability
to communicate in an academic environment.
On the Writing section, you’ll be asked to do the
following:
•Read a passage on an academic subject, listen to a
lecture on the same topic, and write an essay that
discusses the relationship between the two. You’ll have
three minutes to read and 20 minutes to respond.
•Write an essay that states, explains and supports your
position on an issue. You’ll have 30 minutes to write this
essay.

You will have 30 minutes to complete both tasks.


HOW THE WRITING SECTION IS
SCORED
Your TOEFL essays are graded on a 0 to 5
scale. A top-scoring essay on the TOEFL
accomplishes the following:
•Addresses the topic and the task
•Is well organized and uses appropriate
examples
•Display unity, progress, and coherence
•Displays consistent facility in the use of
language
It is worth noting that only one of the four criteria
focuses on your use of language.

The rest are concerned with how well you complete


the task and how organized your writing is. So keep
in mind that overall structure and content is more
important than perfect grammar.

Essay that are disorganized or lack focus are difficult


to read. An essay that is difficult to read is going to
receive a low score By writing a focused, organized
essay, you’ll make it easy for the grader to give you a
score a 4 or 5.
WRITING SECTION DIRECTION
It is important to note that your first wiring
task will require both a reading and listening
part, so you’ll need to leave your headset on.
Your essay must be typed, so you should have
some familiarity with the keyboard before you
take the TOEFL.
For the first task, you will have three minutes
to read a passage. After that time is finished,
the passage is removed from the screen, and
you will listen to a lecture on the same topic.

You may take notes during the reading and


the lecture. When the lecture is finished,
you’ll have 20 minutes to write an essay on
the relationship between the reading and the
lecture. Your response must not include
personal opinions. The reading passage will
reappear on the screen for your reference.
The second task is much simpler. You will have
30 minutes to write a response to a prompt.
There is no reading or lecture; you are asked
to provide your personal views on a subject.
CRACKING THE WRITING SECTION:
BASIC PRINCIPLES
There are a few things to keep in mind when
writing your essays for the TOEFL. As with the
Speaking section, the graders are not expecting
perfection.

They realize that you are essentially writing the


first draft of an essay. Given the limited amount
of time provided, they expect you to make a few
grammatical mistakes and misspell a few words.
Furthermore, in many ways the graders are
looking more at how you write, not what you
write. The structure and organization of your
essay is just as important as the content of
your essay.
When writing your essay, be aware of the
following important points:

•Make sure you answer the question appropriately.


•Make sure your essay is long enough.
•Make sure your essay is clearly organized.
Basic Principle #1: Make Sure You
Answer the Question Appropriately
One of the first things the graders will look at
when reading your essay is if you answered
the question in the prompt. Well-written
essays that don’t address the task will lose
points. Therefore, it is important that you
know about the two different tasks you will
be asked to do.
The first task asks you to summarize and relate the
points in a lecture to those in a reading.
Thus, your essay should contain only facts from the
material.
All you are expected to do is report the main points
mentioned and show how they are related to each
other.

You should not give your opinion on any of the


topics. The first task should be written entirely in
the third person—that is, using words such as he,
she, the professor, the student, and so on.

You should never use I or me in the first essay.


The second task requires you to state your
opinion. This task requires you to argue what
option or choice you believe to be better.
Thus, the essay should be written in the first
person—it’s acceptable to use I and my for
the second essay.
Basic Principle #2: Make Sure Your
Essay Is Long Enough
On the TOEFL, quantity makes a difference. To a
grader, a longer essay is a better essay. Why?
Because a longer essay shows the grader that you
are comfortable writing and are able to produce a
sustained, focused piece. When writing, you must
make sure your essay falls within the TOEFL’s
suggested guidelines for length.
•For the first task, the TOEFL states that an
“effective” response is between 150 to 225
words.
•A minimum of 300 words is required for the
second tasks.
Basic Principle #3: Make Sure Your
Essay Is Clearly Organized
Organized essays are easy to read. Essays that are
easy to understand. Your written responses on the
TOEFL should contain the following:
•An introduction, containing your thesis statement
•Body paragraph, containing examples and details
that support your thesis
•A conclusion, containing a final restatement of
your thesis
•Appropriate transitions, linking your paragraph
and ideas together.
Casting doubt on a lecture
For the first essay you will be asked to perform the
following task.
Summarize the points made in the lecture.
Explaining how they cast doubts on the reading.
Casting doubt on a lecture
Paragraph #1
Introduction
In the lecture the (professor/ teacher/ instructor) made several
points about (topic)______________. The (professor/ teacher/
instructor) argues that (main idea of the lecture)________________.
However the reading contends ( main idea of reading ) ___________.
The professor’s lecture casts doubt on the reading by using a
number of points that are contrary to the (main idea of the
reading)_______.
Paragraph #2 Body paragraph

The first point that the (professor/teacher/instructor) uses to


cast doubt on the reading is ( point #1 in the lecture )______.
According to the professor __________ which differs from the reading,
since the reading states that_________________________. The point made
by (professor/teacher/instructor) casts doubt on the reading because
(how lecture is different from reading)_______________________.
Paragraph # 4 Conclusion

In conclusion, the main points made in the lecture contrasts with the
reading.
(Points #1 and 2 from the lecture) demonstrates that (main idea of the
reading) is in doubt.

The words in bold are suggestions: you don’t have to use them exactly. You may or you
may not write a third body paragraph. However your writing should still follow the
general pattern established in the outline.
WRITING PRACTICE DRILL #1
The first type of writing question will provide you with the
following directions:

You will have 3 minutes to read the following passage. You may take
notes during your reading. After the 3 minutes are up, you will hear
a lecture on the topic. You may take notes during the lecture as
well.

After the lecture ends, you will have 20 minutes to write your
response.

An effective response is generally 150 to 225 words long. You may


use your notes to help you answer, and you may refer to the
reading passage. Your essay will be graded on the quality of your
writing and on the completeness of the content.
Narrator: Now read the passage about the
first grain-based food. You have 3 minutes to
read the passage. Begin reading now.

After 3 minutes, resume the audio for the listening passage. Being played Track 23 on the CD.
[Stop the CD for 3 minutes while you read the passage on page 379.]
Scant physical evidence remains technology but fire. Loaves of wheat
of the first human domestication paste, when baked into bread, could
of grain. Still, there is enough to be stored for long periods, certainly
conclude that ancient peoples, longer than raw seeds. This kept the
motivated by the nutritional value of food value of wheat available for an
bread or cakes made of wild wheat, extended period after it had been
looked for controlled ways to grow it harvested.
to provide a consistent food supply.
There related discoveries are likely to Finally, ancient peoples found that,
have led to the introduction of bread if the paste was allowed to sit in
as the first grain-based food. the open, yeast spores from the air
The first discovery was that wheat settled on it and began fermenting
could be prepared for use by grinding. the wheat. This natural process of
People probably began consuming fermentation caused bubbles to form
wheat by chewing it raw. Because in the wheat paste, suggesting that it
wheat is very hard, they gradually would be lighter in texture and even
discovered that it was less trouble to easier to eat when baked.
eat if crushed to paste between two
stones. The result would have been the
ancestor of the drier, more powdery
wheat flour we use today.
From there, it was a short step to
the next breakthrough—baking the
simplest bread, which requires no
Showing support for a Reading passage
Another prompt that you will encounter in the test is stated as
follows:

Summarize the points made in the lecture


explaining how they support the reading.
Paragraph 1
Introduction:
In the lecture, the (professor/teacher/instructor) made several points
about (the topic)____________________.
State main idea of lecture
The (professor/teacher/instructor) argues that(main idea of the
lecture)._________________________
Transition /Main idea of reading
The points made by the (professor/teacher/instructor) agree with
(main idea of the reading passage).________________.
Thesis statement
In fact the examples used by the(professor/teacher/instructor) support
(main idea of the reading passage)_______________.
Paragraph 2 Body paragraph
Transition/point # 1 from the lecture:
The first point that (professor/teacher/instructor) uses to support the
reading is (point#1 from the lecture)____________________.
Detail for point # 1
According to the (professor/teacher/instructor) (detail for point #1
from the lecture)_________________________________.
Opposing point from reading
(Point#1) Supports the reading which holds that (point#1 from the
reading passage)________________________.
Explanation of relationship between reading and lecture.
The point made by (professor/teacher/instructor) support s the
reading because (why lecture agrees with the reading)
The Speaking Section of the
TOEFL IBT
Two independent Tasks, with one question asking
about a personal preference and another asking you
to choose an option. Here’s the time breakdown to
complete these tasks.

•15 seconds preparation time


•45 seconds speaking time
Two Integrated Tasks that require you to
read a passage, listen to a conversation or
lecture, and respond. Here’s the time
breakdown for these tasks.
•45 seconds reading time
•60- to 90-second conversation/lecture
•30 seconds preparation time
•60 seconds speaking time
Two Integrated Tasks that require you to
listen to a conversation or lecture, and
respond. Here’s the time breakdown for these
tasks.
•1- to 2-minute conversation/lecture
•20 seconds preparation time
•60 seconds speaking time
You will have 20 minutes to complete the
entire section
HOW THE SPEAKING SECTION IS
SCORED
• Each of your spoken responses will be graded
on a scale of 0 to 4. the graders consider three
major areas when judging the quality of your
response—let’s look at each in detail.
1. Delivery: On the TOEFL, delivery refers to
both the flow and clarity of your speech. A
higher-scoring response will be well paced
and free of long pauses and unnecessary
interjections.
2. Language use: The scorers are looking for
effective use of grammar and vocabulary:
Complexity of sentence structure will also be
considered. A higher-scoring response
generally contains a variety of sentence
structures, a range of vocabulary, and few
grammatical errors.
3. Topic development: This includes how well
your response addresses the task as well as
the development of your ideas. Thus, the
graders are judging you not only on how you
speak, but also on what you say.
THE SPEAKING SECTION: BASIS
PRINCIPLES
Speaking section requires you to be aware of the
following:
•How you sound. When speaking, you must try to
avoid unnecessary pauses and try to speak at an
even pace.
•What you say. Good responses have a clear flow
of ideas and use appropriate transitions to link
topics.
•Your command of English grammar and
vocabulary. A top-scoring response uses a variety
of words and contains some complex sentence
structures.
BASIC PRINCIPLE#1 How You Sound
As mentioned earlier, this doesn’t mean you have
to sound like a native speaker. It means that you
should speak confidently and clearly. The two
biggest problems are:
•Pausing often and breaking up the flow of your
speech with unnecessary words such as um and
uh
•Delivering your speech in a mechanical “robot”
voice, as if you were reading the response from a
page
BASIC PRINCIPLE#2 What You Say

One key to scoring well on the Speaking


section is to make sure the ideas about which
you are talking are clearly connected to one
another. You should use transitions to relate
the parts of your speech together.
Here are some of the common transition
words you will need to use on the TOEFL.

Words that indicate a sequence or progression


First Second Third Next After Lastly
Then Previously Before Following Finally

Words that indicate a connection between ideas


Because Therefore Thus And
Also Furthermore Additionally So
Words that indicate a contradiction between ideas
However Despite Yet Although
But In contrast to On the other hand

Now practice using these transitions in the


exercise that follows.
Practice: Using Transitions

Read the following sentences aloud, connecting


them with the appropriate transition word or
words.
1. Jane would like to go home during the holiday
break,__________________________ she
doesn’t have enough money.
2. Sasha intends to major in
mathematics_______________ it is her
favorite subject.
3. First, you must mix the two chemicals
together.______________ wait for the reaction
to occur.
4. One of the main reasons Jose tool the job was
the salary; ____________________ the location
was a factor.
5. __________________________Ming had never
met Anna before, they acted like old friends.
6. The professor is known for his harsh grading
scale; ______________, students says that he is
one of the best teacher at the school.
7. The class requires students to write a 20-
page research paper. ______________; the
students to have to complete a group
project.
8. Macro had ___________________ believed
that he wanted to go to business school, but
now he plans to attend law school.
9. It is very difficult to do well on this class
without doing the required reading.
10.Neela was sure that she had failed the exam
_____________________________ she
received a passing grade.
BASIC PRINCIPLE #3 Your Command of
English Grammar and Vocabulary
Improving and building your vocabulary: As
for the vocabulary aspect, certain words are
more suitable for certain tasks. Basically, the
Speaking section asks to you do the following
tasks:
• Describe
• Summarize
• Contrast
Let’s look at each task and the types of phrases
that are appropriate.
Descriptions Some tasks ask you to describe a
problem , an opinion, or a personal preference. If
you are describing details, try using the following
phrases:
• One aspect of…
• One characteristic of…
• One issue (for describing a problem)…
• One feature…
• One attribute…
• One element…
• One thing…
For example, you may be asked to do the following
on the TOEFL:
Describe a friend of yours and explain why you
consider this person a friend. Use details and
examples to support your view.
For this task we are asked to describe our friend. Our response may look like the
.
sample below

One of my best friends is Joel He is my friend for


many reasons. One characteristic of Joel’s that I
really admire is his honesty. He always tells the truth
to me . Another quality of Joel’s that I like is his
optimistic attitude. Joel always has a positive word
for everyone. Joel’s sense of humor is a final aspect
of his personality that I admire. He is always able to
make me laugh. For these reasons, I consider Joel a
great friend.
As you can see, each of the words listed above
can be used when describing a specific detail.
Now it’s your turn to try answering the above
question, using as many of the above phrases
as possible.
Summaries Another common task on the TOEFL
Speaking section involves summarizing a reading or
lecture.

When summarizing, try using some of the following


phrases:

•According to the reading/lecture/speaker…


•The reading/lecture/speaker states that…
•The reading/lecture/speaker argues that…
•The reading/lecture/speaker holds that…
•The reading/lecture/speaker asserts that…
•One reason/explanation presented by the
reading/lecture/speaker…
•The reading/lecture/speaker claims that…
•The reading/lecture/speaker expresses the
Here’s an example of a summary.
Read the following passage and then summarize the
points made by author.
New research in the field of neuroscience is leading
some researchers to change their beliefs about how the
brain forms. An early view of the brain held that
intelligence was primarily determined by genes.
Now, however, a new study casts doubt on that view.
Researchers have discovered that the neurons on the
brain develop in the early stages of infancy. The more
stimulation these neurons receive, the more
connections the neurons make with other neurons.
Cognitive scientists believe that intelligence is partly
based on the connections between neurons in the brain.
Now we have to summarize the important
parts of the passage . Our response might look
like the following.

According to the reading, some scientists


have to change their views about the
brain. The reading states that the early
view of the brain is wrong. One reason
given, according to the reading, is that
there is a new study. The reading claims
that the new study shows that brain
development occurs during childhood. It
Contrast The final type of speaking task asks you
to contrast ideas. Here are some helpful phrases
to use when contrasting ideas.

•In contrast to…


•One difference between…
•Unlike…
•One distinction between…
•Dissimilarity…
•One disagreement between…
•One consistency between…
•One point at issue is…
Let’s look at a task that requires us to contrast
things.

Read the following passage:

For more than three hundred years, the world


understood physics as a predictable system.
Isaac Newton’s three laws of motion allowed
physicists to predict the motion of not just
failing apples and thrown balls, but comets,
planets, and stars as well. The amazing
degree of accuracy these predictions had
convinced scientists that the universe obeyed
precise laws, a belief that in many ways was
Now read the following lecture on the same
topic:
What would you guys think if I told you I
could walk right through that wall over
there? You probably wouldn’t believe me.
As you all know from, uh, basic physics,
two solid objects cannot occupy the same
space. But the truth is that… neither I nor
the wall is really solid. That’s right… I am
mostly made up of atoms, and atoms are
mostly empty space. And it was in the
early um, early twentieth century when the
discovery was made the atoms can pass
Contrast The final type of speaking task asks you
to contrast ideas. Here are some helpful phrases
to use when contrasting ideas.

•In contrast to…


•One difference between…
•Unlike…
•One distinction between…
•Dissimilarity…
•One disagreement between…
•One consistency between…
•One point at issue is…
If you shoot a number of atoms…I think it
was Neils Bohr who did this
experiment…at a sheet of metal, some of
them will pass right through it. And through
the probability is extremely
unlikely…because I have so many atoms
in my body…if I walked into that wall an
infinite number of times, at some point I
would pass right through it. So our world
isn’t as nice and predictable as we may
believe
Explain how the lecture casts doubt on or
This asks us to contrast the information
presented in both selections.

One difference between the two is the


predictable nature of physics. The reading
states that the universe is predictable. In
contrast to this idea, the lecture gives some
information on how atoms can be
unpredictable. This is inconsistent with the
reading, which talks about larger objects,
such as planets, However, the biggest point
at issue between the two is whether or not