I’m sure you’ve heard many TOEFL Speaking tips on how best to prepare for the TOEFL Speaking section. Everything from “use a speaking partner” to “don’t go over the time limit” to “be confident!”.

Well, in today’s post, I outline four important TOEFL Speaking tips for you.

They’re cool. They’re easy to implement. And, most importantly, they will help you get a higher score.

Tip #1: Practice Speaking to a Non-Human

One of the most difficult aspects of the TOEFL Speaking section is talking to the computer and not another human being. On the TOEFL test, you will speak into a microphone that is attached to a headset and you will hear the questions through this headset.

Because this is a new type of procedure for many students, it can often affect their performance.

So, how do you manage this awkward, shy feeling?

Practice speaking to the computer until you get used to it.

Just do it.

Yes, it’s weird. And yes, people might laugh. But it’s going to help you get more comfortable with the TOEFL Speaking section, and get the score you need.

If talking to the computer just gets TOO weird, then practice speaking to the wall. Or a picture. Or even your pet goldfish.

Tip #2: Take Notes

It’s very important to take notes on the TOEFL exam.

It will help you to focus your attention on the content of the reading and listening passages, and better understand what response you need to give.

But don’t just take notes. You also need to organize them!

Organizing your notes will help you to develop an excellent response in the short time you have. Writing down certain bits of important information will help you to remember the main ideas and details. That way, if you forget any details while speaking, you can just refer to your notes!

What’s the best way to take perfect notes during the exam? To PRACTICE taking notes, of course! Practice will help you to become familiar with abbreviations and symbols. It will also help you develop the ability to identify what is most important in a passage.

Now for two more TOEFL Speaking tips!

Tip #3: Organize Your Answers

On the exam, don’t wait until the recording tells you to start organizing your answers. As soon as the question begins, write down key points and organize your ideas. This gives you an extra 5 seconds of time. Having well-organized ideas on paper will also help with your speaking performance as fillers such as ‘emms’ and ‘ahhs’ are eliminated.

Watching the time and giving a complete answer within the allotted time is important, so always time yourself when you practice. During the test there will be a time bar on the screen so that you can monitor yourself. You should use something similar during your practice sessions.

In my Master Guide series, I give you all the details on how to organize your answer.

Tip #4: Use a Variety of Vocabulary

One of my favorite TOEFL Speaking tips is increasing your word variety (and using them correctly). Buy or research a good vocabulary builder and study vocabulary regularly. Try to use at least one of your new words in each practice response so you become comfortable using them.

(I personally recommend the TOEFL Vocabulary App from MosaLingua)

To help learn and memorize new vocabulary words, use the chart below. I call it a “lexical” resource, which comes from the term lexis – a synonym to vocabulary.

Lexical ItemPronunciationTranslationGrammarCollocationsExampleIdea

Motorcycle摩托車NounRide a ~Get on my ~~ maintenanceShe just bought a Suzuki motorcycle*Draw a picture of motorcycle*

And these are four important TOEFL Speaking tips!

Do you have any more?

“If you’re interested in talking with the TOEFL Speaking Teacher about how to improve your TOEFL Speaking score, then sign up for a 30 minute TOEFL Speaking Evaluation by Clicking here.”