To get your 30-minute TOEFL Speaking Evaluation (so you can finally figure out exactly how to get a higher TOEFL Speaking score), go here: TOEFL Speaking Evaluation

Otherwise, keep reading…

TOEFL Speaking Rubric


The first question every TOEFL Speaking student MUST start with is:

“What is the TOEFL Speaking Rubric”?

Or, in other words, how is the TOEFL Speaking section graded?

There are THREE Sections of scoring criteria that the judges use for the TOEFL Speaking rubric:

When evaluators grade your TOEFL Speaking responses, they use the criteria set by ETS

These are the three areas TOEFL Evaluators judge you on for the TOEFL Speaking section.


1. Language Use

Pay attention to Grammar and Vocabulary

a. Do you make any major mistakes with grammar? If yes, which ones? Write down the specific grammatical mistakes you made.

b. What is your vocabulary like? Do you use a variety of words? Or repeat the same phrases? Do you use informal English or academic English? (hint: you should use informal English)


2. Topic Development: Details and Logic

a. Do you stick to the time for each question? 45 seconds for Q1-2 and 60 seconds for Q3-6

b. Are your sentences logical? Is it easy or difficult to understand the meaning?


For Tasks 1 and 2:

  • Did you use a personal story (I talk about the importance of these in my Youtube videos)
  • Did you use clear transition statements between each example?


For Tasks 3, 4, 5 and 6:

  • How many main points did the speakers discuss in this dialogue or lecture? Refer to your notes to answer this question.
  • Did you clearly explain the two to three main points in the lecture or dialogue?
    • Pay special attention to Question 5 – make sure you include all three parts
  • Did you use clear logic to connect each part of the dialogue or lecture?

 3. Delivery – Pronunciation, Intonation, and Fluency

a. What words did you struggle to pronounce correctly? Are there any patterns for the sounds you consistently pronounce incorrectly?

b. Is your response choppy? Or do you easily flow from one word to the next?

c. Did you sound energetic or robotic and depressed?

d. Did you say “uhh” more than four times?

e. Did you take long pauses between sentences?


Note: If you’re not getting the score you need on the TOEFL Speaking section, I recommend signing up for a 30 minute TOEFL Speaking Evaluation. In this evaluation, I will tell you the exact skills you need to improve to increase your score


How Do You Evaluate Yourself?


There a number of ways to determine a possible score you may receive on the TOEFL Speaking section:

1. Do a TOEFL practice test, and record your answers to all 6 TOEFL Speaking questions. Play the recording back to yourself, and answer all the questions under “Gaining Points”. Also, rate yourself on a scale of 1-5 for each of the 3 main categories (topic development, language use, delivery). This will help you to understand what you must improve.

2. Have a native-speaking friend, who understands or has taken TOEFL, evaluate you. Go through the same process as above.

3. Hire a TOEFL teacher to evaluate you. You can get my evaluation by clicking here: TOEFL Speaking Evaluation. Payment is completely secure, and I offer a 100% guarantee that you will finish the evaluation with a clear idea of what you must improve.

I hope this article helped you understand the TOEFL Speaking rubric. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below!

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You can learn your aproximated TOEFL score with this free TOEFL Diagnostic Test.