TOEFL speaking topics

Updated on: Feb 13, 2024

What are the TOEFL speaking topics 2024?

The TOEFL speaking topics are structured to analyse and determine your speaking skills during the TOEFL speaking test. These topics evaluate your level of proficiency in different English skills like speaking, reading, and listening.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is a standard assessment for international students to test their level of proficiency in English. The TOEFL exam determines a person’s level of English proficiency by evaluating their fluency in fundamental language skills. The TOEFL exam is a renowned assessment accepted by more than 11,500 educational institutions in over 160 countries. The exam pattern consists of four sections with different types of questions that have equal importance in determining the candidate’s level of proficiency in English. Here’s everything you need to know about TOEFL speaking topics.

Also read: TOEFL vs IELTS: Which is best for applying to top universities?

TOEFL speaking topics 2024: An overview

TOEFL full formTest of English as a Foreign Language
Conducted byEducational Testing Services (ETS)
No. of tasks in the TOEFL speaking section4
Types of speaking test tasksIndependent and integrated
Duration (in minutes)17
Skills analysedSpeaking, reading, listening

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TOEFL speaking topics: Key highlights

  • The TOEFL speaking test is designed to evaluate your speaking skills through a series of topics on real-life academic and general situations.
  • There are four tasks in the speaking test, lasting for 17 minutes. The maximum score you can obtain in the TOEFL speaking section is 30.
  • This section analyses your speaking ability, as well as your reading and listening skills.
  • The speaking section has two types of tasks: Independent and Integrated.
  • You will get 15-30 seconds to prepare your response and 45 or 60 seconds to deliver them.

Also read: What you need to know about TOEFL iBT: A beginner's guide

TOEFL speaking tasks 2024

The TOEFL speaking tasks are designed to measure your ability to converse in English fluently. The tasks are based on actual academic and general situations and are evaluated by a human and AI evaluator.

TOEFL speaking tasks

TOEFL speaking tasksSkills analysedPreparation time
(in seconds)
Response time
(in seconds)
Task 1 (Independent)Speaking1545
Task 2 (Integrated)Speaking, listening3060
Task 3 (Integrated)Speaking, reading, listening3060
Task 4 (Integrated)Speaking, reading, listening2060

TOEFL speaking topics: Question formats to expect

  • Choose from one option
  • Choose from the two options
  • Explain a campus life problem
  • Explain opinion on campus problem
  • Explain a lecture
  • Explain a lecture topic

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A walkthrough on TOEFL speaking topics 2024

The TOEFL speaking topics vary with each task, as they are designed to evaluate the language skills to determine your English proficiency. You can make use of resources for TOEFL speaking topics with answers to get an idea of the format of the section. Here we cover the common TOEFL speaking topics for better understanding and effective preparation.

Task 1: Independent task

The Independent task from the TOEFL speaking test requires you to provide your personal opinion on a general topic. The tasks test your ability to prepare and express your thoughts effectively. Some common topics you can expect for the TOEFL Independent task are.

  • Some people say raising children is beneficial to the improvement of society, whereas others believe an individual’s career growth contributes to the same cause. What is your idea about the issue?
  • Is it advisable that students can bring their mobile phones to school? Make use of the details and examples to support your opinion.
  • What do you think of children helping their parents with household chores when they are old enough?
  • Which do you prefer, searching for information in books or the internet? Explain your preference with examples.
  • Do you think it is advisable to spend your money on present necessities rather than saving for future needs?

Task 2: Integrated task

The second task of the TOEFL speaking test requires you to read a passage and listen to a campus-related topic. You should summarise and combine the information acquired from both sources and provide your opinion or justify the idea. There are many TOEFL speaking topics with answers pdf resources for you to prepare for the section. You can expect these types of questions in task 2.

  • A student expresses their opinion about the university’s announcement on constructing a new auditorium. Explain their opinion and the reasons that support their decision.
  • The woman expresses her opinion on the university prepping to introduce a new language course. Explain her opinion and the reasons she has pointed out.
  • The man shows his disagreement with the university over the introduction of a new accommodation rule. Express his opinion and explain the points he used to justify his decision.

Also read: TOEFL study material: The best resources to help you succeed

Task 3: Integrated task

The third task focuses on general academic concepts. You will be given an academic article to read and then listen to a short lecture on the topic. You should respond based on the specific information required by the question. You can expect questions in these formats for task 3.

  • The lecturer used three examples to explain the process of psychological behaviour in children. Explain how the examples support the topic.
  • Explain Darwin’s theory of evolution and the examples used by the lecturer to illustrate the idea.
  • Using the examples provided by the lecturer, explain the process of food preservation.
  • Explain the stages of immunity with the help of examples provided by the professor.

Task 4: Integrated task

The fourth and final task requires you to listen to a lecture on an academic topic and provide the answer. The task analyses your speaking and listening skills. Here are some examples of the question formats you can expect.

  • With the help of the main idea and examples provided in the lecture, explain the process of a mutually exclusive environment.
  • Elaborate on the food web with the examples provided in the lecture.
  • Using the examples based on the lecture, explain the process of survival adaptations.
  • Taking the examples into consideration, explain in detail the concept of equity compensation.

Also read: 10 tips to help prepare for the TOEFL exam

Frequently asked questions

How many tasks are there in TOEFL speaking section?

There are four tasks in the TOEFL speaking section. Task 1 is an Independent task where your speaking skills are analysed. The other three tasks are Integrated tasks, which evaluate your speaking, listening, and reading skills.

Is there any penalty for wrong answers in the TOEFL speaking test?

There is no penalty or wrong answer in the TOEFL speaking test. The tasks are designed to analyse your ability to understand and express your opinions in English, so this section has no correct or incorrect answer.

What is TOEFL speaking Task 1?

Task 1 in the TOEFL speaking test is an Independent task where you should provide your personal opinion on a general topic. The tasks test your ability to prepare within the given time and express your thoughts effectively.

What are the important topics for TOEFL speaking?

The TOEFL speaking test consists of questions about real-life situations and academic-related topics, especially science.

Is 27 in TOEFL speaking good?

The maximum score for the TOEFL speaking test is 30, so a score of 27 is considered great in the TOEFL exam.