How to crush your independent task in TOEFL speaking

Toefl now takes 3 hours only, good news isn't it?

For several reasons, the organizers of the exam have decided to exclude certain parts from the exam. The speaking tasks you will have the change to see on your exam are as following:

  • Independent task: Personal choice (type 2 question)
  • Integrated tasks:

Campus announcement(type 3 question)

General to specific (type 4)

Academic lecture (type 6)

Following the latest changes, task 1 might appear in different formats.

  • Paired choice: you're given two opposing options. You're supposed to pick one of them and support your choice with explanations why.
  • Multiple choices: In comparison to the older question types, the new ones are getting longer. Here you have more options to choose from. However, don't worry the technique is the same. Just pick one and explain why this is correct for you. Don't forget the details and examples (f they are asked for)
  • Agree/ Disagree: The most simple one. You receive a statement and you need to either support or disagree with it. For example, Children should be allowed to use cellphones. Do you agree or disagree?
  • Advantages/ Disadvantages: You might be presented with a statement and asked to specify it's good and bad features. Sometimes you might be asked which of the several options you prefer and then to describe the advantages and disadvantages. 

Here's how a good answer is formulated.

  • You state your opinion clearly.
  • You aim for a smooth transition form your introductory statement to the reasons.
  • You provide two reasons backed up with examples and personal experience supporting the statement. If you don't have time, you don't need to conclude.

However, please remember to avoid using the same words twice. Try to vary with your vocabulary as much as you can.

Additionally, use different transitional phrases: First, Second, As a result, Moreover, Therefore, etc.

  • Avoid using complicated phrases and idioms unless you're entirely sure about their meaning and usage.

Sounds easy, right?! But how do we overpass the advantages/ disadvantages question?

Your template should look something like this:

  • Introductory statement: There are certainly both pros and cons of something.
  • State the advantage: First of all, in the beginning, one advantage is.. (describe)
  • State the disadvantage: However, a major disadvantage is..(describe)
  • Your opinion: Overall, though, I believe/ I guess/ I think it is better to...

During this task, you should show your skills in the delivery of the idea (how you sound and was it difficult to listen to you), language use (grammatical correctness, strength, and efficiency of the vocabulary) and topic development (arguments and integrity of the answer).

You can get from 1 to 4 points for it.

I hope this was helpful.

Good luck!