TOEFL Speaking Section: The Ultimate Guides & Sample Questions (2021)

Do you want to master the TOEFL Speaking section? What are the question types and trending question topics? In this guide, we will explain the new TOEFL Speaking section in detail, including question types, sample practice questions and sample answers.

Starting on August 1st, 2019, ETS changed the TOEFL test format to bring a better test experience to test takers.

In the new TOEFL Speaking, there is one independent speaking task and there are three integrated tasks. You are given 45 seconds to answer the independent question and 60 seconds to answer each integrated question. The entire Speaking section takes about 17 minutes to complete including the wait time in between each question.

The 4 TOEFL Speaking Tasks

  • TOEFL Speaking Question 1 (Personal Choice)
  • TOEFL Speaking Question 2 (Campus Announcement)
  • Speaking integrated Task 3 (General to Specific)
  • Speaking integrated Task 4 (Academic Lecture)
Infographic of TOEFL Speaking Section

Now, let’s dive into the details of each of them.

Question One

TOEFL Speaking Question 1 is the independent question. It is also known as “personal choice” question. During the test, you will see a question and hear an audio reading the question. Then, you are given 15 seconds to prepare and 45 seconds to speak your answer into a microphone.

  • Preparation Time: 15 seconds
  • Response Time: 45 seconds

Currently, there are 3 question styles for the TOEFL Independent Question:

Question StyleSample Question
Paired Choice Do you prefer to watch a movie or read a book? Use detail and examples to support your explanation.
Agree/DisagreeDo you agree or disagree with the following statement: it is important to know the history of the city that you live in?
Good ideaDo you think it is a good idea for young people to learn money management? Why?

Note that “If/Imagine” and “Description/Explanation” questions styles are no longer used. Students have claimed that they still see the “Advantage/Disadvantage” questions but rarely.

For sample questions, answers and templates check out our master guide to the question one .

TOEFL Speaking Question One

Question Two

TOEFL Speaking question two is the first integrated speaking task. The question is combined with reading and listening material. First, you will read a short passage, usually a campus announcement or letter in a campus newspaper. It will either describe some changes that are happening, or it will propose some change that should happen. There will be two reasons given for the change. You will have 45 seconds to read it.

Next, you will listen to a conversation between two students discussing the reading passage. Usually only one student will express his/her agreement or disagreement, along with two reasons. The conversation is about 60-90 seconds.

After hearing the conversation, your task is to summarize what you have read and listened to. You will have 30 seconds to prepare your answer and 60 seconds to speak your answer.

  • Reading Time: 45 seconds
  • Listening Time: 60 – 90 seconds
  • Preparation Time: 30 seconds
  • Response Time: 60 seconds
NEW TOEFL Speaking Task 2 question type explained
NEW TOEFL Speaking Task 2 question type explained
TOEFL Speaking Question Two

For sample questions, answers and templates about question one, check out our master guide to the question.

Question Three

TOEFL Speaking question three is also integrated with reading and listening materials. First, you will read a short (about 100 words) article, usually about a term or a concept on an academic topic. You will have 45 seconds to read it. (If the passage is slightly longer, you will be given 50 seconds to read it)

Next, you will listen to a recording of a professor giving a lecture about the same topic. The professor will illustrate the topic using one or two examples.

Finally, you will be asked to summarize the reading and lecture. You will be given 30 seconds to prepare and 60 seconds to speak.

  • Reading Time: 45-50 seconds
  • Listening Time: 60 – 90 seconds
  • Preparation Time: 30 seconds
  • Response Time: 60 seconds
New TOEFL Speaking Task 3 question type explained
New TOEFL Speaking Task 3 question type explained
TOEFL Speaking Question Three

For sample questions, answers and templates, check out our master guide to the question three .

Question Four

TOEFL Speaking question four is the last task of the TOEFL Speaking section. The question integrates with listening only. There will be no reading passage. First, you will listen to an academic lecture that is 1.5 to 2 minutes long. The lecture will give one or two examples of the concept.

After the lecture finishes, you will be asked a specific question that requires you to summarize the lecture. You will be given 20 seconds to prepare, and 60 seconds to speak.

  • Listening Length: 1.5 – 2 minutes
  • Preparation Time: 20 seconds
  • Response Time: 60 seconds
New TOEFL Speaking Task 4 question type explained
New TOEFL Speaking Task 4 question type explained


TOEFL Speaking Question Three

For sample questions, answers and templates check out our master guide to the question four.