TOEFL Listening Practice Test and Score Improving Tips

TOEFL Listening Test

The TOEFL Listening section measures the ability of the test taker to understand spoken English from many different English-speaking countries. You will listen to dialogues and academic talks, and be tested on your ability to understand them. The TOEFL English listening section has three possible purposes:

  • Listening for basic comprehension
  • Listening for a pragmatic understanding
  • Connecting and synthesizing information

English Test TOEFL Listening Section Format

Listening materials in the TOEFL test include academic lectures and long dialogues in which the speech sounds very natural. Exam-takers can jot down notes on any listening material throughout the test.

Listening Material Number of Questions Duration
4 to 6 lectures; 3 to 5 minutes long each; Approximately 500 words 6 questions per lecture 60-90 minutes
2 to 3 dialogues; about 3 minutes long and approximately 12 to 25 exchanges 5 questions per dialogue 60-90 minutes

 TOEFL Listening Section Scoring

Questions in the Listening section are multiple-choice, and most will have one correct answer. However, there will be some questions that will have two or more correct answers and questions where you need to organize events and facts. Each item will only be worth one point. There are no questions in the listening section worth multiple points. So when you calculate your raw score for this portion, you give yourself one point for each item correctly answered. The sum will be your Listening test raw score.

How to improve my score in the TOEFL Listening section?

The TOEFL listening section is a tricky one. You have to listen to 4 to 6 lectures, each with 6 questions, and 2 to 3 talks, each with 5 items. The shortened version takes a total of 60 minutes, while the extended version takes 90 minutes, totaling 34 to 51 queries. The additional lectures and conversations will not count on your score when you get the extended section. It’s only there to help TOEFL prepare questions for next year. Sadly, you can’t determine which items are additional questions, and you should do your best for all of them.

To dominate and pass the listening section, here are the best TOEFL listening tips you can apply to score well on the TOEFL exam.

Jot down notes – An essential skill in TOEFL is to take detailed notes quickly. It’s a physical and mental skill. It is physical because you can take more notes than anybody else can by moving your hand faster and writing faster. It is also mental since the sentences must be summed up, the words must be condensed, the most relevant sections of a sentence and statements that are not needed should be identified.

Listen to audio – For TOEFL listening, an important way to learn is to listen to audio sources around you. The TV is good, particularly documentary films or channels such as Animal Planet and National Geographic. You can also seek out audio sources like news programs or radios such as CNN Radio, Voice of America, podcasts, or audiobooks as they prepare you for the Standard American Dialect.

Take note of signals – When listening to TOEFL listening comprehension test dialogues or lectures, paying attention to signals is very important as these will tell you which sentences and statements are relevant and not. Below are signal words and phrases listed by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) that tell you what type of information is being given:

  • Theory – In theory
  • Negatives – not, or words that begin with ‘un’, ‘non’, ‘dis’, or ‘a’
  • Opinion – I think, It appears that, It is thought that
  • Inference – therefore, then
  • Fillers – non-essential information like uh, umm, or er
  • examples – for example, such as
  • reasons – because, since
  • comparisons – in contrast, than
  • results – as a result, so, therefore, thus, consequently
  • another idea – furthermore, moreover, besides
  • restatements of information – in other words, that is
  • an opposing idea – on the other hand, however
  • a similar idea – similarly, likewise
  • conclusions – in conclusion, in summary

Note that very often, speakers use breaks and speed changes to provide insight into how information is organized and grouped.

Practice – Most importantly, keep in mind to practice. The TOEFL Listening portion is a fast and tricky section. Even native speakers have to train as it doesn’t come naturally for this section. So the best way to improve is to practice a lot. You can use the TOEFL listening practice test in the official ETS website or use these alternatives:

  • TOEFL ITP listening practice test free download
  • TOEFL listening practice test with answers pdf
  • TOEFL PBT listening test download free
  • TOEFL paper-based test practice listening
  • TOEFL PBT listening practice test
  • TOEFL ITP listening practice test with answers
  • TOEFL junior listening comprehension practice test
  • TOEFL listening section practice test
  • TOEFL listening tests with answers
  • Listening TOEFL practice free
  • TOEFL listening practice Kaplan
  • Listening exercises TOEFL
  • Practice TOEFL listening section
  • TOEFL iBT listening practice online
  • TOEFL listening practice pdf
  • TOEFL online practice listening

Frequently Asked Questions

How to increase my score in reading and listening in TOEFL iBT?

Here are a few points to consider in the future to maintain and enhance your sound skills.

  1. Visit places in your neighborhood where you can hear spoken English.
  2. Watch and listen to programs that are documented in English.
  3. Go to the web sites to practice your listening skills.
  4. Listen to voice recordings of lectures.
  5. Practice communicating with other people in English.

How is TOEFL Listening scored?

The calculation of TOEFL Listening scores is simple: for each question you answer correctly, you earn one point, and your raw score is the sum of those points. Your raw score would then be converted to a 0-30 scale to get the final TOEFL listening score.

Is 500 a good score on the TOEFL?

Most schools require student TOEFL ratings of either 90 or 100 overall points on the iBT or 580 or 600 on the PBT. Therefore, a score over 90 on the iBT or over 580 on the PBT is generally regarded to be a decent score.

How long does it take to prepare for Toefl?

Many exam-takers score at least a minimum of 100 out of 120 during the first attempt. Generally, if you’d like a tight time to get ready, then 1 month ought to be fine. However, don’t take more than 2 months to prepare for TOEFL, because the test isn’t that difficult.

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