To make this practice more like the TOEFL, close each question while you are listening to the audio. You may take notes, and you may use your notes to help you answer the question. When you hear the question, you may look at it and begin preparing your response. Record your response for each exercise.

The audio transcripts are below. At the real TOEFL iBT test, you do not have access to the transcripts. We’re including them here so you can learn from them, but you should look at them after you complete the tasks.

Exercise 3.8.A

For this task, you will listen to a conversation. You will then be asked to talk about the information in the conversation and to give your opinion about the ideas presented. After you hear the question, you have 20 seconds to prepare your response and 60 seconds to speak.

Click for question

Briefly summarize the problem the speakers are discussing. Then state which solution you would recommend. Explain the reasons for your recommendation.

Preparation Time – 20 seconds
Response Time – 60 seconds

Exercise 3.8.B

For this task, you will listen to a conversation. You will then be asked to talk about the information in the conversation and to give your opinion about the ideas presented. After you hear the question, you have 20 seconds to prepare your response and 60 seconds to speak.

Briefly summarize the problem the speakers are discussing. Then state which solution you would recommend. Explain the reasons for your recommendation

Preparation Time – 20 seconds
Response Time – 60 seconds

Exercise 3.8.C

For this task, you will listen to a conversation. You will then be asked to talk about the information in the conversation and to give your opinion about the ideas presented. After you hear the question, you have 20 seconds to prepare your response and 60 seconds to speak.

The students discuss a problem that the man has. Briefly summarize the problem. Then state what you think the man should do, and explain why.

Preparation Time – 20 seconds
Response Time – 60 seconds

Exercise 3.8.D

For this task, you will listen to a conversation. You will then be asked to talk about the information in the conversation and to give your opinion about the ideas presented. After you hear the question, you have 20 seconds to prepare your response and 60 seconds to speak.

The students discuss possible solutions to the woman’s problem. Briefly describe the problem. Then state which solution you prefer and explain why.

Preparation Time – 20 seconds
Response Time – 60 seconds

Exercise 3.8.E

For this task, you will listen to a conversation. You will then be asked to talk about the information in the conversation and to give your opinion about the ideas presented. After you hear the question, you have 20 seconds to prepare your response and 60 seconds to speak.

The speakers discuss a problem that the man has. Briefly summarize the problem. Then state what you think the man should do, and explain why.

Preparation Time – 20 seconds
Response Time – 60 seconds

Do not look at the transcripts until after you finish the tasks.

Listen to a conversation between two students.

W: Is something wrong with your arm?
M: Not really, it’s just that my elbow is bothering me. It’s been sore lately. I think I hurt it.
W: That’s too bad. Why don’t you go to the clinic and have someone look at it?
M: Oh, it’s not that bad. It’s just a little sore.
W: But you’re holding your arm in a funny way. You should have a doctor check it. You could do it now. We’re heading toward the clinic right now.
M: I don’t have the time to go to the clinic right now. I have baseball practice at three o’clock.
W: Baseball practice! You shouldn’t play baseball if your elbow hurts!
M: I can’t afford to miss any more practices. I’ve missed too much already, and my coach will be angry. He said he’d put me off the team if I miss another practice. I don’t want that to happen. Baseball is important to me. I can’t let the team down.
W: Then you’d better go to practice, but be sure to tell your coach about your elbow. Tell him you hurt it. You need to give it a rest. You could make it a lot worse if you’re not careful.

Briefly summarize the problem the speakers are discussing. Then state which solution you would recommend. Explain the reasons for your recommendation.

Listen to part of a conversation between a student and her academic adviser.

W: I need help with my registration for Winter Quarter.
M: Okay. What kind of help?
W: I still need to fill my social science requirement, so I need another course, but it doesn’t look like anything will fit into my schedule for winter.
M: Hmm. I see what you mean. You’ve already got a full schedule. But I’m sure we can figure something out. Aaaah … well … you could take an evening course. There are lots of evening classes in social sciences for Winter Quarter.
W: An evening course … ugh … I don’t like going to class at night. It makes the day so long.
M: Well, with your schedule, this may be your best choice for Winter Quarter. Another possibility, of course, is to wait until next quarter and fulfill the social science requirement then. Can you do that— wait until Spring Quarter?
W: I’m doing an internship at the nursing home in the spring. That will be full–time, and I’m not sure I can handle another course on top of that. I expect the internship will be very demanding. And then I hope to graduate in June. So this is kind of a problem for me.

Briefly summarize the problem the speakers are discussing. Then state which solution you would recommend. Explain the reasons for your recommendation.

Listen to a conversation between two students.

W: How are your classes going?
M: All right mostly, well, that is, except for environmental science. The class is fine, but my learning partner—the guy I’m supposed to do my project with—well, to be honest, he’s lazy. I’ve done all the work so far, but we’re being graded together.
W: That’s not good. You need to have a serious talk with your partner. You can’t let him ruin your grade. You need to lay out a plan for who does what and when. He has to take responsibility for his part of the project.
M: That’s for sure. He’s hard to get a hold of, too. I’ve left several messages on his answering machine.
W: You’d better let your professor know about this. Maybe he’ll let you do the project with someone else.
M: It’s kind of late for that. Besides, I’ve already started working on it, and so has everyone else.
W: You never know. Maybe you could sort of look around for another group to join. But I would see what your professor says first.

The students discuss a problem that the man has. Briefly summarize the problem. Then state what you think the man should do, and explain why.

Listen to a conversation between two students.

M: Hi, Nicole. How’s it going?
W: My classes are going well. I wish I could say the same for my car.
M: What’s wrong with your car?
W: I’m not sure, exactly. It just won’t start up sometimes. It gave me a lot of trouble this morning. It took me ten minutes to get it running, and then I was late for class. I need to have it checked out, but my regular mechanic is expensive, and I still have to pay my tuition.
M: You could take your car to the community college. They have a program in automotive technology, and they fix students’ cars for less than a regular mechanic would charge.
W: But I’m not a student at the community college.
M: Check it out anyway. Maybe you don’t have to be a student at that school. Just tell them you’re a student.
W: Well, maybe.
M: Another place you could try is the bulletin board in the Student Center. People sometimes advertise services like this. Maybe you can find a mechanic that’s not too expensive.
W: Hmm. Maybe. Thanks for the tips.
M: No problem. Good luck.

The students discuss possible solutions to the woman’s problem. Briefly describe the problem. Then state which solution you prefer and explain why.

Listen to a conversation between a student and a professor.

M: Professor Fisher, I’m not going to be in class on Monday, so I’ll miss the test. I was wondering if I could make it up later.
W: Well, you know my policy is not to give make–up tests. If you miss one test, then you can try to earn extra points on the other tests. But … haven’t you already missed a test?
M: Um … yeah, I missed one a few weeks ago.
W: Then try not to miss this test, and try to do well on it too. Your test scores so far have not been strong. You could be in danger of not receiving credit for the course.
M: Do you mean I might fail?
W: At this point, you need to do something to raise your grade. Why don’t you get a tutor to help you, or get a classmate to be your study partner?
M: Well, I guess I could. But, to tell the truth, I don’t have the extra time for a tutor or a study partner.
W: Then, in that case, you need to think about whether or not you should stay enrolled in this course. If you’re too busy to study and come to class, you should consider dropping it.

The speakers discuss a problem that the man has. Briefly summarize the problem. Then state what you think the man should do, and explain why.

Extension

1

Listen again to the conversations in Exercises 3.8.A through 3.8.E. As you listen, fill in the missing information on the blank lines in the scripts. Do not try to write down every word. Take brief notes about only the key information. Check your notes with the audio scripts above.

CONVERSATION 3.8.A

W: Is something wrong with ____________________?

M: Not really, it’s just that ________________________________________. It’s been _________________ lately. I think ________________.

W: That’s too bad. Why don’t you _________________________________?

M: Oh, it’s not that bad. It’s just ______________________________.

W: But you’re _____________________________________ in a funny way. You should _________________________________________________. You could _______________. We’re heading toward the _____________ right now.

M: I don’t have the time to ___________________________________________. I have _______________________________________.

W: Baseball practice! You shouldn’t ________________________________!

M: I can’t afford to ____________________________________. I’ve missed too much already, and _________________________________. He said ___________________________________________________________________________________. I don’t want that to happen. Baseball is important to me. I can’t let the team down.

W: Then you’d better _________________________________, but be sure to ________________________________________________. Tell him you ____________. You need to ___________________________________. You could make it a lot worse if ________________________________.

CONVERSATION 3.8.B

W: I need help with ________________________________________.

M: Okay. What kind of help?

W: I still need to ________________________________________________, so I need _______________________________, but it doesn’t look like anything will ________________________________________________.

M: Hmm. I see what you mean. You’ve already got a full schedule. But I’m sure we can ___________________________________. Aaaah… well … you could __________________________________________________. There are lots of _____________________________________________ for Winter Quarter.

W: An evening course. I ___________________________________. It makes the day so long.

M: Well, with your schedule, this may be your best choice for Winter Quarter. Another possibility, of course, is to _______________________________ and________________________________________________________. Can you do that—____________________________________________?

W: I’m doing ______________________________________________ in the spring. That will be full–time, and I’m not sure I can handle another course on top of that. I expect________________________________________. And then I hope to ____________________________________. So this is kind of a problem for me.

CONVERSATION 3.8.C

W: How are your classes going?

M: All right mostly, well, that is, except for ____________________________________. The class is fine, but _____________________________________________________.

W: That’s not good. You need to ________________________________________. You can’t _________________________________. You need to __________________________________________. He has to take responsibility for his part of the project.

M: That’s for sure. He’s hard to get a hold of, too. I’ve left several messages on his answering machine.

W: You’d better _____________________________________________________. Maybe __________________________________________________________.

M: It’s kind of late for that. Besides, ________________________________________________________________.

W: You never know. Maybe you could __________________________________. But I would_________________________________________.

CONVERSATION 3.8.D

M: Hi, Nicole. How’s it going?

W: My classes are going well. ___________________________________________.

M: What’s wrong with your __________?

W: I’m not sure, exactly. It just _______________________________. It gave me a lot of trouble this morning. It __________________________________________________________. I need to have it checked out, but___________________________________________________.

M: You could ________________________________________________________. They have _______________________________________________.

W: But I’m not _________________________________________________.

M: Check it out anyway. Maybe you don’t have to be ____________________________________________________________. Just tell them you’re a student.

W: Well, maybe.

M: Another place you could try is _______________________________________. People sometimes advertise services like this. Maybe you can ___________________________________________________________________.

W: Hmm. Maybe. Thanks for the tips.

M: No problem. Good luck.

CONVERSATION 3.8.E

M: Professor Fisher, I’m __________________________________________, so I’ll___________________. I was wondering if _____________________________.

W: Well, you know my policy is not to _____________________________. If you___________________, then you can try to ______________________________________________________________. But … haven’t you already __________________________?

M: Um … yeah, I ___________________ a few weeks ago.

W: Then try not to ____________________, and try to do well on it too. Your test scores so far have not been strong. You could be ____________________________________________________________________.

M: Do you mean I might __________?

W: At this point, you need to ____________________________________________. Why don’t you _________________________________, or ____________________________________________________________________?

M: Well, I guess I could. But, to tell the truth, I don’t have ___________________________________________________________________________________.

W: Then, in that case, you need to _________________________________________________________________________. If you’re too busy to ______________________________, you should ______________________________.

2.

Listen to your recorded response to one of the speaking tasks in Exercise 3.8.A through 3.8.E. Analyze and evaluate your response by answering the following questions:

a. Does my response accurately convey information about the problem?

b. Does my response clearly recommend a solution to the problem? What reasons are given in my response to support the recommended solution?

c. Is my response coherent? Would it be easily understood by other listeners?

d. Does my response answer the question effectively? Why or why not?

e. How can I improve my responses for this type of question in the future?

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