More Details

  • For TOEFL Speaking question 6 you listen to a lecture about a specific academic topic. The lecture time is usually between 2-3 minutes.
  • For TOEFL Speaking question 6 you have 20 seconds to prepare your answer and 60 seconds to give your answer.
  • Your preparation time begins as soon as you hear the prompt, and your answer time begins as soon as your 20 second preparation time is done.
  • At 60 seconds, the recording STOPS. It cuts off. It ends. So be sure to include all the details you need before the 60 second mark.

General Strategies for TOEFL Speaking Question 6

Question 6 is an integrated question. This means you listen to a resource before preparing and answering the question.

Some additional pieces of important information:

  1. In question 6, just like questions 3 and 4, your entire answer MUST be objective. This means you stay within third person for the ENTIRE answer, using words like “he”, “she”, “it”, and “they”.
  2. Remember – TOEFL Speaking question 6 is SUPPOSED to be difficult. You will probably learn something new. But remember: part of what they’re testing is your ability to learn new things in English.
  3. You DON’T need to remember every complicated vocabulary word from TOEFL Speaking Question 6. Just pick out the ones that relate to the primary two examples and note those down. Don’t worry about the others.

Note-Taking Strategies for TOEFL Speaking Question 6

  1. BEFORE you do anything else, write down the structure of your notes.
  2. When taking notes on the lecture be sure to listen for and note the new concept and definition.
  3. Also, be sure to listen closely for transitions. They signify a change between two different thoughts or ideas.
  4. After the lecture is finished, look at the computer screen and focus on the prompt.”What does the prompt ask me to do?” Connect the prompt to your notes. For example, explain why pollution is a problem. Find the info in your notes. WHY? Write next to it WHY and circle the information. ‘…and how it can be solved..” also circle the point where it can be solved.

Example Response


Here is a link to the lecture:

Example Response:

I thought the lecture was about a really interesting topic and that was the intellectual ability of babies and the professor talks about how researchers want to see if babies could add up one plus one to equal two. So what they did is they took a five month baby and they devised an experiment where they show the baby a doll on a table. And the baby sees the doll, and then what the researchers do is they lower a screen so that the baby can’t see the doll anymore. And then they take a second doll and they place it behind the screen, where the first doll, or close to where the first doll would be. And then when the baby isn’t looking, when they can’t see it, the researchers secretly take away one of the dolls. So then the researchers raise the screen back up and the baby should see two dolls, it expects to see two dolls, but it doesn’t and so it’s surprised. And so how the researchers know its surprised is because they record the baby’s eye movements and depending on where it stares, that’s how they know. So that’s what the professor talks about

Answer Strategies for Question 6

  1. On TOEFL Speaking question 6 there are long and multiple parts. Sometimes the prompt asks you to talk about something that’s very specific. Do NOT give general summaries of everything you heard. Instead, pinpoint the specifics.
  2. I will repeat: To get a high score, your answer must be very focused. Yes, there is a lot of content in the lecture, but focus on what the prompt is asking.
  3. Be sure to speak with informal, conversational phrases. Avoid long transition phrases, like ‘moreover’, ‘on the other hand’, ‘in addition to this’, ‘therefor.
  4. If there is a new word, what do you do? Do your best to say the new word with confidence. Even if you make a mistake, own it, don’t worry about it, and keep going.
  5. Be enthusiastic with your response. TOEFL graders do NOT want to hear a bored robot. Inject some life into it!
  6. REMEMBER to speak objectively.

How to Practice for TOEFL Speaking Question 6

  1. You MUST record yourself: This is especially important if you continue to go over the 60 second time limit. If you do continue to go over the 60 second time-limit, eliminate 1-2 sentences in your answer.

Here is an embedded video with extra TOEFL Speaking Question 6 practice questions:

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